I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In need of some blogging therapy...

I know...it's been a long time since I've written a blog post. I want to thank all of you who have requested updates and check daily for a new post! I means so much to me that so many of you are keeping track with our journey. We decided to wait until the first of the year to go through our next IVF round. The Christmas season is so filled with joyous occasions...parties...and FUN, so we wanted to do just that - have some fun and not worry about shots, doctor's appointments, etc. Having said that I took a step back from writing because there really weren't any updates right now. But I've realized that this blog just isn't about keeping the readers up to date with the next step...but it's about sharing my thoughts and feelings about this journey. Just because there haven't been any recent appointments doesn't mean there aren't things to share and write about. So, today's post is really a therapeutic one for me and to get some of these feelings out that are overwhelming me today.
It's brutal honesty time....I'm having a hard day. A really hard day. This happens from time to time. Don't get me wrong...the longing for a child is something I struggle with EVERY DAY. But some days are harder than others. And I'm kind of mad at myself right now. I'm mad that I couldn't even bring myself to go to my nephew's Christmas school program today. I couldn't stop crying long enough to finish getting ready and go watch him sing. Because I couldn't sit there watching all of those precious children and the proud parents with their video cameras and adoring faces. When you want something so badly you don't want to be in the presence of others that have that joy. It's extremely selfish on my part and that's why I'm mad at myself. I'm mad that these fertility problems take such a toll on me and suck the life out of me. I try so hard to not let my condition get the best of me, but sometimes it just takes me over. I keep thinking about our next IVF round coming up. I'm glad that at least this time we will know what to expect...but that can also be a downfall. I'm so scared it's not going to work and experiencing that agonizing emotional pain again. How can I not think about that? it didn't work the first time..I'm obviously going to have a hard time believing it will work this time. I've always been an optimistic person. But this journey has changed that in me. Don't get me wrong...I truly believe everything happens for a reason...but that doesn't mean I'm necessarily optimistic. Even sitting here writing this I'm mad that I even have these thoughts...but this is how I'm feeling at this present moment. I see all of my friends that have these beautiful families and are so full of wonderful moments of being parents....gosh, I so want that. We want that. I can't help but think if I don't become a mom that something will be missing from my life...like I won't be complete or whole until that day comes.
There are so many of you out there who are praying for me and Jason. Please, please, please continue to do so. I (especially) am really in need of some prayer. I'm having a hard time finding that hope inside me. I know it's there...I just need to find a way to bring it back out. I need to continue to fight and not let this defeat me. Please pray specifically that I get that hope and optimism back. Like I said before...this is the wonderful Christmas season and I need to enjoy this time with my husband, my family and my friends and be thankful for all that I DO have in life. All of you who are reading this that are parents....hug your children extra special tonight and be thankful for the wonderful miracle you have. Children are such miracles.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

An update...

So all of the test results have come back! My auto-antibodies were normal...and the culture they took was normal. Great news! Friday we got the results of Jason's SCSA test. They were checking DNA fragmentation....15% and below is considered "excellent". 16% - 30% is "good to fair". Jason's result was 20.9%. So it definitely could have been better....but it could have been a whole lot worse. Dr. H. didn't seem alarmed she just suggested Jason stay away from the following things: smoke, Clorox products, bug killers, Roundup. All of those products contain DNA damaging particles. It's amazing the things that the doctors restrict you from. People get pregnant every day and we are resorting to telling Jason to stay away from spraying some ants dead?? It's just really mind blowing to me. I've had a lot of thoughts running through my mind lately....and I haven't been blogging. I need to be better about posting things on here because it really does help for me to talk about it. I'm starting to get really anxious again and nervous about our upcoming cycle. We are just waiting for me to start my period and the whole process starts up again. So I know that in the next couple of weeks we are back in the mode of shots, ultrasounds, bloodwork, test results, doctors appointments. Granted, it will easier in a way this go around since we know what to expect, but I'm just praying for a miracle this time. Praying that God will bless us with a child and ease this difficult journey. If everything falls into place like the last cycle then I figured up we would find out the results right before Christmas. 2009 has been a difficult year for us...I pray it ends with an answer to our prayers.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blogging again...

It's been a while since I've written on this blog. I needed time. Time away to clear my head of the whole process and concentrate on finding peace and calmness.
I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you for reaching out to us. Some of you I haven't responded to your very sweet emails, and some of you I have...but nonetheless they have all meant so much to me...and I speak for Jason and myself when I say they have helped us through this very difficult situation. God puts special people in your life for a reason and I thank God every day for the wonderful people in our lives.

Now, on to the update.
This morning was our follow up appointment with Dr. H. To discuss the failed cycle and our next step. After 3 hours at that office this morning, our minds were more filled with information than ever. We will cycle again, and very soon...probably in the next 4 to 6 weeks. Again, all of the pieces have to fit together and be "just so" before the actual cycle begins. Did Dr. H. share in our disappointment? Absolutely. She seemed as let down as we were over our results. She didn't even expect the outcome we got. I was a text book case up until the end. I responded beautifully to the medication and produced a great number of eggs, right on target for my age. But something just didn't match up.
I had what's called a bio-chemical pregnancy. Basically I was pregnant for a very short time...and the embryo just didn't survive. We may never know the reason (that's for God to know) however, they are running more tests. They are checking my auto-antibodies to make sure my body isn't attacking the embryo. They took blood today and we will know the results of that next week. And for Jason....they suggested we have a test run called SCSA (Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay) This test is voluntary, isn't covered by insurance, costs $375, and takes about 2 weeks for the results to come back. Basically the test checks the DNA fragmentation of the sperm to ensure there aren't any genetic factors in the sperm. It is very possible for a man and a woman to have the best relationship ever...but genetically it's just not meant for them to have biological children. I panicked and thought - are we those people?! I asked Dr. H. if she thought that was our situation and she doesn't feel so. She said we had 2 viable healthy embryos and wouldn't classify us as "genetically incompatible". Nonetheless....they want to run the genetic test...just to rule out any possible problems. One thing Jason and I have said from the beginning....any test they want to run, we are going to have it run. We would hate to look back one day and wonder "what if".
In the beginning we were given a success rate of 85% of taking home a baby. Now, it's more like 50%. Those are odds that I figured decreased after our failed cycle....and Jason and I have to keep saying....50% is better than 40%. Positive thinking...positive attitudes, right? Easier said than done. What I'm struggling with now is ...remaining hopeful...but being realistic. I hope that makes sense. I want to keep my spirits up and my hopes up that this next cycle will work. But I have to keep part of my mind grounded and realistic. What if it doesn't work? I asked Dr. H. this and she said we will just have to re-evaluate the situation then.

My request is this, prayer warriors....
Pray for Jason and I to focus on this cycle on it's own...not about what happened before...not what might happen in the future....but this cycle. Period. I feel like that is the only way I can get through this.

There is more I could write about today....but I'm going to leave it at this for now. My mind is overloaded.

I'll keep you all updated as test results roll in.....
Hugs and love to you all!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thoughts on the news...

Yesterday was a tough day indeed. I know we will have more tough days ahead of us, especially in the near future, while continuing to grieve over this cycle.
I got the news yesterday from our doctor. The details of trying to track down the news (terribly frustrating) aren't really important anymore...but the point is, it's always nice to be able to connect with the doctor one on one. Dr. H is one of great compassion and always has a calming sense to her voice. At a time like this you don't want an insensitive doctor, you want a caring and loving doctor and we have just that with her.
Anyway, she explained to me that my beta level went back down. She felt certain that the embryo did in fact implant...but couldn't survive. She said if there is one "positive" thing to focus on right now...it is that. Now we just have to figure out if there is anything differently that can be done next time to help it along a bit more. Yes, we do have another shot at this, another cycle included in what we have already paid for. But for now, we need to focus on my body healing from all the procedures, and all the hormones I've been taking. We go back September 28th for a post cycle visit and to map out the plan for next time. But it's looking like it will probably be November or December before the process starts up again. I know my body needs to heal during this time...but my emotions need to heal as well. A dear friend said to me yesterday - "you need this time to get excited about the process again". That is so true. I need to regain faith in this process...and regain excitement in the journey. All I feel right now is sadness and heartache. I'm going to allow myself time to grieve...time to be sad...time to cry.
It goes without being said....but Jason, once again, has been great and reminding me daily why I married him. He doesn't even have to say anything (frankly, he doesn't know WHAT to say, but what can you say right now) all he has to do is hug me or grab my hand and I know he's hurting right along with me.
I'm going to end this post today with the words from a card Jason and I got this morning from a group of our wonderful friends (complete with a whole basket of goodies...we love you guys). This card says it so perfectly and I had to share...

As You Go Through This...
Difficult things can cause us to ask,
"Why did this happen?"
But if we're trusting in Christ
we never need to ask,
"How could He let this happen?"
God may never reveal
all His reasons to us,
but He has revealed
His character to us.
His character assures us that
He never makes mistakes,
is never uncaring,
and that He never separates Himself
from our need.
The need you face is great,
but the grace that is yours
in Christ is even greater.
May your heart and your faith
stay fixed upon Him
as you go through this difficulty.
Be assured that He is holding your
hand and will not let go!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Heavy heart...

Jason and I have heavy hearts today over the news that this IVF cycle didn't work. I want to write about this and share everything with you all...but right now I can't. I'm still processing it all and going through the initial grieving process. I will write an update soon. Thank you for all of the prayers. We need our support team more than ever right now.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Prayers for an answer...

I go back tomorrow morning for another round of blood work. And praying that this test reveals an answer. Is our precious child growing inside of me....or is God telling us it's not time yet? Either way we just pray for an answer...some clarity... Each part of this process I think is the hardest....this waiting is definitely the hardest. Such uncertainty...wanting to be positive...but also wanting to prepare for either outcome. Yes, I know that if this cycle didn't work that we have another chance...but it's not that easy. I know I've said it before, but this is such an emotional and physical demanding process. My body is being pumped full of all sorts of things. Don't get me wrong...I wouldn't trade it for anything. We are doing this for a child, but it's emotionally and physically exhausting. At this point in time I'm still taking progesterone shots in the hips, every night. My hips are so sore it hurts when I sit down...it hurts when I lay on my side in bed...it just plain hurts. And the daily headaches....and my back is killing me...AHHH!!!!!!

Sorry for the complaining...I know I haven't done much of it on here, but it's just what's on my mind at the present moment. Pray for me to be calm and hopeful, and not focus on the pain.

Stay tuned....hopefully tomorrow we will have the results.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


More waiting....
This morning's blood test was inconclusive. Not "no"....but not "yes". The beta level would be 20 or above for a positive result and 5 or below for a negative result. My level was 16.3. Seriously?!?!? "Maybe" is the answer we got today. I go back on Friday for another blood test. This should clearly show the results. If the number continues to go up...then yes, success! But the number can still go back down. I can't help but feel that I'll be even more let down if the results Friday are negative. The nurse said that the embryo(s) could have just implanted late...therefore being too soon for it to show up on a test. I know that "maybe" is better than "no".... but it's all still up in the air....way up there...in God's hands. I have to remind myself of that constantly. God works in mysterious ways and for some reason he feels the need to continue to test me and Jason to our utmost potential.
So for now....y'all keep praying....and I'll keep reading Psalm 139.

Thank you so much for all of your love and support. I've been overwhelmed with emails, texts, and notes from so many people. Each one of you are playing a special role in this. God answers all prayers...in His time...in His way.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Psalm 139

Tomorrow is the big day....our results will be revealed. I've been anxiously and nervously awaiting to find out if this cycle worked or not. I've been extremely emotional the past couple days and I know tomorrow will prove no different. I have been looking for words of comfort today...to help me during this waiting period. I've been listening to some very uplifting music (Cedar's Gray...wonderful CD!) and then I came across an old email that my dad sent me. It's the whole bible on one page. You can click on any and every book/chapter of the bible and there pops up the coordinating verse. (isn't technology wonderful???) I was looking through Psalms and came across this....it really helped lift my spirits and remind me who is in charge here. I'm thankful that I have my faith to cling to during this time...without it I would be completely lost.

Read and enjoy.

Psalm 139

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths,you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Thank you to all who have been (and continue to) praying for Jason and I. I know we have been lifted up by so many. Regardless of the outcome tomorrow I have to remember there is a master plan here. If I am pregnant, I pray that I don't forget to praise God for our good fortune. And if I'm not pregnant this cycle...then I pray I will not be angry at God and trust his timing.
I have found myself today not able to complete a prayer....when I've talked to God today it has been very sporadic....very choppy....can't complete a thought. A dear friend reminded me today that there are so many people praying for us...and that God knows my heart, I don't have to worry about stringing together a complete thought. Thank you Jenny. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Helpful thoughts...

I've been trying to come up with right words to say to express how I'm feeling during this anxious waiting period....
Then today a dear friend emailed me this. We aren't sure of the original author...but it's a writing that has been passed around through some mutual friends who are also encountering fertility issues. When I read it my eyes filled up with tears and I knew it was the perfect thing to share with all of you here, on this blog. I couldn't have written it better myself.

"what do I think God meant when he gave me infertility? I think he meant for my husband and me 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 not to 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 has singled me out for a 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."
~author unknown

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

All of our eggs are literally in one basket...

...for this cycle anyway....my uterus being the basket.
We found out today that the other 2 possible embryos didn't make it, so we did not end up with any to freeze. Therefore, if we don't get pregnant from this cycle...we will have to start over from the beginning. We were disappointed with this news and I can't help but feel sad. Of the 25 eggs they retrieved....only 2 became viable healthy embryos. Just more of an example how terribly confusing, frustrating, and mentally exhausting this process this is.
For now...I just have to keep my faith strong and keep reminding myself over and over that God has a plan here.
I'm going to keep this post short today....I'll write more in the coming days....I know I'll have more thoughts to share.

P.S....don't be afraid to flood me with scripture about hope and God's plan. I seem to need constant reminders.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Transfer complete!

What an emotional day it's been! We arrived at the doctor's office at 10:30 this morning....with a full bladder (doctor's orders) and heavy hearts! What an emotional journey we have been on thus far and today proved no less. We ended up with 2 embryos to transfer today. One was a higher grade embryo (the one on the left in the picture on the bottom) and the other was a middle of the road grade (the one on the right). Graded AB3 and B2, respectively. Our doctor was very happy with these results so we have every reason to be hopeful. As of right now we don't have any to freeze....but there are 2 other embryos they are keeping a watch on and we will know by tomorrow morning if we are able to freeze those. I'm trying to not think about "the next time" right now and just concentrate on this cycle. When we got there this morning Jason and I were both instructed to "suit up". I, in my hospital gown...Jason, in a gown over his clothes, complete with a cap and shoe covers....as we were about to enter a sterile room. They even gave me a sweet little stuffed bear to hold (and keep) with an ART Fertility Program t-shirt on. I can't help but think I will be clinging to this bear for quite some time as a form of comfort. When they wheeled me into the room the nurse immediately had to check my bladder to ensure it was full enough (don't ask me why they need me to have a full bladder...I still don't know, LOL). Anyway, it wasn't quite full enough so....more water...drink, drink, drink. A few minutes later it was full enough and Dr. Honea came in. She went over our embryo results and we got to see the picture of the little embies. After signing more consents, away we go! Jason was able to watch the whole thing on the sonogram machine as I was laying down, clenching the bear, my cross necklace, and Jason's hand of course. Immediately as they inserted the catheter tears of joy started falling down my face. What an emotional experience?! To know that at that EXACT moment....2 embryos were entering my body....and hopefully finding a very inviting home for the next 9 months. The tears didn't stop there....it was a very short procedure and immediately afterward Dr. Honea, Jason, myself and the nurse grasped hands (the picture of the embryos was laying on my belly) and Dr. Honea said the most precious prayer....blessing our potential children, this process and that God's will be done. Cue more crying.....As I've said before....there is only so much that the embryologists and doctors can do....the rest is in God's hands. The top picture I've posted here shows my uterus and the pink line is pointing to a very small white dot....those are our 2 embies! I go back on September 9th for the bloodwork to determine if I'm pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ever since that moment this morning, there have been many clear signs that God has revealed to me that He is in control. Hope has been a word I've leaned on during this process. On the drive home we see the car in front of us with the license plate - HOPE 4U. What comfort. Then as get home I turned on the TV and at that time a verse came up on the screen....Romans 8:28. A verse that is very special to our family....my mom has always written that to me over the years....and it was my grandfather's favorite verse....one that my grandmother also recites to me often. Then the 3rd sign brought on the tears again....I have been following a Caring Bridge website for a woman named Keri Cain. I learned about this woman from a girl I work with....she suffered a heart attack weeks ago and ever since has been fighting quite a battle. Even though I did not know this woman, her story pulled at my heart day after day. I continued to follow her progress and pray for her, her husband and her two small precious children. When I pulled up a my email a few short moments ago, I learned that Keri lost her struggle this morning and is now at home with our Saviour. I've always heard that when God takes one life, another begins. I couldn't help but think that as God chose to take Keri home....that he chose to give us a precious life. I can barely type these words right now as the tears are filling up my eyes.

So, like I said, a very emotional day for sure. Many emotions are filling up my heart right now as I am sure the same is happening for Jason. The most important step thus far in our journey is now complete and all we can do now is wait. Wait the dreaded long 9 days....but I take comfort in knowing that God is on our side.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

On today's episode of J & K + 8....

Well, already heard from the doctor's office this early Saturday morning! All 8 embryos are still progressing right along!!!!!!!!!!! And they are all still the same grade, which is great, great news! Now it's just about taking it easy this weekend and waiting for the transfer on Monday! I can't wait to share details with all of you after the procedure on Monday. We should even have pictures of the little embies!
I just have to keep trusting in God's plan for us....I keep praying that baby Oliver is in our near future. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

J & K plus 8!

Just kidding.........that just means we have 8 embryos....not that we will have 8 children. In fact, I can GUARANTEE it! All 8 fertilized eggs have grown into embryos as of 10:30 this morning. They grade them at this stage on a scale of 1-10. One being the highest quality. All 8 of ours are grade TWO. So, this is GREAT news! They will call us again tomorrow morning with another progress report. Then we won't get a call on Sunday - we will have to wait until we get there at 10:30 on Monday to find out the final tally of what we have to work with. I'm still pretty anxious and nervous....to be expected, but I'm not having as hard of a day as I did yesterday.

Medicine update.....today has started the progesterone phase of the medication (all of the past shots have already stopped). I have to take an "injection" of progesterone in the mornings (not an actual needle injection....women, you can figure this out) then a nightly injection in the hip of progesterone in an oil form. This is the really big needle and the shot that Jason has to give....so it's his time to shine!

I will post another update tomorrow as soon as we hear about out little embies. :)
My daily thanks.....thanks for all the sweet notes you all have sent me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

See me through...

So today was one of the first really emotional days I've had since the actual IVF process started. I got the call this morning about the little eggs. Of the 25 eggs they retrieved.....13 were mature eggs and 8 of those fertilized. These numbers are totally normal and to be expected....so why am I upset?!??!? Why am I being so selfish in wanting more???? This whole time all we've asked for is one baby. ONE. All it takes is one healthy embryo to make a baby and I have to keep remembering that. We will know tomorrow how many embryos we have from the 8 eggs that fertilized. There's still so much to be determined and the next few days will tell so much. In an ideal world we'd love to have 2 healthy high grade embryos to transfer on Monday...and then 2 to freeze. So that's only four total. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

So why the emotional breakdown today? Maybe it's because I've been pumped full of different hormones the past few weeks....maybe it's slight feelings of anger that we are having to go through all of this...or maybe it's because I just need time to let all these tears out....to let my emotions pour out of me....I've heard crying therapy is good. Frankly, I think it's a culmination of all of these things. I have so many emotions running through me right now.

When I first started this blog I told myself I didn't care if no one ever read it. It was a journaling tool for me to use to get my emotions out. After writing for a while now I've realized that's not true. I want people to read this...I NEED people to read this. So many of you are holding me accountable for my beliefs....and are reminding me how strong, brave, and graceful I've been thus far in the process. If I wasn't sharing my story...I wouldn't be reminded of this. We all need strong faithful friends during the good times and the bad....and while this isn't necessarily a BAD time...it's a tough time....and I need my support team to remind me to be strong in my faith....to remind me that this is out of my hands, it's in God's hands. He has a plan and I have to trust Him. It's just hard right now when I don't know the outcome. That's why they call it blind faith, right?

No doubt, the next few days will be tough. Tomorrow we will know more information about what we are "working with" so to speak. Please pray that we are graced with some healthy, high quality embryos. As to the exact number...that is up to God and His plan.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

25 eggs!

This morning's retrieval process went great! They were able to get 25 eggs! We will get a call tomorrow letting us know the details on the quality of the eggs and how many fertilized. From there they will continue to call us each day to let us know how our little embryos are progressing! Next up...we go in Monday morning at 11:00 for the transfer....then I will go back on September 9th at 7:30 for the blood pregnancy test!!!! Exciting stuff!

I'm experiencing some cramping today which is to be expected after the retrieval. So I'm laid up in the bed and just waiting on Jason to deliver my Demerol from the pharmacy! :) Going to take it extra easy today and nap when I feel the urge.

Specific prayer requests today...
Pray that the embryologists work to the best of their ability to fertilize the eggs, pray that we end up with high quality embryos, pray for the preparation of my body for the transfer on Monday. Pray for continued patience as well for both Jason and myself as we are in the "waiting game" now.

Thanks again for all the notes and emails to let us know you are thinking about us. How lucky are we to be blessed with such wonderful people in our lives.
Hugs to you all! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Retrieval is scheduled!

This morning's appointment revealed a few things!

1. I have about 30 healthy mature follicles/eggs ready to be retrieved! Most of them are measuring right at 2cm which is right where they should be.

2. I stop taking the Lupron and STIM's shots, so last night were my last injections of those medications. (I responded excellently! Ok, I don't think that is really a word...but whatever, I'm bragging here!)

3. Tonight I take the HCG injection, which is taken 36 hours before the retrieval procedure. This "triggers" the mature follicles for ovulation and gets them ready for retrieval.

4. I have to start another medication today. This is just a pill (thank goodness, not another shot). Apparently I am close to borderline of "over stimluating". My estradiol level today was 3,125. Any time it's over 3,000 they go ahead and put the patient on this medication as a preventative. I don't need to overstimulate in the next 36 hours. For one, it can be a very painful thing to go through (from what I've heard). Anyway, it's an oral medication that I'll take for 8 days.

5. I have to take an enema tomorrow night. (seriously?! ok, we'll get back to that in a second)

6. Retrieval is scheduled for Wednesday!

Ok, so this enema...um, what? No one forwarned me about this part! I know it pales in comparison to what I've been through so far...so get over it Kara. But really....I was NOT expecting that. I've never known exactly what it was until I called my mom for clarification...I'm sure she's still got a ringing in her ear from the scream through the phone. YUCK! I think I've been pretty good about not complaining about things too much....so give me a moment here to gripe about this!

So, the instructions for tomorrow (Tuesday) are this -
*eat a light supper
*take a Fleet's enema after supper
*drink 16 oz of water at bedtime
*do not eat or drink anything after midnight
*be at the doctor's office at 7:30am Wednesday morning, procedure at 8:30

When we get to the doctor's office Wednesday morning they will go over everything with us, we will sign consent forms, and then they hook me up to an IV and away we go! Time for retrieving eggs. I told Jason today I feel like I need to go sit on a pile of hay ready to lay eggs...like a chicken! I'm so glad that Jason and I both can find some humor in all of this...our quirky sense of humor has gotta be what keeps us sane. So, yes, make all the chicken/egg jokes you like...we are doing the same.

As you can imagine we are SO very excited! Here are some specific things I'd like all my prayer warriors to concentrate. Please pray for continued calm patience over the next 2 days, pray for things to go smoothly with the procedure, pray for the widsom of the doctors, nurses and staff to shine through for us on Wednesday, pray for Jason to contiue to be my emotional rock during this, pray for the fertilization portion to go as planned, pray for God's will to be done (as I know it will), pray for the future family that Jason and I so long to have.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The black blobs....revealed!

This morning we went back to the doctor (yes, they see you even on weekends) for another sonogram and more bloodwork. This particular nurse counted about 30 black blogs (a.k.a. follicles)! They are measuring right on track, just as they should be. They aren't "mature" yet...but they shouldn't be this soon. And for all those interested....we got some pictures of those cute little black blobs. The average size of them right now is around 1.5 cm. So, here is a picture of my left and right ovaries. Keep in mind this is just one view of them...as they move the probe around you see more and more so this is the best shot the nurse could get to show a bunch of them at one time. As just as I've said....they are black blobs! LOL!

So, what now? We go back Monday morning first thing for another ultrasound and more bloodwork. And my estradiol level I mentioned in the last post? well Thursday it was 685...today it was 1869.7! It's crazy how quickly these numbers jump up! Today's nurse guessed that retrieval will be Wednesday...but that is still subject to change. Could be Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Either way we are so close to the next significant stage of our journey. I'm getting nervous feelings that I haven't felt before! And to quote my sweet sister...I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Let me get back to the picture for a second...This is not - AND I REPEAT...THIS IS NOT a potential picture of Kara & Jason - Octo-parents! We will at the most be transferring two embryos....not 8 like that crazy lady. Our lives will not become a reality show. (sorry Emily!)

I hope this gives you all a bit more insight to the process....a little glimpse into what we have been getting to see. To some these are private moments only shared between a husband and wife...but I've chosen to make this information public.....for all interested to read. I don't regret one minute of sharing all of this either. What I thought was going to be a very scary experience has actually turned into an extremely uplifting experience. I feel certain I wouldn't feel this way, if I haven't shared. Many of you have emailed me questions...please, please, please - if you ever have a question about any of this don't hesitate to ask me.

Hugs and love to you all!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Big news day!

Today was a big news day! This morning’s doctor appointment went GREAT! We saw lots of little black blobs on the sonogram monitor….around 22! We have to have at least 8 healthy eggs retrieved to continue on in our 2 cycle shared risk program….so 22 is more than we could ask for (of course those follicles still have to grown INTO eggs, but we are on the right track!). They wanted us to come back Sunday morning for another sonogram to see how the follicles were continuing to grow in order to schedule the retrieval day. Well, got the call back from the bloodwork results and the doctor’s review of the sonogram….and they want us back Saturday morning bright and early for the next check. While everything looks great, they just want to check me sooner, rather than later incase I start to "over stimulate". The bloodwork results looked great. My Estradiol level was at 685! Last week it was at 37…so clearly the STIM’s medication is doing it’s job.

*Side note – a lesson on Estradiol levels…
Estradiol is actually a type of estrogen, which is the major female reproductive hormone. Estradiol is the primary type of estrogen, and it is produced in your ovaries. As they grow and develop, your egg follicles secrete Estradiol, helping to trigger the rest of the reproductive cycle.

My levels should be between 200 and 600 right now….so again, overachieving over here at 685! But we don't want the level too high...like I mentioned above, we don't want me to "over stimulate". That's a whole other set of problems. But overall they are very happy with the results and they said I'm progressing just as I should be! Next up on the medication schedule....antibiotics. I start the antibiotic tomorrow and Jason will start it on Sunday. We both take it to decrease the risk of any infection. The slightest infection could hinder results from both mine and Jason's "contributions" so we have to be in tip top shape! And for those of you wondering...the shots are still going fine. Of course I am starting a good collection of bruises on my thighs and stomach from the shots, but so far, no major mishaps.

My coordinator told me she thinks that retrievel would be Thursday...but when we go in on Saturday they will tell us for sure. It could be moved up sooner. Cue the nervous, excited and scared emotions! I’m a ball of nerves…but in the best possible way. This is what we’ve been waiting for….praying for….and hoping for. I can’t even explain my emotions. It’s hard to concentrate on anything unrelated to IVF right now.

In an attempt to distract my mind from the topic at hand I’m going to share a couple “waiting room” stories with you.

1st story…I got called back this morning for bloodwork and I left Jason sitting in the waiting room. When I returned there was a girl sitting across from us. Cute, cute blonde…looked to be a bit younger than me. Well, I looked down and saw the CUTEST shoes ever on her feet. (for those of you that don’t know….I’m a shoe-aholic. The higher the heal the better….the more funky, the better. I HEART SHOES!) Anyway, she must have thought I was crazy because I just kept staring at her feet as she worked away on her iPhone. Then, she got called back for her bloodwork. As she walked out Jason looked at me and said, “You two would get along. When she walked in I immediately looked at her shoes, because I’m married to you, I notice these things…and I thought, man, Kara would LOVE those shoes.” I seriously wanted to steal them off her feet. Anyway, it was a comical moment and couldn’t help but love Jason a bit more after saying that. He knows me well….and my shoe addiction.

2nd waiting room story… a couple walked in as we were sitting there waiting to be called back. They were a cute young couple about our age and I could tell they were “first timers”. They had that scared/emotional look on their faces…unsure of where to sign in, what to do. It wasn’t long ago that Jason and I were in their shoes. I’ll never forget that day….as I’m sure Jason never will either. We had that same scared/emotional looks on our faces I am sure. It made me want to just go up to them, give them big hugs and tell them everything was going to work out. “you’re in great hands” I wanted to shout out! Then I scanned the room…that waiting room is always filled with people from all walks of life….all different types of women and men. But we all have one thing in common. We all want to be parents and we aren’t able to without their help. It’s so hard for people to understand what we are going through if you’ve never experienced it before. You seriously go through all types of emotions. It was right then and there that I realized I feel the most comfortable sitting in that waiting room…surrounded by all those people. Because everyone understands…everyone knows what those emotions feel like. We might not even speak to each other…but we just know….and can empathize.

I’ve been saying it a lot lately – It’s easy to stay positive and upbeat when we continue to get good news. God has a hand in this, I just know it. His will…WILL be done… no matter the outcome. I have to continue to believe in that…and trust in that. We have and army of prayer warriors and so many people on our side who are rooting for us. It just truly makes my heart warm.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Prayers for tomorrow!

Well....tomorrow morning we will get to see the first results of the stimulation medication! Please pray that the shots are doing their job and the follicles are growing as they should be. We hope to see lots of little black blobs on the sonogram monitor in the morning! I will update tomorrow after we know! Please continue the prayers...God is listening.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The makings of a STIM shot...

So, last night started the new STIM medication. And after careful reading through the material again, I realized the that the shot is to be given in my stomach or leg...not my hip like we thought. So...for now, Jason is off the hook. I can continue to give myself these shots in addition to the lupron. Here is a picture of what makes up one of these STIM's shots....

1. attach cap to the syringe (the cap is in front of the pink vial)
2. draw up the liquid in the 3 vials (the 2 green and 1 pink)
3. push the liquid through to the vial on the far right. This is powder and dissolves when the liquid is pushed in.
4. take off the cap and attach the needle to the syringe.
5. draw up the mixed liquid.
6. clean the skin and administer the shot.

Um....word to the wise....this shot BURNS! there is a good amount of liquid being pushed in and it's pretty painful. Honestly, I don't know if I can take that pain in my stomach.I might continue to give these shots in my legs and only give the lupron in my stomach. Understand the overwhelming part? It's a lot to remember....which is why I had to make a notebook to keep all my notes, calendar, etc in as a reference. I call it my IVF bible. :)

So, for now I'm just shooting away at night....and battling headaches by day. Battling one right now in fact. Today was the worst I've felt in a while actually. I woke up feeling very exhausted....got a burst of energy mid morning and I felt better until about 2:00 this afternoon. It was down hill from there....I'm taking Tylenol and drinking lots of water. That's all I can really do. Oh, and rest! Doctor's orders! At this point in the process I'm on even more restriction. Can't lift over 20 pounds...and just supposed to take it easy. I've been doing that anyway, so I'm just going to continue doing just that!

We go back to the doctor on Thursday morning. This sonogram will show how the follicles are growing. Those follicles will turn into eggs. Depending on the size of follicles will determine when egg retrieval is....definitely one day next week though. We are in the heart of the process now! It's hard to believe how quickly it's flying by.

As always....continue with the prayers everyone! God is listening! :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

That's a whole mess of meds!!!!

So today we picked up the rest of our medication....I say "our"....but let's face it....other than the week long of antibiotics for Jason, the rest is all mine! It's a bit overwhelming.....mix this with that, use one needle to fill the syringe, use another to give the shot, etc. I just had to post this picture so you could all see the mound of medication!!!! I'm keeping this post short for now...but I'll post more on Sunday after the first attempt with the STIMs medication!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Green light for the next step!

Today was another one of those "big step" days for this process! This morning I had blood work done and an ultrasound. The ultrasound looked "perfect" as the nurse told me. (there's that word that I love to hear) My endometrium lining is nice and thin like it should be, which means the Lupron is doing it's job...and the ovaries looked great...no cysts or anything! Praise God! The next part was waiting for the bloodwork results.....then I got the call that all my levels look great!!! Everything is in line just as it should be for this part of the process. Finally...some consistent good news! (this is not something Jason and I are used to hearing!)
So this means that I've been given the official green light to start the next round of medication...the stimulation medication. I will add this injection at night to the Lupron I'm already getting. The STIM shot is the one that Jason will have to give, so here comes the practice! We'll go on Friday to pick up the rest of the medication from the "baby making pharmacy" that I like to call it. After we get all that I'll post pictures of it all so you can get a visual.
So, that shot will start this Sunday and then my next appointment is next Thursday the 20th. This appointment they will check the size of the follicles (that turn into eggs) and make a determination about the retrieval date. It could be anywhere from 3 to 7 days later depending on how they are growing. Obviously I'd rather it be on the shorter end of the spectrum...but you can't rush this process. Everything has truly fallen into place so I have to assume that this will too. With continous good news like this it only helps keep my stress and anxiety levels down....which is great!

I've written it many times in prior posts...but I wanted to say a thank you to everyone who continously checks up on me/us. The emails/Facebook messages/texts/phone calls mean so very much and truly do make this process easier to bear. Sometimes I get caught up in the "schedule" of it all and forget just how huge this is. It's such an important time in our lives....something we will never forget.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Prayer request...

Tomorrow morning I have my next doctor’s appointment. This appointment is called the suppression check. They will be drawing blood to check my estrogen level to make sure it is just that…suppressed. They will also be doing an ultrasound to make sure my lining is where it needs to be…and another lovely culture test. Ladies…if you’ve never had a culture test done, they are super fun (as I’m rolling my eyes). Ask me about it if you’d like to know…but there are men that read this blog so I’ll leave the details off for now.

So, I’m requesting prayers at this moment. Prayers that the results come back the way they need to be for us to continue on with our calendar. As long as the suppression check comes back “normal” then I will start on my STIMs medication this Sunday. So, a second shot will be added to the nightly routine. This is when Jason really has to step up to the plate (so to speak) and give the shots in my hip. While the last “practice” shot he gave me didn’t go so well….I still have confidence in him that he can do this, and do it right. Ok, maybe say some prayers about that too. :) We talked to some friends this weekend who have been through this recently (thanks J & J!) and it gave us both renewed hope that this can work and even gave Jason a bit of a confidence boost that if other men can do this…so can he.

As for how I’m feeling. My only real complaint is that I’ve been pretty tired. Yesterday (Monday) was pretty brutal….dragging tiredness throughout the day even with much needed sleep all weekend. Today I’m feeling pretty good….better than I’ve felt the past few days actually, so that is encouraging.

That’s really the only update for now. I should have another update tomorrow afternoon after the blood work comes back so check back then.

Until then….just keep the prayers comin! :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

day 3 update...

Well, it’s day 3 of my shots and so far so good! And my faithful readers...have been wondering about the needles! LOL! Here is a picture of my first pick up from the pharmacy...complete with my own red hazardous container! Now, that is something I didn't think I would ever use to accessorize my bathroom!!!! As you can see the syringe is really small...and the needle is even smaller. This is just for the lupron (one little vial and tons of syringes!)...more pictures will follow in the coming weeks showing the rest of these lovely meds! (I got a sneak peek at the pharmacy of all my "prizes"...it's A LOT!)

I have already experienced a couple side effects (upset stomach, tiredness) but in mild forms so no formal complaints just yet! Administering the shots has not been a big deal….aside from the first night when the injection site swelled up like a bad mosquito bite! After reading the material a bit closer…it clearly said that could happen. And as Jason tells me – “if it could happen…it will happen to you!”. We laugh about that…but after I stop to really think about it I realize that it could be so much worse…there could be so many other obstacles standing in our way (maybe I’m able to say that now because things seem to finally be falling into place). And Jason and I can both tell that our minds are a bit preoccupied. The process is finally underway that we have waited for and it's exciting, yet scary...just like my blog title says. Random things like forgetting where I put something...or not being able to remember why I walked into a room....these things are happening to Jason and I both! I mentioned these things to Jason last night and he was like - I'm experiencing the same thing! It doesn't surprise me though. We have been known to finish each other's sentences, read each other's minds, and say the exact same thing at the exact same time. It just validates to us even more that we are meant to be together. One thing is FOR SURE....even if we don't end up with a baby (God forbid) we will definitely have a stronger marriage. A bond that I knew was already strong to begin with...is already growing.

There's a country song out by Brad Paisley that I've come to love.
The lyrics say:
I could just see you, with a baby on the way
And I could just see you, when your hair is turning gray
What I can't see is how I'm ever gonna love you more
But I've said that before

I thought the day I married Jason - Gosh, I can't love this man any more than I do right now....but I love him more than I did that day. I love it when I song can put so much into perspective!

Well that post just turned all sentimental...didn't it?!?! Started talking about needles and finishing up talking about how much I love my husband...that doesn't surprise my scatterbrained mind!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Lupron fun begins!

So, this morning’s doctor visit went great! The sonogram showed that the cyst has greatly diminished in size…2 cm or less. So, that is great! I guess all those little pains I’ve been having the past few weeks was that booger shrinking down! The nurse also counted my follicles. The follicles are what turns into eggs….she counted at least 20! That is so awesome!

It was so refreshing to get nothing but great news at this doctor’s visit….and I was so glad Jason was there with me. Every ounce of information he can learn is great. I’ve been reading up on this process for months so I basically know what all of this means but sometimes it’s just hard for a man to grasp all of this! I’ve encouraged Jason to accompany me to most all of these visits so he can learn more and more. I think it really has helped him. At first that screen just looked like the doplar radar to him….but now we are pointing out ovaries and follicles (ok, with the help of the nurse….but still, it’s a learning process!) This morning as we were looking at all those black blobs the nurse said – “one day one of these black blobs will have a heartbeat inside of it”. My heart just melted at the thought of that….the yearning I have so deep inside of me to hear that long awaited heartbeat. I know it will be the best sound Jason and I have ever heard.
But in order for us to get to that day….we have to endure the not so fun stuff first. The shots begin tonight for me. Daily lupron injections is the first on the schedule.

After we left the doctor’s office I went by the pharmacy to pick up my first round of injections. It’s not just pulling up to the Wallgreens drive through….it’s a pharmaceutical company that specializes in fertility drugs. I walked in and was immediately blown away by all the pictures of babies. And in my welcome packet of information was a note that read:
Dear Patient,
Like your doctor’s office, we would like for you to send us a picture of your baby for our display if you can. It will be encouraging to others that may come into our pharmacy and pick up their medications.
Thank you.

I can only hope to walk in that pharmacy with a framed picture of baby Oliver one day. What a special day that will be. Because I know that one day someone else, just like me, will walk in that office….and be blown away by all the pictures….and have renewed hope.

They brought out a big tub overflowing with boxes, bags of syringes, etc. and I asked the girl – um, is ALL of that for me? Why, yes it is, she said. All I picked up today was the Lupron. It’s very convenient that I can just go back when I need to pick up the next thing on the agenda. It would not be good if something happened midway through this cycle and I had to delay everything. Then I’m stuck with hundreds of dollars of medication that is useless to me. I don’t want to chance it!

But as the nurse said this morning….as of right now…..everything looks perfect! Now that’s a word I haven’t heard until now!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A little lesson in IVF...

I know it’s still July…but today I changed my calendar over to August….because just seeing the word “August” makes me smile. It is the month Jason and I have been waiting for!!!!!!

I’ve said before that I’m not the most patient person…and all this waiting is starting to get to me. I’m so ready for Monday to get here so I can have the sonogram to check on that cyst. I’ve been having some unusual pains in my lower stomach so I’m hoping that means the cyst is getting smaller, or even better…that it is gone! Pending good sonogram results, I will start my shots that night (Monday, August 3rd).

Some of you have been curious as to what I will be taking, how often, etc. Here is an overview…

First I will begin on a daily injection of Lupron. Lupron is a synthetic form of a natural occuring hormone in your body. It will decrease my estrogen and progesterone levels (i.e. more than likely drain my energy). However, this suppression of hormones is much desired during this process. I will take an injection of Lupron every night for about 25 days. It's a very small needle and this shot I can administer myself in my leg.
Second I will begin my stimulation medication, or commonly referred to as STIMs.This is actually 2 different medications that I will have to mix together in a vial. This will aid in the development of mature ovarian follicles and eggs (a very essential part!) The STIM's medication is also in an injectable form. However, this one is a much longer needle and Jason will have to step up to the plate to give me this shot, as it has to go into my hip. These are every night as well....so it appears we will have a fun little nightly routine for a month or so. (I'm lauging now...and hopefully later too). A possible side effect from this portion of the protocol is enlarged ovaries...fluid can accumulate in the abdomen resulting in bloating and weight gain (fun stuff).
So, at this point...about 15 days in I will be on 2 injections a day...in addition I'll be going into the office for routine bloodwork to check various hormone levels. Thirdly, 2 days before the scheduled egg retrieval I will take a series of HCG injections. HCG prepares the mature follicles for ovulation. A guess what?? Another lovely injectable medication!
In addition to all of this Jason and I will both be on an antibiotic one week prior to egg retrieval. The purpose of this is to prevent any possible infection...which could hinder implantation of the embryos.
The next step is egg retrieval and embryo transfer. I will talk more about these processes later as we get closer to the time.

I hope this gives you all a better insight as to the process. I have learned that each IVF cycle is tailored to the patient, so this can vary from couple to couple. It's also becoming more and more clear just how detailed this process is. For all those that have thought..."oh, you can't get pregnant? Just do IVF!" It's a little more complicated that that!

I do want to take a minute to say thank you. Thank you to all of you who have written to me or called me to tell me you are following along with this blog. I've said before that I'm writing this for selfish reasons, really. It does help to get it all down on "paper". But I'm finding in writing this that people just really love reading the blog. Thank you to all my faithful readers. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Well, today was a very informative, yet overwhelming doctor's appointment! Today was our appointment with our IVF coordinator where she explained, in detail, the protocol we will follow for the next month or so. My initial reaction was, "this isn't so bad". Actually the amount of medication is less than I anticipated. However, after a few hours to process everything all I feel is overwhelmed. I'm just realizing more and more how vital each and every step is for this process. It all has to work together....like this huge massive puzzle and all I feel is pressure. Pressure for it all to work. Granted, it's pressure I'm putting on myself. I mean, I've said it before...there's only so much the doctor's can do, after that, it's all in God's hands. A few vital pieces that are (at the moment) freaking me out...
1. if the cyst on my right ovary hasn't decreased to 3cm or less by my ultrasound on August 3rd, then we we have to delay this cycle.
2. Jason and myself administering daily shots. I know after the first few times, it will become like clockwork, but still...it's shots.
3. I have to have at least 8 mature, healthy eggs retrieved and if I have any less than that, we are dropped from the shared risk program. (we can still do IVF, but not the 2 cycle option that we already paid for).
4. Just the general hope that all of this works. Like I've said before...we want a child of our own so badly...and it all comes down to this.

As I was typing this, I got a call from the specialty pharmacy we were encouraged to use. So, the total cost of all of our meds ended up being around $6,000.00 Yes, you read that correctly...six thousand. However...thank goodness for insurance. Our total? $290.00. We have already paid $10,000.00 in IVF costs...I couldn't imagine paying $6K more. Although, I know there are couples out there that have to pay well more than that for what we are doing. So, as I'm sitting here overwhelmed...I got that wonderful piece of good news. God works in mysterious ways. Ok...God, I hear ya...calm down....trust me.

As long as everything works the way it should...and all the pieces fit to the puzzle this first go round....we will know by September 10th if this worked. Maybe that is why I'm freaking out too. It's all becoming so real. Every step closer to the "prize" just feels like a little bit more pressure for all of this to work. (again, self inflicted pressure)

I have realized something more and more on our journey so far. I am so thankful for my husband. Jason has just taken all of this in stride. Making me laugh....lightening the mood. I think we've laughed in that doctor's office more than cried and for that I am thankful. I couldn't imagine going through this with anyone else. He has truly overwhelmed me thus far, and I know he will only continue to do so.

Much love to you all...thank you for the continued notes of encouragement and prayer.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Another bridge crossed…

The blood work I had done Monday morning all came back great today! They were checking estrogen and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels. Like I’ve said before, everything has to line up “just so” in order for us to proceed to the next step.

Now, waiting for those results was no easy task. I should have been called with the results by Tuesday morning and it took until 1:00 today to get those results (after multiple phone calls, voice mails, etc). Waiting is no fun. I’ve always known the following things about me, but I’m constantly reminded about them: #1. I DO NOT LIKE to not be in control. #2. I’m not a very patient person. Both of these traits I’m going to deal with constantly during this process. I have no control over this situation. Yeah, I have the ability to choose our method of treatment…obtain a loan, etc….but when it comes to the actual IVF cycle….it is out of my hands. The way your body responds determines so much. A good friend once told me…Modern medicine can only do so much, the rest you have to leave up to God. Gosh, that is so true. My faith and my patience are being tested daily. I WILL CONQUER THIS, I WILL! It’s just hard to always keep that focus.

So, where do we go from here?

Well, Tuesday the 21st we have an appointment with our IVF coordinator. She will give us our calendar that will specifically spell out in every detail about our course of action. The medication, the egg retrieval, the transfer, etc. From the way it’s looking now this will all take place over the month of August. (that’s right, like 2 weeks away) Technically we are on the train now with me using this Nuvaring. It’s suppressing ovulation and HOPEFULLY getting rid of this massive cyst on my right ovary (a factor that must improve in order for us to continue). The day I start the shots…somewhere around August 3rd, I will go in for another sonogram to check out that lovely cyst. It better be gone! If it’s not, I’m sure will delay our IVF cycle another month or so. So much mental preparation goes into this that I know I will be totally let down if we don’t get to cycle this time. All in God’s timing though. In order for us to have this wonderful miracle of life, everything has to be perfect. It can’t be rushed….which brings me right back to that patience thing!

I’m overwhelmed with all of the well wishes from everyone. Overwhelmed in a good way….it helps more than you all know to hear those constant praises of happiness and help during the those times of frustration and sadness.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Proceeding with Caution...

So...the actual journey has begun! :) However, we are proceeding with caution.
Now comes the time in my blogging "career" to decide how many details to actually share. Some of you reading this really don't want to hear about ovaries, sonograms, monthly cycles, and medication details. But I know some of you actually do! LOL! so...for those that don't...just stop reading now, it's about to get a tad personal!
So yesterday aunt flo arrived and that was the indication we needed that our IVF journey could begin! (much to my surprise, about 2 weeks early, yeah!) The timing worked out perfect because we already had an appointment with Dr. H. this morning to discuss the ins and outs of IVF. After meeting with her and learning about all the risks, benefits, etc....she sent me down the hall for a lovely sonogram. Fun stuff...
well, in doing the sonogram they found a large cyst on my right ovary. In fact, it was an odd looking cyst (thoughts of frustration immediately filled my body...just one more setback, ugh!) After waiting a couple hours to hear Dr. H's recommendations, she was fine with us proceeding along (yeah!). So today starts the lovely nuva ring. This will supress ovulation, and hopefully diminsh the cyst. I will have to have another sonogram soon to determine if the cyst is gone.
I'm also waiting to hear about bloodwork that was drawn today. What they call "baselines". All of these levels have to be just right in order for us to be able to start this cycle. If anything is out of whack, anything at all, it can delay this IVF process. It's amazing how many things have to line up and corrdinate together.
This whole ordeal takes 6 weeks from start to finish...we are officially at the start...so hopefully we won't hit any bumps along the road.
I'm going to end this blog here....I feel like my mind is running in a million directions, but I wanted to be able to get this update out to all of you! Again, thanks for following us...and keep the prayers coming! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

No new developments....just random thoughts...

So, as the title says, there is no news on the IVF front...we are still in a holding pattern for now. However, I'm consumed with thoughts and emotions so I feel the need....the need for blogging. (ok, that was a tad cheesy)

Because I'm in this holding pattern....I'm feeling anxious...tremendously anxious. I'm ready to get this process going, but I'm at the mercy of mother nature. I'm not the most patient person. I might come across cool and collected to the outside world....but I am freaking out on the inside! My mind is racing.....when will this begin....how will my body respond to the meds...will my hormones go through the roof....will Jason make it through alive (LOL)....shots, pills....ahhhhh!!!!!!!! But most importantly....will we end up with that miracle of life....that precious child that we so long for. I imagine myself holding our newborn baby and all I can think of is sadness. Sadness that it couldn't happen naturally for us....feelings of "it's just not fair to have to pay all this money"...."why me", oh that enters my mind all the time. But then I have to remember to be THANKFUL.....thankful that we are able to take this course of action (IVF)....thankful for the knowledge of our doctor....thankful for an otherwise healthy body that makes it possible for us to have an 85% shot at this.

Whew....my mind is tired.

Like I said....I'm just anxious. Another reason this blog is such a great tool. It helps me get those thoughts out there, thrown out in the cosmic internet world.

I read a quote today that needs to become my moto: "Promise me you will always remember...You're BRAVER than you believe, and STRONGER than you seem, and SMARTER than you think." Christopher Robin to Pooh

I can't let this anxiety consume me. I have to remember that this will all come in God's time. I've waited 30 years to hold that precious child. I can wait a little longer.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Infertility Survival Handbook

The Infertility Survival Handbook

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This book has been a lifesaver thus far....great writing and valuable advice!

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help...

I've heard this many times. Well, it's time for me to cash in all those offers! I've been doing a lot of research and reading on this upcoming IVF process. I'm trying to be as prepared as I can. In doing that I've been reading a lot of people's personal experiences, one book in particular has really helped. The author suggests creating a care package. I'd like to share an excerpt from the book:
"I created a care package I could use when facing a tough day or moment in my cycle. All women undergoing any sort of infertility treatment should have a care package on hand to remind them that they're important and need to take care of themselves. Believe it or not it's easy to forget about you during your cycle as everyone starts focusing on your follicle developments, E2 levels and embryo quality. A care package will remind you that you deserve to be treated well during this process."
She goes on to suggesting asking your family and friends to contribute to your care package as a way of helping. So...as this post is titled...."please let me know if there is anything I can do to help" this is it! Since this IVF process is going to start in the coming few weeks I'm starting to get my care package together now. If anything, it will help relieve the anxiety, fear, and uncertainty I have about this whole process. Everyone responds differently and while I'm hoping for my body to respond pleasantly....I have to prepare myself that there will probably be days where I feel extremely down, tired, and hormonal. These are the days I will cling to my care package (and snuggled up to Jason, I am sure!)
So, what is a care package and what am I asking for you all to provide? Maybe it's a magazine or a book or a movie you think I'd like...maybe it's manicure or pedicure goodies....or maybe it's just a letter, written from you about reminding me to stay positive to help me through a hard day.
If you'd like to contribute please do so over the next couple weeks. Family and friends are going to be what gets Jason and I through this... so I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to help.
In closing...on this 4th of July weekend, I'm consumed with thoughts of freedom. I've thought A LOT about freedom this weekend. I'm thankful to live in a country where I have the FREEDOM to choose my own doctor...I have the FREEDOM to chose this course of infertility treatment...I have the FREEDOM to walk into a bank and obtain a loan for this process...I have the FREEDOM to start this blog and write whatever I wish for the internet world to read. I have to remind myself that there are parts of the world that these things are not possible. Through the hustle and bustle of life...we all tend to forget these freedoms. I'm proud to be an American...and you can't put a price tag on that!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One step closer!

Today was a great day! Today I got the loan approval and the money for our IVF program! The money aspect of this whole process has really been stressing me out. I've been saying some prayers about it....but seriously, how do you pray for money?!? I've just been praying that if it was meant to be...then it would just work itself out. And it has! :) Every bit of good news helps along the way and this was a vital piece to the puzzle! No matter how badly Jason and I want to have a child....in our situation, it all comes with a hefty price tag. Once again we are just thankful to be in extremely reputable hands. Our doctor has given us an 85% chance at success in the 2 cycle shared risk program, so we have to take comfort in that! And now with the funds available....it just makes our dream one step closer (one big financial step closer! ) LOL! Stay tuned....it's sure to be an intersting experience!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The first of many blogs to come...

Imagine having a dream your whole life and learning it wasn't possible...without the help of a team of doctors (and a ton of money, and a ton of emotional and physical stress. I know we aren't alone...there are plenty of people out there in our shoes. But when it happens to you...you feel like your whole world is crashing in around you. This is Kara & Jason Oliver's journey....our journey to what we hope will become parental bliss.
I decided to start this blog for 2 reasons. First, as a way to keep our family and friends updated on our constant progress. Second, as a form of therapy. I've always been able to express my feelings through writing. I'm thankful for the advancement of technology and for blogging! This is the perfect way to accomplish both of my goals in creating this blog.
Our journey with in vitro fertilization is about to begin. I never thought that Jason and I would be on this road....but nonetheless....here we are. After months of tests, doctor visits and surgery IVF (in vitro) is our option at having our own biological child. It's been a difficult road thus far. A lot of tears have already been shed and we haven't even started the "hard part". The plan is to start our first IVF cycle in the coming month. The last few weeks I've had a very calm spirit about this and felt very upbeat and positive. Now...knowing that it's in our immediate future...I'm starting to get very anxious. Which I know is to be expected!!
The number one thing that I can't lose sight of during this process is this: God has a plan...God will not give me more than I can handle...and everything happens for a reason. I truly believe all three of those statements.

I'm going to end my first official post here. Thank you for everyone who is going to follow Jason and I on our journey. Continued prayers is all we can ask for at this moment. I know we are so lucky to be surrounded by so many supportive, loving, and wonderful family and friends. Much love to you all!