Still pretty sick over here but celebrated Charlie's big day today and can't believe what a big boy he is becoming. I'm such a lucky Mama. Will write more when I am feeling well, which will hopefully be soon.
I haven't posted since our announcement because I have been so nauseous I have been barely functioning. Having to take care of Charlie while this sick has been really hard. I am on Zofran, B6, tried sea bands, ginger candy, saltines, etc and it is still horrible and 24/7- at times waking me in the middle of the night. I am really hoping this phase will pass quickly because the days feel like weeks and my only escape is sleep.
Thank God Joe has picked up the slack in every department. He has been helping with cleaning, laundry and cooking (breakfast for dinner)or picking up food. The house is definitely not up to Mommy's level of expectation, but it will have to do for now and I'm just thankful I have a husband that will help in every way he can. And my definition of a clean house borders on the slightly OCD.
We have a lot of social activities coming up in the next few weeks from hosting a shower to Easter and some stuff during the week as well. I am just hoping I can keep it together!
We are having twins! I had my first ultrasound last night. Joe left work early to join me. Something in the back of my head told me that this extreme nausea I've been having, so strong that it wakes me at night, had some cause. Joe had a feeling as well.
My doc who normally puts the ultrasound screen directly in view for me to see turned it towards himself for a minute to get a clear view. Joe could still see from his vantage point and he told me after the fact that he saw two black spots of the screen an instant before the doctor said, "Congratulations, it's twins!"
Wow. Wow. Wow. We are still in a state of shock and awe right now. Both babies already have beating hearts and one measured slightly smaller than the other. My doctor said not to immediately plan for twins because we could possibly lose one before the first trimester is over but he was very optimistic.
He also said to us that he didn't even really know if we were going to be good candidates for IVF moving forward because of all the obstacles we had and the way my body didn't respond well. That just confirms to me that this was all in God's hands.
Well, I am off to try and soak all this information in and try to find some bland bread to soothe my tummy!
We are due the day before Thanksgiving (how fitting) but will probably go earlier because there are two. Holy moly!
Today I received the news from my second beta blood test. We went from 365 to 698 which the nurse was very happy about! I have officially graduated from morning monitoring and blood work until my first ultrasound at 5 1/2 weeks on the March 29th. That's when we will find out if there are one or two beans growing.
I have to include a shot of the bean since it's been so long.
I caved last night and took a test and it immediately came up positive! I can't believe it.
I had my initial blood work today and my beta was 365, a very good number according to my nurse. So I will continue to go in for blood work to make sure my numbers keep doubling and in about 2 weeks I will have my first ultrasound to see if there is one or two babies in there.
Yesterday was a big day, our embryo transfer. In the morning I kept waiting for a call that we wouldn't be able to proceed; that our embryos hadn't made it. There were so many times this cycle when I received bad calls, I was just preparing myself for it. We were nearly cancelled 3 times in 2 weeks.
No news meant good news. We rushed around in the morning food shopping, organizing things for when my Mom would take Charlie and getting all my pre-procedure prep ready.
I had laser acupuncture before the transfer (it is supposed to help increase the odds of implantation) and then was walked up to the operating room area. By this point my bladder uncomfortably full, the doctors need it to be so they can visualize the uterus for the transfer.
The doctor came in and he said he had great news. We had 3 great embryos, one that was a grade AA, AB and BB. AA is the highest quality and healthiest type of embryo. Joe and I couldn't have been more shocked because up until this point we were told they was a chance that all embryos could be lost, there were no guarantees. To be told that you have fabulous, beautiful embryos was so incredible.
The procedure itself was a little uncomfortable but it was over very quickly. We transferred the 2 best and will freeze the additional one. The technology is so advanced that we were able to see our embryos loaded up from the petri dish into a pipette and watch the transfer on the ultrasound. It's amazing.
And now we just sit and wait. I will have my pregnancy test next Wednesday.
I have to give thanks to God because he has literally carried me through this process, I wouldn't have made it through whole without him.
I firmly believe that our embryos did so beautifully because of the prayers that were sent up to God on my behalf. Prayer is so powerful and it is what turned everything around for us. I had so many beautiful friends and family praying for me and for those little lives growing in the lab.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 136:1
They were able to retrieve 8 eggs. The valium and drugs they give are lovely because when I woke up I felt as though I had slept for 12 hours, ha. I'm a little crampy still and a bit out of it but no worse for the wear.
Now only time will tell whether any of those eggs grow into healthy embryos. I need to just let go at this point. No amount of worrying is going to change the outcome It's all in God's hands.
I just received another call from my doctor. My estrogen levels are dropping instead of rising, for the second time in two days my doctor offered me the chance to cancel the cycle. He said IVF is still our best chance. He said he would pray for me. We are still moving forward; it will take a miracle.
There is only one that can accomplish that if it's his plan. After a good sob session I'm at peace (for the moment); it's all up to him. He can move mountains if he chooses to. He knows the pain and emptiness inside of me. He knows the desires of my heart. He knows.
In spite of all of this I will try to find the positives. Joe and I were very concerned about the possibility of extra embryos and it weighed on us how we proceed with our beliefs. A small quiet voice inside of me whispered, well he has taken that burden from you, there's no decision to make.
Today in the midst of all my tears I heard that quiet voice again. Maybe, just maybe he is going to make a miracle happen. What a dramatic testimony I would have if after all these obstacles, after all the heartache, pain and just difficulty at every turn- that all our sorrows and suffering would be transformed into a miraculous beautiful life.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
This morning I went in for monotoring with my doctor to see how I was progressing. Unfortunately despite being on the highest dosage of meds I did not have a good response. Only 5 follicles (2 of which are close to mature) in one ovary and nothing from the other.
I sit here waiting to hear back from my doctor just feeling so weary. I have had a headache since Friday because of the hormones I am injecting twice a day. I just don't understand why. Why I can't even go to the doctor without worrying whats going wrong now, why this has to be just so hard, what am I supposed to be learning from this?
Joe said to me this morning as I cried quietly, 'maybe God just doesn't want us to have any more children.' He told me that he wants a six month break if this does not work out. I understand where he is coming from and why he is saying what he is but I still just don't understand God's hand in all of this.
I feel like I am up to my neck and floundering in the water. Joe is sick, he is having another Lyme relapse, he is moody and sad and dizzy. Charlie is back to waking in the middle of the night and is going through this difficult whining/testing boundaries phase. Joe's Mom who is bed ridden with severe MS is getting so sick she can't even swallow water. And we have this infertility minefield I am trying to navigate through.
I know God won't give us more than we can handle but I'm just praying for a break from all of this hardship, pain and sadness. I need something to turn around for us. I need God to work miracles in my life and Joe's. I need him now more than ever.
Today when I prayed I tried to remember every blessing he has given me. I guess I need to focus on that a bit more today.
Last week I took my IVF class that taught me how to mix my meds for 'cocktail injections,' and other basic information about the IVF cycle. After the class I had to have an ultrasound to make sure my uterus didn't have an fibroids or polyps so that we could move forward. All went well with the exception of my doc finally confirming that I am in the beginning stages of endometriosis. It explains all the pain I have had so at least I was able to make sense of that.
Thursday I went in for what is called a supression check. The doctors are looking to make sure that you have no follicles (eggs) that are maturing and your hormone levels are in the right range to start a cycle. I received a call in the afternoon that my bloodwork was a bit off so they wanted me to come in and retest in the morning.
Yesterday I went in and my doctor was not looking optimistic after seeing a follicle on my ultrasound and reviewing my bloodwork. He said my estrogen levels had to go down into order to proceed, if they did not we would have to cancel the cycle before it even started. He didn't want to talk about next steps with me until he saw the bloodwork results and he was very clear that he only wanted the optimal conditions to start.
I walked out thinking we were going to have to rule out this whole month. I cried to myself on the ride home to Joe and Charlie because this process has been wrought with so many disappointments and obstacles that I just assumed it wasn't going to work out. I cried some more on my husband's chest and Charlie was right there hugging me saying "Mommy you're all better now," after he kissed me.
I was blessed to be able to get out of the house and spend some time with a beautiful friend of mine and just forget about it all for a little while. But as soon as I got home and put Charlie down for a nap it hit me like a wall again.
I knew my doctor would call in the afternoon to discuss the results so it was just a matter of time. So in my moment of quiet I went into our bedroom and knelt on the floor and prayed. I thanked God for the countless blessings he showers over me each day. And then I just confessed to him that this is so difficult, I just broke down crying. Just as I was crying to him my phone rang. It was my nurse and she said she had good news, my hormone levels are back in the right range and we can proceed. We are still on schedule.
I hung up the phone and nearly collapsed on the floor. God is so gracious and faithful that I just don't even feel worthy of it at times. It is so humbling to cry to him with a heavy heart and for God to literally reach out and answer immediately. The fact that he cares enough for me in my situation is incredible.
I cried for probably a bit too long and reached out to my friend to let her know what happened. I felt the need to share with her (and my family) the proof of his intimate presence in my life. And she told me that she had been praying right at time time when my nurse called and just said ,"Lord just give her a good call," and then she felt peace after praying.
It's so comforting to know that though I am going through a time of uncertainty God is walking right beside and loves me so deeply he will carry me if I can't walk myself. To Him be all glory, honor and praise.
Very recently Joe and I decided to wade into unknown waters and pursue an IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle. This whole infertility process has brought out a lot of pain and sadness and has felt like it has pushed at my faith at times. But He has been there and is there every step of the way.
The other day I was finishing up my bible study I folded the book on a page where I had a highlighted one line: Suffering is a means to deeper communion with God. I know he is drawing me nearer in this process, I feel his presence.
Then in my bible group the beautiful circle of woman I study with asked if they could pray over me. I felt so blessed.
I had an incredible experience this morning. Last night a dear friend of mine called me to invite me to go to her church to hear a guest speaker. Right before she had called I had been praying and reflecting on how I hadn't felt like I had done much to be close with him yesterday. I felt God was sending me a message through my friend to go see this speaker.
Joe and Charlie and I piled up into the car this morning and sat with our friends right near the front of the church. We sang some beautiful hymns and prayers. And the the guest speaker walked up to the podium. And what did the he speak about the whole time?
He started with the story of Abraham and Sarah and how they wanted so badly to have a child but couldn't. And God came to them at the old age of 90 and 100 and told them they would have a baby. He actually talked about infertility (!) and how at times our dreams may seem like they are impossible to fulfill but that through God everything is possible.
His message was one of waiting on God's timing and having faith that God is not finished with us, not even on our last day here. I sat there in the pew crying quietly because I literally felt like God was reaching out to me through this man. My dear friend turned to me in the midst of this and whispered "there are no coincidences," and she is so right.
I feel so humbled that my Lord and savior is such a personal God that he would reach out to me in such an intimate way. So gentle, so loving, so compassionate. There are people out there suffering far greater tragedies than I and yet he cares enough to touch my life in such a profound, beautiful way.
To dos are to get a bible verse up on the wall above C's crib and slipcover the glider myself.
Yes the train table takes up half of the room but he loves it (as you can see)
Click here to see how it looked soon after we moved (and ripped up the mint carpet, refinished the floors and put up beadboard)- not too much has changed. I have tried to keep this room true to Charlie (hence the huge train table, books everywhere and tag sale school house that is really big but he loves it).
That's what I am doing today after finding out we are not pregnant. Heartbroken.
Our insurance does not cover any of these treatments and so I researched individual insurance and discovered yet another door closed in my face today. There is not one insurance company that will cover any portion of fertility treatment for an individual.
Part of me wants to ask him, What am I doing wrong, what is broken inside of me that needs to be fixed in order to make this happen, will this ever happen, will I ever be able to hold a newborn in all of her perfection and say she is mine? Will Charlie ever be able to know the joy of having a sibling, am I unfit? Am I incapable, am I not faithful enough, what is your plan for me? Should I just let go of this desperate aching desire in my heart? Please just tell me if I need to move on.
I know he counts the tears we weep. This is what I am leaning on today.
“Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long? Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:2-4,6-9
“The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’” Isaiah 25:8,9
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
We started with a similar course of treatment as last month (femara 5 mg for days 3-7 and then injected with gonal for 3 days) and I went in on day ten to have my ultrasound. My doctor said I had a great response, almost too good. He scared me a bit with the way he grappled with whether to cancel the cycle or to go ahead with our IUI plan.
What a rollercoaster to worry that since I had 5 mature follicles and 1 slightly mature that there was an increased risk of multiples. Thinking of Charlie how this could all impact him, how it would be very hard on me and on Joe as well just made me worry. But if we canceled the cycle we would lose another $2,500 and we are just bleeding money with these treatments every month.
After talking to Joe we decided to go forward (which my Dr. and nurse had also recommended). I realized that I had 4 mature follicles from my last failed cycle so that put me a little more at ease, but wow I still felt the pressure. What a mental sturggle this process is. There truly is an emotional and physical expense to be paid each month as well.
Last weekend was such a crazy and strange time. Joe and I had to go to the office for our separate parts of the IUI procedure. The procedure itself was pretty uneventful with the exception of having a doctor that was far too attractive for my comfort level, ha.
And now I sit here and wait; wait and think far too often about what could or couldn't be. Every day my mind wonders is this the month that God has chosen for us to get pregnant? Or is it not the time he has chosen? My fears have also been taking over- what if there are triplets- how would I ever be able to take care of that many children, how would Charlie feel that he is loved, what if there were twins (insert same questions and concerns).
I had my bible study this morning and the memory verse was so timely for me: Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
Yesterday the little children's devotional I had bought for Charlie for Christmas had a similar verse from Phillipians and the whole little story was about putting your trust in God and not worrying. I can feel him drawing me nearer.
I can feel his gentle tenderness around me right now. I can feel him whisper to me softly, "Listen my child, I will take care of you. I know your heart's desire. Do not worry, do not be afraid, have peace and trust in Me." Why is it so hard to do just that? After bible study, Charlie and I had lunch and then I put him down for a nap.
I spent an hour going through the bible, pouring over each verse that referred to trusting in him. I felt the need to write out as many as I could, those that touched me the deepest. And then I stuck some up on mirrors ad doors so my eye would be drawn to them and read them again and again. Because I need to be reminded.
Then I went to the bedroom and got on my knees and prayed to him and wept. Thanking him for my blessings, asking him for forgiveness for continuing to hold onto this worry and asking him to please help me through this time because I cannot get through it without him. This is so difficult. I feel like I am out there hanging in limbo for the next week and a half, not lost but filled with uncertainty.
I know this particular journey is one where he is refining me and bringing me closer to him. I know because for the next two weeks I have to walk blindly in faith with him guiding me through the darkness. There is no other choice, I just have to have hope.
Here is what we've been up to for the month of December.
Cuddling with Daddy on chilly nights
Chatting it up with Santa (don't mind the not so friendly elf)
Building and decorating gingerbread houses (thank you Ikea for a $4 set)
Visiting the big, big city (so bummed the beans eyes were closed in this shot)
Baking more cookies! for parties, teachers, friends, mailmen and garbage men
Dining with our closest moose friends
Erecting a chicken coop worthy of it's name (Monticello)
Kudos to the hubby on this masterpiece
The girls (all six of them) seem to love it
Mama was sewing up a storm (first projects since home ec)
a construction blanket, pillow and toolbelt
celebrating the birth of our savior
loving our presents (score one for mama on this tag sale crane)
Getting very excited for our first snowstorm
Fixing up the house with our new tool belt
How do I get out there to play in it?!
Providing Daddy with moral support
Visiting the Museum of Natural History ( Dinosaurs and Butterflies!)
What a month! We went through another rough patch with sleep issues in the first half of the month but right now for the past 5 days we have been sleeping through and doing wonderfully, no screaming/crying/etc. Last night Charlie was blowing me kisses when I walked out of his room and then shouted to the wall "I love you Mommy", he melts my heart- I shouted it back to him. I wish we could stop the ticking of the clock and just soak up the beauty of this time. I know I will keep that and many other beautiful moments from this month locked away in my heart.
Looks like we'll be jumping back into the fertility treatments in the next week or so. Any prayers you could offer up would be most appreciated and this is a costly process both emotionally and financially.
Wishing everyone a happy new year that is abundantly filled with God's blessings!
This blog is turning more into a monthly update than a daily chronicling of my life. I think it's just where I am right now mentally, emotionally.
Our first month of working with a specialist and using oral and injectable drugs, lots of bloodwork, ultrasounds, and yet another failure. I was supposed to have a pregnancy test yesterday. I got my period on Tuesday- here I go with TMI, but my cycles continue to shorten in length and it just concerns me that I wouldn't even be able to support a pregnancy should in the off chance that actually might happen. I'm waiting to hear back from my doctor on the results of the latest bloodwork.
I decided to take a break from trying to conceive for the month of December. Truly I had no idea how difficult a journey this was going to be when Joe and I embarked on this many months ago. And when we had professional interventive help where I was being monitored on sometimes, a daily basis, I had no idea the level of stress it would burden me with.
Every month I run the gamut of emotions. It truly is a rollercoaster where I soar to the highest hopes and then crash and I contemplate if God even thinks me capable of mothering another child.
With the regular stresses that accompany the holidays I just decided I couldn't do it. The hormones that I inject myself with have affected my moods more than I would like to admit.
I have chosen to take this time to focus on myself more and try to become a more gentle, patient and loving mother to my son.
It is not easy when I literally ache to be pregnant and see so many friends with their beautiful families and so many others pregnant. I know God has his own perfect timing and his own perfect plan so I need to find peace in that.
I'll close this post with something a little more positive. Charlie's imagination is so incredible to watch at work right now. The other day he put on a pretend helmet and gloves when he was working with his digger. He also started using the oven in his pretend kitchen and baked a 'turkey pie' and spicy cookies for me. It was so adorable how he put the pan filled with fake food into the oven, turned the knobs and then took it out declaring it was very, very hot.
And his questioning is taking on a whole new level. He wants to understand everything, and often when we are in the car one question will lead to a thousand other ones. His favorite question used to be " What is x doing?" as in what is the truck doing and so on. Now he asks, "Mommy what is this song about, or what is that story about?" Truly children are little miracles.
Our Halloween weekend extravaganza, was just that. We had three parties Fri-Sun and got our monies-worth out of that dragon costume! I was shocked by how much Charlie enjoyed it this year. He kept saying "Can we go to another house now?" This was after we had only planned on three houses. He had a blast!
In other news, we are moving along with a reproductive endocrinologist that we both really like. Joe and I have undergone lots of testing the past few weeks and, thank God, everything has come back positive. We have a follow up appointment this Friday to discuss starting our official plan so we'll see what that brings. I had to sign a release that says I am aware that there is a 30% chance of twins (and 10% risk of triplets) with the treatments we'll be undergoing. I'm leaving this one up in my maker's hands, he knows what I can handle and can't.
I'll leave you with some pictures from our weekend :o)
Today we went apple picking with a bunch of friends, it was such a perfect autumn day. Charlie is getting over a mild cold and was in a much better mood, so he really enjoyed it. It's so hard when they are sick and miserable and can't sleep because they can't breath and you can't get out of the house- it drives Mommy crazy a little too!
I have been remiss about updating this blog and it's making Joe sad. He said this blog is something he wants to be able to look back through and read in the future, so here I am trying to be better and giving an update :o)
Charlie is constantly asking what everyone is doing right now, as in "Mommy doing?, Daddy doing?" He wants us to explain everything to him from the simplest to the most abstract, he truly is a little sponge right now. He's doing fantastic with putting together long sentences and he's enjoying singing songs more since now he is really remembering all the lyrics that go along.
He is even more independent wanting to do everything himself and prove what a big boy he is in all that he does.
On the baby front, there are no news except I have an appointment with a fertility specialist in a couple weeks and will hopefully get to the root of why my body is not cooperating right. I hope we will have a plan soon.
Around the house, we are having a patio and mini-deck put in which will be wonderful to use come the spring. Up until recently we had a door in the mudroom that didn't open to anything ala the Winchester House! Joe and I are also talking about the kitchen more, I'm really hoping we can get started on that project soon but I don't want to push him.
We are getting chickens, as in live, day-old baby chicks, this week. I'm looking forward to this new little adventure and I'm sure that Charlie is going to be enthralled because he loves animals so deeply. By the spring the little ladies will be ready to lay eggs (one a day) and I even researched and bought two girls that will lay blue or green eggs.
Finally, I have decided on a project for myself this year. I am going to try to write a novel. I used to write the summers away when I was a kid, lost in my own little made-up world. I love to read so much and lately I've been devouring several books a week. Then the thought just came to me, why not give it a try again and see where it takes you. So we will see...
Hi there and welcome! I'm a happily married, stay at home Mama to my little bean, Charlie. I use this blog as a creative outlet for design inspiration, my passion for cooking and baking, but most of all to chronicle my blessed life with my two guys.
My old blog can be found at: http://thebeanblog.blog.com/