Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Post Retrieval/Pre Transfer...

Since the retrieval life has almost resumed to "normal" or almost normal. I'm not sure my life is ever really normal. As previously mentioned, we had 20 eggs fertilize! That was such a blessing! From that point on we would get phone calls to let us know how the embryos were growing on their way to the temporary finish line of day 5.

FYI: an embryo is just a fertilized egg. I wish they were called something else, as I am not very fond of "embryo". It sounds so medical and cold to me. Not to mention, I feel like in some ways it diminishes the fact that those are living, developing cells. I don't know what else to call them, other than babies. I also didn't want to get too attached, as more than likely, all 20 wouldn't survive to day 5. Side note: What would we do with 20 "babies" anyway? Mike calls them tadpoles. That is probably a more accurate description, although I hate really don't like frogs.

Back to the point... The nurse was supposed to call us days 3-5 to let us know how our....errr...tadp, bab..ugh.. embryos were doing, but as those of you who follow on facebook know, that didn't happen. I knew we wouldn't hear anything on Tuesday, but by Thursday morning I was beginning to get very anxious. At that point I didn't know what was going on and decided to make the call.

One thing that I have learned through all of this is that in the medical world, it is very easy to become just another patient. While this isn't always wonderful, it does have it's benefits. For instance, in surgery, I don't want a doctor that is an emotional wreck. I want someone calm, cool and collected. Someone that follows the procedure and stays focused. I think this is also why we, as patients, get closer to our nurses rather than our doctors. They are the real diamond in the rough. They get emotional with you, get you tissues when you cry, call to check on you. I know it is their job, but it does make you feel loved when you get a good one! I have also learned, that if you feel like your doctor's office has forgotten about you, maybe they have. They have a lot going on, and I don't expect them to always keep my personal desires in the forefront. So when in doubt, call. Between my insurance company and our bank account, we are paying these people a lot of money, so there is no shame in calling to ask status or questions.  :)

So, I called and left a voicemail the night of Day 3, then again when it became late afternoon of Day 4 and I still hadn't heard. That night, my favorite nurse (Nurse Michelle) called to give me an update. She apologized that no one had gotten to me yet, and explained that they had been in meetings all late afternoon. She also told me how awesome our embryos were doing! We had 16 that were looking good and continuing on in development. The other 4 weren't out, but they were slowing down. That was a weird moment for me. I was excited about the 16, but sad for the other 4. Part of me wanted them all to grow on, but I (hopefully) don't need 20 embryos... At that moment I just asked for God's grace to cover over me and comfort the way I was feeling, and in that moment I felt peace with letting go of the 4 that were more than likely, not going to make it to freeze. Michelle also informed me that they would be planning to freeze them by Sunday morning, and that I should get a call once that is complete.

After a weekend with friends, I got the call Sunday. All 16 had successfully frozen and were ready and waiting for transfer. They raved to me about how beautiful the embryos were and told me that I should be really excited that I have so many that are so healthy. All I could think is "How great is our God!"

They also informed me that since my cycle had already started, I would need to come in Tuesday if we wanted to do this sooner rather than later. Now, you all know how I feel about waiting, so of course I made an appointment and got there as fast as I could!

Tuesday was not my day. It wasn't awful but I just felt like it was "off" so it's no surprise that I was at the doctor's office for 3 hours. Dr. J was stuck in surgery, and because of my cycle timing, if I didn't wait for her, this month would have been a loss. I honestly looked up and just said, "Ok, Ok, I get it Lord. I have to be more patient, and you are going to show me that every chance you get, right down to the wait time in my doctor's office." At least He has a sense of humor, right?

Anyway, once I did finally get to see Dr. J, we went over our plan for my FET. (Frozen Embryo Transfer) I was to start birth control pills that night (ugh) and then in about 10 days I will begin a sub-q (small needle in the belly fat) shot each morning of Lupron. This will successfully shut down my ovaries for the month while still allowing my uterus to prepare for baby(ies)! About 4-7 days later I will go off of the birth control pills and begin taking estrogen shots in my butt muscle. This one I only have to do ever 3 days, but it will stink. They will monitor me with blood work and ultrasounds and once my uterine lining reaches a certain thickness I will begin the progesterone shots - also in the butt. :( 5 days later, we will transfer!

I can't tell you how bad my heart aches for that day. I know we have a few weeks, and thank you Lord for providing me with such a patient man, but I can't wait for it to be here. Once that day comes, I know it will be just the beginning of a very anxious 3 months. I also feel like, at least in the beginning, it won't feel real. As much as I have pushed myself, and been encouraged by others, there is a part of me deep down that felt like this would never happen for us again. I began to feel that way after our miscarriage and honestly it's never fully left. There is a much larger part of me that knows this will happen again. That God has the perfect children waiting for us, for the right time, and that all I need to do is be faithful. Well that, and continue to grit my teeth and bear the shots. ;)

The scientific odds are against us that this will work the first time. As for it working at all?, we are about 50/50. Lucky for me, I'm not a gamblin' woman - I'm a daughter of God and He doesn't need scientific odds.

I will continue to pray for peace and patience. For a steadfast love to cover us and our frozen tadpoles. For strength to put one foot in front of the other on this journey. To never loose site of the weight He placed on our hearts to have more children. I will constantly thank Him for His mercy. The gifts He has given us thus far and the ones we have yet to receive. Infertility is not a curse. It is not a reaction to something wrong I've done in life. While I certainly have done plenty to deserve it, My God doesn't work that way. He already paid for my mistakes on the cross and that is an amazing gift that I can't repay. What's even cooler - He isn't concerned with my trying to settle an unachievable debt. All He wants is my heart, and that belongs to Him already. Nothing brings me more peace than that!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

retrieval update...

What a week this has been, and it's only Tuesday!
Since the last post my days have been filled with daily visits to the doctor. Blood work, ultrasounds, and more shots. Each day they would check the progression and growth of my follicles, waiting for them to reach a certain size before we could move forward.
IVF is really so complicated and there are so many if/than scenarios. When I write, I try to do it while remembering that most of you don't know much about it. I know sometimes the details get a little blurry, but bear with me.
Basically, every day they checked my follicles to see if they were mature enough to trigger ovulation and proceed with my retrieval. FINALY, on Saturday, we got the call we had been waiting for.
We were ready to trigger! The nurse instructed us to do the shot at exactly 9:15p.m. and that my retirieval would be scheduled for Monday morning at 9:15. Exactly 36 hours later.

I know previously, I touched on the chance of OHSS (Ovarian Hyper-Stimulations Syndrome) and that my estrogen was high. Given all the risk factors and my high estrogen, we have decided to hold off, freeze our embryos, and do a frozen embryo transfer (FET) rather than a 5 day fresh transfer. While it will mean we are delayed almost another month, OHSS can be extremely serious, deadly even. Obviously, the goal in all of this is to have and maintain a healthy pregnancy, and that means I have to be healthy as well. I feel really good about our decision, and after all this time, what's 3 more weeks? It also is giving me a mini-break from the shots, doctor's appointments, and stress. I can just relax and focus on getting my body ready for baby. Lots of vitamins ;)

All of that aside, we spent the weekend prepping for Monday's procedure. I was nervous. Nervous about the procedure, about going under anthesia, about how many eggs they would be able to retrieve, etc. I slept ok Sunday night, but by Monday morning I shed some tears. Lying in the hospital bed, waiting for anthesia was nerve wracking. Mike was trying to make me feel better and lighten the mood, but I could feel myself tensing up. I stopped panicking long enough to pray and that helped calm me down a lot. Before I knew it, they were bringing me into the procedure room and then everything started getting heavy. I couldn't stay awake, and before I knew it, I was back in the recovery room with Mike. It felt that quick! A few minutes later, the doctor walked in and informed us that he was able to retrieve 46 eggs!

That number blew me away. Honestly, with everything I've read and all the women I've talked too... I was expecting we would get about 15-20 and about half of those would fertilize. When I heard 46 I was floored. Once I felt stable, we were able to leave. Mike drove me home, with a quick Chick-fil-a detour, and then I spent the rest of the day resting and watching tv. I felt pretty good and even got up to head to Jake's soccer practice. That was probably not the best idea, because after being on my feet for a bit I was ready to lay down. That night, I took one of my pain perscription pills and slept like a rock.

This morning (Tuesday) I woke up and felt pretty normal. My energy was a little low, but I felt better than I thought I did. I took my time, got in the shower, and started to get dressed for the day. That is when I noticed the first big difference. Holy swollen stomach! People warned me that I might look like I'm 3 months pregnant... granted it's been a while... but I don't remember being this big at 3 months pregnant. I feel like this is more like 5 months pregnant and it's hard to the touch. So weird.
I headed off to work, but by lunch time I started feeling pretty weak. By about 3p.m. I couldn't last any longer and headed home. I wanted to make it through the day, but sometimes I forget what I am asking of my body and it catches up to me.

The best part of today, aside from getting home and relaxing, was getting my update from the nurse. She called at about 11am today to inform us that 20 of our eggs have fertalized "so far". She said there was still some time for more to fertilize, but 20 is amazing to me!

We officially have 20 embryos! God is amazing. Over the next 5 days we will continue to get updated on how our beautiful babies are growing. As excited as I am to hear how the progress, I know the statistics show that they won't all make it to day 5. While this is bitter sweet, natural selection is God's doing and I trust that the right embryos will continue to grow. On day 5 we will freeze the growing embryos and begin preparring for my transfer.

All of this has been so amazing and flown by. I can't wait to see what's next and where this takes us! Thank you so much, for all your prayers and well wishes. The support has been incredible. I plan to continue to update as we know more!

Friday, July 18, 2014

My letter to you...

Dear Sweet Babe,

We haven't met yet, my name is Jordan, but you can call me momma. I haven't heard your heart beat, I haven't seen you floating around on an ultrasound, you haven't even been created, but I know you.

I know my body is ready for you. Aching for you. My heart is so full just thinking of you.

Your daddy can't wait to see you on that screen or hold you for the first time. Your big brother can't wait to feed you, help us take care of you, and teach you how to kick a ball.

For just a moment I get a glimpse of what God's love is all about. He knows you better than anyone every will, even me.

He already knows your name, your sex, the color of your eyes. He knows who you are and who you will become. While I can't wait to find those things out, He is busy preparing our family for you.

We have been through so much, yet we know it is just the beginning. We have fought for you, continued on when we didn't think we could, mourned the loss of a sibling we never got to see... all with the hope that one day, you will be in our arms.

Your arrival will be a celebration! We will praise God for gifting us with your presence. We will cherish you and love you. We promise to raise you to know Jesus, and to love Him. We will do our best to raise you with a strong moral compass, rich character and a heart filled with compassion.

We promise to make you laugh, to have fun with you. We promise to discipline you, teach you right from wrong, and be patient through that process.

I can tell you how lucky you are to have such a wonderful father and brother. Beyond that, we aren't the only ones waiting for you. Our friends and family can't wait to hear the news that you are coming. They have followed along in our journey to get to you and they will celebrate with us when we see your face.

Sweet Babe, you are loved.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

moving right along...

Today has been really really wonderful! God answers prayers and He does it in a BIG way :)

As you read previously, my last trip to the doctor left me feeling uncertain. My estrogen was way to high and it looked like I was headed for a frozen transfer (4 weeks from now) rather then a fresh (5 days after retrieval). Also, with estrogen levels getting too high you run the risk of hyper-stimulation. Something we want to avoid at all costs.

Today was our follow up. My appointment was at 8:15 and we knew it would be a big one. They told us we would be making plans on moving forward based on these results. I. was. anxious. Ready for it to be here, ready for good news, but bracing for disappointment.

Right before the ultrasound, a million things were running through my mind. What if there are no follicles? What if there is only one? What if there are way too many and they aren't growing? What if my estrogen is over 3000? what if, what if, what if...

Psalm 62:5 "Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him"

In that moment I looked over at Mike and said, "I gotta pray", and pray I did. Quietly, I asked God to take over, to remain in control, to bless the doctor, the ultrasound, the results... I gave it all up to him.


Here is how He answered me...

All of those black circles you see are follicles. Inside each follicle is an egg. This is just my right ovary, there were just as many on my left! Be still my heart, God knows what He is doing. I just kept looking over at Mike and smiling every time the doctor would pause to measure another follicle.
The medicine is working. Every black circle is a burst of life and hope for us.
After we finished up with the ultrasound, the doctor said everything looked great, but that I needed to wait and get my blood results before we could plan the next step. ahh, blood results - i.e. my estrogen level. He told me the nurse would be calling this afternoon to let me know the plan...
Well the nurse just called, and guess what?! She told me, given my estrogen, that she was expecting me to be sitting somewhere around 2500... getting dangerously close to the 3000 mark. BUT, my estrogen has "slowed beautifully" and my current levels are right around 1450!!!! It will continue to rise, but at this rate she thinks we will be fine for a 5 day fresh transfer! Praise God!
She then told me to continue my medicines as I am and that they need me back tomorrow morning for another check. If the follicles have hit the right size they will give me trigger shot information and schedule my pre-op appointment for my retrieval! It will be happening sometime this weekend into early next week! I am sorry for the 14,000 exclamation points but I just can't wipe the smile off of my face right now.
By the way, I have officially conquered my needle phobia. I'm not saying I like it, but as my husband will testify, I have gotten SO much better at being on the receiving end of a shot! ;)
I keep starring at those black dots, thinking one or more of those might just be our next baby. My heart is as full as my ovaries are right now, and let me tell you, it's getting uncomfortable to wear pants, so they are FULL!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Post blood work update...

Tonight I am asking for your prayers. I got a call from my nurse this evening, following up on my blood work today. 

IVF walks a fine line between pushing your body to produce an abundance of eggs while avoiding potential overstimulation. You are given a high dose of hormones, and obviously there are some risks involved. If you overstimulate there are potential serious consequences and you can get very ill. My doctor will work to avoid this at all cost, even if that means canceling a cycle. One of the ways they keep track is by doing blood work every couple of days. Today they checked my estrogen levels.

Estrogen is the hormone that your body begins releasing when you make follicles. Obviously, I am on a drug that is making me produce many follicles so my estrogen should be higher than a women who isn't going through IVF. However, if it's to high, that's a sign that I could be headed for overstimulation. :(

Given my treatment, my estrogen should be sitting somewhere between 100 - 150. Currently I am at 525. Way to high. Now, without boring you with the medical detail, I will just say that in order to transfer embryos back in this month my estrogen must stay under 3000. If it goes above that we will have to freeze the embryos and try to transfer them next month. Bummer. If I have to wait another month it is what it is, but I really want to transfer those babies this month! 

So what do we do? We try to slow my estrogen. Of course it isn't simple, I can't just stop the meds for a few days and I can't just significantly drop my dosage. If my estrogen crashes the follicles won't develop. 

The plan is to reduce my dosage of stim drugs from 225 to 150. I also will be starting a new drug, called Ganirelix, every morning. So as of tomorrow - that's a shot in the morning and another at night. 😣

Hopefully, this does the trick and helps keep my estrogen in a safe place. I am praying that the doctors plan is the right one, praying that we will be able to keep moving forward. Safely. Thanking God for the technology in place and the monitoring to keep me safe. And, of course, asking God to keep me calm and patient and focused.

My follow up appointment is Thursday morning. We will be doing an ultrasound to get a count of follicles as well as more blood work. Once I know more I will post a follow up. I am optimistic that this is going to turn out just fine! 

Get Social...

Hi everyone! Many of you lovely readers know, but some may not, that Please Baby Please has a facebook page now. :)

If you don't mind, click the link below and "like" the page! This is where I share updates, etc. Also, if you love the blog, share it with your friends!

I've gotten so many sweet notes from total strangers and I love that about this process. I love getting into a conversation about something so personal with a total stranger, only to see how similar you are to each other, so keep 'em coming!

God Bless!!!

Like the blog here on Facebook!

On a mission...

Yesterday was Sunday. The day of the Lord. Church day. A day my soul aches for all week long.

This was a big Sunday for me, and my soul was hungry. As you know, we began IVF treatment this past Saturday and my anxiety has been really high. A morning of worship and learning more about God was exactly what I needed and exactly what I got.

Our pastor has been doing a series on the book of Acts, with each sermon building on the previous one. In case you aren't familiar, much of Acts details Paul traveling around, spreading the Word of God through the Gospel. In Acts, Paul is on mission.

It isn't pretty or shiny. People aren't just taking his word for it. He isn't riding into towns on a red carpet, embraced by people thirsty for the Word of God. Just the opposite actually. Paul is stoned, imprisoned, left for dead yet he continues to get back up and share the Gospel.

I can honestly say, I hope I am never stoned within an inch of my life... shoot, I'm not sure if I could even survive prison, but then again, I doubt Paul thought he could either. Paul wasn't a superhero. He didn't have any special powers. He wasn't any stronger (physically) than you and me. What Paul did have, was a calling. A purpose. A mission. He knew the task ahead of him and he ran straight for it.

I know I have mentioned before that I joined an infertility support group and that, at times, it can be a real downer. The women in that group are hurting, depressed, broken. Some of them are angry. Angry that God would do this to them. Angry that women, that shouldn't, are having babies left and right. Bitter. I feel so sorry for these women. My heart aches for them. When I see them vent their frustrations with God I instantly want to hug them. I think of these women often, I pray that God continues to work in them despite their anger.

Yesterday, a light went off. I was listening to the Pastor speak about Paul and I instantly knew... infertility is my village of angry people, ready with stones. The women in that support group, and many others struggling around the world, are those villagers. They are angry, they feel like God isn't delivering. He isn't swooping in and laying a hand on them. He isn't filling their womb with a miracle child. And I am need to be Paul. I am called to run in, face their anger and spread God's love. It is also my duty to express to them that God doesn't owe you anything. He already gave you a gift that you can never repay. We are in debt to Him. You are not entitled to your dream life. You are not owed a child, or a fancy car or big, beautiful home. Being faithful to the Lord will not guarantee an easy life. If you think it will, then you don't know Jesus.

Maybe this is my place. Maybe this is just where God needs me to be a Paul. I am not as smart as he is, I do not know the gospel like the back of my hand, but I am committed to my faith. I am willing to keep fighting. I do not look to heaven and command God to do anything for me. It's not my roll. All I can do is show Him my love and my faithfulness. I will praise Him in the beautiful parts of my life and in the dark parts. I will get back up and run back in, even when I feel like giving up is the easiest path. What I do know, is that God is using me for something bigger than my desire to grow my family. I may never get pregnant again, and while I pray that I do, if I don't I will continue on in this journey. I just hope that God gives me the strength to be like Paul. Not perfect, not a superhero, just a child of God - determined to keep moving forward. Thankful for my life and the gifts He has given me. Focused on my mission.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Shots begin tomorrow!

This week has been a rough one...

All week long I felt a little out of sorts, just not normal. Almost like I was waiting for the bomb to go off, and if there's one thing I've learned about bombs... if you are looking for them, they appear. I just felt anxious and, stupidly, it took me until Wednesday night to figure out why.

I am scared. Scared to begin IVF. Fearful of the pain. Pain, both physical and emotional. Most of my anxiety right now centers around the medicines. If you've read my previous posts I have made it pretty clear that I loathe needles. If you haven't, I loathe needles.

Aside from the anxiety that brings, there are so,so many medicines. In fact, on my lunch break today I or my husband, will have to run home to pick the package up from the porch, get it inside, unpacked and put some of those medicines in the fridge.

I have a need for so many drugs and needles, that I have to get my prescriptions filled through a specialty pharmacy. I also had to decline counseling offered to me by said company in case I was addicted to anything that I could use the needles for. I literally laughed at the woman and told her "trust me, there isn't a high on this earth that could bring me to voluntarily put a needle in my body" ...well other than the high of finding out I'm pregnant. Apparently, I will do whatever it takes for that!

Anyway, tonight I will take a picture of all of so that those of you that aren't or haven't been through IVF can get an idea of what I am talking about.

Tomorrow is the day. Mike and I start our antibiotics, added to the vitamins we have both been taking, and I start my shots.

I mentioned before that I would be on a drug called Gonal F, due to my insurance requirements we had to change that to Follistim. Same drug, different maker basically. This will be the drug I start tomorrow. This is the drug, that if all goes well, will help my body to grow several follicles (eggs) which will develop and be ready for the doctor to extract. I will take the shot Saturday and Sunday night, then Monday morning I will go see the nurses for testing to see how my body is reacting. That afternoon they will call me to let me know the results and continue on with my dosage information (it could go up or down). From there I will continue on for several days, heading back to the office every other day for check ups. I am praying that by this time next week we will be preparing for my outpatient surgery to get the developed eggs.

Up to this point I have felt like time is moving so slowly. Now, all of a sudden, everything seems to fast. As anxious as I am, maybe the quick pace will help me get it over with.

I realized I haven't been very good about photographing my journey, and although I have my words, I want to be able to look back on this in every way possible. I am going to do my best to start taking pictures. Hopefully Dr. Jaffe and my nurses won't mind when I whip out the camera and ask them to take a selfie with me :) Mike thinks we should video a night of him giving me the shot so you all can see what a baby I am... I don't know about that yet. We'll start with pictures.

Today my prayer is for peace. I am asking for God's serenity to move over my life and keep me calm. I hope that I can be a big girl about all of this, and to do so I need His help and to keep my eyes on the prize. I will probably blog again after I hear from the nurses on Monday. Thank you so much for reading and for all of the support! God bless!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Off to the races...

So I completely forgot all the things I hate about being on birth control, but now that I am on day 13 of being on the pill, I clearly remember.

The two things I hate most are - 1. The way it makes me feel and 2. The way it makes me want to eat everything in site. 2 is pretty self-explanatory... I am not a snacker, but on birth control I can't stop eating and I feel like I am beginning to look like this....

I need an Oompa Loompa to come to my rescue.

As for the way it makes me feel, it's no secret that birth control suppresses your hormones, namely estrogen. Some people aren't really effected by lower estrogen... I am not one of those people. Over the last 10 days I have noticed I feel like I am in a major rut. Just sort of sad. Not mean or angry like you feel when you are about to start a new cycle, but sad. Being sad is fine when you have something to be sad about, but unjustified sadness makes you feel nutty, which leads to feeling anxious (at least for me).

So to recap, I'm fat, sad, nutty and anxious. Awesome. My husband is a lucky man.

Tonight, when I go home, I think I'm going to scrub something. Getting down with a gallon of bleach always makes me feel better... ;)

The thing I love about being on birth control is knowing that every day I take one of these little fat-inducing, anxiety-causing pills I am one step closer to becoming pregnant! Sounds a little backwards, right? Welcome to the world of infertility.

I know I have talked about the process briefly before, but basically the IVF protocol I am doing requires you to go on birth control for about 3 weeks before you move forward. This allows the doctor to sort of "take control" of my cycle, as well as getting rid of any cysts I may have developed. Basically, birth control puts your reproductive organs on pause, giving you some level of control as to when it plays again. I don't really like the idea of that in general, but since it's not like birth control is the thing that's keeping me from getting pregnant... here we are.

Yesterday I had my IVF meeting with my nurse and even though I love her, queue the anxiety. We started mapping everything out and going over all of the meds and doses and timing and whoa! It's a lot. A lot to take in both mentally and physically. IVF is no joke, and I am fairly confident that when it's all said and done my needle phobia will be conquered.

In a time line, here's how this will go down:
I will continue on birth control until Monday, July 7th. At that time I will discontinue that little pill from hell and hopefully return to some level of normal human.
On Saturday, July 12th we start the stim drugs, and by we I mean me with Mike administering them. For the first 2 days I will be taking a 225 dose of a drug called Gonal F right into the stomach fat which, luckily for me, there is a lot of thanks to the above mentioned BC pills.
Monday morning, July 14th I will go see my doctor for blood work. That afternoon, I will get a call from the nurse telling me if we need to increase/decrease/maintain my dosage and to keep going. From that point she told me I will most likely be in every other day for monitoring (aka those lovely internal ultrasounds) and blood work. They will be closely watching my hormone levels as well as the size of the follicles I am producing.
Once the follicles reach 12mm in size or by day 4 of the Gonal F shots, I will add in another drug called Menopur. That will keep my body from ovulating ahead of schedule. This is important because if I were to ovulate on my own the doctor would not be able to collect the eggs and our IVF cycle would be canceled. Luckily I don't have to do two different shots, I can mix the Gonal F and the Menopur and administer them in one single needle. Gag. Talking about it makes me queasy!
Basically, the nurse told me I will probably be doing this for about 9 days.
9 nights of me laying on the bed, trying to act like an adult, while Mike stabs me with a needle. In the past, I haven't been very graceful at this. Maybe one night I will record it and post it here so you all can get a good laugh. Honestly, I am worried that my neighbors think he's trying to kill me. He really is a patient human.
So then, if all goes well, either July 20th or 21st we will be headed to the doctor for them to extract my beautiful follicles! This is where I will be so emotional. I consider myself so blessed to be able to go through this process. Sure I would have loved to just get pregnant, but watching it happen is insanely amazing to me. I feel like I get to geek out with God over what an amazing process He created.
It is considered an out-patient surgery, and I will be under general anesthesia. I have had a few outpatient surgeries now, so I am honestly not worried about that so much. Compared to the surgeries I have had, this will be a walk in the park. Obviously, I will ask for prayers and will be praying every day, leading up to that for God to hold my hand the whole way through.
That day, after I wake up, they will tell us how many they got, then we will be on our way. Soon after, the nurse will call us to tell us how many of those eggs successfully fertilized with Mike's help.
From that day on, the nurse will call just about every day with an update of how our babies are growing. I am beginning now to mentally prepare myself for this part of the journey. I know it will be incredibly bitter sweet. For me, the second those eggs fertilize they are babies. As the days pass and we loose some of them to the process I will have to internalize that. I know that my faith tells me God knows them each from the moment they are more than just a cell, and I trust in Him completely to give us the baby(ies) He wants us to have. How cool is it to think that, potentially, the first image I will see of our next children will be the moments after conception?! That's right, we get pictures of the embryos as they grow and develop.
This process, that occurs outside of my body, will take about 5 days. Once the embryo's have hit a certain phase of development, the best 2 will be selected to implant. That's right, 2. I think Mike and I both feel pretty comfortable with 2 embryos being transferred. We are still praying about it, continuing to look for direction, but right now we feel confident in the number 2.
Now during that 5 days of watching our babies grow, you'd think I would get a break from needles, but ohhhh no. Starting after my retrieval, we begin progesterone shots, and unlike the Gonal F, these have to go in the muscle...
The nurse said, "during your retrieval, I will use a sharpie marker to draw a circle on your butt. Mike just needs to make sure he pulls the skin tight and injects the progesterone somewhere in that circle." Lovely. Great. This process has really been a dream for me. When do I get to shoot him with a needle?!
I have to do that for another 8-10 days, maybe longer. So I'm looking at 20 days (at least) of shots, as well as blood work every other day during stim shots. Yikes.
Right now, if all goes well, the transfer would happen somewhere around the 26th of July and we would know if it worked 2 weeks later. I know those 2 weeks will be like torture, but I am going to do my best to focus on anything other than my pending pregnancy. I am cautiously optimistic, and hopeful that this will be our answer. I promise to do my best to stay honest and open through-out the process, and as I mentioned before we won't be keeping secrets. We may be a little delayed as I am sure our friends and family would prefer to hear the news from us rather than reading my blog, but you won't be far behind.
I know I can share our news, because I know how much support we have. I know that regardless of the outcome, the love of those around us will pour in and fill our hearts. IVF isn't the end of our story, just the beginning and in the event that this time isn't our time, I will need this blog more than ever.

Thank you so much for reading this incredibly long post. Thanks for supporting us and being eager to see what's next. Our family is blessed to have so much love being shed on us! Thank you, thank you, thank you!