Thursday, March 29, 2012


Still on pain meds and a little woozy from anesthesia, but overall I am not feeling too bad. I am reclining and resting after retrieval this morning. For the most part, things went smoothly. I never do well coming out of anesthesia, so that was expected, but the procedure itself went well. No complications, just a few extra hours in recovery to help me combat anesthesia.

We have been praying since Tuesday for God to prepare the rest of the underdeveloped eggs so we could have a decent number at retrieval. As of Tuesday, they were thinking 12ish and maybe a few more would grow before Thursday. Considering how few actually make it to day 5 and become embryo, they were thinking maybe 3-4. Well, we got a call from the doctor shortly after getting home and were told they took 29 (yes, 29!) eggs. Eesh. That's a lot. We have no idea how many, if any, are mature and will be fertilized. But what an answer to prayers!

The one downside to having so many eggs is he is concerned I will develop hyperstimulation syndrome. So we've added another med and I have to monitor my fluids and spend a few days resting. Thankfully the weekend is right around the corner so I get plenty of time before I have to head back to work.

So here's the timeline: Tomorrow we get a number of healthy eggs and number fertilized, Sunday we'll get an update of how many have survived, and by Tuesday I'll know how many actual embryo (little bitty babies) we have!
So the OR of REACH waiting

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One more step

After a very discouraging appointment on Sunday, I was so excited to get some good news today! Things have been growing well and I now have at least 12 mature eggs for retrieval which has successfully been scheduled. On Sunday, I saw the on call doc (who was very rude and a little rough with that ultrasound) and was told I was not where I needed to be. That all my follicles where too small and needed more growth. Three needle sticks to attempt to draw blood only added to the trauma. I left feeling very discouraged and anxious about the upcoming week. And my only next step was to "wait until Tuesday."

After some clarification as to why we were having to push everything back yesterday, I was nervous for my appointment today. Nervous that I would have to start the drugs over, but more nervous that I wouldn't be able to handle the emotional struggle and strain over losing this opportunity. I realized just how invested I was in the process at that point. So I learned for the first time what it meant to pour out my heart in prayer as I pleaded with the Lord for the opportunity to continue this journey and to not have my spirit crushed in the process.

And at today's appointment, things looked much better. Only 12 eggs, but enough to continue. My doc feels confident there are more hidden somewhere. And he thinks he can remove some of the endometriosis as well to increase the odds of pregnancy in a few months when we get to that point. What wonderful news! Now we just wait for the next 36 hours, with only 2 more shots between me and the end of phase one.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Looking over these last few posts I have realized how much of a whiner I am! Here I am, taking this wonderful opportunity with so many possibilities for blessing, and I keep focusing in on the negatives. In an effort to not get my hopes up, I have tried to tell myself at each step along the way that there are no guarantees. And that is true - there are no guarantees. My brain and my heart have been disconnected during these past few weeks. Because even though I keep trying to say the word "if" instead of "when," my heart is very much involved. And going to be very broken if we do not have children from this process.

So I am entering this next week focusing on hope. I had lunch with a dear friend, from whom I have stolen the "hope" mantra, who was discussing 1 Corinthians 13:13 which talks about faith, hope and love. How easy is it for us to all see faith and love? Of course you need faith and love. But hope? When everything is going well and life is moving forward, you never even think about hope. Because why is there a need? What is there to hope for? I've already got it. But not so much right now.

She challenged me with "What is God trying to teach you?" And I honestly am not sure. I know trust is mixed in there, because I have such a hard time truly trusting that God's plan is the best one for me and that I don't, in fact, know more. Control would be another one. I like to control every aspect of my life, like knowing exactly what the next step is and how I am going to get there. And doing every step along the way and still not being able to control the outcome - still not knowing if we will have 1 child by the end of this journey or 10, not knowing if God's plan for us is adoption or to have no children at all - has really been a challenge. I do know this, before this struggle, when life was moving ahead exactly as I planned, I did not give much thought to God. Yes, I believed, and I knew he loved me and died for me and all those Sunday School answers. But I took it all for granted. Because it almost seemed as though I didn't need God (though obviously we all do) or that I could keep him in the distance. Now, even when I am angry and blaming God, He is at the forefront of my mind. I find myself constantly praying, though sometimes selfishly, which I have never been consistent with in the past.

From Moments for Couples who Long for Children: "Lord, we dream of having any baby and You tell us You are planning a specific child. We see senseless waiting; You see a Master Plan. Give us the faith to ask not for our will, but for Yours. Only You know why we wait, and only You know who we're waiting for...give us the faith to continue to wait, knowing no detail has escaped Your attention."

Thursday, March 22, 2012


For the most part, injections have been getting easier each day. There is still a deep breath required before I pierce through my skin each morning, but I am no longer sitting there willing the myself to just do it already. And I have felt pretty good all week. Nauseous from the antibiotics and exhausted from not sleeping, but overall pretty good. I had the gall to think "I don't know what this doctor is talking's not that uncomfortable. Those other women must be weaker." Right... Or my body was just waiting for today. When it feels like I have been slammed up against a wall. When I think there could surely not be any more room inside of me for anything else to grow. It happened overnight. Went to bed - felt good; woke up - thought I was going to explode. Add to that gallons of water and you get one very uncomfortable person.

As I have begun to get uncomfortable today and I started experiencing some sharp pains, my mind started going straight toward "something must be wrong." The doctor didn't offer much encouragement as he told me it was early in the process to have started the sharper pains. Yet here I am. And one look with the ultrasound confirmed that the endometriosis has run rampant and endometriomas are now on both ovaries. I think his exact words were "your pelvis is a hot mess." And he told me, to decrease my pain, I could lie down flat on my back or take pain pills. Neither of which are exactly an option for the next 5-6 days. Not exactly the words I was hoping to hear. And I left discouraged. And angry. And I instantly wanted to take control back from God. Because, what if God's plan does not include children? Surely I can make this happen with the help of the doctors. And thankfully, and prayerfully, that momentary control issue has passed. At least as I am writing this. Though I am sure that will change again before the end of the day. It is such a learning process.

The nurse called, and everything looks good. My estrogen level was just high enough to be considered "healthy" - whatever that means. And I have ~18 follicles, which is a little lower than what they were hoping for (they look for mid twenties), but still better than anything less than 18. I guess. Trying to find the positives in this overwhelming process as I am lying at home, flat on my back, drinking more water and peeing every 20 minutes.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


This has been one of our more trying weekends. I have gone through huge swings in emotions, expectations, and faith. One minute I am preparing for twins and trying to figure out how we will fit 2 car seats, 2 pack 'n plays, and a double stroller in that trunk (car shopping, another nightmare). The next minute I'm thinking we should just get whatever because we'll never have kids anyway. And back and forth I've gone, all weekend long, from one extreme to another. And Andrew gets caught in the fire, accused of not being supportive enough and not knowing the right thing to say. Though I've had to admit there is no "right" thing, and probably anything, no matter how supportive, would cause him to get in trouble at this point in time.

So I go into today discouraged, overwhelmed, moody, and fat. And I set my alarm super early so I could ready all the injection info and get everything together so I could do my injection at 8. And I get up (deep breath) head downstairs, and lay it all out in front of me. I follow all the steps (26) for the first injection - putting in the cartridge, loading the needle, dialing in the correct dosage, etc. And I look at the needle...1st mistake. It looks sharp and scary. Terrifying, actually. But I know I have to do this since Andrew is gone this week. So I take a seat, pinch the skin, and freeze. 30 minutes! Yes, I sit for 30 minutes before I can finally inject myself "with a dart like motion" and inject the medication. Whew...made it. One injection down, one to go. Today. Then a lot more days to go after that. My goal for the evening shot is to cut that time in half. 15 minutes. Cause by Tuesday I'm going to have to do this between patients so there's no time to get myself pumped and ready to go. But I'm still calling day 1 a success.

The whole 30 minutes of lag time (where I keep saying "ok, I've got this. 1-2-3-go...nothing...) I keep thinking that I just really want to talk to someone who has been through this before. Because, as already established, Andrew is not giving me the right words. And I come upstairs to recover and find, right in my inbox, present the whole time I was sitting downstairs, is an email of encouragement from the one person who I know who has been through this process before. Letting me know she is thinking about me and praying for me. How great is our God? That He would know exactly what I needed at that exact moment and use a beautiful friend to deliver words of encouragement. How incredible. I am surrounded by people who are praying for me and it was such a blessing today to be reminded of that - both in email and at church. And so today I have been much more encouraged and positive that yesterday. And I am somewhat at peace with where we are now. Next injection in 45 minutes...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


So this is what I arrived home to yesterday. And I have to be honest, I am completely freaking out. As someone who is deathly afraid of needles, this is not a happy picture. It is horrific. All those boxes house needles. And that little red box at the top of the picture is a Sharps container. My very own Sharps container! I don't even know how to begin this process. And they have to be given consistently at the same time, which means I get to do this at work between patients or wake up at 4:30 each morning and do it to myself. And then I have to take the pills...some with food, some 1 hour before food, some 2-3 hours after food. How am I supposed to keep all this straight and work for a living?? Eek for the needles. God is really just shoving me right out of my comfort zone.

These past few days have been more difficult that I expected. And in addition to getting the drugs in and spending hours on the phone with UHC, I am officially beginning my journey into stretchy pants for work tomorrow after having to paperclip together my pants today. Sigh. I think this is the start of officially losing it. With lots more to go. Could use some prayer for my spirit in the upcoming weeks. Because as the excitement is wearing down and reality of what I am about to do and go through sets in, I just want to quit. And cry. And I keep thinking how unfair all this is, and it's like I'm right back where I was a few months ago with my heart.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Insurance Rage

So, I'm sure some of my rage today is coming from the hormones. But most of it is coming because of the insurance companies. So I have come to terms with UHC not covering IVF and have been preparing to pay for that, plus the fertility drugs, since we started this journey. What makes me crazy is how they are trying to get out of paying for everything. I had a giant cyst drained in December (so it wouldn't rupture and send me to the ER) and they are refusing coverage. I left my family early over Christmas break so I could come back to Charlotte and have the procedure done while I had met my deductible...missed spending time with family who had traveled to be together. And they can deny it, for no specific reason. And I can call, speak to numerous incompetent people and supervisors, and they can all agree that if fact it looks like I needed the procedure, but there is nothing they can do. "Submit an appeal." Great.

And then I get transferred over to the prescription coverage side, after being told that UHC cannot answer specific questions about drug coverage, to determine the reason why I cannot take Lupron - the gold standard of treatment for endometriosis - when my physician has told me he has never encountered an insurance company who would not cover it. And I am told, "sorry, nothing we can do...but (guess what) you can submit an appeal." Great, thanks for being so helpful. So to keep me from wanting to scream and break things (which so far I have managed not to do) I am venting here. And feeling maybe 10% better at this point. Insurance companies suck. Maybe I'll have something more positive to say next time, but today is just one of those days where I feel very beat down.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Trial Transfer

Hormones have continued to build and apparently pushed me over the edge this weekend. In a fit of severe jealous and frustration (and only minimal crying), one too many people announced their pregnancy last week on facebook and I had to deactivate my account. While this is most likely temporary, and I did not spend much time on there anyway, it is a little bit of a relief to know I will not be confronted with yet another pregnant woman sharing her joy through the electronic world.

We had our trial transfer yesterday with only minimal increase in complications. Apparently my "plumbing" (as dad is reading this, that seems most appropriate...) is rather curved and snakes down, up, and down again making the actual transfer a little more risky for the babies. But aside from that, everything looked good for us to start injections next week. And once injections start, it is a quick process. 8-14 days before the retrieval would occur. So the first phase of this process will be done by the end of the month!

The doctor said he is "hitting me hard" with drugs since I am young, but that I would be very uncomfortable and feel the side effects. The nurse, when we had our consult on injections, let me know that I would not only be uncomfortable, but would likely look as though I am 5ish months pregnant by the end of the 2 weeks. Esh. That's going to be easy to hide... Already on my way with the first 6 pounds I've gained. Again, well worth it in the end.

I started reading an excellent book, Hannah's Hope, yesterday. Only 3 chapters in and I am already finding some encouragement. The author, Jennifer Saake, has some interesting insight into some questions I have been asking God myself. She describes her frustration and anger toward women who get pregnant who don't appear to "deserve" this blessing - the unwed teenage mother, the woman who is divorced or had an affair, the woman who is barely holding it together financially with the children she already has. And she says, "while childlessness is a trial for infertile couples and we consider parenthood a great blessing, for others pregnancy might indeed be the trail that God uses to change their hearts." While that is hard for me, because I like to be in control and think that I (of course) know what is best, it is completely up to the Lord when and how he chooses to bless His children.

Saake shares this in the end of one chapter, dedicated toward helping those "Burden Bearers" (Those reading the book to understand how to help/support the infertile in their lives):
"If you were to eat rotten food, you would soon be on your knees from the abdominal pain of food poisoning. As I writhe under the cramping of my soul, it is the bitter cup of affliction and stale bread of adversity that drive me to my knees in anguished prayer. In the midst of my pain, my focus may seem terribly self-centered. Please keep praying for me that I may clearly hear God's still, small voice comforting and guiding me through this process."

Saturday, March 3, 2012


I simultaneously want to scream and throw things, break down and cry, and eat (burgers, chocolate, mac and cheese...doesn't really matter what) all at the same time. I am officially starting to lose it. And it's like I can feel this thing taking over my body and making me sarcastic, short, and mean. Poor Andrew. 10 days down, 35 to go.

Other than the hormonal changes, we have no real updated news. I head back to the doctor on Tuesday and we get to do a trial transfer to see how my body will respond to that and make sure everything goes where it should. And the next round of drugs are being shipped to me early next week for injections to start.

We are blessed to attend a church where infertility is such a common issue and where the leaders in the church are willing to talk about it. They also recognize that we need support along this journey. So tomorrow, the adoption Sunday School class starts. We are going to be meeting - those who have successfully adopted, are in the process, or are thinking about it for the future - to discuss the Biblical view and discuss all our questions and fears with those who have successfully completed the process. Andrew and I have struggled with this, as we have such a strong desire to give birth to biological children, but I also have to wonder if the reason for our infertility is because God has something more planned for us. For us to be able to invest into the live of children who, without our care, would be orphans. After one particularly difficult doctors appointment last fall we went to church for "Orphan Sunday" and it was all I could do not to break down into hysterics right there. What a beautiful picture of Christ it is to adopt and accept a child who so desperately needs parents (and the Lord, of course). And though we are still praying for pregnancy, I am slowly beginning to think more about adoption, whether that is for our first child or if that is after we have had 2 or 3. I am excited to learn more tomorrow and build relationships with others who are in or have gone through this difficult process.