Everybody likes Pictures

>> Monday, April 29, 2013

Anyone that has ever read this blog knows that I am horrible blogger. I just disappear and then sometimes resurface. For that I apologize, but I never promised to be good at this.

I am not going to write a whole blog update today because I have an adorable baby to play with instead. That's right, Avery was born on March 6th at 7:57am and she is an absolute joy. I will also add that she is the result of that phone call on January 18, so thank you for all the prayers and thanks for your patience since I never updated after that post.

Someday I might come back to this space and update more about our adoption journey and our amazing hospital experience. However today, I will instead share our tumblr page that documents the day to day happenings of our little girl. A photo blog like tumblr is a little easier commitment for me during this season of life, plus I believe that everyone would prefer to just looks at pictures of a cute baby instead of reading my ramblings.

Without further delay...enjoy the pics of our sweet Avery and feel free to bookmark the page because I am actually doing a good job of updating the Tumblr site.

Avery Grace Tumblr Page

Love you all and thanks for years of support while we slowly made our way to the wonderful world of parenthood!



Look for the Signs

>> Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Looking back in my life and my marriage, I have never been a big believer in "signs". If I am honest, I try to look for reassurances that I am on the right path or "feelings" that we are where we are supposed to be, but I don't specifically trust "signs". I typically trust in prayer and faith that God is in control either way.

Going back a little, I think my dislike of signs is probably due to my engagement ring. You see, a few months after I got engaged (to the most wonderful man in the world) I started to get irritated skin on my ring finger. Irritation turned into bumps, which turned into blisters, which led to me painting the inside of my engagement ring with clear finger nail polish for several months. Eventually, I did allergy testing and learned that I am allergic to gold. Yes, actually gold. They thought it was the nickel mixed in with the white gold, but no... it's really the gold. Anyway, my sweet husband ended up paying more money to get my ring reset in platinum and needless to say the bumps and redness have been gone ever since. We have also joked ever since that it's a  good thing we don't believe in signs because what does it say if you are allergic to your engagement ring. 

Well friends, this week I want to believe in signs!

January 18, 2012: We attended our IVF Class. We had made the huge decision to pursue treatment and IVF was our first attempt at any type of assisted fertility. It honestly felt like a new beginning because we were so hopeful that this would be the path that led to our first child.

Well fast-forward (or look back and read past posts) and obviously the IVF didn't work. We struggled, we prayed, and then we got excited about adoption being the path that God has planned for our family. I feel incredible peace about this decision and I cannot wait to meet the child and birth family that will become such a significant part of our lives.

January 18, 2013: We got a call from our agency about a potential match. I know almost nothing about the situation except that the expectant mother is due in 3-4 weeks!! (Holy Cow!! I can't even believe it when I write it down) Our agency wanted us to know about this possible situation because we were making plans to turn in applications at other agencies and they didn't want us to unnecessarily waste time or money (which I appreciate). However, we were warned that there was so much more to be done before this was an "official" match. They are still working to located the birth father and until that occurs we will not be in a position to meet with the expectant mother. They also warned us that even if things continue to move along smoothly, they are doubtful that all the legal issues will be handled by the time of birth therefore the child will likely need to go to interim care. Then...they said they would be in touch when they knew more.

So today my friends, I want so badly to believe that this is all a "sign" of great things to come. That our preparation for growing our family that started on January 18, 2012 was really just a stepping stone to God's plan of preparation that started EXACTLY one year later on January 18, 2013. Either way, I am working to keep my focus on Him and trust that even if this situation doesn't work out, our great God still has incredible plans for us and our family.

So, please keep us in your prayers. Most importantly keep this birth family and this child in your prayers.

...untill we know more,



Back in time for Christmas

>> Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's been an eternity (aka. 7 months) since I have written to the blogger world. Not because there hasn't been anything happening, but honestly just because I haven't felt like it. And truthfully, because life is busy and when I do have time for the computer I haven't wanted to spend that time rehashing my feelings, my life, etc. However, I am still taking time to read everyone else's blogs, so thanks for not being a slacker like me!

So why write today??

No particular reason. Bored. Procrastinating work. Looking for something to fill my days yet not feeling motivated to get up and do anything.

Anyway, I guess it also just felt like time for an official update....we are adopting!!

We spent the summer getting background checks, having interviews, writing biographies, attending weddings/traveling, and reading books to settle into the idea of adoption. Then in November we attended classes at a local adoption agency, put together a profile, and became an official waiting family.

As you can imagine we are thrilled. I feel 100% at peace with our decision to pursue adoption and when I look at my future family I can't imagine it coming together any other way. I am excited about a relationship with birth parents, although I am realistic that it will be difficult in different ways at different times, I am still anxious and excited to know them and know their story. My only doubts at this point involve how long the process will take. I feel like waiting with an agency locally could take easily a year, just because they do less placements/year than the national agencies. We are planning to apply with out of state agencies too, but that feels like a lot more work, a lot more money, and a lot more difficulty with regard to travel, time off, legal issues, etc. Originally, I saw us almost exclusively wanting to adopt from out of state but as I have become increasingly comfortable with open adoption and because I already like the people at our current agency, I guess I just don't feel like starting over. So, I am trying to hold out hope that the local option will come through quickly. Either way, I know that God has great plans for us and the perfect baby will come in His perfect timing.

So, that's where we are. It's a good place to be and the peacefulness I feel about our plan is truly a gift from God. Now if God would just get me a baby or a puppy for Christmas, I think this holiday season could just be the best one yet!




>> Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Today was our follow-up appointment at the RE to discuss our failed IVF cycle. More lovingly referred to as a WHAT THE FUCK appointment, as in what the fuck went wrong?

So, when asked the token question our RE simply replied that he doesn't know. Everything about our cycle looked great. My Estrodial level rose perfectly, my lining was think, transfer was easy, etc. His only exception was related to our fertilization rate, which was only 7 of the 15 eggs. He said he would have wanted 9, however the difference of 2 embryos was not that significant. The only negative thing he could really say about our cycle is that we didn't get pregnant.

So, we discussed the possibility of a frozen embryo transfer (FET) in the future. We have one embryo that was frozen and it is a D/A quality. Our clinic defines embryos by 2 grades. The first D means the most expanded and the A means the highest quality. Just for reference, the two embryos we transferred on our fresh cycle were B/B. That means 2nd worst grade for being expanded but 2nd best quality. 

So, our 1 frozen embie is the best one of the whole cycle, which is great because sometimes embryos drop a grade in quality when they thaw, which means we could end up with a D/B.
Anyway, the disappointing news about a possible FET cycle is that embryo's only have a 60-70% chance of surviving the thaw. Meaning we could do 6 weeks of medications and building up hope, only to have the cycle cancelled on transfer day because our grade A embie doesn't survive the thaw.

This is the point in our meeting that reaffirmed to be how crappy this whole IVF cycle can be. Not only did our cycle fail, but now I have one super perfect embie, but if we try and transfer it in the future, we will only have a 60% chance of making it to the actual transfer, then if we make it that far, we will only have a 60% chance that our super perfect embie will implant.

I want to be positive but it sounds like a recipe for disappointment, stress, and heart ache.

So, the recommendation from the RE (which honestly I agree with and appreciate) is that if we move forward then it should be another fresh IVF cycle. He wants to switch from an antagonist cycle and instead do a lupron cycle. The only reason for the switch is because the antagonist cycle didn't work last time. An added bonus of the lupron would maybe be improved egg quality, thereby improving the chances of fertilization. He said the sperm quality could also be contributing to the fertilization rate, but beyond taking calcium and zinc, there is little we can do to improve the sperm any further. Anyway, we would hopefully get pregnant with IVF #2 and then have some embryos left to freeze as well. Then in the future if we ever wanted to do a FET, we could thaw embies from cycle #1 and cycle #2 hopefully giving us at least 2 embies to transfer after the thaw.

That's the basic facts about where we are. It makes sense to me and seems like a rational progression of treatment. It also makes me sad. It disappoints me that we would be starting over yet the results could be the same. I know IVF is always a risk but I just can't help but wonder today if the risk is too high right now.

We aren't going to rush a decision. We are going to pray about it and think about it over the next few weeks. We also have an appointment with a local adoption agency on Monday to discuss a possible home study. I am excited about moving forward and I am thankful that in spite of our BFN disappointment, our marriage is stronger than ever. God is good and I remain faithful that he has a plan for us that will exceed all of our expectations.



the beginning of the end...

>> Thursday, March 22, 2012

I must begin by saying I have several half written blogs from the past few weeks of our cycle. Somehow I could never seem to finish them, although I wish I had kept the blog a little more up to date through our stimming, retrieval, and transfer. Maybe someday I will finish them and post them...maybe not.

Tomorrow is our Beta. This is the day that I kept waiting for and now I wish it would just be over. Last night around 6:30 I started lightly spotting. I fell apart rather quickly. The tears just wouldn't stop and the pain was all encompassing. Last time I cried like this was when I found out my sister was pregnant on Thanksgiving, while Kevan was out of town and not here to hold me. Last night he was here but couldn't say anything to ease the pain. I went to bed at 7:30. Since daylight savings occurred last week it was still light outside, but I just wanted to be in the bed. I struggled to sleep and woke often through the night, then this morning I stupidly took my temperature. I gained false hope as it remained high. ~I say false hope because since this morning google has taught me that BBT's stay high due to a combination of progesterone and other hormones. Sadly, that 1cc shot in my ass each night is probably keeping my temp up no matter what.

Anyway, I have been spotting all day. TMI...it's brownish in color, not red, and it is definitely spotting not full flow, but it is also accompanied by cramps and overall period-blah feeling. I tried to work but I know I was sucking at my job, so I took half a day off and went to lunch with my IF friends. They were helpful and even spoke up on behalf of all infertiles to a cashier who was making stupid comments about a new mother in line behind us. I was paralyzed and thought I might cry at Panera, but my girls were there for me. It was truly nice to be in a place where I didn't have to pretend to be happy or fully-present in the conversation, I could just be there exactly how I was honestly feeling today. Now, I have been sleeping on the couch for 1.5 hours even though there is no way that I am tired, I just don't want to face the world any more.

I know that sounds dramatic, but I didn't expect it to end this way. I expected to call tomorrow and deal with the results via phone, husband by my side, and honestly, I felt like it was going to work. I mostly had let my guard down and allowed myself to be excited that this was really happening. After all, why shouldn't it work. We have male factor problems that they feel confident they can fix with ICIS, so why shouldn't I be able to grow a child with the assistance of a little technology? But in spite of all of that, it didn't end any differently. After all this time and all this effort, I did not feel prepared for the option that it would end the same as every other month...me alone in the bathroom, looking down in defeat, at a darkened tissue that was announcing once again that we had achieved nothing.

I feel frustrated that my clinic in no way prepared me for this outcome. They drilled into our heads that we should definitely wait for a Beta instead of "peeing on a stick"  but no attention was given to the fact that good old Aunt Flo might come knocking before you are even scheduled for your Beta. Plus, now what am I supposed to do tomorrow? I know that if I am still spotting we will go for our Beta as planned and still be anxious before calling our voice mail because you always hear about those miracle people who still get BFP's after days of spotting. But honestly, as this day drags on and the intensity of my craps increased and color of my spotting darkens, I know where this is headed. So, when Aunt Flo comes on full force by the AM, do I go and get tested like a good patient even though all hope will already be gone...because if she comes full force in the morning, there is no embie that could survive the gushing of a full cycle day 1 shedding.

I just feel broken. Frustrated that it ended with me in the bathroom, like it does every other month, even though this month we paid thousands of dollars, said millions of prayers, and let so many people into our circle of trust (all of whom I will now have to tell that we failed, and then I get to endure their looks of pity). I feel exhausted that we are now starting all over. I know that this was a step in our journey but I hate the idea of enduring more decision making about adoption vs. trying to unfreeze our one lonely embie and hope that somehow that one can implant when these two couldn't?

All that being said, I can't help but still feel confident that God has great plans for us. I trust that if this cycle doesn't work, then it was because He knows that we will be parents another way, at another time. I just wish we didn't have to continue to endure so much hurt and heartache before we could figure out the plans He has for us. Come on burning bush...haven't I earned I clear sign that points to motherhood??



Suppress Yourself

>> Thursday, February 23, 2012

This morning I went for my suppression check, even though honestly I am not sure what that means. I keep telling people that the Docs want to make sure my system is "suppressed enough" from the birth control pills so they can have total control of how much to ramp things up with drugs...I think that's right but who knows.

It was the fastest appointment I have ever had at the clinic which was amazing. They had told me it could take up to 3 hours, however we knew it would probably be shorter since I already did my trial transfer at my hydrosonogram appointment. When I got there I waited like 30 seconds, got taken for blood draw which lasted like 5 minutes, and then waited on the ultrasound tech for like 10 minutes. It was good to run through the protocol of blood draw, ultrasound, and meet with the nurse, since that will be my schedule multiple times next week. Everyone was nice, however the ultrasound tech gave me a firm lecture about how she wouldn't tell me anything about my follicles, so I shouldn't even ask. I get where she is coming from and I know it's better to lay the ground rules upfront, but gosh lady, I hadn't even thought about asking you and now I feel bad that maybe I might want to ask you in the future!

After only about 40 minutes at the clinic I met with my IVF nurse. She was great!! We actually didn't get to meet her at our IVF class appointment so talking to her today put me at ease. She asked basic questions, reviewed my protocol, and then encouraged me to ask any questions I might have. For some reason, I just didn't really have any. I reviewed how to take the shots and how cold they really needed to stay since they are supposed to be refrigerated, but those were the only things I could come up with. She was laid back the whole time and told me my questions were too easy, so I should feel free to call if I thought of any more.

Then I was sent to the financial lady for my lump sum, all inclusive payment. The best thing I can say about this part is that at least there were no surprises. The cost what we knew it would be from the beginning, so I can't really blame them for collecting their money up front. Finally, I checked out at the front desk, picked up my voice mailbox code, and was free to go after only an hour!!

Overall, I feel good about the whole thing, at least as good as I can. I am trying not to stress or over analyze every detail because it seems like everything is really just a "wait and see" approach. I mean every question I have re: timelines and appointments is dependent on how well I stimulate, which we won't know until I start injections and then attend a follow appointment next week. If I am honest, my main worry right now is just about unexpected events...things I have no control over. Like, what if i don't stimulate as well as they think I will, what if we really do have some female factor infertility issue that they haven't found yet, what if we should have done PGD, what if the shots make me sick and unable to work, etc, etc. But just like all other things in this world, I have no other option but to put my faith in God and trust that if things are difficult, then He must have a purpose for my brief suffering. And that regardless of the outcome...this is all part of His plan, which is always going to be better than anything I could have dreamed!


Special Delivery!!

>> Tuesday, February 21, 2012

After stalking Fed Ex online, I was promptly alerted when my meds arrived today. Funny how excited I got just knowing that they were waiting for me on the front porch!! Also, amazing how quickly my anxiety grew once I realized it was 65 degrees in TN today and these meds needed to stay cold!

Luckily, I then got a call from my sweet husband, saying that he came home early and he wondered what items needed to go into the fridge and what needed to be left out...I must add that he had already put everything, including the needles into the fridge. I gave him some input and encouraged him to read the directions, which shockingly spelled out exactly what to do!

Anyway, I finally got home to find a wonderful package waiting for me...

It's amazing how much it overwhelms me, while at the same time it seems like I should have gotten more for $3000+!!

So, now I must anxiously await my suppression check on Thursday and hopefully I will get to dive into this pile of fun on Saturday!!



Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
Franklin, TN

This Blog is....

A glimpse into my journey to grow my faith and my family. Each day I am trying to trust in God's plan for my life, while I struggle with my own desires for my career, my marriage, and my hope for a family.

Our Furry Friend

Our Furry Friend

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