My FET story

It was such a great day today! From
My title, you probably already know that today was my first ever frozen embryo transfer! Everything went smoothly and I was able to see two of the most beautiful sights my eyes have ever seen! Our Doctor even said that after being thawed, the embryos grades improved a little! We have one good embryo and one “medium” embryo (whatever that means!) put back inside of me! I am so happy! The only downside was Alex wasn’t able to be in the room with me.
I wasn’t sure what to expect- if it would be painful or if my emotions would be mixed but all I’m feeling is pure happiness right now thinking about the two little loves we have. Thank you all so much for your encouragement and prayers- they have meant so much to me and I am so thankful for you all!

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Attitude of Gratitude

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Our Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) is all set for this Friday- only 3 days away!! I went into the appointment preparing myself for the possibility of a cancellation for some reason or another, since so far it has been impossible to predict how things will go, but everything is on track and set! I am really a ball of emotions; I’m nervous, excited, anxious and it changes from moment to moment. I have really been trying to just be grateful for what I have right now, to be able to try and expand our family through IVF is something I never thought possible or that I would have to do- but I am so grateful for that we are here, a place we’ve never been before, 3 days away from transferring 2 of our embryo babies back to me(where they belong!). We had our first round of IVF back in December, and its now April, so it just feels unreal to be closer than we ever have been to pregnancy!

Up until this point, I have no idea if we have ever been able to have our egg and sperm meet and try and implant so I have been putting more effort than I ever have into trying to take my daily pre-natal vitamin, and I’ll also be eating extra healthy the next couple of weeks, not that our success is determined by any of these extra efforts, but I want to give our embryos the absolute best chances! If you have any tips for what you did to prepare your body and mind for your FET, or nutrition advice in general- I’m all ears! 

I’m also on estrogen pills and daily crinone progesterone suppositories and so far so good! I remember last year about this time I was on progesterone and it really effected me- I had all the symptoms of pregnancy without actually being pregnant so I’m hoping and praying my body will respond very well (even if it means being uncomfortable or sick or anything!) so that my body will be ready and willing to welcome our little babies! I keep reminding myself that God likes to use underdogs (which is what our little embryos are right now) and that if he can give Sarah a baby at 90, surely a lower grade quality embryo thriving for me at 26 is nothing to him! 

A happiness not my own

“It is sometimes a little lonely to be surrounded everywhere by a happiness that is not your own” -L.M. Montgomery

This week has been a mix of happy-sad, if that makes sense?  I have been working on trying to remain positive and hopeful. My next appointment is in 5 days and I am feeling some excitement and can’t help but hope and pray that we conceive despite the odds stacked against us- God is a God of miracles! It seems I am surrounded bombarded by new babies being born and pregnancy announcements. The last childless couple that got married the same Summer as my husband and I (I think there were 6) messaged me yesterday to let me know they’re expecting and baby is due in September. Its such a bittersweet emotion to be surrounded by so many pregnancies and babies- I love the excitement for everyone, but don’t love that I’m left behind, unable to share the experience. It seems this week more than ever we have received comments that are brought with good intention- but I get a lump in my throat when answering just the same. You all know the comments “when are you going to get aboard the baby wagon?” or “when are you going to catch up” and “don’t you want kids?” I honestly don’t mind when people ask me, my answer is always the same; “I love children so much and hopefully someday I will be blessed with lots of them” and I really haven’t been asked all that much before this week because everyone who knows me knows that I love children and can probably guess the reason we don’t have them yet is because we have had difficulty conceiving. I just get sad when its other men that make those comments to my husband. I know he doesn’t mind at all, but for some reason I care much more when these questions are directed at him. I know I don’t mention it enough, but my husband is the best man- ever. He always is so positive and caring at all the right times- he brings me so much joy and makes me feel so loved that I can’t help but want to be able to give him children, even if, or especially because he constantly reassures me that he will always be happy no matter what, and that we WILL have a family one way or another.

When other men make thoughtless, albeit well meaning remarks about “catching up” I just feel bad because its not his fault or even in his power.  It’s not in mine either, but its an awkward place to be helpless in the fertility department and seemingly “behind” when others don’t understand because it comes easily and naturally for them. Had pregnancy come easily to us, or even if trying meant success, we would be leaps and bounds “ahead” and if I’m honest I would probably be the person asking and wondering why others don’t have kids yet because I still can’t comprehend why couples wouldn’t want children. 

I hope this post isn’t giving people guilt or awkward feelings who have been blessed with a new pregnancy or baby because that wasn’t my intention! New life is a gift and it is so special and a happy time for celebrating- I especially feel happy and hopeful for those that it was a difficult journey to get to the place they are- I’m cheering you all on and its my goal to join the baby boat (or wagon or ship or any other mode of transportation that babies are on!) 

Romans 12:15- “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep”

 

Just enough strength for today

“Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. “Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam-when do I give you your ticket?”
I sniffed a few times, considering this.
“Why, just before we get on the train.”
“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need-just in time.” -The Hiding Place

 

While I was talking to my mom on the phone this afternoon, she asked me what the hardest part (upon hearing our not so good news on Monday) And I had to tell her it was the thought of letting go of the dream of having biological children. That is such a difficult reality for me to have to face- one that many have already faced ahead of me with grace and courage and super-strength. I know in my heart of hearts that I will be a Mother- one way or another, so I don’t grieve the chance of never being a Mother, its the thought of never having a biological child- one that maybe has my long eyelashes, or my husbands blue eyes.  I don’t doubt that I couldn’t love a child that was not mine biologically, and that is another dream of mine, but I also have a dream to share children with my husband, a dream that may be unfulfilled. As my mind drifts into the unknown, I know I am getting ahead of myself, this isn’t my reality just yet, but I was worried I won’t have the strength to face it when it does. I was reminded of the quote from above- God will give me the strength when I need it- the hardest part hasn’t yet come because we still have 6 chances for a miracle. (At least, the Dr estimated we will have enough embryos survive the thaws so we are able to have 6 attempts) It’s hard not to jump ahead and start traveling down the path of thoughts that lead to despair- but I can’t let go of the hope, and if the time comes where I’m to let go, I have to have faith that I will be able to face it. 

Holding onto Hope

I’ve come to hope for the best and expect the worst with our experiences with IVF this far, and today was no exception. I arrived to my appointment to find out that my Doctor no longer works at the Hospital. No explanation was given, and I was assigned a new, equally un-sympathetic Doctor. I didn’t even have a chance to sit down before she told me to take off my clothes for the vaginal ultrasound. Thankfully, My ovaries look good, and so does my lining. We have a tentative FET date set for the 25th. I breathed a sigh of relief and before she could rush me out of her office I decided I would ask about our day 3 embryos. I wanted to know a little more about why there weren’t any frozen on Day 5 and if she could give me any information about the quality. She told me that none of the 20 embryos were going to make it to Day 5 blasts. That only 3 were fairly good/ok quality and the rest were poor. She said we would most likely be able to have 6 transfers. Its hard to even type that we have 17 poor embryos. Its so hard for me to swallow. Alex is excited and still feels our chances are very good- I want to share in his optimism, but I can’t help but be disappointed, mostly in myself. Can I just say how grateful I am for my loving husband and his happy heart? If nothing else, I am the luckiest girl in the world to have his love and care. God knew I would need him.

I know I don’t have control over any of this, and God is ultimately the Creator of life, but I just wanted to hear that our chances were great! That we had beautiful blasts- because they are beautiful to me and Alex and I wanted the Doctor to say the same. When I think about our children, nothing but happiness comes to mind- It hurts my heart to hear of them as “poor” because they are already certainly rich in love! The Dr didn’t give me any other information, just confirmed my next appointment and I left the Hospital- I didn’t ask her if she thought our chances were good/ bad/ fair/ poor ( I already know they’re not excellent). It doesn’t matter what she thinks, if this is our time, our day 3 embryo will make it to a baby, and if not, we won’t give up. I’m holding onto the hope that God will make me a happy mother of children, one way or another. (Psalms 113:9)

As I was riding the train home, I read Proverbs 3 multiple times, and I felt it was all meant for me. There is a peace in knowing I don’t have control, but a loving, wise and caring God does, and He cares for me and our babies. 

Proverbs 3:

My son, do not forget my teaching,

 but keep my commands in your heart,

for they will prolong your life many years
    and bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
    and nourishment to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth,
    with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
    and your vats will brim over with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    as a father the son he delights in.[b]

13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
    those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
    and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
    nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
    and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
    those who hold her fast will be blessed.

19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
    by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
    and the clouds let drop the dew.

21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
    preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,
    an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
    and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
    or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
    and will keep your foot from being snared.

27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
    when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
    “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
    when you already have it with you.
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
    who lives trustfully near you.
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
    when they have done you no harm.

31 Do not envy the violent
    or choose any of their ways.

32 For the Lord detests the perverse
    but takes the upright into his confidence.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks proud mockers
    but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor,
    but fools get only shame.

 

 

Cycle Day 1

“When ours are interrupted, His are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable) toward the goal of true maturity.”

 

Today was my cycle day 1! I was shocked and so excited when it finally arrived! I had resigned myself to the fact that I will probably just have to wait another month, since I was a week past my usual 30 day cycle, but I guess my body was trying to make up for last months 26 day cycle. I won’t be able to get into the clinic until Monday, since the clinic is closed on Sundays, so I will be on cycle day 3. I’m hoping we will still be able to proceed this month for our FET- I’m hoping and praying that this is our time!

 

I never mentioned that my friend, who I have blogged about here: https://wishingwales.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/a-modern-day-rachel-sarai-and-hannah/  messaged me last week asking if we could get together and catch up,I agonized over what to do for about 3 days. Was I ready to see her and her baby? Could I be genuine about my happiness for her and her husband? Or would I break down in tears?  I was mulling over these thoughts and then I unexpectedly was forced to see her at a military function. It was just small enough that there was no avoiding her or her husband, but I tried to! I felt embarrassed that I never responded to her email, and seeing her brought up all sorts of emotions in me. Towards the middle of the night she came up to me, and said “hello” and I said ” Hi, How are you?” and then it was awkward silence after that. My face was red as a beet the whole evening. I was ashamed that I couldn’t be bigger than this situation, but it was too much. I pride myself on being genuine and just can’t being myself to make disingenuous pleasantries- its not in my nature to have these waging feelings towards another person/ situation, but I did. I would have liked to strike up a conversation about how life with her baby is, but I didn’t think I could handle it gracefully. My throat had a big lump.

 After the night was over, I felt ashamed, but I also had an answer. I was not ready to “catch up” like she wanted, but she needed a response to her message, so tonight, after a long shower sob , I honestly replied to her about why I just couldn’t exchange pleasantries. It was so hard to be truthful! Especially because its nothing she did or didn’t do- it was all me and my own insecurities. I made myself very vulnerable and let her know that being around people I know it was easy for them to conceive is a reminder to me of what I have failed at for the last couple of years. I told her that I was sorry, and I wanted to give her an explanation as to why I had been cold and distant and that I needed to work past my own insecurity, and I know I’m missing out on a special friendship. I pray that one day I will be at a place where I can “catch up” with a cup of coffee, but I’m just not there yet- but with God’s help, someday, I can be.


 

A short glimmer of sweetness to come

“When I imagine that I want to learn to love God–and to love my husband and others whom God has given me to love–let me test the desire of my willingness to accept trial and grief. If I can welcome them–Yes, Lord!– and believe God’s purpose in them, I am learning the lesson of love. If I cannot, it is a fair indication that my desire to love is a delusion.” – Elisabeth Elliot

 

Last week I had the opportunity to watch a friend’s 19 month old little guy for the week while his parents vacationed to Cambodia for their Anniversary, and I was in heaven! Truly. I call my little friend “angel boy” because he was the sweetest blessing to get to watch and love on for the time his parents were away. He was so easy to love! Everything from his content and happy temperament to his sweet, kissable little  big cheekies was perfection. We went to the park, I read him stories, we played all sorts of games with his trucks and airplane, he didn’t even put up a fight when it was time to nap! Even my husband was smitten by the end of the week with this little “angel boy” that captivated our hearts for a short time. 

Normally, I am ready to give the child back to the parents after a night or two, but this time was different. The night before his parents were coming home, I had a to have a good cry. I don’t expect the children we have to be this easy to watch and play with, I know God likes to give me a good challenge, so I am expecting no sleep (angel boy slept 10 hours through the night and always took a good 2-3 hour nap during the day) strong willed little ones that wear me out. I told Alex I want a baby to keep, that I don’t have to give back. First, he told me not to tell the Mother that; she might think I’m a crazy baby lady- and I would be if it were legal! Then he wisely told me that its been a special blessing for us this week to be able to watch him, and I should be thankful for the time I did get with a baby in our house, even if for a short time. That maybe God was showing us a glimmer of the sweetness that is to come when he gives us our own baby Wales, and if not, I need to give thanks for the time we have been given to love on this sweet, angel of a little baby boy. 

Today marks day 34 of my cycle. My longest cycle yet. I took a pregnancy test for the first time (besides at the fertility clinic AFTER I had already started my period) in 7 months. I didn’t think it would be positive, but Alex thought it might be since I don’t have any indication of my period coming soon. Of course the tests were negative, and I feel like its coming, slowly and taking its sweet time. As soon as I start I go back to the Clinic to check and see if my ovaries are back to normal and start preparing my body for the transfer! I am excited, but not too terribly anxious, surprisingly. I am hoping not to drag this cycle out too much longer, but my body has been pretty unpredictable lately, so more waiting and I’m ok with whatever is best for my body, even if it means more waiting. I can’t stop smiling when I think about the potential lives we have waiting for us! I really love them already! All 20 of them! I am hoping to see my regular doctor this next visit in hopes that I can ask a few more questions. I know our babies were frozen on Day 3, I’m not sure the reasoning yet, but hopefully they will be able to thaw them and have them make it to Day 5s, but everything is so so unpredictable that it does no good to try and anticipate what the outcomes will be because its all in God’s hands and He has good plans for us no matter what day our baby embryos make it to!