Sunday, February 27, 2011

This is the week.....I can't believe it's here....

Well this is the BIG week.  The start of our second IVF (first was 4 years ago).  I start my lupron shots this Wednesday morning between 6-8am.  I will be taking them for at least 20 days and maybe upwards of 30 days.  I still can't believe this is the week.  I feel very calm with whole situation.  I feel relaxed and prepared but most of all I feel confident in my God.  Because the reality of the whole situation is this....He is God and I am not.

If this cycle does not result in a pregnancy the good news is we have pre-paid using an "insurance" program.  This program allows us to do 3 fresh cycles and 3 frozen cycles (frozen cycles are cycles where they put back the embryos from fresh cycles that were left over and frozen).  The "insurance" program is VERY expensive (double the price of a normal cycle) but it gives you 6 tries and if at the end of ALL 6 tries you don't have a "take home baby" meaning a baby in your arms you get 70% of your money back.  Which pretty much rules!!!  We also can drop out at any time and get 70% of our money back.

So here we go....time to put my game face on.  God, you are in control.


In fostering news.  We had our second home study on Friday.  Things went great.  I have to admit though I am VERY overwhelmed with everything we STILL have to get done.  I honestly can't even name all the things that this process involves.  I would have to say this has been the HARDEST thing we have done in our married life.  It's SUCH a huge commitment and a very long process.  It's pretty awesome that we have been called by God to do this.  It truly isn't something that just anyone can do (and I now understand why).  Thank you Lord for your protection and hand in all of this...please continue to give us strength as we push ahead, you never leave us and in this I am confident.


In Kate and Ella news.  My husband and I took the sweeties to a brand new toddler park we have in our town (our town has WONDERFUL public parks).  I took a few photos of the girls playing so I though I would share some!

Be Blessed,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This might hurt.....

Well today at 5:00pm my IVF medicine came in the mail.  I wanted to show everyone what the "before" looks like.  All I have to say is....this might hurt....   


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Here we go again....

On Monday, Feb. 21st at 2:30 p.m. Brett and I drove to Orlando for our "final" IVF apt.  This basically means a few things; do our mock transfer, get an ultrasound, get our protocol (final schedule and meds), do injection training and most importantly sign our lives away...

First things first, our mock transfer - this is awful because they make you have a VERY full bladder. They basically go in and insert the egg transfer catheter to make sure they "map" your uterus for the real transfer which will take place in a few weeks.  They don't want any mistakes to be made on the big day so they take the guess work out.  Besides the full bladder, it was a piece of cake!

Second they do an ultrasound.  This is to check for any cysts and to see how your uterine lining looks.  Turns out I have a HUGE cyst on my left ovary from the medicine last month (that didn't work, remember?).  This can be a BIG problem but the doctor wasn't too worried because once I start Lupron next week this will take care of the cyst.  After 10 days of Lupron I will go back to the doctor if the cyst is still there we will do another week of Lupron and so on until the cyst is gone.  He thinks I will only take the lupron for the normal 10 days/maybe up to 17 days either way it's not a huge problem at THIS point.  Just something to keep an eye on.

Third, is the protocol.  This is changing for me from my last IVF almost 4 years ago.  This time I will start a new oral medicine (which I started yesterday) called Metiformin.  This will help control my polycystic ovarian syndrome (or PCOS for short).  There are VERY ruff side effects of this medicine so I'm holding my breath that my body adjusts to the new medicine easily.  I will take this until the 2nd trimester (if I end up getting pregnant).  Now, I will list out for you exactly what I'll be taking and when;

1.  Birth Control Pills - 28 days total (but I start Lupron on day 21 of the birth control pills)
2.  Day 21 start Lupron shots 5units daily between 6-8am.  This shot will go on through the WHOLE cycle, approx. 20-25 days.
3.  Stims around day 31 of cycle.  Along with my morning lupron shot I will add in a Menopur 37.8IU shot between 6-8am.  At night I will be doing a Follistim shot 125IU between 6-8pm.  These shots are given in either your stomach or upper thighs.
4.  During the lupron and stims I will also be taking a low dose aspirin and an antibiotic. Aspirin to help with any blood clotting issues and an antibiotic to ward off any illness.
5.  When stims are finished, approx. 8-10 days, I will give myself a "trigger" shot.  This is Ovidrel 250mcg and is given at the directed time.
6.  Exactly 36 hours after trigger shot is Egg Retrieval.
7.  Day of Egg Retrieval I start the Progesterone shot between 6-8pm for 5 days.   This one is RUFF.  I have talked to a few nurse friends of mine who are willing to help me out with this shot, Praise the Lord.
8.  3-5 days after Egg Retrieval is Egg Transfer.
9.  Pregnancy test is about 12 days after Egg Transfer.

Forth, is injection training.  This was easy since I have done it before.  I'm not too worried about giving myself all these shots but I KNOW how sore my body will be.

Last, we signed our lives away! Just kidding!  But for real we had to make some decisions such as, will we freeze the left over embryos if we have any left over?  Who will keep the embryos if there is a divorce?  And who will the embryos go to if we both pass away before we use them all?   To answer these questions, YES we will freeze any left over embryos.  In the case of a divorce I will have custody of the embryos.  And in the event of both of our deaths my brother and his wife will have custody of them (they don't know that yet ha-ha).  They will be given custody of our children in the event of our death so it seemed right to name them to make the decision of what to do with them.  There really is a lot to think about when it comes to IVF and it's not always black and white.

Well, that sums our lives for the next few months!  I feel a VERY calming peace about the whole situation.  I KNOW that God is in control and I have nothing to fear.  A friend recently told me that I need to embrace the pain that is IVF and allow God to work through it.  I love that I never really embraced it the first time I had my own agenda and God's second but this time I feel like I'm really allowing God to take the wheel which has brought me MUCH peace.  

If you got through all of this, God Bless You. ;).  Thank you for your support and most of all prayers.  I hope that our story will continue to inspire others to trust God and not put him in a box.  He blesses us all different ways and I refuse to treat IVF any different.  Thank you Lord for guiding our steps....


Friday, February 18, 2011

A sweet life.....Fostering, IVF and my Kate....

Few updates in the foster department;  I did my water safety certification and passed the test, YAY!  I'm going to do the medicine training and try and figure out a date for us to do our CPR certification this weekend.  Then next Friday we have our second home study.  My references have all gotten there packets and have told me they are working on them, so that's great news.  We still have a lot to do but we are getting there....this is A LOT of work but God has shown us favor and is walking with us.  We are so blessed.

As far as our IVF cycle goes....I'm on day 9 of my birth control pills.  We have our IVF appt. on Monday at 2:30 where we will do a mock transfer (this helps the doctor have a "map" per say for when we do the REAL transfer).  Also I'll be getting my exact protocol and all my medicines at this time.  I know when I leave Monday I will be feeling VERY over whelmed.  I'm bracing for the storm of emotions that are to come.  You think pregnancy hormones are ruff....they don't lay a finger on shooting yourself up with high doses of these meds haha.  I should be starting my Lupron shots on March 2nd followed by the stims.  We are really looking forward to getting things rolling.

No other real "news" to report but I will post a few pictures of my sweet girls that our favorite photographer Kellie Day took of Kate for her 3rd birthday.  We enjoy getting birthday pictures done for our girls but we really enjoy it when it's Kate's birthday.  These are the pictures that we send to her sweet birth mom.  Sometimes I wonder if she actually gets the pictures (because I know they have moved quit a bit since the adoption) but I just have to trust that she does.  I hope one day we will be able to see them again.  In the mean time I just pray for her protection and thank God everyday for what she did for us and for her unborn child.  God's protection over her is nothing short of a miracle.

Here are two that I took of my girls.....I got a new camera and I thought these turned out pretty cute but I have  LOT to learn still! =)


Monday, February 14, 2011

Another pregnancy announcement.....why does it STILL sting a little?

I know I'm not the only infertile woman who feels their stomach drop when they hear a pregnancy announcement exp. when people get pregnant on accident or the first time trying - yes even infertile's who have children and have beaten infertility - it's something that NEVER goes away.   I HATE that I feel that way.  It's the LAST thing I want to feel.  I want to be happy and I AM happy but I'm also sad.  It TRULY blows my mind that someone can get off birth control, have sex a few times, and make a baby.  I understand that is how you make a baby (duh) but when its never happened for you like that its just unreal to think that's "normal."  And because I know everything that has to be perfect and take place for a pregnancy to happen it's a wonder how anyone can not believe in God.   I know people don't think about it like infertile's do - you don't need to - trust me.  But today I'm feeling sad.  I shouldn't, I know thats what you are have two beautiful girl why would you be sad?  But I'm sad b/c I know what my heart wants and I know that God has given me the desire to mother others for a reason.  So why is it so hard, so expensive, SO painful?  But I AM blessed...I DO have two beautiful, smart, and kind daughters who I would give my life for.  Thank you Lord for reminding me everyday just how blessed by YOU I truly am.  You never fail....


Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Second IVF Journey Starts TODAY....

psalm 113:9
"He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children."

I'm sure that most of you reading have never had to deal with Infertility, Praise God for that.  But for those of you reading who have been there or are heart goes out to you.  May God bring peace as he walks WITH you during this troubled valley.  He promises he will never leave us.

Today starts my second IVF cycle (first one was in July 2007 which ended up with a heart breaking miscarriage).  I feel like it's important to start this journey by explaining what really happens in an IVF cycle.  A lot of people just assume the worst with IVF.  But we are normal, everyday woman that just want a baby and have exhausted all other options.  I am a Christian, a wife, a mother, a daughter and a sister.  I'm any one of you.  I'm allowing the Lord to work though my prayer life and my doctors to help us build our family.  We serve a big God and I believe that he allows us to do pretty amazing things.  I will not put God in a box and tell him how to give me my children.  I will follow HIS lead.  We've adopted and received from God, we've done fertility treatments and received from God, we are fostering soon to receive from God and we are once again doing fertility treatments to receive from God.  I refuse to tell God how to "heal" me and I refuse to give up on him.  He knows my heart and he knows my desires I am thankful for an all knowing God who is ALIVE and walking with me.


This is IVF broken down;

*Cost of ONE IVF cycle - $8,900.00 (No Insurance does NOT cover a penny)
This does NOT include the meds which can be anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.  (I'm blessed that my meds will on the lower side.  I do not require a lot of stimulating because of my age and the fact that my eggs are good quality).

*Typical IVF Time Frame;
21 days of Birth Control Pills  - this helps to calm your ovaries before they are pushed to their limits producing eggs.
10 days of a shot called Loupron  - this puts your body into a medically induced menopause.  Again, this is to calm your ovaries before they are pushed.  It is a shot that you give yourself in your stomach or thigh.
10 - 14 days of "Stims" x2 a day  -Stims are a series of shots that make your ovaries work overtime producing as many eggs as they can.  Everyone stims different so that is why there is a few flex days as to how long a certain person will stim. These shots are given 2 times a day and go in your stomach or thigh.
TRIGGER SHOT - this shot is given at an EXACT time of day (usually around 9:00pm).  It's given when your eggs are ready for harvest.  You have the egg retrieval EXACTLY 36 hours after this shot is given.
Egg Retrieval - this is done 36 hours after the trigger shot.  You are put under in an out patient surgery type place (usually on site at the clinic).  Egg retrieval is when they go in and get your eggs out.  If all goes well you want to have about 10 or more eggs.  
Egg and Sperm Meet - this is the romantic part.  Your eggs are put in with your husbands sperm and if all goes well...your babies are made in this dish.  Pretty darn cool if you ask me.
Progesterone  Shot - this is a HUGE shot of thick progesterone that goes into your butt.  Yes it HURTS very badly and makes you VERY sore.  Not fun.  You do these shots for 7 days - once a day.
Egg Transfer - This takes place 3 to 5 days after Egg retrieval.  Depending on the quality of your embryos you will be told to have 3 day, 4 day or 5 day transfer.  At this time you also decide how MANY to put back in.  This is a BIG decision.  The usual number is between 1 and 3.  We will most likely do 2.  
The Two Week Wait - this is the least painful part physically but the most painful part emotionally.  This is the time where you sit and wait and pray that all your money, time, effort and love worked.  There is no guarantees after ALL of this, that you will be pregnant.  And even if you get pregnant that you will carry to term.

*That pretty much sums up an IVF cycle.  I will also mention that I didn't add in the fact that once you are at the stim phase you are at the doctors office about every other day getting blood work and an ultra sound to monitor your progress.  This adds MUCH stress not only because your life revolves around driving an HOUR each way to get to the appointment but also you are waiting after the appointment for your doctor to tell you your new drug dosage and give his input on how things are looking.


I'm sure a lot of you might have ask away.  I'm an open book.

Today begins day ONE of my birth control pills.  So for the next 20 days I will not have too much to post.  But once everything gets started I will be doing a daily journal of our progress so you can follow along. I will include some fun pictures too....good times! =)

Thank you all for your support as we travel down the road to TWO more children.  We have our next foster home study on Feb 25th and so far so good, we are moving right along.  Hopefully not to much longer!!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011



I was sent this quote from my missionary friend in China a few days ago and I felt like it was important to post.  Honestly it's one of the truest things I've read in a LONG time....

“I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”

- Rev. Tony Campolo

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This morning I was going to Haiti...and here I sit tonight in America. My heart broken for the sweet people of Haiti.

I woke up this morning with a strange sense of peace about leaving for Haiti today (at 4:00pm).  Everything was washed, packed, and ready to go.  I had doted all my i's and crossed all my t's but sometimes our human hearts and minds can not understand the will of God.  His plans are far grater than mine and his love for Haiti is far grater than mine.  Today I am reminded once again that he is God and I am not....

I got a call today from Kenny (CPI's leader) that there had been an announcement in Haiti today that they would be making known who would be in the presidential election run-off.  This is causing much political unrest in this already broken country.  People are already preparing for massive rioting in the streets of Port-a-Prince.  We can not, as American's, risk going down there and be caught in the middle of this.   The goal of CPI is a LIFE LONG commitment to the people of Chauffard and it's not worth the risk of going down there RIGHT NOW.  If something bad happened if we went CPI might never be able to go back and it's MORE important that they have a life long relationship with those people even if it means canceling at the very list minute.

My heart is heavy today.  I know that by not going today to Haiti that my dream of going may be put off for more than a year.  Brett and I are starting our next IVF cycle in the up coming weeks and I most likely will be in the middle of my cycle when they take their next trip at the end of March.  I'm torn over what to do.  I will be in prayer for not only the sweet people of Haiti but also for our decision in starting the cycle.  I know that God will direct my path and I also know that Haiti is not going anywhere.  I am and will continue to be in prayer for the country and continue to support CPI financially now and in the future.  To God be the glory for lifting Haiti out of the darkness and into the light.

I also wanted to thank all of my sweet friends who have talked me off the ledge and have helped me to see the good in all of this chaos that has been my life the last few weeks (between infertility, friends moving and now this).  I've been at my breaking point for the last month and this is the cherry on top.  I was praying that by going I was going to find some peace and some time to stop and re-focus my attention on something and someone other than myself .  This has reminded me that I shouldn't be waiting for a "mountain top moment" to get things in order.

Lord please be with me tonight, surround me with your love and peace.  Thank you for breaking my heart for what breaks yours....