This is why...

This blog has been created to give our family and friends an idea of our journey through infertility and the steps we chose to take to make our dream of becoming parents a reality. There may be a few graphic details here and there, along with some fun photos, but most importantly, we wanted to document these events in our lives for our future children and for anyone else who dreams of becoming a parent. Enjoy!

*Anyone who may be interested in us as adoptive parents, please feel free to check out our link at Bethany.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Almost ready...

So over the past month or so, Darryl and I have been filling out the piles of countless paperwork and making appointments at the Doctor for physicals, going to Quest for blood tests/urine tests, taking CPR and first aid courses, and still need to make the appointment for the DMV to pick up driving records and finish our self evaluations. It's amazing how much some people have to go through to have a baby added to their family. If the state made every parent go through this before getting pregnant, there would definitely be a lot less unwanted children in this world.
We hope to get all our paperwork done and turned in by January 1st (my birthday...Yay!) and hope to get our home study and portfolio done by February 1st. My brother Anthony is an amazing artist and computer graphics designer who is planning on doing our portfolio for us which is awesome!!!!! All I have to do is send him the pictures and he's going to lay them all out in a book format. (for those of you that don't know already, our portfolio is what Bethany shows to birth moms who are planning on placing their children.) And Darryl and I have also learned that the term "putting up for adoption" is no longer correct. "Placing" is the correct term now. :) When a birth mom decides to place her child, she tells Bethany what she expects and what type of parents she would like her child to have. From there, Bethany picks four families and lets the birth mom view their portfolios. The birth mom can then pick from those families who were best suited for her needs or ask to see more.
The office we are going through is also known for their "surprise babies" which means once we are on the list, we could get a call at any time letting us know that there is a baby waiting for us and we need to go pick him/her up immediately. For this reason, we do need to have some baby items ready and waiting. (somewhere for the baby to sleep, car seat, bottles, diapers, and a few outfits)
I will get much more into the details of all this once we are going through it....but there is much more to it. :)
In the meantime, please pray for our unborn baby (our birth mom could be pregnant with him/her as I write this....scary and exciting thought) :), pray that this experience goes smoothly and that we don't end up in an adoption nightmare that ends up with us losing the one thing that we've wanted for so long, and pray for us to continue to trust God and his planning. We are excited and can't wait for the blog where we get to share our good news!!!! We love you all and thank you for your continuous prayers.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Adoption, here we come! :)

Darryl and I met with our friends Matt and Melanie last Wednesday night and on the way home from their house, decided adoption was what we wanted to do. This couple was such a blessing to talk to. We were able to share a lot of the same feelings about infertility and they were able to share their joys of adopting their little girl. Thank you Matt and Melanie, for being so supportive and for openly sharing your experience with us. :)
The next morning, Darryl and I filled out the first application and sent in our first payment. We found out today that our application was approved and we attend an orientation meeting on Wednesday. We are so lucky that the class is this week. They only hold this mandatory meeting once every couple of months. The next class will be held in January, and most likely when we are out of town. We would have had to wait 4 more months just to get the ball rolling so thank God we turned in our paperwork right away. We will let you know how it goes but for now please keep us in your prayers. Pray that this process will go by smoothly and as stress free as possible. Pray that the birth mom that picks us will be carrying the exact baby that God wants us to have. Pray for her safety and the safety of our future baby (babies). Thank you again for checking in on us. xoxo

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Trying to move on...

Hi everyone...well, it's been a long couple of weeks. We said goodbye to my Grandpa last Saturday at a beautiful memorial service at Knott Ave. Christian Church. Many people came up to me and said it was the best they had ever been to. My Grandpa was a wonderful man who will not be forgotten.
It's taken me a couple of week to compose myself and try to move forward with the baby process. It's been hard but, as we all say...we aren't getting any younger. :) As of now, I'm taking a vitamin called "Fertility Blend" and will start another vitamin called "Bee Propolis" which is supposed to be very helpful to people with endometriosis. For now I'm staying off birth control but we have also decided to move ahead with the adoption process. I wrote Bethany Christian Services yesterday and will receive the packet in the mail in a couple of days. Darryl and I will sit down this week to fill out an online questionnaire and send in the first fee. We are meeting with some friends tomorrow night who have gone through Bethany and had a wonderful experience. They said they would love to share their journey, have us meet their daughter, and let us know when the next Bethany information meeting is. Darryl and I just need to figure out how much this will all cost and think of some ways to finance it so we can have our family started as soon as possible. It will definitely be nice to talk with another couple who has gone through it all.
Thank you to all of you who are keeping up with our blog and for keeping us in your prayers. We know that God has the perfect baby in mind for us and he is just waiting for the perfect time to send him/her home. Hope you all have a wonderful 3 or 4 day weekend and we will keep you updated. xoxo

Friday, October 29, 2010

When it rains, it pours...

I don't even know how to begin this....This has definitely been the worst week of my life. The news we received last Wednesday now seems like a birthday party and so unimportant compared to the last few days. I guess I can start with last Thursday. I found out that my Grandpa was in the hospital again for pneumonia and blood transfusions. Unfortunately this was getting to be a pretty normal routine so I felt bad for my Gramps but knew that he would feel better and be back home soon. I went to go visit him after work on Friday and he was his normal self. He seemed a little out of breath but much better than the l ast time he had pneumonia. As he sat up in his hospital bed, he wanted to know what our next step was for having a baby. We talked about our family, my class, the news, and all kinds of other things. I am SO GLAD that I went.
Saturday, Darryl and I went to the OC Walk to Remember to walk in remembrance of our nephew Luca who died of SIDS at 3 and half months. It was a tearful morning but nice to see how many people gathered in support of this charity. Afterward, we went to our sister's house to celebrate my niece Delilah's third birthday. During the party, we got a call that Grandpa wasn't doing too well and wasn't responding to anyone. He had been sent h ome from the hospital Saturday morning and a few hours later was unresponsive except little nods now and then. As Darryl and I pulled up to my Grandparent's house, we were met with 2 firetrucks and an ambulance with paramedics wheeling my Grandpa out of the house on a gurney. My uncle met us outside and said that the paramedics thought that his blood sugar level got too high. (Normal is between 75 an 150. My Grandpa's was at 500.)
The paramedics took him to the ER and D and I followed with my Grandma, parents, and uncle. While at the hospital, we were allowed to go back and see him after the doctors ran several tests. He couldn't talk but he was able to nod his head to questions, move his hands, and feet, and look around. Thinking back....he really lifted his head a lot and kept looki ng around as if he was seeing something we weren't. I now think that he was. :)That night, my brother and I told him we loved him, kissed him goodbye, and that we would see him later.
Sunday, my mom and I went to visit my Grandpa. He was now in his own room but unresponsive again. His breathing was very labored and he was hooked up to a ventilator. I began crying the second I walked in the room. He looked so different from the day before. I sat there and held his hand but couldn't quite tell if he was holding mine back. My mom told me that I needed to say my goodbyes because the doctors weren't sure he would make it through the night. So with a room full of people, I leaned down to hug him and tell him that I loved him very much. As I did that, he opened one eye, looked at me, and tried his very best to talk back. All that came out was noises but I know that he heard me and that he was fighting to stay alive. It was hard to leave him that day but my Grandma said that towards the end of the night, he seemed much more relaxed and his breathing was much more normal. I think we all got our hopes up.
Monday morning, my Grandma and I went to visit him. He was now in ICU and doing worse. He was completely unresponsive and his breathing was labored again. I never thought I would want to be in the room and stay with someone I loved who was in this position but there was no way I could leave. I wanted to be there with him and the rest of my fam ily until the end. As my Grandma and I sat by his side, his doctor called and asked my Grandma if she was prepared for the worst. We all knew what was coming. My Grandma and family explained that we didn't want him to receive CPR or have to rely on the machines to keep him alive. He was slowly letting go and we wanted to him to be able to leave us peacefully.
At this point, I knew he was already gone....but the machines were still keeping him breathing and his heart beating. The doctors said that they could put him in a quiet room for us to all be with him as a family as he left us. My Grandma said that would be a good idea but then the doctors told us they wouldn't have a private room available until 5:00 pm. It was 12:30pm at the time. We had quiet a while to wait but it was amazing to se e how many people showed up in support of the family and to say goodbye to one of the greatest men they had ever known. We got to hear all kinds of stories about my Grandpa and how he had made such a positive difference in peoples' lives. We prayed together, cried together, laughed together, and took turns going in and out of the ICU to see and talk to my Grandpa. At about 4:30 or so, the nurse gave him some morphine to slow his bre athing and relax him. This was supposed to last until 5:00 when we could all be with him but about 2 minutes later he started to go. She quickly called us all in to the ICU and closed the curtain. I was able to hold his hand, and my uncle reminded him that his whole family was there with him and that we loved him as his body slowly gave up. At 4:40 pm my Grandpa left our world and went to a much better one. As devastated as I was, there was a strong feeling of peace that washed over me. I knew he was in a much happier place and was no longer in pain. One of the last things he said to me on Friday was, "'s no fun being sick". I now knew that his suffering was over and he was in Heaven with our Lord and Savior.
These past few days have been hard and I don't think a day has gone by since that I haven't burst into tears at random moments but the one thing that always makes me feel better is knowing that he is in Heaven and how many lives he has touched while he was here. I will miss him dearly and can't wait for the day that our whole family can be together again.
As far as this being a "fertility blog"....well this is where the whole story ties together. My Grandpa has been sick for a couple of years now and my one wish was that he would be able to meet our first child before he goes. Darryl and I just finished with our second failed round of Invitro and during those 2 rounds we had 10 embryos that didn't survive.... I can only imagine what fun my Grandpa is having with his 10 great grandchildren up in Heaven. It's slowly starting to make sense why we are not pregnant. Darryl and I b oth think that being pregnant during this time would have been really hard on me and with as upset as I am, I don't think that would have been good for the babies. And now my Grandpa has some great grandchildren to keep him company and probably drive him crazy up there. (I'm hoping that they are all girls!) :)
Please pray for peace for our has been a very hard week and these next few months and years are going to be tough without our family leader. We miss you in peace. xoxo

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bad news.....again....

So for those of you that actually keep updated on our blog, I'm sure you know by now (from the 2 days of silence) that we didn't receive good news on Wednesday. Deep down I already knew so I didn't even answer the phone when Dr. H called. I made Darryl answer it and could tell by his voice that we weren't pregnant. Sooo.....20 grand down the drain. We just don't know what to do anymore. We can go the adoption route, go the holistic route, or do both at the same time....but then that's more money and still no guarantee for a baby. Dr. H does want to meet with us again but I'm done with IVF. Emotionally, I just can't do it anymore and physically....well...the bruises on my back speak for themselves.
As I dismiss my students everyday, I have to watch the hoards of women walk by with double strollers holding a kid's hand and pregnant! It's sooooooooo annoying. Why do they get to have 5 or 6 kids that they can barely handle and we can't have one??? Only God knows..... Dr. H did mention to me that she wants me to see a hematologist. Apparently I bled a lot during both surgeries so who knows....maybe that is all part of the problem. I'm also hoping to get her views on a few vitamins that are supposed to be helpful for women with endometriosis. But I know how some doctors feel about vitamins and herbal treatment. We'll see what she says.
For now, we're trying our best to be happy about more babies being born into the family. It's such mixed emotions. Of course we are happy to be an aunt and uncle to another beautiful baby but at the same time a rage of jealousy goes through me and I can't help but be mad that it wasn't me. However, once we get to hold Kellen Eli Martin in our arms that feeling will go away and I'll be happy just being Auntie Jen. And this may be a little too late....but congrats to my brother and his wife! We can't wait to meet him. :)

We have quite a few prayer requests this time.
Pray that God will make it clear to us what step to take next.
Pray that we will continue to trust him and that we won't doubt what he has planned for us.
Pray that our families can continue to put up with us as we look for direction.
Pray for the health of my Grandpa....who is currently in the hospital receiving yet another blood transfusion but who is constantly keeping us in prayer. :)
And finally.....pray that we will be able to start our family soon with no doubt about the road we decide to take.
xoxo......gossip girl.....(sorry....just needed to laugh and for some reason I found that funny and.....what's sad is that there's probably only one person reading this that will get it.) :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No frozen embryos...

We received a call today from Dr. H explaining that there were no embryos to freeze. This news kind of came as a shock to us since we started with 5 growing very well. After the transfer, we had 3 left so I thought for sure we would have at least 2 to put away for a later date. Having zero embryos isn't the best news but we know that God has a reason for it. This is now literally our last shot at having our own children, so although it's in God's hands, it is still hard to hear and hard to not start thinking of a back up plan. This next week is going to be a busy one for me. I went back to work with a hundred emails piling up, parent conferences next week, and then found out that I have a Kindergarten conference all day on Friday so I need to be out again. People keep telling me to take it easy but that's what I did our first round of IVF and it didn't make a difference. I'm hoping that this time, keeping busy will at least keep my mind off of everything. Our pregnancy test is on Wednesday and I was planning on taking Thursday off just in case we received bad news. But as Darryl and I were sitting in church on Sunday, I thought to myself that taking that day off " just in case of bad news" is not keeping my faith in God and it is like I'm already planning on this round not working. So instead, Darryl and I are going to take Wednesday off from work and I'm going to trust that no matter what the news is, God will let me deal with it that day and that I will able to go back to work on Thursday to the 24 students who need me. I'm also starting to feel the usual endometriosis pains in my legs which is not a good sign but I've read several articles of people who have endometriosis that still get all the symptoms and sometimes worse during pregnancy. Only God knows what's going on in my body but I pray that if I am pregnant, I will get some definite signs soon. (and I honestly wouldn't care how embarrassing those signs may be). :) This will be our last attempt at IVF so instead of my usual prayer request list....I just ask that everyone pray that this round works! PLEASE! If not, we will of course be heart broken but we know it's not the end of the world and that there is a reason for all of this. Thank you and we love you all. xoxo

Monday, October 11, 2010

Transfer Day Part II

Today was the transfer day! We got up early so Jen could get breakfast before and so that I could take Ari on a long walk. Mission accomplished on both. Ari was very well behaved all day.

Jen started drinking water at 9 AM to get to the facility at 10. She needed to drink 40 ounces so that her bladder was full. This helps straighten the uterus so the transfer is easier. Jen had a much harder time keeping it in and had to partially empty prior to the transfer. She seemed to be in a lot of pain for this.

Because of this, Dr H had a little bit of a harder time getting the transfer completed. They had to try multiple catheters, but they finally got it done. We have 2 embryos "cooking" as we speak.

The one on the left "won" the race. Dr H told us that it was a grade 2 out of 5 blastocyst where 1 is the best. This was very good. I had to google what a blastocyst was, and I found that it is the stage the embryo should be at around day 5. Dr H showed us the difference between an embryo that reaches this point and one that does not. The second one on the right, isn't quite there, but hopefully should be. Notice the embryo on the left has a lot of its cells pushed out to the edge of the cell with a cavity in the middle. That is what you want to see. It looks like the 2nd one is starting to do that. At least I am hopeful it is.

Here is the image of the implantation. Note the white spot next to the cursor...

As for the other embryos... Dr H said they will have another day to cook in the incubator. If they reach blastocyst stage, then they will preserve them for us.

I took Jen home around 12:45 where we spent the rest of the day on the couch hanging out with her mom. Jen will be moving up stairs in about 15 minutes after I give her her nightly shot. Tomorrow she will be on another day of bed rest. Then, on Wednesday, Jen is back on her feet for a blood test and work! She has to take it easy, but mainly for her own comfort. She is pretty bloated right now and will probably be that way throughout if we are pregnant.

Please continue to pray for us that our 2 embryos attach and that our remaining 3 grow into blastoscysts that we can save for later.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Embryo Transfer On Monday!!!

We just got our call from Dr H to let us know how our embryos are doing. She was happy to report that we have 5 embryos doing extremely well!!! Two of the original 7 aren't doing as well and most likely won't make it. The other 5, she can't tell yet which one is "winning" the race. She will check again on Monday before the transfer. This is the best possible news for us to have! Please continue to pray for us that the embryos will continue to grow.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

7 out of 10! Not bad! :)

Just received a call from Dr. H and found out that 7 out of 10 eggs fertilized! Yeah! Last time we only had 3 so this is much better news. Dr. H will call us on Saturday morning and tell us whether the transfer will be Saturday or Monday. If it's Saturday I will be on bed rest for 4 days and if it's Monday I will be on bed rest for 2 days. For now she really wants me to take it easy because my ovaries are so big. She doesn't really want me on my feet too much so if I go into work tomorrow I need to stay sitting down as much as possible. I also start 5 different medications today. Medrol (4 times a day), Tetracycline (4 times a day), Progesterone (a shot once a day), Estrogen (a shot once a day), and an aspirin (once a day). These shots are the big ones that go into my back muscles. Fun fun!!!! They actually don't hurt too bad. I just get really sore after about a week of them. I'm also continuing to drink my "yummy" Muscle Milk. And ummmm.... the vanilla flavor is DISGUSTING! The chocolate tastes much better and I don't have to hold my nose to drink it. Dr. H says I need to keep drinking it until after bed rest I think. But trust me....I won't miss it at all. :) Thank you for all your prayers and good thoughts!

Prayer Requests:
1. Pray that our embryos grow amazingly well and turn into the blastocysts (this means I will only need 2 days of bed rest)
2. Pray that I can get through the next few days without stressing about work too much.
3. Pray that we can continue to trust God and know that he has wonderful plans for us.
4. Pray that we can add a baby (babies) to our family within the next year. :)
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Thank you!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Retrieval Day Part II

Today was our second egg retrieval. Jen and I got to the surgical center at 9:15 and was ready to go around 10:40. While we were waiting, the anesthesiologist gave Jen something to relax and she was pretty high before I had to leave. She was laughing at everything.

Dr H came out around 11:45 to let me know how it went. She was able to harvest 11 eggs, and was very happy with the results. I was able to go back to see her around 12.

Recovery was a little different this time. They had Jen up to go to the bathroom and change as soon as I got in. She then sat in a chair for about 45 minutes while we waited for Dr H to let us know her thoughts. We found that out of the 11 she harvested, 10 were mature. Average is 10 to 15 so that is great news compared to the first time. Dr H is hopeful that we can make it for a Day 5 transfer and that there are plenty of embryos to freeze.

Jen is resting now. She is much more uncomfortable this time around, but she seems to be doing well. Dr H would like her to take it easy, possibly taking the whole week off through her bed rest.

This time around, I am ensuring that things are a lot more peaceful at the house. So unfortunately, that means no visitors unless specifically approved by Jen and me. It was way too chaotic last time, and we want to ensure we give ourselves the best chance for success since this could be our last attempt. I hope you all understand.

Please keep praying for us that this will be a successful round.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Almost there...

We had another appointment today. Dr H measured 19 large eggs with many more little ones. This has been so much better than the first try. We are done taking Follistim and today is the last day of Lupron. Tonight at 11:15 PM, I have to give Jen her HCG trigger shot. This has to be at the exact time so that they can extract the eggs exactly 36 hours from then.

Jen's procedure is set for Wednesday at 10:15 AM. We are hopeful that Dr H can retrieve as many as possible and that we could even have some extra left over. So this means that the embryo transfer will be either on Saturday or Monday depending on how the embryos grow. Jen will be on bed rest from the transfer until Wednesday morning. Luckily for me, Monday is a "holiday" and my office is closed to celebrate Columbus Day. So no extra days off are needed on my part!

On Friday, I get to take Jen to see Phantom of the Opera. I bought Jen really good tickets about 6 months ago for this (Center Orchestra, Row L, dead center), and we would have had to give them up if the transfer would have been the same day. Fortunately, it worked out for us. We will be dining at one of Jen's favorite restaurants, Magnolia in Hollywood.

If Jen is stuck in bed for a Saturday transfer, it makes for an easy football Sunday also! Just kidding grandpa... I will take good care of my beautiful wife.

Please continue to pray for us. We are almost done. Hopefully, it will be good news this time.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Don't want hyperstimulation...

Well Darryl and I had another appointment this morning and will have them everyday until the retrieval. I've been feeling a little more pressure in my uterus and Dr. H said I definitely should be. She said my follicles are growing pretty rapidly and that she really wants me to take it easy the next few days. She told us today that we need to buy Muscle Milk (which is like a protein shake) and I need to drink it twice a day to keep my ovaries from hyperstimulating and creating too many follicles. Sounds pretty disgusting but according to my best friend's husband, vanilla is the best flavor and it's not too bad. Ummmm....I'll keep you updated on that. Funny that we are now having the exact opposite response from our first round of IVF. (which is a good thing!) Now the trick will be teaching a class full of kindergartners and first graders while sitting down and taking it easy. :) I'm sure with a little bribing, I will get through the next few days with no problems. And the nurse from our doctor's office just called and said we need to lower our Follistim meds to 50 units and continue with our Lupron as we have been. She said our HCG shot will most likely be tomorrow which means my surgery will be on Wednesday. Thank you for everyone who is keeping up with our situation. :) Your prayers are always heard. :)

Prayer Requests:
1. Pray that my ovaries don't hyperstimulate and create too many follicles. If this occurs, the whole cycle could be canceled.
2. Pray that my body produces the perfect amount and that the doctor is very happy about the results.
3. Pray that my body can continue to recover from this cold and that Darryl won't catch it.
4. Pray that we can continue to put our trust in God and know that he will do what is best for us.
5. Pray that we can add a baby (babies) to our family within the year.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Wifey Likes the Drugs

Hey Everyone,

Today was another appointment. Jen had her regular Ultrasound and Blood Test. Things seem to keep improving this time. On the ultrasound, Dr. H counted out 22 eggs! The largest measuring about 15 mm. Last month on our first protocol, we only made 10 or 11. So Jen's body seems to be responding perfectly. Dr H mentioned that she believes the endometriosis is on the right side because the images were much fuzzier than those on the left. Next up is another appointment on Saturday with the trigger shot following soon thereafter. The retrieval is tentatively planned for Tuesday with the transfer on Friday or Sunday. That of course could change depending on how the next couple days go.

Jen is still not feeling well. She has an appointment with our regular doctor today at 3:30. Dr H is hoping that if she needs antibiotics that she can be on them for a few days before the retrieval. If she is not better by then, the anesthesiologist could cancel it. Please keep us in your prayers so she gets better and everything goes smoothly.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Things look good...

Darryl and I had another early morning appointment today. So far the hormone levels are good and we have 15 follicles which was more than what we had the first round at this time. Last time our follicles were all different sizes. We had big ones and small ones. This time they are all pretty much the same size which is good! Hopefully they will all grow simultaneously so they can be considered "good eggs" on retrieval day. :) The higher the egg number, the better our chances of getting the best egg quality before implantation. We have another appointment Thursday morning but until then, we will stay on the same dosage of Lupron and Follistim. We'll keep you updated! :) Thank you for all the prayers! xoxo

Prayer Requests...
1. Pray that on our Thursday morning appointment, we have a wonderful looking ultrasound with the perfect amount of follicles.
2. Pray that Darryl and I can stay free from sickness during this time. (I'm already feeling better! :)
3. Pray that we can add a baby (babies) to our family within the year.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Doctor's Appointment

This morning Jennifer and I had another appointment, the first of many where they will do an ultrasound and then draw blood to check hormone level. We got to see Dr. Werlin today. If you don't know about him, he is a genius fertility doctor that looks like Albert Einstein. He said that everything is looking great. We had about 10 follicles and that more can come since it is so early in the process. The hormone levels checked out good and we do not need to make any changes to our protocol.

Jen is not feeling well right now. She always seems to get sick at the beginning of the year. Those dirty little kids... :) She is going to her regular doctor tomorrow if she doesn't feel any better. The only restriction on medication is sudafed. So I guess that means no sinus relief or crystal meth for us any time soon...

Please pray that Jen feels better and that everything continues to move forward smoothly.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

New shots...

Darryl and I had an appointment Thursday morning and were given all of our free Folistim (YAY!) and our calendar for our second round of IVF. We began our new shot (Lupron) which we take 10 units of in the morning and 10 units of at night, along with a full 450 units of Follistim every night. Hopefully this time the medicine will kick in early and our doctor will be much happier with the results. I'm definitely feeling much moodier this time around so stay outta my way! :) Thank you for the continuous prayers and I will try my best to keep this updated with each appointment. On a side note, my first week of teaching my K/1 combo class went pretty good. I had a week to decorate my room, start teaching a class full of 24 new students in two different grade levels, and do Back to School Night! I'm exhausted but I'm glad everything went well! :) It will get much easier as the weeks go on and the students and I get used to the daily routine. I'm very grateful for the full time job and excited that it's something I love to do!

Prayer Request: Please pray...
1. that Dr. H is very happy about our numbers at tomorrow morning's appointment
2. that Darryl and I can keep from getting sick during this time. Teaching kindergartners and first graders is almost asking to get sick. I'm feeling a little yucky so hopefully with some Airborne and prayer I will feel much better soon.
3. that we can add a baby (babies) to our family within the year.

Thank you. xoxo

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Beginnings

Hi everyone! Well a lot has changed over the past few weeks. I was called back to work by my district last Tuesday night, had 2 days to set up my classroom, and began teaching a kindergarten/first grade combo class this morning. Today went well but I feel so far behind since I wasn't able to teach the first 13 days of school. I'm sure after a few weeks, my class will be up and running like a well oiled machine. :) (let's hope!) Darryl and I also started our round 2 of invitro today. We had our first appointment with Dr. H and she said everything looked great and we will start our new meds this Thursday night. We will begin with the highest dose of Follistim and and 10 units of Lupron. We are praying that this time, the medicine will do it's job from day 1 and that the doctor will end up with plenty of eggs to choose from at the time of the transfer. Thank you for all of you who have continued to pray for us during this time. It seems like things are turning around for us and we are very excited to see what wonderful things God has in store for us.

Prayer Requests:
1. Please pray that the new medicine has no negative side effects and that it will do it's job from day 1.
2. Pray that Darryl and I continue to have faith that God knows what he is doing.
3. Pray that we can add a baby (babies) to our family within the year.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Monday's appointment

Sorry everyone... I totally forgot to update our blog after our last appointment. We had another early appointment on Monday (8:15) which sucks when it's a holiday and we both could have slept in. And it sucked even more because we ended up sitting in the waiting room for about an hour because Dr. H and Dr. Werlin were not there that day. So we had to see the RN who I really don't care for too much. I think she's new and for some reason she can never find what she's looking for on my ultrasounds. After poking around for a bit, she found 4 follicles on one side and 3 on the other. This must be normal at this stage, because she told us we would start birth control pills that night and come back in 2 weeks. I'm thinking that if everything looks good in 2 weeks, we will start our medications.
After our doctor appointment, Darryl and I went to Chick Fil-A for breakfast (yummy chicken biscuits and.....of course a Dr. Pepper!), we went to Home Depot to pick up some paint stuff and then spent the ENTIRE day painting our kitchen and hallway!!! It will look awesome once we get our cabinets stained to the dark cherry wood color we both like. "Dad? You're going to help us with that right?"
And this week I'm back to work. I missed the little girls I nanny for so much! Ava gave me the biggest hug when I picked her up from school yesterday and Ella is learning things sooooo fast! I can't wait for the day to be doing all these things with my own children. :) I'll also be subbing more now that I can be up and around again. It will be nice to see all my teacher friends and my students. And the best part is that school gets out at 1:40 now!!!! Whoo hooo!
Anyway...that's what's going on with us. Hope you are all having a great day!

Prayer Requests:
1. Pray that with each one of our appointments, our doctor has good news for us and that my body is reacting the way she would like.
2. Pray that we can add a baby (babies) to our family within the year.
3. Pray that we can continue to trust God and know that he knows what is best for us.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The best things happen when you least expect them...

We had our follow up appointment with Dr. H this morning at 7:00am. As soon as we walked in her office, she gave me a big hug and asked how I was doing. I told her I was ok. Then she looked at Darryl and said, "No, really, how is she?" He told her that I was doing pretty good considering everything that had happened. (I'm normally a total mess whenever we talk in her office, but I had prayed that I wouldn't be a bawling disaster, and God gave me complete peace during our conversation). So she began to tell us that she learned a lot from our first round of IVF. She said that she uses a certain protocol depending on the height, weight, and age of the woman doing the IVF. With the meds I was prescribed, she was a little worried that my ovaries would be overstimulated and make too many eggs. She was surprised that they didn't start doing their job until she added in the menopur shots to the follistim shots. So pretty much for the first 3 days of taking the follistim shots my body wasn't doing anything. Once we added in the menopur shots, the ovaries started working harder but by that time the 12 follicles were the only ones there and it was up to the menopur to make them grow. So with this next round she is being very aggressive with the meds. We are starting on the highest dose of follistim and adding lupron instead of the ganirelex. She didn't mention the menopur so I may not be on that at all this time. She said that it could be that 12 follicles is my peak or that my body just didn't like that protocol. (I still believe that because I was VERY sick the week before, it may have made a difference but Dr. H said it shouldn't have). Dr. H explained that lupron is much cheaper than ganirelex which made us happy but when she said I would be on the highest dose of follistim, all I could see was $$$$$$$$$$$$$ because follistim is $5oo per shot and I knew I was going to need 10-12 of them. (And insurance does not cover any of this). She explained that she would like to start me on birth control for 2 weeks to get the timing right and then start up the shots again. Darryl explained that we were hoping to get started in November so we could save up the money for the meds. She then told us with much excitement that she met with the follistim rep over the weekend and she told him about us and begged for some samples for us. He gave her 10 shots and she said they should be here in the next couple of days and they have our name on them! She said we don't need to worry about paying for them! Well my "not crying in her office" almost went out the window. I held it together but with tears in my eyes I said, "That is so cool!!!! Thank you so much!" This was such an unexpected surprise and she said even if the rep didn't come into the office that weekend, she would have called him anyway. I can tell that she REALLY wants us to be pregnant and is going out of her way to try to make things easier on us. As we walked out of her office, she gave me another hug and told me to not lose hope yet. She told us to call her on the first day of my period, we'll set up an ultrasound appointment and go from there. So it looks like we will be starting round 2 a little earlier than what we thought. :) Darryl and I are excited to see what's next and are so thankful to God for the financial help!

Prayer Requests:
1. First of all....praise God for this unexpected surprise!
2. Pray that this new medicine plan will show very positive results and that the final result of this second IVF round will be a healthy baby (babies).
3. Pray that we can continue to feel the peace God has given us and remember how blessed we truly are.

Thank you for the continued prayers and support! We love you all!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The day after...

So yesterday was not a good day as I'm sure you've all heard. Lots of crying, lots of asking, "why?", and lots of feeling like I serve no purpose. I know that's not true but when all you want to do is be a mother and God keeps telling you, "not yet", it gets a little frustrating and you start to wonder what your purpose is and what we should do next. Maybe he's telling us to just wait a few months, maybe he's telling us to use a surrogate, or maybe he's telling us to adopt. It's funny because for the past few years I have never been able to picture myself in a hospital bed with my newborn surrounded by loved ones. I've always had this picture of Darryl and I walking into baggage claim at LAX with our newborn in our arms and tons of family and friends waiting for us. I don't know if this is something we should follow or if I'm just picturing it because the thought of having our own babies is so unreachable right now. Only God knows. But for now we have paid for 2 rounds of IVF so we are for sure trying it one more time. Whether or not we have healthy embryos left over will determine our next move if round 2 fails. And I'm sure some of you are reading this thinking, "Oh no...they shouldn 't be thinking about round 2 failing, they need to be positive, they need to relax and let it happen, they need to not worry." Well's not as easy as it sounds. We've wanted children for 3 years now and with IVF you have to expect the best and be prepared for the worst all at the same time. We are doing the best we can and are trying to keep our excitement for what God has planned. Not an easy road, and I hope that Darryl and I can be encouraging to other couples going through the same situation. Neither one of us are the type of people that can go out on the street and spread the word of God but I hope that through sharing this experience with others, we can be witnesses in our own way. Instead of turning our backs on God in this tough situation, we are trusting that he knows what is best. Our time will come and be so much greater than we ever expected. now on to the fun stuff. Darryl took the day off today so we could spend the day together doing whatever we wanted. We had the awesome idea of taking our babies (Ari and Drama) to the dog beach. Well our fun filled beach day with our lovely little puppies quickly turned into a bad scene from "Marley and Me". We still had a good time but Ari (our 5 month old German Shepherd) has never been to the dog beach and insisted on barking at every dog, person, bird, car, stick, wind, ....that went by. We didn't take her off the leash very often because we weren't too sure what she would do. The first time we let her off, she ran after her tennis ball, grabbed it, and then headed off to a family down the beach that had 2 little girls who didn't seem too thrilled to have a 40 pound dog charging at them with a tennis ball in her mouth . Darryl chased her down the beach, apologized, and Ari ended up back on her leash. Then Darryl took her off her leash a little later, played some more catch with her, and then brought her back up to me on the sand. We continued to hold her as anyone walked by because she would be barking like crazy at them. One lady told us to just let her go because us holding her back might be making Ari think that there is something wrong. Sooooooo....we let her go and she played some more catch and then came up to sit by me on the sand. (Meanwhile Drama didn't want ANYTHING to do with the water, the sand, the other dogs. NOPE. It was almost like she didn't want her pretty little princess paws to get dirty. So she sat cuddling with me on the beach) So then out of nowhere, a giant pit bull comes charging towards us on the beach (I'm sure it just wanted to play) but Ari got in full attack mode trying to protect us, jumped over me (scratching my arm up and knocking me in the face), and was about ready to rip this dog's face off. While I checked to make sure my nose wasn't broken, Darryl pulled the dogs apart and at that point I said WE'RE DONE! Here's some pics of our day! :)

This is Ari when is she is somewhat behaving.

Our precious little princesses

I thought this was a pretty cute pic of D and Ari.

Drama with her,"Can we go now?" face.

Me and baby Drama

This is what happens when your dog is trying to save you from a pit bull!

So besides the doggy madness, we had a good day. Darryl and I went to Esther's Tacos for lunch and then relaxed at home until he went to his basketball game. :) I did want to say to everyone thank you for all the prayers!!!!! I feel like we owe you a baby or something. But please keep praying. I know God listens. xoxo

Prayer Requests:
1. Please pray for peace for Darryl and I as we move into IVF round 2.
2. Pray that I won't be a crying mess while meeting with Dr. H this Thursday. (I tend to do that)
3. Pray that Dr. H has a new medicine protocol for us based on our last IVF round and high hopes that things will turn out better.
4. Pray for my cousin Arielle. She too received a negative on her pregnancy test and is doing her best to stay strong.
5. Pray that we will both be able to add a baby (babies) to our family this year. :) Thank you!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Good Game. Better luck next time...

That about sums it up for Jen and me right now. We got the bad news this afternoon, and we, like always, are floored. We try to not get our hopes up, but I don't think that is possible. We feel devastated.

We've spent the first hour sitting around the house not really doing anything. We haven't felt much like talking (at least I haven't). So if we haven't called or texted you back, that's why. I know there have been a ton of messages, and it is greatly appreciated.

We eventually got up and had lunch. Jen had a sorely needed Dr Pepper. I also set up the rest of our garden fence to help clear my head. I think it will keep our Pekingese, Drama, out. But, no guarantees about our German Shepherd puppy, Ari. She likes to get in trouble a lot...

We have a consult with Dr H on Thursday morning to discuss what the next steps are. We are 0 for 4 now with IUI and IVF with one more shot left at IVF. I am not sure if Dr H plans to change our approach to things. We will find out then. The good thing is that if this is going to work, it usually is on the second try.

Whatever is decided, we will need to save a little bit for the meds before we can go again. I believe they need Jen to go back on birth control for a couple months to get the timing down. So that could work out well in our favor financially. We could always just charge it, but I would much rather not do that.

If this last attempt does not work, we most likely will change gears and look at adoption. I am guessing this will all depend on what happens with the eggs they extract from the next round. If there are good eggs left over from the 2nd round, we will surely think about trying again or maybe even surrogacy. We haven't given any thought to surrogacy. We will cross these bridges later if we have to.

I know I will (and I'm sure Jen will too) always be wondering what our 3 embryos would have been like if they made it. I am sure they would have been great kids, but they weren't in God's plan. Hopefully, they are put to a better purpose.

Please keep us in your prayers. This is going to be a long next couple of weeks/months. Drinks Friday??? Yes, Please!!!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blood test

Hi everyone! Wow! It feels good to be off bed rest! Thank you again for everyone who cooked, brought food, came by to visit, called me, face booked me, and kept Darryl and I in your prayers. You are all so amazing! Yesterday we had a blood test to measure my hormone levels. If there was a problem the nurse would have called me last night to tell us to increase the progesterone in our nightly shots. However, we did not receive a call so everything is good so far. :) I've been trying to keep busy without doing anything too strenuous. If I'm just sitting around, I find myself analyzing every little feeling I get. (Was that a normal cramp? Was that a period cramp?) You know...that kind of stuff. And it's starting to make me crazy and emotional so I've decided to stop and just let God do his thing. Either I'm pregnant or I'm not, but analyzing everything won't change that. Today I was able to spend the day with my cousin Arielle who is also going through fertility treatments as well. She had an I.U.I. done and her pregnancy test is the day before mine. As we relaxed by the pool today, she showed me an article in a magazine that talked about a couple who had been trying to get pregnant for 3 years. They went through a few IVF cycles but never told anyone about their trouble, not even their own parents. They ended up lying to people and telling them they were going on trips when really, they were going through their IVF cycles on their own. They were so sad about their situation that they didn't want anyone else to have to carry the pain with them. The article went on to say that if more people would talk about fertility problems instead of being ashamed of them, then maybe our government would start seeing it as a medical problem that insurance SHOULD cover. For those of you that don't IVF cycle can cost anywhere from $10,000-$12,000. Currently there are some states in the US who do see infertility as a medical problem and cover the treatments through insurance. However, California sees it as an optional treatment (almost like cosmetic surgery) so you can see why couples go bankrupt trying to start their families. Anyway, Arielle and I are both glad we chose to tell our family and friends what we are going through. I honestly think it would stress me out more to lie about it and hide it from everyone then to be honest and ask for prayers. Thank you for being the people to share all the news with us, good and bad. :)

Here are some specifics to pray for...
1. Please pray that our pregnancy test on Monday is a BFP (that's fertility forum talk for BIG FAT POSITIVE)
2. Pray that my cousin also gets a BFP! :)
3. Pray that no matter the outcome, we will have hope and be excited for what's coming next
4. Pray that we will continue to feel God by our sides and put our trust in him

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Last Night of Bed Rest!!!

It has been a very long last 4 days for Jennifer. She has been stuck in bed for the last 4 days, only allowed to sit up for dinner and get up to go to the bathroom. I am sure she is really looking forward to getting back to a somewhat normal life, doing things such as taking showers, and walking downstairs. Thank you to my awesome mother-in-law for taking great care of her so I could go to work. Also, thanks to Missty for preparing a delicious meal for us last night. Most importantly, thank you to my wife for allowing my friends to come over today for our annual Fantasy Football draft! You truly are amazing!!!!

Hopefully, this is all worth it for us. By the end of the day, the embryos should have attached. Dr H mentioned that if they are to attach, it usually happens on Day 5 or 6. Today is day six. She has been feeling light cramps the last couple days (much lighter than her normal ones). We are both praying that they are implantation cramps.

On Monday, we head back to the Dr for a progesterone level test. Hopefully those levels are normal. We still have daily shots while we wait for the pregnancy test day. We're about halfway there...

Please keep us in your prayers!!!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Transfer Day!!!

Today was the big day! The morning started with a call from Dr H explaining that we would transfer all 3 eggs. One of the embryos was below average and would not have survived the freezing practice. The overall score for our embryos was 2.2 which is average. 1.0 is best. So we came in knowing that we could have triplets or more (6% chance of an egg split). Dr H wanted to make sure we understood what that meant and that we were OK with that possibility. We, of course, are.

Jen had to start drinking 40 oz of water at 7:30 AM to fill up her bladder. She had 1 hour to finish it by check in. The transfer was scheduled for 9:30. She only made it to about 9:05 and we had to tell the staff that it was go time. They got us in just minutes later and started prepping us. Dr H had us sign an agreement saying we were transferring all 3 embryos and showed us a picture of them.

The procedure is done with a catheter guided by an ultrasound. The ultrasound was through the stomach which meant they had to push on Jen's full bladder. She was extremely uncomfortable, but she made it through. They got all 3 embryos in successfully!!! If you look at the next image, you will see a long white line across the middle starting on the left side. That is the catheter. The white blob next it is where the embryos came out....

So now its up to them and God to find a comfortable place to grow. The waiting begins for the pregnancy test. Until then, Jen is on bed rest for 4 days and then we have a blood test on Monday to check her progesterone levels. Hopefully, all attach and we have triplets! Please keep praying for them and us!



Monday, August 16, 2010

New Shots...

So I had to give Jen new shots tonight. She got the progesterone and estrogen shots into her back/hip muscles. It was with a much larger needle 1 and 1/2 in. We were both really nervous but it went well. Jen said they didn't hurt! Only 2 more weeks of those left...

Hello teeny embryos!

So it's official! Dr. H just called and we have 3 babies growing away in an incubator! The fourth one fertilized abnormally so it didn't make it. Although we're sad about the fourth one, we are very excited about the other 3. I know I'm not pregnant yet but we already consider these little embryos our children and pray, pray, pray, that they continue to grow. And what's really cute is that my beautiful 2 year old niece Delilah has been saying for almost a year now, that Auntie Jen is going to have 3 babies growing. Not 1, not 2, but she has always said with confidence... 3! Maybe God was trying to tell us something a long time ago. :)
Tonight we will start the other 4 medications. I will be taking tetracycline, methlyprednisolone (which are both pills 4 times a day), and then estradiol valerate and progesterone (which are both shots given by huge needles that go into my lower back muscles). Eeeeeek! I'm a little nervous for those ones but I know Darryl will do a good job. Dr. H also said that if all 3 embryos are growing really good, then they will only put 2 back in me and we will freeze the other one. If the third embryo isn't growing as well, she will put all 3 back. This will most likely take place on Wednesday.
I'm feeling good today but am still supposed to take it easy. I've been reading, watching all my favorite reality shows, and trying to eat pretty good. We've also been praying A LOT! The number of embryos is lower than what our doctor would have liked but we try to see it as God is definitely taking care of our worry about what to do with extra embryos.
Thank you for all of you who kept us in your prayers yesterday and who continue to do so. This experience has definitely been a roller coaster of emotions but it helps so much to know that we have so many people praying for us. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :)

Prayer Requests: Please pray...
1. that all 3 embryos continue to grow beautifully
2. that God will allow the right amount to be put back in me whether it's two or three (we are leaving this up to him!)
3. that my shots will not be too painful and that Darryl will feel confident in giving them to me
4.that my uterus will develop into the perfect home for the embryos and that they will stick
5. that we will be able to add a baby (babies) to our family within the year :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Retrieval Day!

Hey Everyone. It's Darryl. Jen is resting and relaxing from an eventful day for us.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been reading and praying for us. It has been pretty overwhelming for both of us to see how supportive you are.

Today's procedure was successful relative to whom you spoke to first. Dr H. harvested 4 perfectly healthy and mature eggs today. That is 4 of 12 that Jen had produced. Jennifer was disappointed at the outcome and was crying when I came in to see her.

Prior to going to the recovery room, Dr H. explained to me that the other eggs were not as developed and were not good candidates for re-implantation later. She thinks that this is from Jennifer's endometriosis. A woman of her age would normally produce many more eggs than she did at the maximum dosage she was at. We also discussed the re-implantation. This will be done on Wednesday morning if the eggs fertilized today. She will be place 2 (possibly 3) embryos back. Dr H. is reluctant to do 3 and be so aggressive on the first round. She does not want a high risk pregnancy for us. Her goal all along is for us to have 1 child, not a litter. The biggest concern would be for the eggs to split (6% chance) or for us to have them at 20 weeks and be disabled. I know we have been joking about having a basketball team (I was saying we should go all out and get 11 so we can field all major sports...). I am really only ordering 2 or maybe 3 max!

When I got to the recovery room, Jen was crying and Dr H. was explaining to her what she had just told me. Jen had wanted as many eggs as possible and was disappointed with the outcome. We both told Jen that we only need 1. She started to feel a little at ease. We stayed for about an hour so that the drugs could wear off. Dr H. will be calling us tomorrow morning to let us know how many fertilized.

I am perfectly happy with where we are right now. It would be nice if everything would just go smoothly for us, but if I have learned anything throughout this process, its never up to us. Its God's decision, and if its our turn, then we have an addition to the family. I personally did not want to have to figure out what to do with any extra embryos. To me, they would be our kids, and I don't know if I could donate or discard any. I don't think Jen could either. So in my opinion we are exactly where we need to be.

On the fun side, Jen was pretty "high" coming out of the procedure. Apparently, she was telling the anesthesiologist to "Get Off!" We aren't sure what she was talking about, but I think she was dreaming about our German Shepherd puppy, Ari, jumping all over her. She also was acting like 10 Second Tom from 50 First Dates asking the same question every 2 minutes or so.

So the plan is now to hopefully get a good call tomorrow morning and have our kids put back into Jen on Wednesday. Jen will have 4 days of bed rest and we have a pregnancy test in a couple weeks. Please keep praying for us and hopefully we have good news soon.



Saturday, August 14, 2010

Retrieval day is tomorrow!!!!

Sorry this is so late but all I have tonight are prayer requests. Please pray that the egg retrieval goes perfect tomorrow and that they are able to take out all 10-12 eggs (however many there are tomorrow). Pray that the sperm sample is a high number (Darryl normally has no problem in this area....but prayer always helps). Pray that when the sperm and eggs are put together that they grow the way they are supposed to. If they are growing at a good rate, I will only have to be on bed rest for 2 days. If they aren't growing at a good rate, I will have to be on bed rest for 4 days. And last but not least, pray that we continue to trust God and that we are able to add a baby (babies) to our family this year. :) We love you all and thank you so much for your support. xoxo

A quote from a book I'm reading, As Silver Refined, by Kay Arthur
Meekness says, "God if this is what You want, then since You promised me it will work together for good, since You promised that it will make me like Christ, since You promised that by enduring this I won't be ashamed when I see You at Your coming, and since You promised that this endurance gives me a crown to lay at Your feet-then God, if it pleases You, it pleases me.

Thanks Dianne for the book! It's helped a lot! :) xoxo

Friday, August 13, 2010

HCG shot!

Just got a call from our wonderful nurse Michelle and she said our surgery time will be 9:00am on Sunday for the egg retrieval. I need to be there at 8:00am and no eating or drinking anything after midnight the night before. We have to take a Ganirelix shot tonight along with our HCG shot at exactly 10:00pm. We still need to go in tomorrow for a blood test but so far we are on schedule. Today the RN said that my follicles were slow growing but it was worth the wait. I guess that means they look good. :)

Please continue to pray for...
1. Our follicles to grow in number and in size
2. We are able to continue with the retrieval and transfer
3. That this first round of IVF works and we are able to add a baby (babies) to our family within the year
4. And most importantly, that we can continue to trust God

Thank you!!!!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Getting close...

We had our daily appointment with Dr. H this morning and although I didn't keep track of how many follicles she measured, it seemed to be more than yesterday. She was talking to me throughout the appointment about different thing so I lost count. :) This might be helpful to me since I tend to obsess over how many I have. We also received our HCG shot today to take home with us. The HCG shot is the trigger shot that will allow my body to ovulate so that my doctor can retrieve the eggs 35 hours later (It's also a drug that some major sports stars have been tested positive for to "UP" their game. I find it pretty interesting that a drug I have to take to ovulate, is the same drug that big manly sports stars are taking too. Weird!) This shot is very important and Darryl has to give it to me at the exact time that the doctor tells us to. She's thinking that we will take the shot on Friday night and Sunday will be the retrieval.

Prayer Requests: Please pray...
1. that my follicles continue to grow in number and size
2. that we are able to continue with the retrieval and the transfer
3. that this first round of IVF works and we are able to add a baby (babies) to our family within the year

I can't express enough how much your prayers mean to us. Thank you thank you thank you!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More shots and more appointments...

Our nightly shots... Menopur, Follistim, and Galinex

Another appointment today and everything looked good. Dr. H measured 9 big follicles and I had 2 smaller ones. It seems to be changing each day but she said that a few of my follicles are just taking their time to grow. This is fine but since my ovaries are taking their time, we have to keep refilling the meds. It's getting a little pricey but it will all be worth it in the end. :) It's now looking like we will do the egg retrieval Sunday or Monday. Dr. H also reminded me no exercise, lifting, or cleaning house! Whooo hoooo! (but if you know me, you know that's not easy for me....I'm kind of a clean freak!) :) Please continue to keep us in your prayers these next few appointments and pray that we can continue with the egg retrieval and the embryo transfer with plenty of embryos left over for more children in the future. Thank you again for all the prayers and uplifting messages. xoxo

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another appointment...

We had another appointment today and things still looked good. Dr. H measured 10-11 follicles and said there were 2 more smaller ones growing which made me very happy. I know that all the follicles probably won't finish the race but it's good to know that it's still a pretty good number. She also added in the Ganirelex last night so now I'm up to 3 medications a night. This one gave me a bruise on my tummy because the needle is a little bit thicker and Darryl has to push much harder for it to break the skin. Fun right?? Well I guess this only prepares me for the huge needle that will be going in my back in the next week or so. I'll add some pictures when Darryl has all the needles laid out so you can see all the poking that goes on. Other than that, we are just waiting for the retrieval day. We'll keep you updated! Thank you for all the prayers and nice messages! xoxo

Prayer Requests: Please pray...
1. that my follicles continue to grow in number and in size
2. that the quality of follicles are really GOOD because that means GOOD EGGS!
3. that we continue to trust God
4. that we can add a baby (babies) to our family within the year

Monday, August 9, 2010

Looks good...

Darryl and I had our appointment this morning at 6:30 and the doctor was very pleased with the results. She said my hormone level had gone from the 100's to the 400's in 2 days so she knew something good was going on. She did the ultra sound and found about 11 or 12 follicles growing nicely and I think a few more that were a little smaller than the others. She used a car as an analogy, saying you never know how fast the car can really go until you push on the pedal and give it some gas. The medicine sometimes takes a while to kick in but once it does, it will show us how many follicles my body can produce. She said we would continue with everything and hopefully do the egg retrieval this Friday or Saturday. From now on we go every morning for an ultra sound and blood work just to make sure things are moving along. I am definitely getting the crampy feelings so I'm looking at that as a good sign. And Darryl says I haven't been too moody yet (but maybe he's afraid of what I will do to him if he says I am....haha) I've just been emotional....but that's always better than bitchy right? Thank you for everyone who kept us in their prayers last night. I was ready to accept whatever the doctor decided today as what God wants and am so happy that she wants us to continue. xoxo

Prayer Requests: Please pray...
1. that my follicles will continue to grow in number and size
2. that the quality of each follicle is really GOOD because that means GOOD eggs
3. that we will continue to trust God
4. that we can add a baby (babies) to our family within the year

Sunday, August 8, 2010

All depends on tomorrow...

Yesterday Darryl and I had another appointment. Our doctor wasn't there so we met with the RN. She did the ultra sound and we found out that there were only 7 follicles now measuring above 10mm and 2 measuring below 10mm. She said she would call my doctor and let me know later that night what we should do since my numbers went down. So needless to say, I was a little bit of a mess again because I can't control any of this and I don't know why the numbers are dropping. But the good news was, we had a really fun day yesterday watching my niece/god daughter at the Maya Hotel in Long Beach while my sister in law Trisha was in a wedding. (Thanks for the free hotel room sister!!!!!! We LOVED it!) My other sister in law Jen, also joined us with my niece Delilah! We swam in the pool, went to dinner at Open Sesame in Belmont Shores, and then spent the night cuddling with my 2 favorite nieces.

My doctor called me today and told me for now, let's continue medication and she will see me tomorrow morning. She said my hormone levels have been rising really good so she is expecting good results at tomorrow's appointment. She reminded me that it's not the quantity of the follicles that's important but the quality. She also told me that she will be the first to tell me if we need to cancel because she doesn't want us putting any more money towards this cycle if the chances of it working don't look good.
If we need to start over, she will use a different protocol since my body didn't react to the hormones the way it should have for someone my age. However......most 30 year olds going through this overproduce follicles which then causes most of the follicles to have poor quality. And Darryl told me today that he has been praying that we have little or no embryos left over from our IVFs because he doesn't want us to have to make the decision of what to do with them when we are done having children. Do we continue to freeze them? Do we donate them? Do we get rid of them? Very ethical questions that are not the easiest to answer. So maybe God is just making sure we have the perfect amount. Only he knows the plans he has for us. :)

Prayer Requests: Please pray...
1. that tomorrow's appointment goes GREAT and that we are able to continue with this cycle
2. that we will continue to trust God
3. that we can add a baby (babies) to our family within this year

Thank you!!!!!!! We love hearing from everyone who is praying for us. We are hearing that lots of you have your children praying for us too which is sooooooooo awesome!!!!! Tell them all thank you from us! xoxo

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Today's Appointment....

So Darryl and I had an appointment this morning at 6:30 to have an ultra sound and a blood test. The doctor said I have 6 follicles in my left ovary and 6 on my right....I was thinking that was pretty good but when I asked her if that was good or bad, she said, "it is what it is." So right away I knew that probably wasn't great. She said my hormone levels weren't where they were supposed to be on Monday so that's why she added in the extra shot so fast. Today I will get a call telling me what our next step is. Whether or not we need to add more medication or less. And I was a bad girl and started looking stuff up on the internet and found out that 12 follicles total is considered low. So of course now I'm worried about it and to top it off my P.O.S. car started acting up AGAIN today. Needless to say, it's been a tear filled morning (and that could be all the meds I'm on too) but I'm praying for calmness and acceptance. Everyone keeps reminding me that it only takes one egg and one sperm. I know they're right and that it's completely up to God anyway. One way or another....I know we will become parents.

Prayer Requests: Please pray....
1. that our next ultra sound will show many more follicles and that maybe my body is just a few days behind
2. that I can remain calm and accept the fact that God is in control, and be thankful for the many blessings we already have
3. that the medication will do it's job
4. that we will be able to add a baby (babies) to our family within the next year


Monday, August 2, 2010

Call from the nurse...

Just got a call from our nurse telling us to up the Follistim to 450 units and add in the Menopur shots as well. So it looks like I get 3 shots tonight and every night until we meet with the doc on Thursday. I'm a little worried about the Menopur because it's not a prepackaged shot....we actually have to measure and mix powders. So wish us luck! :)


Friday we were able to begin our Follistim shots for the first time. (These shots go into my belly right below the bellybutton) Darryl did an amazing job! He was a little nervous but ended up doing it perfectly and I barely felt it. Yeah! The only thing that sucks is that he has to give me 300 units of the medicine and each vial has 400. So instead of throwing the extra away, he has to give me the leftover medicine the next night and then refill so that I get 300. This means 2 shots sometimes but so far it hasn't been too bad.
We had an appointment this morning with Dr. H. She did an ultra sound and a blood test. So far all looks good and our next appointment will be Thursday morning. She will let us know then if we need to add the other two shots into our nightly routine. Until then, we just do the Follistim shots each night.
Thanks again for all your prayers and support and we will keep you all updated. :)

Prayer Requests: Please pray...
1. That Darryl and I will continue to stay healthy during this time
2. That with each ultra sound the Doctor will see that I am progressing the way I am supposed to
3. That Darryl and I get to add a healthy baby (babies) to our family within the next year.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spoke too soon...

So remember how my last blog left off with things looking better? Well.....I spoke too soon. It seemed like as soon as I set the laptop down, my fever went back up to 102 and stayed there for the next few days. I was hoping that it was just part of the cold that I also had going on and that it would soon go away. However, as the days went by I was feeling worse and worse, I had no appetite, and I was becoming very irritable (just ask Darryl). On Sunday morning I woke up with another fever and this time a rash covering about half of my body so Darryl and I decided it was time to go to Urgent Care. (PS...don't EVER go to Saddleback Urgent Care'll see why in a minute) So the "doctor" looked at me and said, "Yeah, you're having an allergic reaction to one of your antibiotics" (well my dermatologist ended up calling me the night I got my first fever and told me to go back on both antibiotics at the same time) And the genius "doctor" at the Urgent Care said, "And since you're taking both I have no idea which one you're allergic to, so let's say it's the blue one."

Well....he guessed the WRONG one! So I spent another full day taking the antibiotic that I am VERY allergic to only to wake up the next morning with a rash covering my entire body and the reddest face I have ever seen on anyone (except maybe Darryl after one beer :) ) So since I was now in even more pain than the day before, we had to cancel our IVF injection class so that I could go see my original doctor to get this taken care of first. My mom was over to help me out so she went with me. My doctor took one look at me and said, "This is a very bad allergic reaction to sulfa. You're going to need to stay on the blue pills and take some heavy steroids to get rid of the rash." We were so thankful that she knew just by looking at me what was going on and she was in shock that the Urgent Care "doctor" would not have known that AND that he told me to take Zyrtic for the rash! Crazy!

Soooo after I took my first round of steroids (which was 6 pills at once!), we were able to make a later appointment with our fertility nurse to take our class. She went over how to use the Follistim pen, how to mix the Menopur injections, and how to give the Ganirelix injections. They all seem pretty easy and they go right into my belly. We will start our first round of Follistim on Friday night.

Today we had an appointment at 6:40am just to see if we can proceed with the IVF round with what's been going on with me. Dr. H is on vacation until next week so we got to see Dr. Werlin today. He asked what medication I was on, did an ultra sound, said everything looked good, and that we were still on to start injections on Friday! Yeah!!!!! We will have one more ultra sound with Dr. Werlin that morning just to make sure all looks good but so far we are right on track.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has been praying for us and especially my health. I feel a million times better already and have only been on those steroids for 2 days. I'm sure by Friday I will feel amazing and hopefully be at that 100%. :) And the good that came of this, is that I now know I am allergic to sulfa and....believe it or not, I was a little nervous about spending 5 days on bed rest with nothing to do after IVF, but after spending the last 5 days in bed in pain, I look forward to 5 restful days of watching all my favorite shows, eating my favorite foods, reading my favorite magazines, and being waited on. :) God is so good!

Prayer Requests: Please pray....
1. that our ultra sound on Friday goes well and that we are able to start our injections on time
2. that Darryl and I will stay healthy and free from infections and viruses during this very important time
3. that we will be able to add a healthy baby (babies) to our family within the next year

Thank you again for your love, your support, and your prayers and for sharing this journey with us.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hormones, needles, and drugs...oh my!

So we received the package of all of our IVF drugs yesterday. I felt like a drug dealer as I unloaded all of the bottles and needles. It kind of scared me to see how many different things I will be putting in my body but as my friend Kristina was told by her fertility doctor, "Nothing about this is natural but it's what some people have to do to get pregnant." These drugs and hormones will make it so that at the time my embryos are implanted, I will have the perfect house for them. Then its up to them to stay there. :)

Last night, Darryl and I checked our list to make sure we had every single medication we needed, and thank God we did, because one of them fell out in the box that I was about to throw away. We also checked the instructions to see which ones needed to be refrigerated and which ones didn't.

Darryl is very excited to use the Follistim Pen.... (big needle that will not be going into my shoulder......Do I really want him sticking me with this thing?)

And as you can see, I'm not amused.

But....we are excited to get this process started.

And yes, I still have a nice bandage on my face from Lowell (my lovely staph infection). I saw the dermatologist yesterday who lanced the boil with his own bare hands (well he had gloves on and used gauze but still....ouch) and told me to keep taking the two antibiotics but not at the same time because they are too strong and can make me sick. I wasn't feeling good at all yesterday and ended up coming down with a fever last night. I still have a slight fever but lower than yesterday and the good news is that the swelling of the boil has gone way down. I just pray that I feel 100% by the 30th when we start our hormone shots.

Thank you for keeping Darryl and I in your prayers and for sharing this journey with us. It really means a lot to us to have so much support!

Prayer Requests: 1Pray that all signs of this infection are completely gone by July 30th and that Darryl and I will be 100% healthy and ready to start the shots 2. Pray that our injection class goes really well on Monday (Darryl and my mom will both be there to learn the procedures) 3. Pray for my lovely cousin Arielle (who is also going through fertility issues and has been trying as long as Darryl and I.....she has been a major support through all of this, and nothing would make us happier than to be finally pregnant together)

4. Pray for a healthy baby (babies) within the next year. THANK YOU!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

"But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! I debated even putting this up here but I need some prayers pronto and this situation may affect our IVF rounds. (Sorry for the TMI...but I warned you all the first blog) Thursday night I started noticing a nice red welt on my face and thought...."'s just a giant zit". And awesome that this was taking place right before we were leaving for Vegas but I knew that I had been super stressed out so I figured that this is what I get. So on Friday we went to Vegas and all weekend my friends and I were making fun of my gigantic zit (who we eventually named Lowell) So we all said stuff like, "Lowell is hungry!" and "Lowell is tired!" (We thought this was funny at the time). I tried popping it several times and then thought it was a fabulous idea to soak all day in a bacteria infested Vegas hotel pool. So on the way home from Vegas (Sunday) I realized that this bump was not getting any smaller, it hurt like hell, and then I remembered the word "boil". I took a picture of it....

sent it to my friend Hilda (who is a pediatrician) and asked if it was a boil. She replied back that it looked pretty big and started asking me questions about draining. I decided I better go see the doctor the next day. So Monday, I went in and my doctor said it looks like a staph infection. She gave me 2 different antibiotics, squeezed the "you know what" out of it, and as I tried my hardest not to cry she said that she will need to see me back on Thursday when the dermatologist is in.
Now....I'm not trying to be "Oh wahhhh...poor me" but Darryl and I are supposed to start our IVF medication on the 30th. If I'm still on antibiotics, we may have to push the IVF back a few weeks and we may lose money if they have to cancel the first round. I'm really hoping since we haven't started yet, that they will be able to push it back but you never know with these kinds of places especially if they already have the rooms, doctors, and equipment booked.
Sooooooo on to prayer request time....please please please 1. pray that the antibiotics will kick in very fast and heal this staph infection 2. pray that the infection will heal with no scars 3. pray that our scheduled IVF is able to go on as planned 4. pray that we will have healthy baby (babies) within the next year.
Thank you so much!!!! (and again sorry for the gross out factor) xoxo

Monday, July 12, 2010

Here we go...

So we had our first IVF appointment today with Dr. H at 7:00 AM!!! And believe it or not, that is a late appointment. :) Everything went well. Dr. H did an ultrasound to make sure everything looked good and took measurements to prepare for the IVF. She also did a trial transfer where she pretended to transfer the embryos so that on the day of the actual transfer she will have all the proper tools that she needs with her. (I guess the tools can vary depending on the size of the uterus). We are slowly figuring out the financial situation but so far, so good. It seems to be working itself out and God is definitely providing. Our next appointment will be on July 26th but sometime during the next couple of weeks, we will receive our calendar with all our major doctor appointments and we will take a class where Darryl will learn to give me all the many shots that I will need. Thank you so much to all our friends and family who have been so supportive! We appreciate your love and prayers and all the uplifting messages. This has also been a pretty awesome week because we get to have my brother Daniel, his wife Jackie, and their two sons Cristian and Gabriel stay with us. We look forward to spending lots of time with them before they go back to Georgia.

‎"Because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, your FAITH and HOPE can be placed confidently in God." 1 Peter 1:21

Prayer Requests: 1. That we will continue to trust God 2. That will be able to add a healthy baby (or babies) to our family within the next year

Friday, July 9, 2010

In the beginning....

WARNING: This will probably be the longest post you will have to read...but I want to catch all of you up. :)
Three years ago in the month of August, Darryl and I decided that it was time to become parents. Our plan has always been to get pregnant a few years after we got married and to have at least one child, maybe two, by the time we were thirty. God made different plans. Right before actually trying to get pregnant, I found a weird bump in my belly button.

Cool part is....if you actually google purple bump in belly button, my picture pops up, bad part is that after 3 different visits to 3 different doctors we found out through a biopsy that it was endometriosis.

What is endometriosis?

Your uterus is lined with tissue called the endometrium. When this tissue grows outside the uterus, usually in the reproductive organs (ovaries, fallopian tubes), intestines, rectum, or bladder, it creates a condition called endometriosis.

Your endometrial tissue is the part of your uterine lining that bleeds during menstruation. Normally you expel the lining during your monthly period, but if it flows backward into your abdominal cavity and implants there, it can lead to endometriosis. You'll develop cysts, lesions, and scar tissue that will cause the surrounding area to thicken. Some women have little or no discomfort from endometriosis, but others are in great pain before and/or during their menstrual cycle.

Doctors evaluate endometriosis using a point system based on the number and size of growths found during a laparoscopy (a minor surgical procedure used to view your internal organs). There are four classifications: minimal (1-5 points), mild (6-15 points), moderate (16-40 points), and severe (more than 40 points).

So now that you all know what endometriosis is, I can tell you that mine is minimal. However after 2 and a half years of trying to get pregnant, 2 surgeries with a gynecologist who we don't think knew what the heck she was doing, and no luck, we looked into fertility doctors. We began with a doctor in Garden Grove who pretty much looked at me like I was crazy when I told her that I had umbilical endometriosis. We had a bad vibe from her from the very beginning. At the time, we also had some very good friends who went through infertility as well but became pregnant with beautiful twin girls with the help of their doctor, Dr. Werlin from Coastal Fertility in Irvine.

Darryl and I decided to go to their free monthly seminar and discovered Dr. Werlin's partner, Dr. Minoos Hosseinzadeh. After the seminar, I approached Dr. H (as we call her) to explain my situation just to see if she would give me the same crazy look. As I told her my story, she nodded along and explained that she specialized with patients who had endometriosis and even worked with a young women who had it growing in her lungs. Dr. H began to explain how endometriosis works and how it can keep you from getting pregnant. We LOVED her! And we signed up for our first appointment.

We decided after a few appointments that IUI treatments would be the best for Darryl and me. Basically, IUI or Intrauterine Insemination, is when I take some pills (Chlomid) to make me produce 2-4 eggs instead of 1, the doctor does ultrasounds on me around the time of ovulation, Darryl produces a sperm sample, and the doctor shoots up into my uterus with a catheter, and hopefully I will become pregnant. Darryl and I went through 3 rounds of one more surgery to remove a polyp on my uterus. Still no baby.

Dr. H explained that since I was not pregnant after 3 IUI's that IVF is the next step. She said that endometriosis can cause toxins that attack Darryl's sperm while in the fallopian tubes. This affects some patients and not others but in my case she believed that it was definitely the endo causing the problems. For those of you that don't know, IVF (invitro-fertilization) is basically when I get put on lots of medications to produce 10-15 eggs instead of 1, I have another surgery to have the eggs taken out of me, they take the healthiest looking eggs and inject them with Darryl's sperm, put them in a petri dish to grow for a few days, take 2 of the embryos and then put them back into my uterus, I lay in bed on my back for 5 days only getting up to go to the restroom, and hopefully....I will be pregnant! There's a little more to it but I wanted you to be able to get the gist.

Sooooooo here's where we are now. Darryl and I have our first IVF appointment on Monday. We will be doing a trial transfer where Dr. H does an ultrasound and then pretty much pretends to be transferring the embryos into my uterus so that she can take measurements and get a "map of my uterus". The only shocker to us was that most of the money will be due on Monday morning. Darryl and I are looking into different types of loans and are hoping that we will be confident in our decision by Monday.

I am going to be honest and let you all know that I've been an emotional wreck these past few months. I feel like right when Darryl and I think we are ok and life is great, something comes along and knocks us down again. I know it's God's way of saying, "trust me..." but it's hard when you are a natural worrier (like me) and when you don't know what the outcome will be. Our church has been doing a study on "Hoping for a miracle". Our pastor said that there are 6 steps before witnessing a miracle, 1. Dream 2. Decide 3. Delay 4. Difficulty 5. Dead End (we feel like we have hit this mark a few times) 6. DELIVERANCE!

Prayer Requests: Please pray that 1. our doctor appointment will go really well on Monday and that we will leave confident that we have made the right decision 2. that we will be able to finance this without worry 3. that we will continue to trust God and know that he is in control 4. that we will be able to add a healthy baby or babies to our family within the next year