Thursday, November 27, 2008


We are now into our second year of TTC. Like most of you, I didn't expect to find myself here. My questions and answers seem to run through my brain and heart like some sort of a strange IF catechism on a loop. Why us? Why not? Would we be good parents? With God's help, we like to think so. Would this child be loved? Absolutely. Have we brought our petition to the Lord? Daily. Has He heard our prayers? Most definitely. And so, we wait.

I think the waiting is the hardest part. It always has been for me. When I was a kid and would read those "choose your own adventure" books, I would always flip through of all of the options to see what my best choice would be (I never said I didn't have control issues :)). That little habit has carried on to more adult reading, and I have to stop myself from charging ahead to the last page to make sure a sick or imperiled character makes it. It's hard to cheer when you know you might get hurt.

That's where we seem to find ourselves now. We know the Lord has a plan for us, and we know it will work for His glory. We know He can't plan those ends and not plan the means. What we don't know is that second part: the means. Sometimes I think if I could just get a heavenly telegram with the final score ("it is the year ______, you have _____ child(ren,) and they are happy, healthy and loving") that I would just calm down. But I don't think that's it. I think I would still want to know more. When? How? What are they like? Did I retain any of my sanity in the process? I think we always want to know more. It's just part of being human. An imperfect, frail and fallen human who must put her hands, heart and trust with the one who does know the answers. It's a daily struggle, no doubt. Even so, it is one story that I know has a joyous ending. We have to keep cheering for our family, even though we know full well how much it can hurt.

Today, I am thankful. Thankful for a God who gives us all good things, and who lets us grow through our struggles. Thankful that He uses our pain for His glory. Thankful that God has given me a husband who can pick up the pieces here on earth, and help me dust myself off, wipe my nose and again (and again) point me towards the cross. Thankful for salvation. Thankful for family and friends. Thankful for jobs and a roof over our heads. Thankful I am not alone with my struggles. Thankful for all of you.

Thankful for the journey.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quick follow-up

As always, thanks for the comments. To follow-up on two of them: Leslie, our RE actually recommended a lady who is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (who knew?) and who specializes in dealing with fertility issues. Apparently, she's the go-to girl for this practice, so I gave her a call and signed myself up. She sent a 13 (yes, 13) page questionnaire for me to fill out before my first appointment. It is quite um, in-depth. It is safe to say I've never paid this kind of attention to my body before, but I'm glad that she's thorough. Mo, our doctor wasn't thrilled with us doing the oral/Crinone in the first place, but the IVF coordinator went ahead and put me on those meds since DH just can't do the needles. Our progesterone started tanking before we conclusively knew my HCG went down, so that got our RE's attention. Of course, he can't know whether the HCG went down because the progresterone was too low or whether the progesterone started going down in reaction to the HCG beginning to go down -- kind of a chicken or the egg sort of a situation, if that makes sense. So, just to be sure, we're a PIO case next time around.

Hope everyone's having a great Sunday night -- short week this week, hang in there!


Wow -- you folks really know how to come through for a girl! We had a fabulous, fabulous meeting with our RE on Thursday. DH was out-of-town Monday through Friday (yep, it's been a week around here), so my sweet Mom came down on Monday when our loss was confirmed and then again on Wednesday night to be there for Thursday morning's appointment. Anyway, we met with our RE for about 45 minutes, which is like 6 hours in doctor time, and I was the one who wrapped it up when I ran out of questions. He answered everything I asked and then filled in some blanks that I didn't realize were there.

Here's a recap:
  • Positive things about this cycle: my body responded well to the stimulation medications, we had beautiful embryos (he got out a textbook of "what embryos should look like" and pulled up our images, and they looked just alike!), my uterus accepted implantation, and the embryo(s) progressed significantly after transfer. All good things! Most of all -- we got pregnant. According to him, that's huge.
  • What we're going to do differently this time: I'll definitely be on the PIO shots (this time was oral and Crinone only), so that's going to be a challenge for me (remember, DH does NOT do shots). He is also considering diluting the Lupron dosage in an attempt to get more eggs. He was "perplexed" that we didn't get more eggs (only 8) when my estrogen level was so high (2750). I asked that he be as involved as possible for our next cycle and requested that he do the retrieval this time (another doc in his group did it last time), and he agreed that he would unless he's out-of-town - that's fair.
  • Supplements/alternative medicine: He suggested acupuncture, so we're doing it. Has anyone else done it? How have your experiences been?? I'm up for whatever increases our chances, at this point.
  • Cause of miscarriage: He said that there was nothing (that he could tell) about the miscarriage that showed it was related to the IVF/ICSI, and believes that we just fell into the 25-30% of pregnancies that, for whatever reason, end. I'm thankful to be normal, for once.
  • Status of endo: He thinks that being pregnant, even for as short a time as I was, will have a positive effect on the growth of the endo, and does not plan to repeat the surgery before we try again UNLESS I start having a lot of pain (which I'm not now) or large cysts show up on ultrasound.
  • Schedule: We can start back as early as my January cycle which, for now, is the plan.
All in all, very encouraging news. Thanks for all of your suggestions on what questions to ask -- I felt very prepared and equipped for the meeting.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Thanks for all of your kind words, thoughts and prayers. We are muddling through. We're back at work, which I think helps. Routines are important for us. Physically, I think the worst is behind me; I confirmed with my RE that the raging headache and nausea are unfortunate side effects of hormones spilling out of my body. The good news is, I can take whatever I want to combat them! I've also indulged in sushi, caffeine and a good glass (or two) of wine. I think that's okay.

Our RE called today - what a kind and thoughtful man. He, knowing full well that I have an appointment with him Thursday morning, took the time to answer every question I could think of. He is very positive about our future, and ready to get started as soon as we are (we have to give it at least one month, then it's our call on the restart date). He did say that there's no way to know whether my miscarriage was triggered by low progesterone or the low progesterone was a sign that the miscarriage was happening -- sort of a chicken or the egg (no pun intended) sort of a situation. Makes sense.

He encouraged me to have a list of questions when I come in on Thursday. I know the obvious ones (what happened, what can we do to better address it next time, when do we start, what's my endo doing in the meantime), but want to ask your help in making sure I have my bases covered.

What am I missing?? What would you ask?

Monday, November 17, 2008


We serve a God who works miracles. We read and hear of those miracles, of His people who are saved from the fiery furnace, from lions, from sickness and calamity and flood. Deep down, we know that we serve a God who is much bigger than any of our individual pain. On days, like today, when I am tempted to let my own individual pain overwhelm me, it's good to remind myself just how big God is. He's bigger than infertility, bigger than IVF, and bigger than miscarriage.

Just as our excitement at learning we were pregnant was tempered with caution about the possible perils ahead, now our disappointment is tempered with hope. We are blessed to have a lot of information about this pregnancy, and we are hopeful that information will better arm our medical team if/when we try this again.

Thank you for your prayers. They really mean more than you can know.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Keep breathing.

Unfortunately, I have some bad news to share with you guys. Yesterday's Beta confirmed what my body had been cluing me in on -- all is not well. While my HCG did go up (from 45 to 78) and my estrogen is fine (thanks for the prayers on that front), my progesterone is terribly low. They are giving me all of the supplements that they can give me (oral 3x per day and Crinone 1x per day). I asked about switching to the shots, but they don't want me to do that. So, I'm on a weekend of "feet up bedrest," and then we will go back in on Monday for more bloodwork. DH leaves early Monday morning for a business trip that he just has to go on, so Monday has the potential to be a really tough day for everyone. We're pretty sure we know the final score at this point, but we have no choice but to let the rest of the game play out. It's a helpless feeling.

I'm ok, just sad and a touch overwhelmed. Everything went so well with this cycle, and yet, here we are. I am trying to trust that this is just not God's timing for us to have a baby right now, and while I'm trying not to dwell on this truth right now, it just might not be His plan for us to have a biological child. I know, I know -- this is our first IVF cycle, I don't need to waive the white flag, etc. It's just a lot to try to handle, you know? I need to try to remember that I wanted to see the positive Beta as a gift -- we CAN get pregnant! However, this "your body isn't metabolizing progesterone appropriately" situation (I've never even heard of that?) wasn't anything that had entered my mind to worry about, so think it's gotten me more thrown off of my game than if we had gotten a negative Beta. Does that make any sense whatsoever? I know, I know -- control issues. Maybe that's the point of this process? I need to be less of a planner and more of a truster. But I knew that already. There's spiritual growth to be had through this pain. I knew that, too. Someday we will be able to use this experience to help others who are struggling through similar situations. God can, and will use, our pain for His glory. This definitely helps give me some perspective right now, and someday I know it will give me great comfort. Right now, it really doesn't make it hurt any less.

Sorry for the early morning rambles. Not a lot of sleeping in this house right now. It helps to work it out in words. Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. We'll let you know on Monday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's later, here's more

Thanks for all of your encouragement today!

We feel very blessed to have received today's news. For those who like the numbers, our clinic wants the HCG level to be at least 20, and mine was 45. My estrogen level was a touch lower than they like, so I've started a pill to hopefully head off any issues.

We know it's still (very) early on, and we continue to entrust this process to a plan that's much bigger than our own. No matter what happens from here on out, we know that I can get pregnant, which is a great comfort.

I'll go back in on Friday morning for Beta #2, so until then . . . .



More to come later, but sure wanted you to know!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Day After Tomorrow

Sorry I've been scarce the last few days. Know that I've been checking in on all of you, laughing and crying with you. For some reason, I just haven't had much to say. Some of that is a by-product of trying not to dwell on what is or isn't rapidly dividing and growing inside of me -- quite a feat, let me tell you. Everyone says to stay positive, but they also tell you to try and be realistic so it isn't so much of a crushing blow if/when you get a BFN. Positive realism is about as easy to maintain as balancing a stack of books on your head: not impossible, but takes constant effort. It can be tiring. Exhausting, even.

We are blessed with a host of friends who've visited, emailed, and called with ideas of fun things to do -- playing distract the IVF friend is quite the popular game, and I love them for it. Even so, all the distraction in the world is brought to a crashing halt when you have the slightest twinge. What was that? Was it good or bad? What does Google say (I know, I know -- Google isn't a doctor)? I told DH to remind me if the answers aren't as we've prayed, IVF Cycle #1 wasn't the worst thing we ever went through and we could do it again. Maybe you all will have to remind me, too.

Answers are coming soon. Regardless of the outcome of Wednesday's Beta, we trust that God is still God, and He uses all of our struggles for His glory.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One Week From Today.

One week from today, we go in for our Beta. It's hard to believe that after all of the months, surgeries, tears, and shots, we are just a handful of days from finding whether we are going to be parents this time around.

I've been working from home, keeping my feet up and trying to stay sane. I'm interested to know how the rest of you dealt with the 2ww . . . it's a challenge, no doubt.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Transfer Day

Thanks for all of your prayer and support. After all of the "drama" of the last few months, today's transfer did seem a little anti-climactic! It was a very calm and peaceful process, and our RE transferred 2 embryos that both looked wonderful (according to him and the embryologist -- glad they knew what they were looking at!). So now, we wait. And we hope. And we pray.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Word from the Embryologist: Day 3 (posted on Day 4)

It is safe to say that our embryologist is an early riser -- she called at 6:45 Saturday morning! If people would always wake me up with such good news, I wouldn't complain about early calls. She said that all of the embryos had continued to divide as we had hoped, and that we should be good to go for the transfer Monday morning. Hooray! Soooo -- transfer tomorrow at 11:30, followed by some bedrest (I'll only get up to vote on Tuesday!) and then we'll know on 11/12.