Tuesday, December 5, 2017

6 Month Thoughts and Moving Forward

I can't believe that Easton is approaching 6 months! Time is flying by so fast. We are enjoying every single second spending time with our little man. We still can't believe that we have him as ours forever. He has brought so much joy to our lives and we love sharing our miracle with all of our family and friends. His happiness is contagious. He is a complete miracle and nobody will ever be able to convince us that it was just a coincidence for all the different things that happened to get him here. We have beat infertility this time!

As an update, we have been asked many times if we will be trying to add to our family again. Yes! We definitely will be. Right now we just want to enjoy Easton and when we feel the time is right we will move forward again. We have a lot of anxiety about starting again just because all that we went through to get Easton, but all of it was completely beyond worth it. The anxiety and worries won't hold us back from trying again. However, we are just enjoying these sweet moments with Easton for now.

Even though we aren't jumping into treatments again right away, there are things I am doing to prepare for when we feel the time is right. After having Easton my PCOS went crazy! My PCOS symptoms were out of control and I felt horrible. I got back on medications that I used up until the 2nd trimester of my pregnancy. I still just didn't feel well. I did some research on my own about the issue and talked to others about it. Four weeks ago I decided to try to Keto diet. Basically it is going low carb, higher fat, and focusing on whole foods. I didn't enter it lightly. I spent hours upon hours reading about it and making sure it was something I wanted to try. I learned that PCOS thrives on carbs. If this was going to help all my PCOS symptoms, why not try? I would highly recommend all my friends dealing with PCOS to look into it. I have seen great results in just the 4 weeks I have been doing it.

Taylor decided to join me on this nutrition plan. Taylor has also seen amazing results. In fact Taylor is almost all the way off the medicines that he has been taking! Taylor has lost almost 17 pounds and I have lost almost 14 pounds in 4 weeks. We are both feeling so much better. We are so happy we have taken this first initial step to work toward building our family. It is so good to know that we are doing everything we can to be ready to jump back into treatments when we feel the time is right.

Some of the friends and family that have known we were starting this plan thought we were crazy. They really thought we would be depriving ourselves of anything good. Yes, we have cut out all sugar. However, we really haven't felt deprived! Here is an example of one of our favorite recipes for waffles! You would think you would have to give up waffles completely, but that is not true. With two modifications waffles turn from a high carb food to low carb and they are so good! You switch regular flour to almond flour and milk to heavy cream.

(Here is where the original recipe was found: https://lowcarbyum.com/almond-flour-waffles-gluten-free/)

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 3 eggs
  1. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt
  2. Stir in oil and eggs. Slowly pour in heavy cream
  3. Pour into waffle maker to cook. 

It is super easy, delicious, and low carb! We like to add whipped cream on top with some blueberries, and have eggs and bacon on the side. 

We are excited to be moving in a direction to be prepared for when we feel ready to add to our family!

Monday, November 14, 2016

IVF Part 7

October 5, 2016

The first part of October has a history of not being very good for us. October 6, 2012 was the due date for our twins. The date was always on our minds because it was our first pregnancy. We knew that date in and out. October 5th is usually the day we start thinking about that and how we wish we had our twins. October 5, 2013 was also the date we found out that our 2nd IUI didn't work. A lot of things fall around this time and it usually isn't that great....until today! Today I went in for my first beta. I got there at 8am. They told me that they try to get the results on the HCG tests out as fast as possible, but it could take as late as 6pm. A little before 11am I got a call. Chelsee was the one calling and she was so excited and said she had wonderful news that I was pregnant!!! I was so excited to hear this and she said she had to call me as soon as she could because she was excited for me. The HCG level came back at 252.21. This is the highest HCG level that I have had of all my pregnancies and it usually comes later. I think I am still in shock writing this. I go back and forth between being super excited and really nervous. We are not out of the woods on this by any means. We go in for a repeat test next Wednesday, October 12th. The hope is that the levels will be rising normally. It is going to be another long week of waiting, hoping, and praying!!!

October 12, 2016

The past week has gone by so SLOW!!! It has been hard not knowing what is going on. I went in this morning for my repeat HCG test and it came back at 2,480! This number is really good. This means my HCG is doubling every 50 hours. Normal is to double every 48-72 hours. Chelsee said she was really happy with those numbers and said to just keep taking the medicines that I have been. She then scheduled our 7 week ultrasound. It will be on October 25th. 13 days seems like so long to wait! In the meantime we will just keep hoping and praying that our baby or babies keep growing and staying strong, and hope for a good ultrasound in a few weeks!

October 21, 2016

Today I am 6 weeks 3 days along. The last time I was 6 weeks and 3 days was when I was pregnant with our twins, and on that day we found out we would be miscarrying. If we make it past today we will officially be the furthest along without receiving bad news! We are so anxious for our ultrasound on Tuesday. We are so excited, yet so nervous. We are so hopeful for the possibility of seeing a baby with a good strong heartbeat. We are also terrified that we won't. So many think that this process ends with the pregnancy test, but that is really just the beginning of all the worrying and waiting. Only 4 days left to wait for this step!

October 26, 2016

Yesterday we had our 7 week ultrasound. We were so excited to make it to this point and to be able to go see our baby or babies and hear a heartbeat. We were so anxious the night before and yesterday morning. The wait in the waiting room felt like forever. We finally got called back to the room and the ultrasound tech came in to do the ultrasound. She looked and saw one baby right away, but said she felt like there was another one and asked us how many embryos we transferred. We told her two. She went back to the first baby and let us hear the heartbeat. She then took other measurements and kept looking around. She said she could see another sac but she couldn't see a baby in it. She said it could just be the position of it in the uterus, or it could be that the baby stopped growing early on. We were still thrilled though to see at least one heartbeat! They are having us go back next week to see if they can see any change with the second baby. At least we know that neither embryo is ectopic. (Yes, they can still be ectopic even doing IVF, but the chances are much lower.) My worry was that we would have one that wasn't ectopic and one that was, but that took care of that fear. We are at peace either way things go with the second baby. We would love to have another baby, but if that is not the plan for us we are still absolutely thrilled to have one baby still going strong!

November 1, 2016

Today we had another ultrasound so that we could see what was happening with the empty sac. Usually we wouldn't go in on week 8, but they wanted us to come in because of the empty sac. We were fine with having a bonus ultrasound! We love getting to see what is going on in there. We went in and immediately as soon as they started the ultrasound I could see baby A. He/she has grown so much in just the past week! They let us hear the heartbeat again. It increased to 151 beats per minute from 127 last week which they said is perfect. They said everything is looking good with baby A. They then went to look and see what was happening with Baby B. We could see the sac had grown but there was still no baby. So we will only be having one baby. The empty second sac is what they call a vanishing twin. The second baby stopped developing early on. We are still absolutely thrilled that we have one baby!

The picture on the left is the ultrasound from last week and the picture on the right is today. There has been lots of growth in one week!

Kyla came over today and took some pictures for us as well. We LOVE them!

November 8, 2016

Today we had another appointment at UFC and it was bittersweet. It was our last appointment there. We graduated from the fertility center. We wish we could stay there the whole pregnancy, but we need to transfer to a different doctor. We went in for the appointment and we were excited as always to see our baby. The baby has gotten bigger in the last week and we saw the heart beating right away. They looked around and got some measurements. The heartbeat went up to 184. After they got all the measurements they needed and checked everything out they went back to the baby to see if we could see it moving. It was pretty content today, but we finally got to see it moving its arms and legs right at the end! We then got our final instructions and got our records to take to our new doctor. They then gave us a card that everyone at the office signed and gave us more ultrasound pictures. We then got to sign the "Tree of Life" for our graduation. It is a big tree in the hallway of the office and you sign your name, then when you have your baby you are supposed to bring it into the office for everyone to see and then add your baby's name with yours. It is strange to think we won't be going back there for anymore appointments for this pregnancy, when we have been there so often over the past few months.

We are so excited for things to come but we still get pretty nervous at times with our history. It is always a roller coaster of emotions. We think and look back often on how much has happened for us to get to this point. So many miracles have brought us to this point. We have received so much love and support through this whole process. We are so excited to have baby Morgan on the way and we are hoping for the best! Hopefully we will be bringing a baby home in June! We would appreciate prayers for this baby and pregnancy, as we still have a long road ahead of us.

Friday, November 11, 2016

IVF Part 3

August 6, 2016

Yesterday our meds arrived! We were also able to go and pick up all of our over the counter items that we needed and our prescriptions that we can get at local pharmacies. It was so overwhelming seeing such a big box of medicines! The cost of our meds so far have been just over $3,000. It was nice being able to pay cash though! I gathered everything together to get a picture of all the meds and items needed for IVF. It was crazy to think that all of these meds will be going in me (and a few in Taylor, but only pills, no shots). I had to remind myself once again to just take it all one day at a time.

Things seem to be moving along with our house. We are hoping it keeps going well and fast so that we can move as soon as possible. It would be nice to be moved before we start all these meds. We have our whole house packed except the things we still need to use. We could move tomorrow. I wish everything could go through that fast!

August 25, 2016

We were able to move into our house on Saturday and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. We have really wanted to get into the house before all the shots for IVF start. We had a lot of family and friends help us move and it was so appreciated! Taylor and I both started Z-Packs on Monday. It is pills that you take for 5 days to get rid of any bacteria you may have in your system. It is just precaution to make sure we have the best chances possible for success. Tomorrow morning I do my first shot! It is crazy that it is here!

August 26, 2016

Yesterday Sara and Kyla came over to help me clean my house some more! They were life savers! I have really wanted to get as much with the house done as possible before starting shots since I don't know how they will effect me. We were able to get a lot done and I couldn't have done it without their help!

When Sara came over she brought me this cute basket since I am starting shots. It is to keep me entertained during my down times during IVF, and during the two week wait. It was so fun to get! Some of the things included were treats, a coloring book, lucky socks (it is a well known infertility tradition that you wear lucky socks to your egg retrieval and transfer), a few funny movies (I looked up a bunch of things people claim will help IVF work better and one of them was to laugh a lot during the two week wait), activity book, etc.

This morning I had to get up at 7am. That is when I will be doing shots every morning. I will get up at 7am and prep the shots, and inject at 7:15am. It has to be done at the same time every morning, no matter if it is a weekend or a weekday. Taylor was very supportive of this first shot. He came down to the kitchen where we have our "IVF Station" set up, and was there in case I needed help. I only had to do one shot today. The shot I did today was 10 units of Lupron. Lupron basically shuts down my reproductive hormone system. I will do just these shots every morning for about 2 weeks. After 2 weeks I will then add hormone shots to the regimen to start growing follicles, while still taking Lupron, so I don't prematurely ovulate.  

The hardest part of doing the shot was actually jabbing the needle into my stomach (all shots will go in my stomach). It didn't hurt once I actually did it, but just the thought of jabbing something into your stomach makes it hard. After I did the shot I got a red rash where the shot was and got a small bump that was a bit itchy. All of this is normal for this shot. One shot down, with at least 50 more to go!

August 28, 2016

Today was the 3rd day of Lupron shots. I am getting more used to stabbing the needle into my stomach which is the hardest part. However, the bouts of nausea and headaches have started. It has been nice that it has started in over a weekend so I am able to see how I can best deal with it before going back to work. I have been finding little tricks to deal with the nausea that I am having. I eat very small amounts a little more often throughout the day and I have sprite on hand to sip on as well when I need it. I have also been using peppermint oil for both nausea and headaches. Hopefully things keep going relatively well with the shots.

September 2, 2016

Yesterday was an exciting day. When I realized that it was the first of September, I told Taylor that it's finally baby month because we have a chance of being pregnant THIS month! We won't technically know if we are pregnant until the first part of October, if everything goes as planned, but we would still be pregnant this month. It is really exciting to think about. We have gone from years, to months, to weeks of waiting!

Today was my 8th day of shots. There have been a few days that I haven't had any side effects at all, and other days I have a lot of side effects. The side effects I have had are nausea, headaches, and acne. I just have to take it all day by day. Next Thursday, September 8th, I have my baseline ultrasound, blood work, and we also have to turn in all our consent forms and make our final payment for the process. If everything looks good on the ultrasound and blood work, I will start my stimulation shots (the ones that make as many follicles as possible grow) next Friday, September 9th!

September 9, 2016

Yesterday I had my baseline ultrasound and blood work done. The appointment was at 8:30am which was nice so I didn't have to think about it all day. The ultrasound was first and they said my lining looked perfect. They checked for antral follicles and counted them on each ovary. There were 10 on the right side and 12 on the left. These are follicles that they are hoping to stimulate to grow. All of them may not grow and there may be others hiding, but it was a good estimate. They like to see 5 or more on each side. I also didn't have any cysts or anything so the ultrasound looked good from what the nurse could tell. I then went and had to have my blood drawn. It was fast and painless. I then turned in all of our consent forms and went to make our payment for the cycle.

We had all the money saved in an HSA account, however, when they ran the card I forgot I hadn't told the doctor's office that our address changed. They ran the card and it was rejected. They changed the address and it was rejected again. I called the card company and after the card was ran the first time a hold was placed on the funds in our account, so when they ran it a second time it rejected because we didn't have double the amount in our account. It was really frustrating to run into that when we were dealing with so much money. I was panicking a bit because we were supposed to make the payment that day to continue our cycle. However, the office was understanding with it and said we could wait a few days to pay until the funds were cleared since they knew we had the money. Luckily it looks like the hold was removed this morning and the payment was sent through, so we should be good to go! That was quite stressful for a bit there!

A few hours after the appointment I got a call back from the doctors office saying that the blood work results had come back and Dr. Foulk had reviewed them. He said everything looked good on both and he was giving us the green light to start stim shots!

This morning when I woke up to do shots, I had to do 3 instead of just 1. I still had to do the Lupron, but I have also added Menopur and Gonal-F now. These medications are to stimulate my ovaries to produce as many follicles as possible. The hope is that each follicle will have a mature egg. I have heard that the Menopur stings so I decided to do that first. I drew up all three shots at the same time, but then injected the Menopur first. It stung a bit, but nothing like I was expecting. There is a lot more to inject though compared to the Lupron. I then did the Gonal-F. This one also has a lot more to inject than the Lupron. However, when I went to give myself the shot I couldn't get the needle to puncture my skin. It was a dull needle. I had to push really hard to get it to puncture the skin to administer the injection. That was not fun. I then did the Lupron which wasn't bad because I am so used to it now. I have been pretty nauseous and tired today. I also have had a small headache on and off. It is so exciting that we are moving on with this next step in this process!

(From left to right: Lupron, Menopur, Gonal-F)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

IVF Part 6

September 25, 2016

Yesterday was a good day but in some ways a long day. We went grocery shopping and made preparations for princess days (couch potato/bed rest days). We were then able to watch the BYU game with some family. After watching the game Myra and my sister-in-law, Hanna, came and watched General Women's Conference with me. What an amazing session! Elder Uchtdorf's talk was so amazing and hit so many things right on the head for me. It related so much to the talk by Elder Bednar that I shared earlier. It talked a lot about faith and how we need to work on submitting to Heavenly Father's will. Faith will not change Heavenly Father's will. We need to align our will with His. It was along the same concept of, "Do you have the faith not to be healed?". Another thing that stood out is we need to keep going until we reach the last door on the fourth floor. It was the most amazing talk, as if it were written just for me.

During Women's Conference Taylor had gone upstairs and I could hear him banging around a bit. I didn't know what he was doing. After conference ended he came down and had us go up and see what he had been doing. He had been working on putting the baby room together!

We hadn't put together the crib or anything since we moved so he worked on putting everything together. I hadn't planned on doing anything until we were actually expecting a baby, but he couldn't wait.

After showing us the room Taylor decided to take me to go see the movie Storks, in honor of hopefully doing a transfer the next day. It was a cute movie that was fun to see at this point in time.

This morning we woke up at our normal Sunday time and went to church. It was hard to sit through it all, knowing we would be going to our appointment right after. We went home after church, grabbed something to eat, and headed to the office. As soon as I checked in they had me take Valium to calm me down for the transfer and had me wait in the waiting room for a while. I started to feel pretty sleepy and lightheaded a bit. They soon called me back and had me go into a room and said Dr. Foulk would be in. By this time my semi-full bladder that they wanted me to have was getting really full. Dr. Foulk came in and said, "Are you ready to see your bambinos?". We were definitely ready. He handed us a paper showing us a picture of our embryos and told us how they are all doing. Of the 16 viable ones we had on Friday, we had 14 that were still growing, 7 of which were really good. We decided that we would transfer the best two and we will try freezing the rest. They will also watch the 7 that aren't quite up to par yet and see if they catch up so they can freeze them as well. Dr. Foulk is hoping 2 of them catch up to be frozen. We were so happy with these results. Dr. Foulk left the room and said someone else would be coming in to start getting the ultrasound ready for the procedure. Here are our first baby pictures!

When they came in to start the ultrasound they saw that my bladder was really full. Luckily they let me take a quick break and go to the bathroom since they would be pushing a lot on my stomach. I got settled back in and they got the ultrasound set. Dr. Foulk came back in to start the procedure. Ammon, our embryologist, also came in to introduce himself since we had only talked on the phone before. It was cool to be able to see exactly what was happening on the ultrasound. As soon as Dr. Foulk was ready he had Ammon go and get our embryos. They brought them in and inserted them. We could see exactly where they went because they had put air bubbles next to the embryos. During this procedure Dr. Foulk proceeded to tell us that he controls if we get rebellious children or sweet children. He said they put sugar in with the embryos that they want to turn out sweet and jalepenos with the ones they want to be rebels. It gave us a good laugh. He is an awesome doctor! After the procedure was done they set a timer for 20 minutes and I had to lay there until the timer went off. We sat there for a really long time and the timer wasn't going off. Finally after probably about a half hour or 40 minutes they came in and said we could go. Here is a post procedure picture, and Taylor had to get a picture of my lucky socks! (Lucky socks are a well known thing with infertility patients. You wear lucky socks because that is the only part of your own clothing you can wear for a lot of the procedures. Usually you are wearing a hospital gown.)

We headed home to start my 2.5 days of princess days. These are days where I need to stay relaxed and I can only get up to go to the bathroom, get food, shower, or change rooms to get a change of scenery. It will be hard to stay down for so long, but it will be so worth it. We are also going to have some fun with this. We have read stories that if you take a pineapple and cut it in 5 pieces, then eat a piece a day, that it should help your embryos stick. I don't know if it really works or not, but I thought it would be something fun, so I ate my first piece today.

Snuggle in babies!!!!!

October 1, 2016

It is October! That means we find out this month if we are pregnant! We are so excited and are getting so anxious. We are just over half way through the wait to find out. I was on "princess days" on Monday and Tuesday. Sara came over on Monday and we watched movies, she painted my toenails, etc. She even brought me a princess crown and wand which I thought was pretty funny.

On Tuesday my family all took turns coming to visit so that I wouldn't get bored while Taylor was at work. 

I went back to work Wednesday and the days have been passing so slow. However, today and tomorrow are general conference so hopefully the days will go faster. Conference weekend usually goes pretty fast for me.

October 4, 2016

Have I ever mentioned that I hate waiting? Well I do! The past couple days have been so slow as we are anxiously awaiting our first blood test, to find out if we are pregnant or not. Tomorrow we go in for the blood draw at 8am, but they may not call us until as late as 6pm. It is going to be a long day!

IVF Part 5

September 21, 2016

Yesterday we checked in at the office at 6am. At about 6:20 they called us back to get ready for retrieval. They put in an IV and after that things went pretty fast. I remember Dr. Foulk coming in and talking about how we were finally to this point after so long and how he was excited for us that we were there. I don't remember anything after that until I woke up. The anesthesiologist had me sit there for a few minutes while I woke up a bit then had me get up and walk down a hall to a recovery room. On the way we passed a room with a bunch of windows. He said that is where they were counting the eggs that they got, and they got a lot. I went and waited in the recovery room and soon after they let Taylor and my mother-in-law come and sit with me. Dr. Foulk came in after a few minutes and asked how many eggs I thought they got. I said on the scan when they counted they got to 28 and then stopped so I was guessing about that. He then said they got 40. The hope was that about 25 would fertilize and then we would have 5 or 6 good ones left at the end. They told us they would call us the next day to let us know how things were going. I was then sent home to rest. I spent the rest of the day taking a nap and relaxing. I had some pain, but it was pretty manageable most of the day. My mother-in-law came and made us dinner which was really helpful.

Today we got a call from Ammon, the embryologist at Utah Fertility Center. He said that yesterday there ended up being 40 eggs (which we knew), but only 30 of them were mature. When they went to fertilize the eggs, they noticed an unexpected problem with the sperm motility so they had to change from traditional fertilization to an emergency ICSI, which means they had to inject a sperm directly into each egg. They did that with the 30 mature eggs. Of the 30 eggs, 28 fertilized. As of right now, 14 embryos look like they are doing well. The other 14 have not been splitting (growing) as of yet, so we need to see if they do end up starting to grow. It was disappointing to hear these numbers. It is hard to hear that you have went from 40, down to 14 at this point. We are just hoping and praying that some of the 14 that aren't growing start to grow, and that the 14 that are growing, keep growing strong. We are just hoping and praying for the best. It is all in Heavenly Father's hands at this point.

September 23, 2016

The rest of Wednesday and yesterday were long days. We just wanted to know more about what was happening with our embryos, but they only look at them every other day. They are kept in an incubator, so they don't want to take them out too much and hurt their chances of growing in any way. It was discouraging to think that we may have lost over half of what we started with just in the first day. It was hard to think of what could be happening either way. My mind wandered so much thinking about if all of this did work or if this didn't. I got myself pretty discouraged thinking about all the two years of quiet books that have went into this, that could all be gone if this didn't work. I thought of all the hard work, saving, fasting, praying, etc. that has all went into this. It would be devastating not to have it work.

My mother-in-law came over Monday evening and we had a good talk. We had a good talk about faith and how things work out in the Lord's timing. It gave me some really good reminders. A common phrase I hear is, "Have faith that it will work out". A lot of times that makes it sound like you need to have faith to have it work out the way that you want it or expect it to work out. However, what if it doesn't work out the way you want it to? Does that mean you didn't have enough faith? If you had more faith, would you get your desired outcome? That is not the case at all. Having faith is trusting in Heavenly Father's timing and trusting that everything will work out the way it is supposed to, even if it is not the way you want it to. It is something that is not easy sometimes. You want it to work out one way so bad, but it just might not. We talked about a talk that Elder Bednar gave that is called, "That We Might Not..Shrink". It is an amazing talk. There are so many good quotes in it and so many take-aways. He talks about how Elder Maxwell said that, "It is better to not shrink, than to survive". Sometimes we get so focused on surviving a trial that we actually take steps backward in our progress. It is a reminder that we need to be working on growing and progressing through the trials that we are given. Elder Bednar also told a story of a young married couple, and the husband had cancer. They had faith that Heavenly Father would heal him. Elder Bednar asked them if they had faith to NOT be healed. If it were Heavenly Father's will, and he did not heal him, would they have the faith that it was what was for the best? This really hit me hard. If IVF does not work, will I have faith to know that Heavenly Father is doing what is best for us and that it is part of His timing? We have put so much work and effort into this IVF cycle. We want it to work so much. However, if it does not work, will we still have faith in Heavenly Father and know that it will all work out the way it is supposed to? I thought about that a lot late into the night. I re-read the talk multiple times. I have faith and know Heavenly Father CAN make this work, but we don't know if he WILL make this work this time. We need to prepare ourselves and have faith that no matter which way it works out, that it is part of the plan and Heavenly Father knows what is best.

Today was day 3 of embryo growth so we knew Ammon would be calling again today. I didn't expect him to call until a lot later in the day, but he called a little before noon. He first talked about the 14 that were not growing when we talked last. He said that 4 ended up starting to grow, but still only two of those 4 are looking normal. He then said all 14 of our other embryos are still holding on and growing. This was so much better news than we expected. Usually you lose some as you go. We have 18 embryos still, and 16 are looking good right now. They expect each embryo to be at about 6-10 cells right now. Here is the breakdown for our embryos:

1-9 cell embryo
7-8 cell embryos
3-7 cell embryos
5-6 cell embryos
1-5 cell embryo
1-3 cell embryo

It is still normal to lose some embryos between day 3 and day 5 so Ammon said he is hoping we have about 6 good embryos left on Sunday. We won't hear any other reports on them until we go in on Sunday since that is the next time they will take them out of the incubator to look at them. We will be going into the office Sunday in the early afternoon to hopefully get one or two of our embryos back!

IVF Part 4

September 14, 2016

Today was the 6th day of stim shots. It has been hard getting used to the three different shots. I always do the Menopur shot first because of the stinging and burning so I want to get it over with first. I then do the Gonal-F because it always seems to be a dull needle so its harder to get it to go in, and then I do Lupron last because that one is nice and easy. I was excited to reach day 6 of stims because that means we have reached past the half way mark for 3 shots a day, as long as they don't extend them longer! So far the main side effects I have had are nausea, headaches, exhaustion, and dizziness/lightheadedness.

Today I had a blood draw. I was anxious to see how everything was looking. It was a long day waiting to see what numbers would come back at. They tested Estrogen, which they wanted to see above 500. My levels came in at 1,289. They said to keep doing everything I am doing and following in the calendar. I will go in for a repeat blood work on Friday as well as for an ultrasound. I am excited to see how things are looking and progressing then.

So a side note story, I went to acupuncture on Monday and I had told the doctor that I was having pretty bad headaches. After he took the needles out he told me to sit still a minute and he was going to do something to help with the headaches. He said he was going to put something in my ear and I didn't really catch what he was doing. There were two sharp pains in my ear. He told me what he had put in should fall out in a few days. I went home and looked in the mirror and this is what I saw.

I freaked out! It looked like I had two extra piercings in my ear. They felt weird and I did not like them at all. They are called ASP needles for acupuncture. They are designed to stay in a few days then fall out on their own. This is what they look like when they aren't in your ear.

I showed Taylor and he didn't like the way they looked either. So I told him to yank them out. So he got tweezers and yanked them out while I pretty much had a meltdown while he did it. In the end it didn't hurt that bad, but I just wanted them out. Those will not be happening again to say the least.

September 17, 2016

Yesterday I went in for my first ultrasound. I went in and was nervous. I was worried that there wouldn't be follicles or that there would be something wrong. My mother-in-law, Myra, went with me to the appointment. Chelsee my IVF coordinator did my ultrasound which was comforting since she is the person I have been working with the most in this IVF process. She started the ultrasound and I could immediately see that there were follicles. It was very clear. She started measuring the follicles and I saw that there were quite a few. She said things were looking good as well. She didn't measure all the follicles on the left side because it was quite painful. At the end I asked her how many follicles there were and she said she didn't know, that she stopped counting at 15, and that there were oodles. She said she would have another nurse tell me how many were measured. The other nurse later told me 28 were measured, and that wasn't even all of them. I then went and had blood work done. The office later called me and told me that Dr. Foulk had reviewed the ultrasound and blood work and that everything looked good and I should continue with what my calendar said. I asked them what my estrogen levels came back at and they said 4,000. I of course googled this number, which was a huge mistake. So many people were saying that over 3,000 or 4,000 your IVF cycle was at risk of being cancelled. I started to panic and so many worries were going through my head. I started reading IVF stories of other people from what they had blogged and that started to calm me down when I saw others had high numbers too and their cycle wasn't cancelled. I also had Taylor give me a blessing later in the day after my meltdown and it was very comforting to hear that everything was ok. 

Today I had another ultrasound and blood draw. Today my mom and Sara went with me. I wasn't as nervous for this one but it is hard when so much has been put into this process and there are high stakes. I can't help but get a little nervous, since anything could happen. I love how everyone at the office is so great though and they always are able to calm all my nerves. They did blood work first and they had to poke me 3 times to get it drawn. I then did the ultrasound. The person doing the ultrasound said there were indeed oodles and only measured a lot of the biggest follicles. 

Here are a few pictures of the ultrasound. Each of the black blobs is a follicle.

Here are all the bandages from the blood draw.

They called today and said that everything is looking good, but Dr. Foulk only wants me to do two of my shots tomorrow instead of 3. My estrogen was at 4,700 so the rise in estrogen seems to be slowing down. We go back again in the morning for another ultrasound and blood draw.

September 19, 2016

Yesterday we had another doctor appointment. It all started off great because I only had to be poked once for my blood draw! We then had the ultrasound and I could tell the follicles were definitely growing. The ultrasound tech said that she thought they would trigger me that night, but would have to see what Dr. Foulk said. We got done with the appointment just in time to join Taylor's family for church. It was a long day waiting for the phone call to come with the results. Around 4:30pm they called and they told us we were going to trigger! They said I would only be doing half of the HCG trigger shot. The hope is that since it is only half that the risk for OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) will be reduced. Since I have so many follicles, PCOS, high estrogen, etc, I am at greater risk for OHSS. This is when after retrieval your body keeps stimulating your ovaries and your abdomen fills up with fluid. It is very uncomfortable and sometimes they have to go in and drain the fluid. We are taking every precaution to lower the risk of this happening. I have started drinking protein shakes and Gatorade, no water. This will be hard for me because I love water!

I did the HCG trigger shot at exactly 6:30pm yesterday. I had to do it to the minute because everything is so precise and needs to be exact. This morning when I woke up I needed to take a home pregnancy test. It came out positive. As much as I wish it really were a real positive test, it is a false positive. The HCG trigger shot is supposed to make a pregnancy test positive, and I did the pregnancy test to make sure the shot worked. I was also very happy that I didn't have to do any shots this morning!

Today I should be having a phone conversation with the anesthesiologist to prepare for egg retrieval tomorrow. I have to get up at probably around 5am, because we have to check in at the office at 6am. They will need to do the retrieval right at 6:30am. We are moving right along in this process!

IVF Part 2

June 2, 2016

On May 31st we hit another milestone! We are past the $12,000 mark! We are moving right along!

Also on Tuesday I had my first session of acupuncture. We have decided to give it a try and see how it goes. I was actually surprised how relaxing and calming it is. I will be doing an acupuncture session each week until we get into the process more, then I might do a couple sessions a week.

June 21, 2016

Yesterday I had my 4th acupuncture session. Everything is going really well with the sessions. I really like the doctor that I am seeing for it. I will continue going weekly for appointments for the next while. Things are really speeding up and I can't believe we will be diving right in next month with everything!

July 1, 2016

Yesterday we hit another big milestone for our baby fund! We are getting so close!

Today is also the first day of July, which means that THIS month we will be moving forward with preparation for IVF! The excitement and many other emotions are definitely building for us! We are ready to move forward in this process and get one step closer to our baby!

July 8, 2016

Today we touched base again with our IVF coordinator about our upcoming cycle. We were able to talk about the steps coming up that will be happening for the process. In about a week I will be starting birth control pills. Yes, we are trying to have a baby and starting birth control pills. The purpose of the pills is to keep everything "calm" as we approaching cycle time. We also scheduled a plan of care appointment for August 16th. So after starting BCPs (Birth Control Pills) the next big step will come August 16th when we sit down to go through all of our meds, get our calendar, etc. The end of August or first part of September we will start the bulk of the medicines, and the end of September we will do our egg retrieval and embryo transfer. We are getting so excited for this whole thing! However, sometimes it still seems so far away!  Hopefully time will pass fast over the next month or so!

July 15, 2016

Today things got a little more real for this IVF process. I talked with our IVF coordinator again and she has decided that she wants me to go in for a bunch of blood work on Monday. They need to check where all my levels are on a bunch of things. Then after blood work, on Monday night, I will start Birth Control Pills. My plan of care appointment was also moved up to August 3rd so that they have more time to tweak things if they need to before starting IVF. 

Also today we hit the $15,000 mark for our baby fund! Our goal has been reached!!!!!!

July 18, 2016

Today I had blood work drawn. They had to take 7 vials of blood! Yuck! Tonight I start birth control pills! Still sounds so weird that we have to do birth control to try to have a baby!

August 4, 2016

The past few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind at our house! Things got really crazy when we decided it was time to sell our house and move. We have had no intention of moving at all. I have had some feelings here and there that maybe we should move and Taylor has as well, but we hadn't really acted on it because we were doing IVF and it would be crazy to do both processes at once. However, on July 16th, our house was listed and we put in an offer on another house. The whole thing happened in about 3 days. We went from not moving at all, to 3 days later having our house for sale and having an offer accepted on a new house. We have been super busy ever since then. We are just finishing up the financing processes on our current house and our new house, then we will be moving. Hopefully we will get to move before IVF picks up too much!

Since we have been packing, I ended up giving Taylor his IVF survival kit that I made for him early. It was really fun coming up with ideas for it. 

Yesterday we had our plan of care appointment. We went out to breakfast right before the appointment.

We were at the doctor's office for an hour and a half! We were able to sit down with our IVF coordinator to go through the whole process, the timing of everything, to go over meds and how to order them, get our calendar, etc. Taylor also had to have his blood drawn, which he wasn't happy about since he hates needles. 

Everything was quite overwhelming with getting so much information at once yesterday. The calendar is overwhelming as well, but I just need to take everything we need to do one day at a time. 

So the plan for the next little while...I ordered meds that need to be shipped today so those should be coming soon. I then have a list of things to go shopping for at the store and to get from a local pharmacy. We will then start injections the end of this month!