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.

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.