Monday, December 28, 2009

quick post and request for prayer

I just wanted to do a quick post to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  And also to ask for prayer.  We found out about three days before Christmas that my father-in-law was transfered to hospice care.  This has been a difficult year for both of our families between my uncle's passing, my father's health issues, a failed IVF, a miscarriage and now the impending passing of my father-in-law.  Please pray for his comfort.  I will not be posting for a bit as they live in a very rural area where we will be traveling to be with him.  Hugs to all, Mrs. Hammer.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Self Preservation

I have been making efforts all week to plan for fun things that will be healing. One of them even happened today – a chair massage. Our office wellness committee has a women come in once a month who charges $1 a minute. $15 = 15 minutes of heaven. I didn’t even realize how tight my shoulders were until she attempted to loosen them. Holy sore but now I feel great.

I also got a seasonal flu shot yesterday. Not exactly fun but I had been putting it off with IVF and then the pregnancy. So it was about time. I don’t qualify yet for the swine vaccine but those will open up in the next few weeks for the general public. I figure if I get them now then I won’t have to worry later. Since my job entails clinics with pregnant women, children and babies everywhere it’s a must on many different levels.

Then I booked our January snowy cabin in the woods for JUST US. Won’t this be blissful sitting here…

Drinking some of this…

while the snow falls outside? Can’t wait. BUT it gets better! I have two gift certificates for a local spa that I have yet to use. So what would be better than the morning of our weekend getaway to spend it doing this…

and this…

and this…

I sure can’t think of anything.

On the m/c front, I had my blood drawn last Thursday which came back negative so now the m/c is complete. So I asked my nurse when I should expect my period and was surprised to hear it would be 4-6 weeks. I had no idea it would take that long but essentially it’s a full cycle once your HCG is gone. It’s likely that I won’t ovulate but some women do, like my cousin-in-law, but I’m thinking I might end up being one of those women. My ovaries are starting to get sore and (TMI) I’ve some very obvious CM going on down there. So we’ll see. I haven’t temped or used an OPK yet just cause I had no idea what to expect with a post m/c cycle but I might run out and get some OPKs.

Hammer and I were finally able to do the sperm DNA testing. That was eventful. We were ‘prepped’ and ready to go for collection last Thursday when it all fell through. We are working with a company who sends you the collection kit and then the day of the collection (which is only done on Tues/Wed/Thur) they are to ship you a perishable transport container filled with dry ice to pack the sample and send back. Both Hammer and I had taken the afternoon off of work because FEDEX priority was to arrive at noon with our ice. Well we were sitting around waiting and the package never arrived. When I called the company the women on the phone could see that I had called twice, spoke with a representative, and that the order had been entered but the person never officially submitted it. We ended up having to reschedule for the 15th so yesterday we took the afternoon off again but this time the package was on time and back on a plane by 5pm. We’ll have to wait 12 days for the results.

In the meantime I’m just focusing on the holidays. So that means peppermint bark, gingerbread cookies and wrapping presents – and counting down the days till our snowy cabin getaway!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Hits, They Keep On Coming

First, thank you all for your input, comments, and opinions on my Chicago situation. It was so affirming of what I was feeling. I wish I had IRL friends who were even half as supportive as all of you are so I just can’t thank you enough. Ok now to the meat of the last few days.

Thursday of last week, after a horrible night of sleeping I had typed up a huge email to Hammer rambling on about how I don't think we should go to Chicago with them, OR nor should they come on our snowy-cabin-in-the-woods-in-January-retreat that they invited themselves to (more about that later*). At first he was hesitant and asking if I was really sure but that it was in their court if they could afford it now that they were expecting.....errrrrttttttt (tires squealing). "No dear," I told him, "it’s still in our court to say we can't go if it's not healthy for us, mainly me at this time." He said we'd talk about it when I got home.

Later that evening, after I had made it back around 4pm, we were supposed to go over to our friends house (D [husband] and N [wife]). I contacted them and cancelled because I was just too exhausted to go anywhere. The next day I was chatting on the phone with my mom getting her opinion on the situation and she agreed that Chicago was a no-go. I popped on to the computer with her still on the phone so I could email her some Christmas ideas and saw an email from our friend D who has currently been out of work for 5 months, it was titled “Good News.” I told my mom to hang on a minute because I wanted to read this email from D (she knew he was out of work) hoping that this email was a job offer. Guess what it was actually about? Oh you did guess it didn’t you! Yes, they are indeed expecting their second child, 11 ½ weeks to be exact which for them meant they got pregnant almost three months after he lost his job. Well doesn’t that beat all! And according to the email they had wanted to tell us the other night but I cancelled on them. Could you imagine if we had gone? I don’t think I could have handled it and probably would have cried right in front of them. I mean seriously people, in my email to them cancelling I wrote, “I’m sorry to cancel but I seem to be struggling with insomnia due to the miscarriage. The dropping in hormones is causing me to have issues with falling or staying asleep so I was up over half the night last night. I’m so sorry to cancel but this continues to be a difficult process for me.” Now tell me, would your first thought be, “Oh the Hammers aren’t coming tonight because she is still struggling with her miscarriage. We should just email them that we’re pregnant.” I totally lost it on the phone but thank God it was with my mother who was such a comfort.

Later that evening when Hammer got home he asked if I had seen the email from D. I asked him how he felt about it. His response was jealousy and sadness. While he is very good friends with D this was a big blow to him. We had been struggling for a year and half with TTC when they had announced they were pregnant with their first child after just one try. Hammer said that after he got the email he immediately called up our other friends and told them that we would not be going to Chicago. He said that he didn’t want me to have to deal with being the one to tell them what with two back to back pregnancy announcements. I was so thankful for that. It has been a difficult week. I’m so wrought with emotions it’s ridiculous. That makes two couples where the husband is out of work and they are pregnant. In a sarcastic tone I told Hammer that I'd figured out how to get pregnant and that he needed to quit his job. He replied back, "No problem, I'll put in my notice on Monday."

The strange thing is that earlier that week I had been feeling hopeful and now it’s the complete opposite. I know I should be happy for them but I just feel more left behind than ever. I have been praying and praying for direction, for anything right now but all I’ve received is silence. And that has been the hardest part.

I will (hopefully) have my last blood test Thursday of this week and am praying that my results are <5 and that my period is not far behind it. Maybe if I could just move forward by getting my period and ending this cycle I will feel better, maybe. I’m trying desperately to keep my eyes on the Lord so that I’m not overwhelmed by all the emotions that come from friend's pregnancy announcements (frustration, jealously, anger, and sadness). I just don’t want to drown in them and get caught in a state of sadness instead of trying to be positive about the next few months, taking time to focus on my marriage, and remember that God still has a plan for us.

Hammer and I have planned a weekend getaway in January to hopefully spend a quiet, peaceful weekend alone together. IF is hard in so many ways and even though our marriage is strong we just feel that with everything that has gone on this year (my dad, 2 IVF’s, a miscarriage) that we need time to just appreciate one another. We happened to mention this to our Chicago-trip friends pre-pregnancy announcement (and yes we did mention this as a weekend alone) and the wife just jumped on it saying how we should get cabins together instead of going to Chicago and how fun that would be blah, blah, blah. I didn’t know how to get out of it but thankfully we don’t have to worry about it anymore. Unfortunately I think this all may have wrecked my relationship with her in that I don’t feel that I can confide in her about IF anymore but in some ways I think this is for the best.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Am I Being Selfish?

Ok, I have to ask your advice and opinion. Last night, after learning about my friend's miracle pregnancy, I spent some time in prayer before going to bed. I prayed to God, sharing my heart, struggles, fears and asking Him when it will finally be our turn. It was difficult because while I don't feel abandoned or forgotten I do feel tired, worn, and emotionally drained. I told Him that I'm not sure how much more of this I can take and prayed that the end will come soon. Actually I pleaded that the end would come soon as well as prayed for Him to give us direction.

This miscarriage has left us floundering a bit. We're not sure where we should be going or what direction on this journey is God's will for our lives. That's why a future IVF cycle is in the future because we are throwing it out there but just not sure when that may be. But we'd rather throw it out there and see if God gives us the nodd or not. It's the same thing with adoption, it's out there but we just don't know if that is where we are supposed to be headed yet. I just feel like a kid in the back seat asking God, "Are we there yet?" with no concept of where we are headed so the journey seems endless.

When I tried to fall asleep it was torture. I was wide awake and all I could think about was my friend and how I was no longer pregnant. We had been planning a New Years trip to Chicago this year and when we found out we were pregnant we laughed about how I would be the designated walker (since we won't have a car), how I might not make it to midnight etc. Yesterday I had called her because I had found a great deal on a hotel and wanted to know if they still wanted to go this year. Instead I was greated with her announcement, which is exciting for them, but now I'm in the inverse situation. Now if we go to Chicago she will be the designated walker, and she might not make it to midnight. And all I will be thinking about is that this should be me or us, how fun if it would have been the both of us. But it's not to be. And now I think I'm realizing that this situation may not be the best one for me to be in while I am still healing from our loss. This has brought up a lot of emotion about our miscarriage that I had yet to start feeling. I don't know if I was blocking it out or if I hadn't thought that far in advance until now.

She is a very sweet person and very supportive but she is not a 'true' infertile and does not understand the pain, emotional toll, and the level of sensitivity that the pregnancy topic requires around an infertile. What I mean by that is that they hadn't even tried yet to get pregnant before. This was a total fluke where her meds just didn't arrive on time and low-and-behold she ovulated and got pregnant. All they knew is that it might be a problem but they had yet to suffer through months of failed trying, negative pregnancy tests, multiple doctors appointments, the side effect of fertility drugs and the never-ending longing for the allusive baby. So here I am on the phone with her rattling on about how she is now pregnant, and can she eat soft cheeses, and what about lunch meat, and all her symptoms, and how she can't drink in Chicago but I can drink for her now and on and on and on. She never stopped to think that maybe this hurt because she was excited. I can't blame her but I think a real infertile would have known to wear some kid gloves in that conversation. So I'm not sure that I even want to be there with them when I'm mourning the loss of our pregnancy while she prattles on about hers. I just don't think that is a healthy situation to put myself in. But then I think, am I being selfish? Am I spoiling all the fun because she has what I want? What do you think?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Well there is a lot to update on since my last post. For ease I'll put it in bullet points:

  • I had blood work to check my HCG levels the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. My RN called the next day to say that they went from 5,000+ down to 600 which is awesome.
  • Hammer and I spent Thanksgiving with his family this year. It was a nice time but honestly his mom is a very plain cook and I really, really missed my family's cooking. I think I'll have to make my family's traditional stuffing just to get my fix. She also has an obsession with the giblets and puts them in everything, egh. I'm sorry but I know what the liver does and it's not something I want to ingest.
  • The miscarriage bleeding lasted till Black Fr.iday which I was surprised but really happy about. I'm really hoping that I get my period soon so that I can get my body reset.
  • As some of you know on Sunday my email got hacked through my facebook account but all appears to be well now. Except that some blogger named Dewayne left a weird message on my Hijacked post. Dewayne are you my hacker? Just wondering.
  • I had to travel out of town on Monday for a Federal audit of which I was given a one month warning (surprise!) And then got a bigger surprise...I started bleeding again. I had to run back to my hotel to grab some feminine products which I brought but just didn't take some in my purse.
  • I also had to find a lab to get my blood drawn while I was out of town. Fortunately there was one right across from my hotel. Unfortunately it took FOREVER to get it done as the lady was so slow and the computer kept rejecting my information.
  • I got my results today and was really hoping that it would be zero and that the bleeding was my period but it was only 54. I say "only" but 54 is actually pretty good. I will need to get my blood drawn, hopefully, one more time to confirm that it's down below 5 which for them is = to zero. So the bleeding was probably not my period and it's gone as of today. I'll still need to be on the look out for it and this time I'm carrying 'supplies' at all times until it does.
  • I'm really, secretly, hoping that I my body resets because I'd love to start trying naturally as soon as possible. I actually have some hope that maybe, just maybe the thyroid is the missing piece. I hate to get my hopes up but they are and I'm just going to go with it. I know I said my ute needs a rest but I really just feel that my tummy, my butt and my who-ha need to stop being poked and prodded by needles and probes.
  • Finally, I have an IRL friend who is 32 and recently married for a little over a year. She has known that she has PCOS since she was about 18 years old. We have been talking about IF because she and her husband are going to start trying soon and she knows that it will be an uphill battle for them. She has been trying to eat healthier and loose some weight to prepare her body. But things are on hold until her husband can pass his nursing boards and get a job. Just a few weeks ago she and I were talking and she filled me in that her BCP were late so she could not start her new pack and had been off of them for two weeks. Now she has not been off BCP for about 8 years because it helps her body stay healthy due to her PCOS. She was describing ovulation symptoms which she thought were pregnancy symptoms but being the 'TTC expert' I told her that it was ovulation. She and her husband decided to just go for it because she had been told she would never ovulate on her own and if she was they wanted to take advantage of it and just see what happens. Well I think you all know where this is going, right? Yep she just called me moments ago and told me that she is pregnant. It's so bittersweet having just miscarried and shared the pain of that process with her. And then to suddenly hear that they are pregnant after just one random try. Although I am so happy for them because I really would never want anyone to have to experience IVF, it just hurts a bit. I wonder why they received this miracle so quickly when we have been praying for so long, we thought that maybe this last pregnancy was our chance only to have it taken away. I don't think I'll ever really understand why we have been given this trial or why we continue to be left behind by friends and fellow infertiles in the elusive chase for a baby. I wonder at what point will this journey end? At what point will God say, "Alright, it's finally time" and give us the blessing of a child. Oh what I would give to have insight into God's plan for our family! So my fellow IF's (and yes I even mean those of you who are now pregnant and or mommies) will you help us out? Hammer, my family and I are praying for our own miracle to finally come. We are specifically praying that God would allow us to get pregnant before we have to do our final IVF. I know that so many of you wonderful ladies have already been praying for us which I cherish so much already as you are all in my prayers as well. That's why I wanted to fill you in on our specific prayer if you'd like to pray along with us.

IVF #2 Summary

I wanted to post the timeline of our second IVF cycle to close it out so here it is:

  • August 4 - meet with Dr. F to talk about what happend and getting cycle #2 underway. Great news for IVF #2

  • August 12 - progesterone check Results = 1.3 on drugs to start period.

  • August 29 - AF finally makes her appearance!

  • August 31st - lab for day 3 FSH = 8 (still suppressed by Lupron); start BCP

  • August 31 - September 19 - Take BCP

  • September 13 - Oct 2nd - start Lupron 10 units

  • September 14 - TSH draw results = 2.93 (cut off is 2.5); start synthroid 25 mcg/d

  • September 14 - October 7th - begin acupuncture

  • September 30th - baseline ultrasound and baseline E2

  • October 3rd - October 12th - start Bravelle (4 vials/d) and Luveris (dosage 1 vial/d); drop Lupron 5 units

  • October 7th - follie check ultrasound #1 and E2 check R: 12mm, 10mm x2, 9m, and 8mm; L:12mm, 11.5mm, 9mm, and 8mm; E2: 195; Lining 7mm.

  • October 9th - follie check ultrasound #2 and E2 check. R: 16.5mm, 16mm, 15mm, 14mm; L: 15mm, 14mm, 12mm, 10mm; E2: 759; Lining 10mm.

  • October 10th - follie check ultrasound #3 and E2 check. R: 19mm, 16mm x3; L: 17mm, 16mm, 12mm; E2: 1,077.

  • October 11th - Trigger HCG shot 10pm

  • October 13th - egg retrival, 7 beautiful embies fertilized!

  • October 16th - embryo transfer of 2-8 cell embryos (grade 1 and 2)

  • October 20 - progesterone 129

  • October 27th - 11dp3dt (14dpo) beta test results = 24

  • October 29th - 13dp3dt (16dpo) beta #2 test results = 30

  • November 2nd - 17dp3dt (20dpo) beta #3 test results = 107

  • November 4th - 19dp3dt (22dpo) beta #4 test results = 292

  • November 9th - 24dp3dt (27dpo) beta #5 test results = 1,358

  • November 12th - 5w 2d u/s shows no signs of a gestational sac

  • November 16th - 6w6d beta #6 test results = 5,000

  • November 17th - 7w u/s shows gestational sac measuring at 5w

  • November 20th - induce miscarriage with Cytotec

  • November 24th - beta#7 test results 600

  • December 1st - beta #8 test results 54