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

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas card...

I've waited a long time for the opportunity to send a family Christmas card that shared our growing family! Thank you to Kristy Pruet Photography for helping my vision of our first family card become a beautiful creation. I wanted to share our card with all of my faithful readers. A special Christmas slide show is coming soon....stay tuned! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

One month old!

I can't believe Gavin is already a month old.....my how times flies. One month ago our lives were forever changed. I tear up every time I think about what a precious miracle this child is to us and our whole family.

Gavin is such a good baby, we couldn't have asked for anything more. He's a good eater, sleeper, and pooper! As of his 4 week check up he weighed 9 pounds, 8 ounces and 21 3/4 inches. He's 50th percentile for weight, and 75th for height.

We hope you enjoy these fun one month pictures!!!



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

What a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our first as a family of three! We spent the day out at my aunt and uncle's farm. Gavin got to visit donkeys, a horse, chickens, and fish! A first of many trips to the farm! Thank you God for our little turkey....we are beyond thankful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The birth story...

November 9th, 2010 Gavin David Oliver entered this world....this is the story of his arrival....

The days leading up the birth day were filled with anxiety for me. I knew that the day was quickly approaching and I was so ready to meet our little man that the anticipation was making me so nervous. I'm sure it was a lot of the same emotions that birth moms actually go through. The day of the birth, birth mom actually had a doctor's appointment scheduled for 10:30 that morning. Jason and I had planned to meet her there so we both started our day normally...went to work...and planned to meet at the doctor's office. Jason gets up early in the morning and leaves for work about the time I get out of the bed. When I got up that morning I was especially nervous and anxious. Before I left for work, I packed a bag with a change of clothes for me....just to be prepared for the hospital. I even wore waterproof mascara that I had not applied in weeks. Something inside me just told me to be extra prepared.

In the weeks leading up to the birth, Jason and I had numerous conversations with our attorney about who would "get the call" that it was time. Jeannette has become a good personal friend to Jason and me. I just knew she would call ME. I was at work, literally shaking....so ready for the time to come to for me to leave and meet birth mom at the doctor's office. At 8:45 my work phone rang.....it was Jason. He sounded very calm and asked me how I was. I just kind of sighed and he said - "just waiting, huh?". I said - "yes". He said - "well.....you don't have to wait any longer....she is at the hospital, and in labor". I, of course, asked - "ARE YOU KIDDING????" He said - "Kara, I am not kidding...get in the car and meet me at the hospital". He was just as calm, cool and collected as Jason always is with me. I will never forget that phone call. As much as I wanted Jeanette to call ME....in the end...it was so special to hear the news from my husband.

A short time later we arrived at the hospital. We were welcomed in the hallway outside her room by her sister and her mom. We all embraced...tears were shed...and we knew the day had come. The doctor predicted that the baby would arrive by lunch time. The incredible thing about this being an open adoption...was that Jason and I were invited to be in the labor room....for the whole incredible event. We will forever be grateful to birth mom to selflessly allow us to witness the birth of our baby boy. A few minutes before noon she started pushing. Jason stood behind me, with his arms around my neck...hugging me and comforted me as I sobbed....the entire time. After a short 30 minutes of pushing....at 12:30 Gavin was born. It was the most special moment of my life....I speak for Jason when I knew it was the most special moment of his life as well. After he was checked, cleaned up, measured and weighed...there was about 30 minutes before they needed to take him to the nursery. I picked up our precious miracle and handed him to birth mom. We gave them time as a family to welcome him into the world and Jason and I went off to the waiting room to embrace with our parents and Jeannette. More tears were shed and we gushed over the fact that the day had finally come that Jason and I became a family of three.

A short time later I was able to go with Gavin and the nurse to the nursery for his initial 2 hour stay. I watched as they bathed him and gave him his first shots. I was able to walk him to the window and show him off to Jason and our family. It was such a special time and something I will never forget. I am so grateful that I was there every step of the way for Gavin. The whole time I was thanking God....Thank you God for this precious miracle...it was the most humbling experience of my life.

As I sit here today....one week later....and reflect on the day of Gavin's birth....I am more than ever thankful for everything Jason and I have been through since the day we got married. We have endured more than any couple should. After all the disappointments during our fertility struggles...I realize now this was God's plan all along. He handpicked this baby for us. The struggles of yesterday...have become today's joy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Welcome Gavin David Oliver!!!

Gavin David Oliver was born on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 12:30 weighing 7 lbs 6 oz and 19.5 inches long. Jason and I are blessed beyond belief at this precious miracle.

I will write more soon...but for now, life is pretty perfect. :)
Moments after he was born...

In the nursery...displaying him to our family through the window.

He's been so alert from the first day.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The beloved cradle...

My dad made this cradle 16 years ago when my uncle and aunt were pregnant with my cousin. We knew from that moment that it was going to be a special piece that was passed on for generations to come. I used to imagine the day that I would get the turn to use this cradle...I would imagine being half asleep in the middle of the night to a fussy baby and nudging the side of the cradle so it would sway back and forth to calm the baby. Not too long ago I often thought I would never be able to get that opportunity....it deeply saddened me that I would never be able to use the family heirloom that my own dad crafted with his own two hands. Today, Jason and I moved the beloved cradle into our room. What a special, special day. There aren't enough words that I can type right now to fully describe how this feels. Just know my heart is smiling. I love you dad!

The time is drawing near...

Washing clothes, washing bottles, buying formula, buying diapers....yep, that's what's going on in the Oliver household. We are days away from meeting our precious miracle baby boy. Despite the November 21st due date, the doctor is certain the baby will be born prior to that. In this past Thursday's weekly appointment he told birth mom that he would see her next Thursday (the 4th) for another weekly check....and then he expected the next time he would see her would be in the delivery room!!! November 5th is becoming a popular prediction for the birth date.
I've been asked this question a lot lately - "Are you ready?" You can take that question one of two ways....Are you ready, like do you have all the necessities - bottles, diapers, car seat, etc.... OR..... Are you ready, like emotionally, mentally, etc. I'll answer both sides to that question. We are ready with the necessities. We have the basics and frankly, we are so thankful to have as much as we have. Emotionally, mentally???? Jason and I have waited for this moment for a long time, but I don't know how anyone can truly mentally prepare for becoming a parent. With everything that we have endured the past couple of years...I can't help but think it's going to be the coolest most refreshing feeling ever. I know it's going to be hard - we are going to be sleep deprived and it will be a challenge - but YES, we ARE ready. I'm ready to snuggle with that precious miracle and start the next chapter of our lives.
Continue to stay tuned!!!! :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The sweetest sound...

Today I got the pleasure of going to the doctor with birth mom. This is something I've been waiting for since the day we met her. We knew this was going to be an open adoption which means we get these kinds of perks. :) We wouldn't have it any other way. What a special memory to tuck away in my memory!! Hearing his heartbeat was the sweetest sound I've ever heard. I was all prepared to cry.........if you've been around me lately you know...I can cry at the drop of a hat....the emotions are just so intense and real that the tears flow freely these days. I even wore my waterproof eye make up....but nope....no need for the tissue. I guess it was more excitement so it kept the tears at bay. Although, now as I'm typing this....I'm starting to tear up. :)

Doc report: birth mom is right at 35 weeks and the baby is measuring just as he should be. The heartbeat fluctuated between 152 and 162, right where it should be. His head is down...hopefully it will stay that way. The doctor said the chances of her going into labor in the next 2 to 3 weeks are slim. She starts going every week now, so next week they will start checking to see if she's dilated at all. The doctor said we can go and tour the labor and delivery area to check things out. Jason and I will definitely do this so we know what to expect the day of the birth.

Birth mom's sister was with her today. This was the first time I've met her. She welcomed me with open arms just as birth mom has and both were so excited to see me!! I can't even begin to express how all of this feels. It's like the most grateful feeling I'll probably ever feel. This family has just taken us in and have become our biggest cheerleaders....they are all so excited to be giving us this incredible gift.

This is definitely not a "typical" adoption. But like I've said before....nothing about Kara & Jason Oliver is "typical".

We are in the homestretch now. I know so many of you are following along with such excitement and anticipation....a lot of you we don't even know. God works in amazing mysterious ways and I know, more now that ever, that He is using this situation for His glory. Thanks and praise be to God!!!

Stay tuned............. ;)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Updates!

Hello everyone! We are getting so close to the due date I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. :)
A lot of you keep up with little updates here and there when I mention the adoption on Facebook but a good long blog update was definitely due....and then this afternoon I get fabulous "medical" updates on birth mom and then I knew it was really time to share with you all.

Our annual family beach vacation was last week....7 whole days in wonderful beach bliss. The second day we were there we got a call from our attorney telling me that birth mom wants to go ahead and sign the paperwork with the judge that names us as parents. Cue the excitement and more relief that one more essential hurdle was being crossed. We thought it was going to actually happen that very next day, however, due to some scheduling conflicts with the judge....the papers are being signed next Friday, October 8th. This just takes stress off of all parties involved to get this process taken care of before the "birth day". She still has five days after the birth day to change her mind...however, we are confident and prayerful that the decision that has been made, stands true. :)  I've never felt more that this is the baby that God intended Jason and I to have. And I know for certain that birth mom feels good about this decision and that she feels special to be giving Jason and I such a special gift. Remember those tissues that I've mentioned before that I need??? yeah, I pretty much have already been using them.

Today we got a medical update that I would like to also share..... The doctor listened to the baby's heart beat which was loud and strong and he responded just as he should at this point to the doctor's actions. He determined that the baby will be between 7 and 7-1/2 lbs. when born. Birth mom is measuring 32 weeks and five days along. Her stomach measurement was exactly where it should be also. Her next appointment is Oct. 14th and then she continues to go every week from then until she delivers. I actually get to go with her to the doctor on the 14th which I am so thrilled about. It's such a rare thing that an adoptive mom gets to share so much of this with the birth mom. I consider myself truly lucky and blessed to get to experience so much of this. Because I'm not able to concieve myself, I'm beyond excited that I get to still experience part of the process....hearing the heartbeat, seeing the ultrasound, doctor visits, etc.
Back to more updates.....The care coordinator that handles all the adoptions at the hospital explained that only two people can have the identifying wrist bands for the baby on their wrists. We found out today that one of those will be birth mom...and I will be the one to wear the other. They have birthing rooms and up to four people can be in there besides the mom giving birth. Jason and I get to be 2 of the 4 people in the room. We will get to see our precious baby boy enter this world. I am crying just typing this out because I truly can't believe this is happening. It's starting to sink in and I'm back to feeling the emotions I felt when we first learned about this adoption....which basically just makes me cry all the time now. Is it possible for me to have "PRE-pardum" emotions?!?! LOL....I can cry at the drop of a hat these days. God bless Jason for the next couple of months. :)

Specific prayer requests....
*pray for the continued healthy progress of baby boy Oliver and for the health of birth mom.
*pray for the mental/emotional state of me and Jason...no matter how exciting this is, it's still stressful and emotional.

So many of you are sharing in this excitement...I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I'm more convinced than ever that sharing our journey was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Hugs and Love to you all!!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Let the transformation begin...

So, Jason and I decided it was time to empty out the guest bedroom and get to setting things up for Baby O. With only about 10 weeks to go...and constant reassurance from birth mom herself...we decided it was safe to proceed. :) Of course I decided to document this glorious occasion.

"before"


1/2 way there...

New furniture brought in...


The crib directions were quite confusing...



With our heads put together...we figured it out...here's Jason putting in the last screw. :)



The shelving unit we put together....far less complicated than the crib...




The finished result of our labor!



I couldn't wait to add our recent purchases to the shelf.



Jason's baby shoes....and his favorite Ernie doll. :)



Some of the things we have been collecting...
We have a ways to go to complete the room...but it's such a surreal feeling to have done this much already. To see a crib in a room in this house is very very odd....but in the most amazing way. If it feels this great to set up his room...I cannot even fathom the feeling to see him in it. Could someone had me a Kleenex? or a thousand....I'm going to need them. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A few of my favorite things...

It's been a while since my last post. I know everyone is searching for an update. :) So many of you are carrying us along on our journey and we couldn't be more thankful for you all. All is well in our adoption world. Birth mom is doing great and feeling good. Baby O has become very active and is kicking and moving around all the time. We are so thankful to get updates like this and to hear reassuring words that prove to us that everyone is still on the same page. Very soon I should be going with her to the doctor. Words can not even express the joy that I am sure will fill my heart when I get to hear that heartbeat for the first time. It's things like that - hearing the heartbeat, seeing the ultrasound - that I wouldn't want to miss out on just because I'm not carrying the baby myself. I feel privileged that I get to experience these things and will treasure the day I get to share those stories with baby O. I was having a conversation with our attorney today and we were talking about how this is not a "typical adoption"....meaning typically things don't go this smoothly and fall right into place with adoptions. "This is not the norm" Jeannette explained. My answer - "Nothing about me and Jason has been - THE NORM"...we have always been the exception to the rule....from the way we met....to how quickly we broke ground on our house...how quickly we got engaged (yes, in that order). Most recently in the past year we have been the exception to the rule for bad reasons. What were the odds that I would have to have both fallopian tubes removed? What were the odds that we would have such unsuccessful attempts at IVF? We pray that we have suffered down those difficult roads enough to where we can now be the exception to the rule for the GOOD! How awesome would it be to beat the odds and prove that adoptions CAN be a successful experience and fall into place without any major stumbling blocks??? Maybe God is trying to show us that we've suffered enough. I like to think that is what is happening here.

With that being said I would like to share some of my favorite things that we have been collecting for baby O.
The burp cloths that Anne Rae made for me. I adore these....the colors are perfect and I can't wait to use them!!!!
The adorable sock monkey that I bought at the Chelsea Antique Mall....and the lion and lamb were gifts from our very special friends. We were given these the night we found out baby O....is a baby BOY. :)
This shirt is a "hand me down" from my nephew Hudson. Jason and I brought this back to him from our honeymoon trip to Peter Island. I was so touched when Jennifer gave this back to me and said - baby O needs this shirt now. Awww.. :)

The blue baby blanket that Jenny gave me...that has not left our bed since she gave it to me. I snuggle with it every night and it stays tucked in between our pillows. Jason likes to joke that I am not even going to let the baby have it....I am going to keep it for myself. :)




Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The vision...

I realized today that's it's been over two weeks since I've written a blog update. The last time I wrote I was having a really hard time. The fact is, every day is tough....but not nearly as tough as it was that day. We've had a lot of good days too...allowing ourself time to get excited. I even bought a crib. :) The bargain of the year...at a yard sale for TEN BUCKS! I am going to sand it and paint it...I love a good craft project. I also started getting the vision together for baby O's room. I bought some amazing fabric that I'm going to use. I love the way it's all starting to come together. There aren't many things that we can control right now....so I'm clinging to the things I CAN control and have a part in. :) With that being said, here is a picture of the said fabrics. Yes, yes, yes, my loving Auburn friends...that IS houndstooth. I assure you that it has nothing to do with Alabama....I'm just a sucker for the print. I just love it. I'm not sure yet how I'm using all of these fabrics, but I got a great deal on them, so I couldn't resist. :) So it's looking like the colors are going to be chocolate brown, cream, aqua, and green. I am also wanting to throw in touches of red and orange. I can't wait to see it all come together.

Other than that, there really isn't anything new to report. We are just in the long waiting stretch of this process. It is hard not having that daily bonding with the baby. Since I'm not physically carrying the baby, it's hard to feel that connection. That is when our faith really has to come into the spotlight. Hopefully in the near future we can spend some time with birth mom and her family. We would love to be able to talk to baby boy O and let him start to hear our voices.  :)

Please continue to pray for everyone involved in this situation. We can't believe in just a few short months all the things we have dreamed for, prayed for, and hoped for are that much closer to becoming our reality.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The good, the bad, the ugly...

Jason and I knew going into this adoption process that there were going to be good days, bad days...and then just days that were downright tough. Today has been a tough day. I also knew right from the beginning that just like I did with the fertility side of the journey, that I would share all aspects of this adoption side of our journey. The good side, and the bad side. Mostly up until now it's been great...continuous good news, wonderful things to celebrate. And I've mentioned that things have started to calm down and we are in the waiting portion of the process. Today, the waiting hit me...like a ton of bricks. It's just been a really tough day. For the first time I'm starting to worry....worrying what she's doing and thinking. All we can do is pray that we keep trusting in God's plan. Regardless of the outcome here....we have to TRUST GOD that the path He is paving...is what is best for us. The journey through infertility has been a tough one....this proves no different. I'm experiencing emotions I've never felt before....yet, I feel powerless, just as I did through the IVF process.
Last night we celebrated my sister's birthday. During the night I had a conversation with my mom and Jennifer's mother in law, Elaine. Elaine made some very good points, but the one that has stuck in my mind was her telling me that I need to keep my eyes focused on God's plan..TRUST THAT. Don't lose sight of that. If I feel confident in that...then nothing can get me down. But today I was just that - DOWN. It makes me question my faith...and that is where I know this is the devil having his way with me. Please pray that the devil gets on out of this house...we don't need him around.
Today, just as I was in the middle of a terrible crying emotional breakdown, my doorbell rang. It was my oldest friend, Anne Rae. (side note - i hate the term "oldest friend" because I always think people take it...she's really old...lol...but I digress....) Even though I was expecting her to come over...it was still that perfect moment...just when I needed her. You see, I'm very lucky...I have these amazing friends and family that know when I need them, just at the right time. In perfect Anne Rae fashion, she was able to calm me down and make me feel better. Thank you dear friend! :)
I've realized something over the past few weeks...and today it got even worse. I have had a sore jaw line...and sore teeth. Gee...that must mean that I've been grinding my teeth at night...something I've NEVER experienced before. I have been through many stressful situations in life...none have which, have ever made me grind my teeth or clench my jaw. Tonight, as I was cooking dinner I caught myself standing there clenching my jaw. I just can't relax. I know every day isn't going to be like this....but wow, this has been a tough one.
Please continue the prayers.....I really...WE really need them right now.
Make me still, O Lord...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I couldn't resist...

Since the day I started this blog...I dreamed about the day I could add a baby ticker to the top of the blog page. Corny, I know...but it was something I was really looking forward to. Today marks 4 months until baby boy Oliver is due. I couldn't resist any longer. :)

Yesterday we finished up our homestudy interviews. Our attorney got a call this afternoon from our social worker that everything went great! We already knew it...but it was just nice to get reassurance. We are still waiting to get the "all clear" from the FBI fingerprinting/background checks. Hopefully all of that paperwork will be back within a couple weeks. But the major part of the homestudy is complete...it feels great to check that off our list of things to do!

A lot of you have asked if we have picked out a name yet. We have talked about it...a lot. But we haven't 100% decided yet...so for now, we are keeping that information to ourselves.

Specific prayer requests that are on my mind daily.....praying for the health of baby boy Oliver, and birth mom. Praying that God is continuously working on birth mom's heart that she knows this is the right decision. Praying for patience to fill our hearts as we wait, wait, wait.

Again, we are so blessed to have an amazing support system. I have received some amazing emails and facebook messages from people I haven't heard from in years...it has truly touched my heart.

Don't stop believin'!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shooting to the goal...


Our friends continue to amaze us.....Kristy (Evans) Pruet came into our lives a few years ago. Since then she has been the preferred photographer for precious Hudson & Olivia (nephew & niece) not to mention a host of our friends children. Kristy has told me time and time again she can not wait until she can take pictures of baby Oliver. :) She has also told me she wanted to come up with some way to help us on our journey to adopting baby boy Oliver. She came up with this "fundraiser". If you are interested in having your children's portraits made by an awesome photographer, email her at the address on the invitation above. My gracious sister has offered up her house as the location. Kristy has even mentioned if she gets a lot of interest she will book more than one photo day to work everyone in. We are humbled and honored that Kristy has offered to do this for us. Again, God is revealing himself to us in very interesting ways. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

The waters are calming down...

The past month has been a whirlwind. I've said that MANY times in the past few posts I've written...but it's the only way to truly describe it.

Aside from all of the adoption stuff....Jason and I have had an extremely busy social calendar. We are so blessed to have so many amazing people in our lives that we always have something going on. So we've been on the go so much. I think we are both just tired. Emotionally and physically. And today the "waiting" set in.

Everything with the adoption has moved so quickly since the first day we learned about the baby....that the waters are starting to calm... and now it's time to just sit back and "relax" and wait for November. With that being said...the emotions hit me today...the crying stressful emotions. Jason and I keep exploring uncharted territory. We've never done this before...so yet again, we are facing a whole new set of emotions. While this is an exciting time...it's also a very emotionally stressful situation as well. I keep requesting prayers....but once again....I'm asking for your prayers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

As requested...

Many of you have asked..."how can I help"...or "I want to chip in". Well, here's your chance. I've set up a Chipin link that is secure through Paypal if you feel led to contribute. We have been humbled by God's grace to get us this far in the adoption process. We feel certain that He will continue to open doors for us to make this possible. If you feel led to contribute, and would rather mail a check versus using the secure link, please email me at: kara061179@yahoo.com and I will mail you our address. If a financial contribution is not possible, please contribute to our journey by praying for our family.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What a difference a month makes...

June 10th was when we got the first call about this adoption. I can't believe it's almost been a month. So much has happened in that short period of time. A lot of you who have emotionally invested in our journey have been curious about more details of how this incredible situation came about. I feel more comfortable now with sharing more of the story...

Jason and I had not made any advancements in pursuing adoption...we took some time after the last IVF cycle and we knew after our Bahamas vacation that we would focus on the adoption process. Back in April we met Jeannette through a mutual friend, Marlin. Little did we know that Jeannette would become our attorney! Jeannette was approached by some friends about their daughter's pregnancy. Because she knew about our journey (through Marlin and our blog) she immediately thought of us and our desire to become parents. So, on the night of June 10th I got a call from Jeannette about this possible opportunity. Just 4 short days later she needed an adoption portfolio from us. Like I said...we had done NOTHING to prepare for this so we obviously didn't have a portfolio put together. We got the portfolio together...a finished product that we were extremely happy with. So, on June 15th it was delivered to the birth family. And by June 19th they graciously invited us into their home...to meet them and their daughter. It's a moment I will never forget....and a meeting that I am going to choose to keep private between the parties involved. But I will share this one detail from that night. Birth mom told us that when she was reading our portfolio...she felt the baby kick...for the first time. Cue tears and a flood of emotions. What better sign from God that this is part of his plan? On June 21st we got the phone call with the news...birth mom had chosen adoption...and she had chosen Jason and I as the adoptive parents!!!!!!!!!!!  And on July 1st we learned that the baby is a BOY! :) We can say - he and him...instead of "it". So as I've quickly described...A LOT has happened in the past month.

What's the other essential ingredient in the adoption process? A homestudy! Typically these are done at the very beginning of starting a journey on adoption. Our situation is a tad unique. :) So, Jeannette put us in contact with a great social worker to take care of our homestudy. Our first visit was July 1st. That meeting involved a home inspection and going over all the paperwork we need. Background checks, fingerprinting, lots of documentation. Today, July 6th is our second visit. Tonight's visit includes a private interview with just me and the social worker...and then a private interview with just Jason and the social worker. I went first...so I'm actually typing this as Jason is having his interview. Just as you would imagine...lots of questions....childhood memories...questions about my parents...about growing up...about school...about work history....all kinds of stuff.  Our next meeting is next Tuesday the 13th. That will involve our interview with Jason and I together. And that will conclude the homestudy! Then we just wait on our background checks to come back. Because this is a private adoption the amount necessary is a bit less than the average adoption. Of course I believe...no adoption is "average".

So for now we just finish up the homestudy process...and acquire the funds to make this possible. That part is starting to stress me out. But God brought us to this situation...He will bring us through it. Do I think He will make money fall from the sky? No. But I firmly believe that He will open doors to make that possible.

The emotions of all of this are starting to catch up with me. Tears one minute....HUGE grin the next. It's been quite an experience thus far. All of the pieces seem to finally be falling into place for us. We just pray that God continues to work on "birth mom's" heart and know that she is making the best decision for the future of that precious baby boy. Our lives would forever be changed. I feel like our lives have already been changed...just in the past month. What a feeling........ :)

So while we're waiting....we will try to be patient, hopeful, humble, thankful, prayerful.

Monday, June 21, 2010

More news....

So, like I said in my post yesterday.......the past week or so has been a whirlwind....today proved no less.

I got a call this afternoon from our attorney. She got a call from the birth mom. She said she has made her decision....to give her baby up for adoption...and she's picked us as the recipients!!!!!!!!!!! She said that once she made her decision that she felt a like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders.

This is ALL God. 100% all God.

Jason and I realize that there are still 5 months until the due date of the baby....but we are excited and thrilled that she has made this decision. She finds out in two weeks if it's a boy or girl and we will find out that day.

Jason and I are humbled by God's grace...and we pray for that precious miracle...that one day that baby will be ours and we can make the birth family proud...that the baby will grow up in an amazing home and loved by SO, SO many.

As most of you know from our journey thus far...we aren't used to getting news like this...we aren't used to crying tears of joy instead of pain. This feeling of shear happiness is beyond an amazing feeling (well, and leaving for the Bahamas in 36 hours doesn't hurt either. :) )

Sometimes the only proper reaction to news like this...is to fall to your knees...and pray. We thank God for this unbelievable opportunity.

We have our first homestudy appointment next Thursday evening with our social worker. Our attorney rocks the house...she has put us in contact with someone to get this homestudy done ASAP.

I'd like to close this post with a special "thank you"....Thank you to our "anonymous" blog commenter....for the EXTREMELY GENEROUS gift we received in the mail the other day. A $200 gift card to PF Changs. We don't know who you are....but you must care an awful lot about us. And for that....we thank you.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Our journey continues...

My grandmother gives me a copy of The Upper Room every couple of months. I have read this daily devotional booklet for many, many years of my life and it has always brought me words of comfort. During hard times, during good times...there have been many occasions where that particular day's devotional was just exactly what I needed to hear. I choose to believe that is God speaking to me...revealing Himself to me. I want to share a portion of yesterday's devotional (June 19th).

"No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

...At times we seem to be limply handing around, waiting for something to happen. At these times God is preparing us for the next season or the next change we are to undergo. Sometimes we are unaware of the imperceptible changes God is busily achieving within us. Then, at the right moment, we find ourselves in a new situation. We marvel that God has been at work, preparing us for something we could not have imagined or prepared ourselves for.

Thought for the day: Watch out; God is always up to something.

Now...on to sharing the next step in The Oliver's Journey...
I feel extremely led to share this information. Our faithful readers have followed us every step of the way thus far....we need our prayer warriors in high effect right now!!!!

Jason and I are being considered as adoptive parents....the baby is due in November. This is a situation that has totally fallen into our laps and we know this is God working on a huge blessing. Our path and journey are being revealed to us...all of these developments have taken place in the last 9 days....so we are in the middle of an emotional whirlwind right now!!!! We are learning more than ever that people are placed into you life for a reason...and there are no coincidences.

In 3 days I got together an adoption portfolio for the family to read. Working diligently and pouring out emotion, we produced a beautiful book that tried to show the birth family what we could offer a child. And yesterday we got a call....come meet the family...they want to meet us. So, last night we met with birth mom and her parents. We shared tears, laughter, hugs, questions, family stories, a whole range of emotions.

So, what now? Well, Jason and I leave Wednesday morning for our trip to the Bahamas. We couldn't be happier that this trip is upon us...it's something we've been waiting for and now, we can't help but think that it's a celebration trip. As soon as we come back we will start the process of having a home study and just wait to hear what the next step is.

Jason and I are humble and grateful that this opportunity is before us. While nothing is certain, all we can do is move forward with faith. Faith that God has a plan set out for us and a baby in mind for us..waiting for us.

I'm going to leave it there for now with the details. But stay tuned....in true Kara & Jason fashion...it's sure to be an interesting journey.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

God will not fulfill your dream immediately...

I love these daily devotional emails I get. I had to share this one I received this morning. I really needed to hear this....I am sure everyone can apply this to their life in some way or another.


God will not fulfill your dream immediately
Posted by Rick Warren
"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!" Habakkuk 2:3 (LB)

Even as you make a decision to follow the dream God places in your heart, you can expect a delay. God will not fulfill your dream immediately because this is another step toward building your faith. In Habakkuk 2, God says, "These things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled." In this step of faith-building you will most likely start asking the question, "When, Lord? When are you going to answer my prayer?"And we hate to wait. We don't like to wait in a doctor's office, or in traffic jams, or at restaurants, or for Christmas presents, or for anything else. But what we hate worst of all is waiting on God.  Have you ever been in a hurry when God wasn't? It's so irritating! You're ready, but God isn't. God wants to work on you before he works on the project. Every believer must go through the University of Learning to Wait (ULW). Some of us are still working on our degrees from ULW!

Noah waited 120 years from the time he started building the ark until it began to rain.

Abraham was told he would be the father of a great nation and didn't have a child until he was ninety-nine.

God told Moses he would be the leader to lead his people out of four hundred years of slavery, but then made him wait in the desert forty years.

Joseph spent years in prison before God raised him up and he became the ruler God wanted him to be.

God had David anointed as king, but then David waited for years until he actually got to be king.

We all have to go through these waiting periods. Even Jesus waited for thirty years in the carpenter's shop before setting out on his public ministry. Why do we wait? It teaches us to trust in God. We learn that his timing is perfect. One of the facts we have to learn is this: God's delay never destroys his purpose. A delay is not a denial. Children must learn the difference between "no" and "not yet," and so must we. Many times we think God is saying, "No," but he is saying, "Not yet."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Random ramblings....

Wow, it has been quite a while since my last post...

I'm sure a lot of you are wondering how I'm doing...if I'm "really ok"...what I've been up to....well, here's an update on my life.

How am I doing? I really do feel good these days...emotionally I'm doing WAY better than in ancitpated this soon after our last IVF cycle. I've been laughing...making jokes...spending time with my family...spending time with my friends...cooking....all the things that make me feel "me". I've even started exercising. I'm learning that the older I get...the harder it is to lose weight. Add in all the fertility meds I've been on the last year...and it makes it EVEN harder. So I did some things to help...I bought an iPod. Best money I've spent in a LONG time (ok, except for some super cute shoes..but whatever). In using my iPod I've learned a few things about myself.....with my earbuds in...and the house to myself I think I can:
1) Sing like Lea Michele from Glee.
2) Dance as good as my friend Nicole.
3) Burn calories that would make my sister proud.

THEN...reality set in. I overdid it. Yep....pulled some muscles in my back/neck and as I type this I am sitting here with an icepack on my back. It's like it's always something. I take 2 steps forward and 2 steps back. Hopefully this won't get me down for long and I can get back to creating a consistant work out regime that I can stick to.

Jason and I leave for the Bahamas in about a month....so...all my focus lies there. We are so thankful that we are getting to go on a trip like this....it comes at the perfect time and it's the best medicine we could ask for. :) From now until then we are just taking time for ourselves...Jason is even golfing again. It's great that he's doing things that make him happy as well, and I know golf makes him happy. So often everyone focuses on how I'M doing...so it's nice that he's doing things for himself as well to lift his spirits.

As for what is the nex step on The Oliver's Journey???? We aren't sure. We know it involves adoption...we just aren't sure whether we will focus on embryo adoption or the more traditional adoption. Time & prayer will lead us to the right decision for us.

During the past few months I've really come to form a bond with some women I've met through RESOLVE. We help each other...listen...advise....cry together....pray for each other. I'm so thankful that these women have come into my life.

I've learned something else about myself during this experience....I am good at giving advice...I'm good at counseling...I'm good at talking about this infertility process. I've asked God for some direction during this journey and maybe this is Him trying to tell me I need to pursue this...maybe even a career. I want to share my story...inform others...help other women. How do I make that happen? I have no clue...but I need to try and figure it out. That is my prayer request, pray that God points me in the right direction and if this is where He is leading me, pray that some doors open for that to be possible. Maybe it's getting more involved with RESOLVE...maybe it's writing a book. These un-answered questions actually make me excited. Wow...me, excited? It's a nice feeling. :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Get me off this roller coaster...

I'm tired. I'm so emotionally exhausted...it's like I've hit a brick wall. Frankly, I don't even know that I'm going to be able to write this post the way I want to...but I need to get it out while it's all the most fresh on my mind.

Yesterday was the RESOLVE Family Building Conference in Atlanta that Jason and I attended. First and foremost, I'm so glad that we made the decision to go to this event. What a great way to surround ourselves with the reassurance that we aren't alone...and it was a wonderful way to get a lot of information about the uncharted waters of adoption. There were 6 different opportunities during the day to attend breakout sessions...we could pick and choose what we wanted to attend. There were sessions on recurring pregnancy loss, IVF, surrogacy, edometriosis & PCOS, and then of course adoption. We chose to attend all the sessions we could on adoption. Domestic adoption, International adoption, How to be your own advocate in adoption, and Adoption home study. Before this event our knowledge on the topic of adoption was very limited. We've heard stories over the years from different people...but we really didn't know what all went into the process. I know there are people out there that think..."oh, you can't get pregnant? Just adopt"... kind of like..."just do IVF". It's not always as simple as the old Nike slogan. Let's just start with the home study. Like one of the social workers said yesterday - "Why do I need someone to come into my home and interview me to determine if we would be fit parents? No one who gets pregnant naturally ever has to prove that to anyone." That is such a strong statement..and oh so true. But I have to remind myself that if it were ME giving up a baby...I would want to make sure that the child was going to the best home possible. So, I can't focus on that part of the process to much. We did get a good idea though of what to expect for a home study. This is no overnight process...this is going to take time. Time to gather the appropriate documentation, time to prepare our finances, time to become educated on the ins and outs of this whole process.

With all of that being said...Jason and I aren't quite sure what is next for our journey. We are both so overwhelmed with information that we don't really know what we want to do. Something the conference didn't really touch on was embryo adoption. That is something we are really interested in and hoped there would have been a session on that yesterday. Snowflakes is an organization that came highly recommended from our doctor, which is a national embryo adoption organization. I'm going to take some time to research this option and consider it as an option. If we went the embryo adoption route and it worked...I would get to experience the whole process of actually being pregnant. Yes, biologically it wouldn't be our child, however I would get to bond with the baby for the duration of the pregnancy and that in itself sounds precious to me. Having just come off 2 rounds of failed IVF attempts though...it scares me about going through the transfer process again.

I know that Jason and I don't have to make any decisions TODAY...and frankly I know we both need to take some time to consider our options and just enjoy each other for a while. However, I don't want to wait too long....as I mentioned, this process is going to be a long road so the sooner we can get the process rolling, the better. It might be 2, 3, 4 years down the road before we get baby Oliver. All we can do for now is research and pray that God clears the path for us that He wants us to take.

We also attended a session yesterday called Strengthening Relationships During Infertility. We really enjoyed this session and I think we both walked away from it knowing that first and foremost, we need to focus on each other and communicate to each other how we feel. Sometimes that's easy and sometimes it's a difficult part. Obviously I'm on here all the time pouring out my emotions about everything...I realize it's not that easy for Jason. (let's face it...that's just men in general, right ladies?) But it's not always about the words...I know that Jason is emotionally in turmoil just like I am. I'm thankfully that he is a great husband and went with me yesterday...I think it was a great step for us.

We also really enjoyed spending time yesterday with two other couples that we have come to know from Birmingham through RESOLVE. Brandy & Eric...Liz & Brian....we are all in this together and we are thankful to have met you! I know we can all be great resources for each other.  :)

I know there is more I could share from yesterday...but that's all I got right now...I need a nap.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Whatever normal is...

I got a call this afternoon from the doctor's office. All my bloodwork from last week came back....it was all normal. Normally this is a good thing and don't get me wrong...I'm glad nothing is wrong....but there was a part of Jason and I that were hoping something would come back showing an answer. Some sort of explaination for my poor quality eggs. But we have no answers and probably will never get an answer. Frankly, there just aren't any more tests they can run to determine any other problems. All this does is bring the emotion of this whole experience to the surface again. Emotionally I feel like I take two steps forward and then two steps back. I know God is closing this door....but opening a window. That is how I feel....but I'm still struggling with the anger and frustration of it all. On top of all of this I'm battling a cold or a sinus infection or something.....and I've just felt yuck. I started on a z-pack this afternoon so hopefully that will help me feel better. I'm ready to just feel back to normal....whatever normal is.

On another note...Jason and I are headed to Atlanta this weekend for Resolve's Family Building Conference . We don't really know what to expect...but we are excited about this event. We hope we can walk away with some valuable information and maybe some additional understanding of our situation. In just the short time of becoming involved with the organization Resolve, I've made some new friends. They all need prayer right now...all for different reasons. I know God brought all these women into my life and I'm honored to now be a part of their lives.

On a BRIGHT note...Jason and I are officially paid up for our Bahamas trip in June. The weight loss journey has begun...however, this nasty cold has set me back just a bit. :( 7 weeks to tropical bliss........

Thank you all for your continued prayers for our journey.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Heartbroken...

...that's pretty much how we feel in the Oliver house....our hearts are breaking. Today was our follow up appointment with our doctor. Jason and I were praying for some glimmer of hope that they could give us towards another chance at a biological child. But when the doctor basically throws her hands up and has no answers...what can you do? For some reason my body will not produce mature good quality eggs...and there is no reason behind it. There is really no test they can run to determine what the cause is. However, they did draw blood today to test for a few antibodies. They are testing for antiovarion antibodies (pre-menopause) and they are actually testing for a lupus anticoagulant. Even if I tested positive for that doesn't necessarily means I have lupus...it's just another antibody they are checking. Dr. H. does not think any of these will come back positive...but it's just something they can test to narrow down any speculation of what might be wrong. Minus the fact that I have no fallopian tubes...everything else has been picture perfect so obviously something else is wrong, however, there's nothing else they can do for us. 

Yes, Jason and I are fully aware that we have other options to becoming parents (i.e. adoption, embryo adoption, etc) but we are taking time to grieve over the fact that we will never have a child that is biologically Jason and Kara's. For years this has been my worst fear....imagine your worst fear coming true. You fall in love and you get married and you long for a child that is the perfect combination of you and your spouse. I longed for a child with my creative ability and Jason's determination. My long eyelashes, and Jason's great skin. My quirky personality and Jason's sense of humor.
For right now we don't know what is next for us. We did talk to our doctor about embryo adoption. It's basically like adoption but you get embryos that couples donate who have had successful IVF cycles. The program that is offered at our doctor's office is actually pretty affordable compared to what we've already paid...however it's a 2 year waiting period. There is another organization in Tennesse that handles embryo adoption but at first glace at their information it's pretty expensive. And of course there is adoption of the more common kind...and are minds are open to that possibility as well. I honestly do not know what the future holds...but I do know that this is not the end of "The Oliver's Journey". There will be more chapters to come and I pray that you all will follow us every step of the way. This blogging experience has been one I wouldn't change. I know everyone does not agree with me putting all of this private intimate information out there for the world to read...but it has truly helped me and I know for a fact that it has inspired others facing this same difficult road.

We do have some immediate plans that I'd like to share that we are both pretty excited about. May 1st Jason and I will be attending a family building conference in Atlanta. This conference is put on by RESOLVE (the infertility organization) and we are hoping to walk away with some valuable information on whatever may lie next on our journey. Then in June we are going to the Bahamas! We are very much looking forward to this MUCH needed vacation.

Oh, one last thing for now....a reader asked that I post on here some of mine and Jason's favorite resturants...so here's the answer to that question....Surin (280), Leonardo's, PF Changs. Hope that helps!

For now we are just going to pray about what is next and hopefully God will direct us to the right decision that is best for us. Again, thank you all for the continued support, love and prayers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reflection...

Obviously my mind isn't 100% clear after the news broke yesterday......but I have had some time to reflect on the situation and try to wrap my mind around my feelings. Between the tears...the kleenax...and the swollen puffy eyes...I'm trying to focus on the things I told myself from the beginning that I would focus on if this cycle didn't work. For starters.......losing this weight. Fertility drugs are no joke and I've gained about 20 pounds in the past year. I'm past the point of being mad at myself for not exercising more...blah, blah, blah. It is what it is and now I can focus on losing the weight and get back to the size I want to be. For the most part it's something I can control and I need to feel back in control of some aspects of my life. Hmmm...well sitting here I can't think of what else is on my list...(my mind is a bit jumbled) but I think the weight loss goal is enough for starters.

A lot of you have asked what is next for our journey. We have a follow up appointment with Dr. H. on Tuesday to discuss everything. We aren't sure what her recommendations will be...but anxious to hear what she has to say. I'm sure Jason and I will be armed with lots of quetions for her. A lot would have to change in the course of treatment for me to agree to do a 3rd round of IVF. I just can't put myself...Jason...my emotions...my body...my heart through it all again...unless there is something they can treat me for that could result in better quality eggs. I don't even know if that is possible. After our appointment we are just going to take some time for US...take a step back and then after some time decide what to do next.

As for how I'm feeling......well.....it ain't pretty. It's unexplainable. The emotions are gut wrenching and this is without a doubt the hardest situation I've ever encountered in my life. All I can do is ask God to pick me up and carry me. The sadness in my heart...and Jason's heart is just pitiful. I know in time the wounds will heal but there are definitely going to be scars left on our hearts.

Thoughout this storm....our family and friends have really been our light. I cannot even express in words how meaningful all of the emails, calls, texts, Facebook messages, blog comments, real hugs, virtual hugs, cards, gifts have been. There isn't a lot about my life that I understand...but what I DO know is that God has blessed me above and beyond with an amazing support system. 

I'd like to say a special thank you and I love you to my husband. Your courage and your strength and your love has been validated to me every day...God blessed me with an amazing husband and I couldn't ask for anything more. Whatever lies ahead for us next...I'm just glad we are going to explore it together. Thank you for holding me when I cry and making me laugh when I am sad.

Stay tuned for whatever is next in The Oliver's Journey....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

result:negative

I'm not pregnant....
I will write more later but I wanted to get the news out to our faithful readers.

I'm chosing to keep my eyes focused on God...but I'm going to take some time to grieve.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hopeful and humble...

I am hopeful that tomorrow's test results reveal a miracle is growing inside of me.

I am humbled by the work God is doing on my heart.

If you had told me this time last week that the afternoon before my test I would be cool, calm and collected I would have laughed in your face. And then I'm sure I would have cried. You see, I have been a ball of emotions for the past 6 weeks. But something has changed within me. God has been working overtime in continously telling me He is in control and revealing himself time after time. I'm sure He's done this all along but I've been too wrapped up to notice. I didn't take the time to LISTEN. I have cried out to Him thousaunds of times but I finally stopped to listen. It's like He's given me a breath of fresh air. Trust me...don't be afraid. Only He knows the outcome tomorrow and I can honestly say I'm prepared...I'm armed with whatever comes our way tomorrow.

I have been listening to the music of John Waller today. He is a fabulous Christian artist that has some amazing song lyrics. I want to share some lyrics that I wrote down to help me not lose track or focus.

*I will uphold you, just trust me with all your heart.
*Cling to the peace that guards your heart.
*Cling to the promise though you will stumble, you will not fall.
*Thou will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is stayed on you.

Obviously I don't always understand the things we all have to go through...but I have a reaffirmed faith and trust in God's plan. Bring it on.... I'm not afraid anymore.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I made a purchase yesterday...

For a while now I have been hearing a lot about Max Lucado's book Fearless. By no means am I a "reader". I read magazines...read blogs...read daily devotionals...but I've never been one to sit down with a good book and get lost in the pages. A dear friend sent me a video link of Max Lucado talking about his book Fearless. Ok God...I hear you...go buy the book. :) I'm very excited about sitting down and reading these pages. "Imagine your life without fear" it says on the front cover. Wow...how nice would that be??? God is tugging at my heartstrings...I just know it. I remember earlier this week crying out to God...please....give me a sign to help me through this...I need help. I truly believe this is His way of answering me. Read the book Kara...read the book.

I can't wait to share my review of this book when I'm done. Stay tuned...
http://www.maxlucado.com/fearless/

Monday, April 5, 2010

Prayers for positive thinking...

Well, today was embryo transfer. We ended up with one mid-grade embryo...and one that was not really grade worthy. However, both were transfered today. Obviously it was a huge let down that we didn't get better results. Dr. H. seems to think that there could be something wrong with my ovaries. I have no idea what that could be...it seems they've tested me for everything under the sun...but she really expected me to respond better than I have considering "on paper" everything has been great. She did say that she has had patients get pregnant from these quality of embryos. SO.........the bottom line is...while the odds aren't probable....it is still POSSIBLE for me to get pregnant from this transfer today. Without having any embryos left over to freeze...that means if I don't get pregnant from this cycle that is the end of the road for this shared risk plan. Will we go through another round of IVF? I have no idea. For now we are trying to just focus on this current cycle. I go back next Wednesday for my blood test to find out if I'm pregnant. Every part seems like the "hardest part"....but this definitely is. Jason and I have done everything possible we can to aide in the success of this...its all in God's hands now.

I am off work all of this week for rest, rest, and more rest. Please pray for my attitude to stay positive. It's so easy right now to just cry and already say it's not going to work...but I know deep down that I believe in miracles and there very well could be one happening inside me at this very moment. I'm just so afraid of getting let down again. But this is part of the process....I have to just trust His plan. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

And then there were FOUR!

Got a message early this morning from one of the embryologists. We now have FOUR cleaved embryos! One of the "unresponsive" embryos from Thursday pulled through and caught up to the other 3. So...for now we have 4 embies growing. (it's so crazy to me that 4 potential babies are growing in a petridish across town and not inside my body...) They said all 4 are in the grade range they like to see for this time...although, they didn't tell me what grade. I can't get a hold of anyone there now so I'm just going on what the voicemail told me. Still, anything can happen between now and Monday's transfer. We could get there any only have 1 viable embryo...or we could have all 4...it just depends. I'm really working on reminding myself that God has this under control. There is nothing Jason and I can do at this point except wait for our appointment on Monday.

The greatest miracle of all is being celebrated this weekend....I pray that Easter will always remind Jason and I of another great miracle as well. A child.

Friday, April 2, 2010

While I'm waiting..

I found this song on a new friend's blog. A fellow friend who is waiting on their miracle. I couldn't have needed these lyrics more today. It REALLY spoke to me today....I know it's God revealing himself through others.

I'm waiting

I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lord, hear our prayers...

Here's the run down of our first report:
18 eggs retrieved
7 were mature*
3 fertilized embyos
*the remaing 4 are still "to be determined" they didn't test positive or negative...so it is possibe that by Saturday we could have more embryos.

When I first got the call earlier they told me we were dropped from the shared risk program because we didn't meet the criteria of 8 mature eggs. This news sent me into a tailspin because we would owe more money...thousands of dollars in more money that Jason and I just don't have. Since then, that information has been cleared up from Dr. H herself. They apologized profusely for giving us that misinformation. Since we met the criteria during cylce 1...we are still in shared risk. So, that is a relief that we won't owe more  money. However, I am disappointed in our results. I know it only takes one...and these 3 embryos could be the best quality ever....but I'm still disappointed. We won't get a report tomorrow...but we will get a report on Saturday. This is such a crucial time right now. It's very possible that we get news that none of the 3 made it...which means there is nothing to transfer on Monday. But it's also possible that all 3 make it and are viable embryos.

As far as how I'm feeling physically....not too great. I'm still cramping pretty bad and I don't know what I was thinking by going to work today. I've since left work and am now resting in my bed...I'm about to medicate myself with some demerol and phenergan and hopefully drift off into sleepy time for a while. I'm just exhausted emotionally and physically.

So for now...faithful prayer warriors....please fall to your knees and lift us up. We need it more than ever at this moment.
Lord, hear our prayers...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

18 eggs...

They got 18 eggs today!!! The normal range is like 8-10 so we were thrilled for 18. (we got 25 last time...but just trying to focus on this cycle and this cycle only) We will get a phone call tomorrow to let us know how many of those eggs were mature...and how many fertilized. We do have the "platinum IVF plan" (that I like to think of it as) which includes ICSI. Here's another medical lesson... Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a form of assisted fertilization using micromanipulation, i.e., injecting a single sperm into the cytoplasm of the egg by using a microneedle. So basically they take Jason's best swimmers and actually inject one sperm in each mature egg. (crazy medical technoligy huh??)

I am in a great deal of pain today though....so much pain that I basically cried the whole way home because the cramping and pain was so bad. When I got home I took a pain pill and a phenergan and got a good solid 2 hour nap. I'm still hurting since I got up so I'm just trying to stay as still as possible. Hopefully I will feel more back to normal tomorrow.

Friday I start taking Progesterone. Morning and night. The morning dose is vaginal (sorry guys, there's really no other way to say that...)...the evening dose is in an oil form and a very large shot. This is the shot that Jason gives me in my hip. Monday we will go in for the embryo transfer (praying we have 2 great ones to transfer, and atleast a couple to freeze). Then I go in April 14th for the pregnancy test!

So for now we just wait...anxious to find out tomorrow how many fertilized eggs we have to work with. From there we will get another update on Friday...and another update on Saturday to tell us how the embryos are progressing. We won't know for sure how many embryos we have to transfer until we get there Monday. I go for an acupuncture treatment right before the transfer appointment...and then another one right after it (it's all part of the acupuncture schedule and what they suggest for optimum relaxation). Then, I am off of work all of next week to rest as much as possible. Total rest and relaxation is the best medicine for me during the next couple weeks.

Thank for your continued interest in our lives...I know so many of you are sharing our excitement with us and it really does give me comfort to have such an incredible cheering section.

Keep praying! God brought us to this situation...He will bring us through it!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pulling the trigger...

....we got the final green light from our doctor that retrieval is scheduled for Wednesday morning! At this point I stop all my other medication and I take a hCG trigger shot tonight at 9:15. (side lesson on hCG: The hCG trigger shot is a dose of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, which normally is produced by the body after implantation of a fertilized egg into the uterine lining. This medication is delivered by injection and is timed in conjunction with the maturity of the ovarian follicles containing eggs. When the hCG shot is delivered, those follicles release their eggs and a woman may become pregnant. The hCG trigger shot is used in fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization) It has to be timed with the retrieval appointment....so retrieval is Wednesday at 9:15...We have to be there at 8:15 that morning. They will start my IV and give me the happy juice to help me relax. :)


My estrogen level was 3,665....and any time it's over 3,000 at this point you are at a higher risk for hyper stimulating (OHSS)....so I have to start a Rx tonight and take it for 8 days to help prevent OHSS from happening. (this happened with IVF cycle 1). A side lesson in OHSS: Normally, a woman produces one egg per month. Some women undergoing fertility treatments are given medicines to help normalize egg development or increase egg production. However, if the drugs stimulate the ovaries too much, the ovaries can suddenly become very swollen and fluid can leak into the belly and chest area. This is called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS occurs only after the eggs are released from the ovary (ovulation).You may be more likely to get OHSS if your doctor gives you an injection of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to help trigger ovulation. You may have an even greater risk of this syndrome if you receive more than one dose of hCG after ovulation and if you become pregnant during this cycle. OHSS rarely, if ever, occurs in women who only take fertility medicines by mouth.OHSS affects up to 10% of women who go through in vitro fertilization. In most cases the condition is mild, but some women get a severe and dangerous form of OHSS.

Most common (mild) side effects from this? Abdominal bloating, Mild pain in the abdomen,Weight gain...hmm....no wonder my pants are tight today....should have worn elastic. :)
So, there you have it....a medical lesson you probably didn't expect to get today!
Keep those prayers comin'!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Part of what keeps me going...

I wanted to take a minute and share some pictures of my family....these core people in my life are what keeps me going. Without my family....I wouldn't have much at all. They are my heart!

First...my husband Jason...I love him more than words can say...

My parents, David & Lesa...and my sister, Jennifer. These three people have helped me through the best of times..and the worst of times....and they love me unconditionally...it's a wonderful feeling.

My sister's family. Her husband Robert and their two kids, Hudson & Olivia. Those kids have brought more joy to my life than I ever imagined.

My nephew Hudson. He's becoming such a little boy now...and amazing me every time I see him. He makes my heart smile.

My niece, Olivia. This picture makes me want to cry...tears of joy. She is growing up so fast and is the most adorable little girl I've ever seen.


I just felt compelled to share these pictures...My family has been a great support system through this whole experience and I just wanted to say: I love you!!!!!!

I need to go make a nest...

....so I can go lay these darn eggs!!!!!! LOL!!!!!! How fitting that all of this is going on during the Easter season....egg hunts...egg retrieval.....coincidence? I think not.....God DOES have a sense of humor.

Another great report this morning at the doctor's office. There are about 5 follicles (eggs) that are already ready to be retrieved...but there are quite a few others that are following closely behind. All in all there are probably around 20 follicles in there. The black blobs were really large on the monitor today! The nurse was like...whoa...you are ready! HA! My right ovary is progressing along a bit quicker than my left....however...I continue on with the medications tonight....and go back for one more check tomorrow morning. Retrieval will be Wednesday!! All of the preperation...all of the restrictions.....all of the prayers........... all of the waiting.....it all comes down to the next couple weeks.

As I was typing this I did get a call from the doctor's office with my bloodwork back. My estrogen level was really high....which is a good thing...but the doctor on call this weekend reviewed my chart and since I had so many follicles that are ready they are changing up my medication for tonight. Basically they are taking out my Follistim medication which triggers the follicles to grow more. Nothing to be alarmed at....but basically they are putting me in more of a holding pattern I believe. I did let her know that I didn't get any results yet from the bacteria cultures....yearly physical...etc. Everything came back normal and perfect. Yeah! Everything "on paper" is progessing just as it should be in order for this cycle to work. I have been really excited the past couple days so I just pray this really is God continuing to prepare my heart and mind for a miracle.

Keep lifting up the Oliver's....we need it!! :) As always...thanks for all the conitued support from the best family a friends out there!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

18 blobs...

Our first follicle check for this cycle went great! The nurse counted around 18 follicles (aka black blobs) and they are all measuring right on track for where they should be. (at this point in cycle 1 I had about 22 and then we had 25 eggs retrieved...so there definitely could be more than 18 lingering around in there) I got my bloodwork results back this afternoon and all of my hormone levels are all in the normal range. It's always such a huge sigh of relief to get these calls. Just because the ultrasound shows one things doesn't always necessarily mean the bloodwork will match up. So you play the waiting game each day to get those confirming phone calls. The plan now is for us to go back on Sunday morning for the next follicle check. (for those of you new to reading the blog since last cycle...they do see patients 7 days a week...they are at the mercy of our bodies!) Depending on how the follicles measure on Sunday will determine when egg retrieval will be. They might want me to come back on Monday morning to check again...or they might go ahead and schedule the retrieval for a couple days later. It's just a "wait and see" type of situation. So for now, I just continue on with the daily shots and then Sunday Jason and I both start a round of antibiotics.  Just another preventative to make sure we are in tip top shape.

I SO appreciate all the kind words you all are sending to me...text messages...facebook messages....emails...I welcome them all and they make me feel so loved and lifted up. This process is a tough one emotionally, and physically and it just helps so much to know what a support system we have...through the great times...and the crappy times. But let's just focus on the great times!!!!!!!!!! I've had such a great feeling about this lately and I just pray it's God preparing my heart for the blessings to come in the following weeks.