Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fertility News: It's really all up to God now

Hi friends,
Yesterday we received devastating news that none of our other embryos made it. I know I said I was at peace during transfer day, but I honestly was still very hopeful. The news last night made all the emotions of this journey come to the surface. I was so angry and devastated! In the IVF world the point of injecting yourself with so many hormones is to make a lot of follicles. More follicles, more eggs, more embryos. More of a chance to have multiple tries at this. We basically have no other hope than in these embryos in my womb. (We have used most of my infertility benefits and none left for a full Ivf cycle again. I write this and feel guilty because so many couples pay for all of this out of pocket!) I think I wanted to have the other embryos frozen as a crutch. (And the fact that they could have been our future babies or another couple, as we were planning on donating them). Easier to believe and to hope and to have faith, when you have a back up plan. We have none. But all we have is our faith in Him! And that is all we need! I am going to believe Him and know that this is part of His plan. I will put aside all the doubt that keeps creeping into my heart, and truly trust Him. As hard as this journey has been, I know good will come out of this. I am going to trust we are pregnant (my mind changes every other minute!) but truly believing Him is believing in miracles. We will need a miracle, and thank God, He is in the miracle-making business!

Thanks for reading,

Ps As I re read this, I realize how hopeful I sound. I was not like this last night. There is a reason I didn't write this last night. But I know I had to through those emotions to get to where I am today. I am HOPEFUL. It might be as small as a mustard seed, but I know is enough.

"You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fertility News: Transfer Day!

We just left the IVF lab. We transferred 2 very good embryos! The worst thing was having an extremely full bladder. But the transfer was fairly quickly (10 mins). I will find out Monday if we were able to freeze the other 3. Dr. D is hoping for at least 2 to be frozen. But they will freeze them tomorrow on day 6, if they look good. And for some reason, I am at peace with this. Now the waiting begins. We are at complete peace that this is all God's hands!
Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers,
Dear Lord- Please help me to have patience and faith while I wait to hear from You. Help me live in excited anticipation for the day when I will see how You answered my prayers. Amen.
I found this in my inbox today from Proverbs 31 Ministries. I love how God uses every little detail (an email, call from a friend, etc) to further advance His will in our lives and to be reminded that His Plan (and timing) is perfect!

Before the transfer.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fertility News: We have embryos

Hi friends!
Just got the call from the nurse. It looks like 7 of the 9 eggs were mature, and 5 were fertilized. We have 5 embryos! What a blessing! I was so worried because we did not have many follicles to start with, but God is always good! Transfer is scheduled for Friday at 7am in the ivf lab. I will be awake and B and I will be able to see the transfer on the ultrasound screen.
I keep taking it one day at a time, knowing the 2 week wait will be here soon.
Thanks for all your prayers!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fertilty news: Egg Retrieval

Hi friends!
Today is the big day- Egg Retrieval. We are on our way to the medical center to get there by 630 this morning. My procedure is at 730am in the IVF lab at their main office. I was getting a little
anxious last night. I hate being put under. I much rather have the procedure done awake and deal with the pain. But I asked for prayers from wonderful friends and I'm feeling very calm about the whole thing. Reading my fertility verses and scripture is helping.
I will update later today.
Thanks for the prayers,

Update: They were able to get 9 eggs! I guess the last follie grew enough to catch up. Will find out tomorrow how many fertilize. Hoping for 5 day transfer on Friday!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fertility News: Last day of injections

Hi friends,
I just took my last 2 injections. I took the Ovidrel (to induce ovulation and release of my eggs) at 730 tonight. I took the Cetrotide at 10pm, my usual time. Ovidrel causes ovulation 36 hours later. I will have my egg retrieval on Sunday morning, right at 730am. I was originally scheduled for my egg retrieval on Monday with a different doctor from the same clinic I go to. I confirmed today that it will be my RE, whom I absolutely love, who will be doing my retrieval! I am so thankful for the care Dr. D has given me. I remember the list my OBgyn had given me back in September last year. I didn't know who to choose, so I prayed. I know God placed me in Dr. D's hands for a reason. I say this even before knowing what the outcome of this will be. But I know this, Dr. D wil do his absolute best with me as I know he does with all his patients.
So, to God be the Glory. For every step in this journey that's still left to be taken. He's got it under control, and thank God for that!
Thanks for reading,Katherine

Picture of my last two shots.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fertility News: Day 9 of stims

Good morning friends!
My scan shows only 8 follicles are close enough for retrieval. The biggest is already at 24mm. I will most likely take my last shot tonight, Ovidrel, to induce ovulation. My egg retrieval being on Saturday. I will know for sure this afternoon when nurse calls me.

Thanks for reading,

UPDATE: I'm still waiting to hear back from the nurse. But I check the patient portal online and my Egg Retrieval looks to be on Sunday morning. I should be doing my last round of injections (Gonal F, Menopur, Cetrotide) tonight.
Tomorrow night I will give myself Ovidrel to induce ovulation at 730pm and Cetrotide to stop ovulation in case my body wants to ovulate early. My E2 was 1900, so it's good. One more night to let those follies grow!
We are doing this! I'm getting anxious. But I know God is by my side through this entire process. He never let me go!

This is a picture after taking my last shot, Cetrotide, last night. I must have hit a vessel. Euww. I got a nasty bruise from it this morning. Sorry for the bare belly and pink pj's : )

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fertility News: Day 8 of Stims

Good afternoon friends!
I am waiting to get blood work. I still have 9 follicles that are looking good. They range from 9mm to 22mm. There are other smaller ones (4) but I doubt they will catch up at this point. I'm hoping the 9mm catches up with more time. I ordered 3 more vials of Menopur and 1 Cetrotide that will be here tomorrow morning. Depending of what my blood work shows, Dr. D might let me do meds Friday night. They just want to make sure my estrogen levels are not extremely high because of risk of OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome). So Saturday might be my last day of injections with the very last injection, Ovidrel, and that will induce ovulation.
I'll update on my levels are up (online) and hear back from the nurse this afternoon. I texted B and told me him that we are really doing this! I feel so blessed to have had a great experience with this thus far. For having 11-12 follicles growing in my uterus, I feel pretty good!
Thanks for your prayers,

Update: My E2 levels are 1600, which are good. I am now scheduled for another scan tomorrow. I know Dr. D wants to make sure we get those eggies before they get much bigger and lose them. I might be doing the Egg Retrieval this weekend.

Picture of my shots these past few days.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fertility news: These past 18 months

Hi friends.
God has put in my heart to share my journey. At first, I wanted to wait until the "happy ending". But I've been waiting for the past 18 months, and if anything, this has made me realize the importance of sharing it while it's so fresh in my heart (the wounds, that is). I always questioned if we should have done something differently: Maybe we should have prayed until we heard God say "it's time", or sometimes I think we should have gone on this journey without sharing it with our friends and family how much we wanted a 2nd child. But I know that there is a purpose for the heartache we have felt these past 18 months. Just like there was and is a purpose for my twin sister going through brain cancer. I thought surely I had gone through enough heartache when she was diagnosed with Grade 3 (of 4) brain cancer. (You can read her journey here). Through that dark time in our lives, God was so faithful and is still amazingly faithful! I have seen with my own eyes His healing hands on her, even to this day. She was amazingly healed and continues to be healed 3 1/2 years after her diagnosis.
But God wanted me and B to face our own heartache, again, for a purpose. Looking back at an eventful day, on January 27th, 2012. My first appointment with my reproductive endocrinologist. I actually went by myself. Arrogantly, I thought I could do it without B. I heard the words endometriosis and all I kept thinking was, I'm pregnant. It doesn't matter if I have endo, and the chances of conceiving on our own were about 4%. Well, at least I thought I was pregnant. Just like I had thought every month before that (7 other months to be exact). And then I started spotting that afternoon. (Unfortunately, I spot 3-4 days before my cycle starts every month). I was beyond devastated! I went with my sister and a few of our very good friends to a Christian event that night. I know it was part of God's plan. I desperately needed to be surrounded by His word. We heard comedienne Anita Renfroe, Author Lysa Terkeurst and singer Natalie Grant. It was an amazing night! Natalie Grant shared her story of Ivf with us. And then how God unexpectantly, blessed them with another child after their Ivf twin girls. I remember bawling hearing her story of hope.
I had a laparoscopic surgery to remove mild endo and a huge fibroid, the size of a man's fist! in March 2012. I started Clomid in May and did 3 (failed) rounds. It was after the first failed round that B looked at me, after I had been crying (puffy eyes and all), and said he was so sad of seeing me so heartbroken. He said we had to stop doing treatment if it was going to affect me this way. It was then that I decided that I was too blessed to be so sad! I guess it became my mantra to carry me through the next few months. After the 3 failed Clomid cycles, we took a break. It was after the first month of taking that much needed break, that I felt God's peace. He told me it was okay to go through more treatment. It did not mean that I had any less faith in Him! How did He know what was inside my heart??? Only our amazing Father knows His children so well! I was so afraid of doing anything that might contradict God's natural way of conception. But His peaceful words reminded me that I needed healing. Healing tht omes from Him through medicine. We took another month off and then did our fourth (and last) Clomid cycle and did IUI (intrauterine insemination) in September.
I was in Dallas for work the week my cycle was supposed to start. I started spotting the very first day I got there. I was beyond devastated. Nothing could have prepared me for this. I was so sure God was going to bless us that month. I cried like I had not cried before. I knew at that point, IVF would be our only option. I googled God and IVF and ended up on Faithfully Infertile. I know God places stories of hope just when we need them. I needed to hear her story that night. I think being away from my family when I found out that IUI had failed was for a reason. It made me more vulnerable and it was God's consoling arms that calmed me down that night.
I share this now, mostly to chronicle my journey, because I feel my story is not a story of hope. At least not yet. It will be. God's plans are beyond anything we could possibly imagine. At the end of this journey, I realize if our wish to be parents again, is not fulfilled, He will have bigger and better plans for us. He will fill that aching hole in our hearts. This is something only Our God, Jesus Christ, can do and only Him. We continue to hold onto hope during this journey that He will bless us with a miracle (or two!). We have been waiting dearly, for these last 18 months, to hear the wonderful news. Tears well up in my eyes every time I think of that joyful day that I know is coming!
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12
Thanks for reading!

Fertility News: Day 6 of Stims

Good morning.
I just left my ultrasound scan appointment. I have 8 follicles- 4 on each side. The biggest one measuring 17mm and the smallest, 9mm. They want them all to be as close to 20mm as possible. I added my third shot last night, Cetrotide. It was not as bad to mix since the syringe comes pre filled. I'm feeling great, in spite of all the follies growing in my body. My concern now is that I will run out of the injection that they had me increase
on Friday. It wouldn't be a big deal, but these meds are into the $ thousands.
I am calling the nurse to see what we need to do. This should be my last few days of meds, with hopefully the last shot, Ovidrel, on Saturday. Ovidrel
induces ovulation.
Thanks for reading and your prayers. They are truly appreciated!
Update: My blood work looks good. I will continue with Gonal F 225, Menopur 225 and Cetrotide injections. My friend will kindly donate her Menopur and I will get a few samples on Wednesday when I go in for my next scan and blood work. I will probably have to order more Menopur (I have to do 3 vials of 75 each every night). They are about $75 per vial, and you can imagine the cost, as these little vials add up. Again, I am so blessed to have my insurance cover it all, but I have a lifetime maximum that I am quickly approaching. I got online to read more info on follicles and Estradiol (estrogen) levels. My Estradiol levels (or E2) look good at 766. I'm more worried about my follicles. Some women at same day as me, have closer to 20 follicles! (I had 8 at today's scan). Again, trusting that the Lord has this all in His hands. All I have to do is keep on having faith that He will come thru for us. And He will!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fertility News: Day 3 of Stims

Hi friends,
I had another ultrasound scan this morning (I had one Monday for baseline). I have 4 follicles- 2 on each side measuring 10 mm each. This is just after 3 days of injections. I think I finally got it down, as far as doing my medications at night! It only took 3 days for me to get it. Ha!
I'm waiting for my bloodwork results. I will find out the results this afternoon and depending on what the results are, I might stay the same or move up or down on my meds. I asked the nurse if I would feel a lot of pain. She told me I should not. Bloating because of the amount of follicles I'm hoping to produce will be the only thing. My RE wants 15-20 follicles. Yikes!
Thanks for reading,

Update: So my dosage on menopur will increase from 2 vials to 3. Good thing it's still in one syringe. I will now add 3rd med (Cetrotide) on Sunday night. My friend had 7 follicles on her first scan. So I can see why my RE is increasing my meds.
Again, it's all in His hands!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fertility news: Injections continue

My nightly routine continues, and will continue for about 1 1/2 weeks. The injections are really not bad at all. Wondering why I was getting anxious last week. I think going into the unknown is probably the hardest part. Also, the hard part is mixing all the little vials of my Menopur. I think I've mentioned that my RE is pushing my body more because of my low AMH (ovarian reserve). So, instead of mixing my medication with saline, I have to mix two vials. My Gonal- F amount is also higher. My friend, who is a couple of weeks ahead in the process, is my go to for questions. It is great to have someone to understand every step of this process. My meds were also $3000 more than hers. Again, because of my higher dose. I'm truly amazed of how calm I am being through this process. I am leaving it all up to God, and His peace is Amazing! This kind if peace is God-given, because I'm certainly not the calmest person at all. I am also amazed of how far my faith in Him has grown through this journey. I really didn't think I could love Him and yearn to learn His Word more, but I am. So, I continue to leave it all to Him. His plan is much greater than mine after all!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fertility News: First IVF Injection

I started my round of shots last night. The injecting part was the easy part. The hard part is the mixing of the medications. We spent over 30 minutes reading instructions. And I still have a list of questions to ask the nurse today.

This is a picture of all my ivf meds.