Sunday, March 29, 2009
So yesterday and today have been yucky, with yesterday, thankfully, being worse. Worse to the point that I was crying because my head and throat hurt so much. And I was refusing Tylenol, about the only thing considered to be remotely safe for pregnancy. Well, now that John has turned into uber-attention man, he of course did research on what to do. Realizing that I had a temperature, he (and I) both began to worry about cooking the babies on too high heat. So, he convinced me to take a Tylenol. One regular strength. And it helped, a bit.
I woke up this morning with a sore throat even worse than yesterday, and still an aching head. Not quite the temperature, though...I typically run a little lower than most--97.4-97.9 is more my norm range, so when I hit 99-100, that's usually not so great for me. We took my temperature a few minutes ago and it was 98.9...not terrible by any means, but still a tad higher for me. I asked John if he thought I should take another Tylenol and he said, "No. It's not that high."
I said, "Well, I still feel like crap."
He said, "Yeah, but at least you're not burning the babies."
Hooray for me! Here's the card:
Front cover (A sad face and bottle of Tylenol): "Sorry you feel like crap"
Inside cover (A big smiley face): "But at least you aren't burning the babies!"
He's a funny boy, my husband.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Just goodbye to our dossier and our plan to adopt a baby girl from Kyrgyzstan.
Our caseworker sent out her Friday message and basically it said that someone in office was assassinated, there was some investigation and lots of innuendo to corruption...and basically, the adoption issues are YET again going to be put on the table later...an indefinite later.
When you figure that there are 65 families waiting for their already matched children, and then there are 199 dossiers just hanging out with ours...well, the odds are not looking in our favor. Then you top that off with the fact that our agency is obviously actively trying to get its Kyrgyz families to switch to other countries and Magic 8-Ball is saying, "All signs point to No."
I won't lie and say that being pregnant doesn't influence this decision either. In the beginning...we started this because we were trying to build our family. I've never denied that my purpose for adoption (or pregnancy) was selfish--I want desperately to be a mother. I know some may be uncomfortable with this, and as I've said before...stop reading.
But I KNOW I was born to be a mother. I knew it when I was 5. I knew it when I was 15. I've always known it. I don't know why it has been an uneasy path to get there, but mine is not to reason why.
So, I have all my hopes in RFBF right now, and later down the road, our little frozen Sam-I-Am (just for you, Cindy)...and if they are not meant to be, we still have more cycles with Shady Grove (though I so dread the thought), and if NONE of that works...we'll adopt domestically.
Again, I know that may be disappointing, and for that I am sorry. We have spent the last year+ pouring our hearts into a process that in the end, we really just have no leverage and control in. And that's the way IA works--there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that any other country should do as we say just because we say so. Even IF it is perhaps in the best interest of their citizens, a country's autonomy is its right. And with that comes the realization that there is no recourse that I, a woman used to law and structure and legal ways to right wrongs, have when dealing with another country. Though I know domestic adoptions have their heartaches, at least working within the confines of a system I know and have some power in, I'd feel more comfortable.
And so, on Monday, we will probably end our relationship with our adoption agency. In a way, that will be sort of a relief, because in truth, it has been nearly a YEAR since I have truly felt they were acting in my best interest and not theirs. We will consider the thousands of dollars lost expensive (and heart-wrenching) lessons learned, though I still don't know what lessons, because for most every step of the way, I truly and whole-heartedly believed that we were following paths we were supposed to.
And I will always wonder about the giggly, pig-tailed little girl we would have swaddled in pink princess gear and loved more than she could have ever imagined. Every time I look at something I bought specifically for Emma Jane, I will be reminded of the excitement and anticipation I felt as I bought it. I just hope it doesn't always sting like it does now.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
First beta: 180
Second beta: 1154
Third beta: 3474!
My nurse said that numbers alone were not inidicative of multiples, and of course I knew that. The doubling rate is still pretty above average, though, so that's prety encouraging!
Regardless--one or two (come on two!!!), the numbers are great and they are very pleased. We'll find out next Friday for sure--and we'll see heartbeat(s)! Can you believe that? This is ALL so strange and wonderful and FAST! I love it!
My cup(s) runneth over VERY much! No more wearing this sweater for a while!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I have to say that my husband is just adorable. As I sit on the couch watching tv, he has the laptop and is looking up pre-natal development on Wikipedia! "You're here..." he says, as he points to the different things that are happening on the different days.
He was doing something yesterday as I was sitting on the couch, watching tv. (Are you noticing a trend for me?) He came over, plopped himself down and turned his head to look at me. I asked him if he was tired, as we got up at 4:30 and he was my chauffeur for our blood work appointment. He said, "No...just looking at you and the babies."
Seriously. How cute is he? Although his new nickname for me (Baby Incubator) is not quite as appealing as something cutesie like "Kitten" or "Darling", I will gladly wear it!
Monday, March 23, 2009
The general consensus among doctors is that your HCG levels should probably double every 48 hours or so in the first 2-4 or so weeks after fertilization...so, based on that formula, my numbers from Thursday (180) should hopefully have been about 720 today...as an indicator of good progress. Basically, they'd (you know--THEY) like your HCG to increase about 60% every two days.
I got a lovely call from the nurse this afternoon....
"Your numbers are great!"
"Really, what are they?"
"Wow...that's a high number, huh? How are you feeling about one or two implanting?"
"Well, it won't be confirmed until your ultrasound, but you are well above doubling your numbers, so you should probably prepare yourself mentally for multiples...that's a GREAT number for one, but I certainly wouldn't rule out multiples...just mentally begin preparing."
Well now, y'all know I am TOTALLY mentally prepared. I'd love it. Of course, I'd worry about the risk for the babies, but...TWO? BOTH? What a blessing!
So--the ultrasound is scheduled for Friday, April 3. That's where we will see RFBF again (it's been a while!) and see whether there is one sac or two. I pray for two, but am so grateful just for the pregnancy itself--
If you are like my brilliant husband, and are interested in the math of those lovely numbers, here's a breakdown.
Assessment: The Two-Day hCG rise was 153 % and is considered adequate.
First hCG: 180 mIU/ml
Second hCG: 1154 mIU/ml
hCG Difference:974 mIU/ml
Time Difference:96 hours
Total hCG Increase:5.41 % (6.4)
Daily Rate Increase:59 % (1.59)
Two Day Rate Increase:153 % (2.53)
1st Day hCG As If:286 mIU/ml
2 Days hCG As If:455 mIU/ml
Um....yeah...did you note the 153% increase? Yeah...a little bit better than 60%? WAHOO!
In the meantime, sweet little baby gifts from the sweet little girl of a dear friend. Little D is an adorable little 6 year old, and her mommy told me she was very excited to buy gifts for the baby. I was excited to see them!
I LOVE that the little Eric Carle rattle pack is for TWO!
Friday, March 20, 2009
The cute little bear is holding a sweet and soft little blankie. I LOVE the bibs!!! I love them so much that I feel like I should wear one that says "Mommy loves ME!"
John also got me roses and a card...the card was pretty funny. It's your run-of-the-mill "Congratulations, you did it!" card...but his inscription is great--"Lori, apparently they don't make cards that say 'Congratulations! You're my baby-mama!'"
I told him they don't make those cards YET. Just wait. I swear, I need to go into the card making business!!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
My doctor FINALLY called this afternoon...as I was in the bathroom (TMI alert) popping in my Vagi-pops (what I call the progesterone suppositories!) with the news. I carried my darned phone around all flipping day...waiting...and NOTHING. No...not until I am on the pot (well, hovering) and not in the best position to actually answer the phone. But, answer it I did...
She first apologized for calling so late (No Worries...I wasn't even thinking about it!) and said, "But I have good news."
"What's the good news?" I asked.
Friends, as I sit and type, I still do NOT even believe it. I am just in shock!!! I asked what my HCG level was and she said 180 (0r 182..wasn't really paying attention!). I said, "Wow! That's a good number, right?
She told me they were looking for 90-100. Then she asked how many embryos were transferred. I told her "2" and she said, "Hmmm..." Then she said that she wouldn't put money on it, but maybe both had implanted....
I'D LOVE THAT!
So...I'm OVER THE MOON, but still cautiously optimistic. I LOVED the idea of the maternity shirt...but I live in a smaller place and wouldn't find anything. PLUS...I think I'll hold off on buying things until I need them...as we make it through the first trimester.
Friends---thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart...for all the love and prayers. I have never felt so loved and wrapped around and overwhelmed with goodness as today...and I can't thank you enough!
HOORAY! WELCOME HOME, RFBF...for the next few months, at least!!!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
But, I'm not. I said I would wait this one out and I will. Tomorrow we will get up way earlier than any human should have to, drive the hike to Annapolis, give 5 minutes and my blood, then ANXIOUSLY wait for the call tomorrow afternoon that will either confirm my status or prove me otherwise....
In the meantime, I have vacillated between feeling like it will be positive to feeling like it will be negative. Would an HPT even work accurately right now? Should I have started a few days after the transfer so I could gauge whether the HCG was out of my system and then test every day until the beta? (NO! THAT WOULD DRIVE ME NUTS. EVEN *I* KNOW THAT!) Will I start or not? Does progesterone bring it on or stop it? Is this skirt tight because it's positive or because I'm a little flabby? Uggh...up to this point, I've been anxious, but right now, less than 24 hours away from knowing if RFBF made it (or at least one of them) I'm just a basket case.
I said I wouldn't cry if it was negative because I wasn't going to be surprised if it's negative. Well, that's a BFL (Big Fat Lie!) because I am crying right now just anticipating it.
John won't be home tomorrow and that will be good. If it is positive, I'll do quite a nice job of being exuberant even if I am by myself. If it is negative, really, I won't want to do anything but come home, update the Facebook status (priorities, you know) and crawl into bed with some tissues and some DVR Jon and Kate and be by myself.
I have to say, I am just completely overwhelmed with how alone in all of this I am NOT! I have SO many people pulling for me...for us...and I just feel so loved. Lord knows that people all over my school and neighborhood and everywhere in between have kept better track of all this than even several family members have. All day today, people kept telling me they would be thinking of me tomorrow. Let me tell you, it is TESTING time at our school...people are walking on eggshells, worried, anxious, DESPERATELY needing spring break...and yet, they are STILL thinking about me!
And lest I forget all my cyber-friends....well, I have just been inundated with well wishes and love and prayers.
My cup runneth over.
(And I'm not just talking about "The Girls")
Monday, March 16, 2009
My sentiments, being of course, that this waiting sucks and it sucks even more because there is a very likely possibility (nay, I say probability, if we are looking at statistics) that on Thursday I will get the results that say this cycle didn't take.
And so, why Dear Heather? Well, she just gets to be the embodiment of all the well-intentioned but pain in my butt comments about "being positive," "not stressing," and the one I thought the funniest (sorry, Heather)--"Welcoming what the universe has in store for me," (Um, by the way, Heather, we need to talk about that, but later....)
I know people do NOT mean it when they say it, but the bottom line is that EVERY time someone tells me that I need to be positive or stop thinking negatively or stop worrying about it, they are basically insinuating that *I* have any control WHATSOEVER in whether this is successful or not, and further, you are insinuating that if it is NOT successful, then it is basically *MY* fault. Now, do NOT get me wrong--my sister, and MANY, MANY others would love nothing more for me than to get pregnant and become a mother. Further, their comments are truly based on nothing more than hope for me and to give me comfort and security...of that, I have no doubt.
But, I'm going to be really, really honest. Those comments TICK ME OFF. It is NOT up to me. I'm pretty sure I've stated before that if I had a nickel for EVERY FLIPPING TIME I thought, no, REALLY thought I was pregnant--I'd be bailing the US out just out of the kindness of my good old benevolent heart. I HAVE been positive and hopeful and absolutely SURE that it was going to happen. Like I said--I have TEN YEARS worth of toys, books, baby clothes and more that proves that. If ME being pregnant was up to my positive and sunny attitude about successfully getting pregnant, well...I'd be rivaling the Octo-mom, trust me. I WAS positive and sunny--every single flipping month, after month, after month, after YEAR that I took my temperature every blessed morning, and took all the fertility herbs and scheduled the "Baby Dances", read the books, prayed and prayed more...did the headstands...you NAME IT. There were days that I was SOOOOOO SURE that it was FINALLY going to be two lines that I bought the stupid little cards to give to John to tell him we were pregnant.
And, for naught.
So, when I approach this cycle, which had a 48% chance of success if all went PERFECTLY to my doctor's plan (which it didn't!) with a little more realism and cautious optimism, forgive me for not doing cartwheels and starting little RFBF's college funds just yet. Like John said yesterday, if I knew I had a 40% chance of dying on my way to work, would I go? Ummm, probably not. His point being that even though it is a smaller chance, it is still chance enough to expect it to happen. I agree.
But, I also have to add this to that....If someone told me I had a 40% chance of dying on my way to work, and I still went, every day, for TEN YEARS, still living at the end of each day....well, I'd have to say that I'd be pretty safe in expecting NOT to die.
So, as I am now 10dp3dt (10 days past the 3 day transfer), and set to take the test on Thursday, I will NOT be surprised if it is negative. I will be very pleasantly surprised if it is positive, and yes, I DO think that could happen. I desperately hope it will happen.
But don't sue me just because I am realistic.
Friday, March 13, 2009
"Some Christians have other ideas about Christianity and IVFA Possibility of Idolatry And for the Christian there is an even deeper challenge to face. If your desire for a child is so great that nothing is allowed to stand in the way of it, then you have exalted that desire above God."Give me a child or I die" is a fundamentally godless attitude. It is the same as to say, "My whole good is wrapped up in my having a child. My life has no meaning, and there can be for me no happiness without one." But when we say that, we have exalted the wanted child to the place in our affections only God may rightly enjoy. Our whole good is wrapped up in God and His will for us, not in our own notions of what is good for us. "You shall love the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve." But when we will do anything to have a child, that is not what we are doing; we are loving the wanted child above all things else, and serving only our need of him (or her).I do not say this unfeelingly. I could weep for some whom I know even while I say it. But being a real Christian ... taking God and faith in Him seriously ... being radically obedient from the heart, means coming to terms with truth at levels as deep as this. At these levels too, the only way to give God a right obedience may be to accept suffering and loss of the most extreme kind. The story of Abraham having to offer up his only son Isaac is there in the Bible to teach us exactly that, at even the most heart-wrenching, grievous level.I say again, when we take a deliberate hand in the process we bring in a whole new dimension of responsibility. Our choices must be faith-choices, and we must accept responsibility for them, as well as for all that follows from them.Couldn't you just pray for a baby? The Bible way to resolve the problem of infertility was to pray, as Hannah the mother of Samuel did, as Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist did, and many others. And we must understand why. It is not because prayer is to be preferred to medicine. The reason Bible people prayed about their infertility is because in doing so they acknowledged God in the matter, accepting that the satisfaction of their desire for a child lay at His disposal, not their own. They believed very simply that the power to open or close the womb was God's. So may we.and anyway I thought every sperm was sacred........"
Ummmmm, sooo....here's what I have to say:
- I know, without a doubt, that if I never had a child, my life would go on and God would still continue to bless me. I have OFTEN said in this blog that it is ME...I am the one being selfish wanting a child, and I am fully aware of it. NOT above God...or a relationship with God...just desperately wanting the mother/child relationship. BUT...if it doesn't EVER happen....I WILL LIVE. I've never said I wouldn't.
- I HAVE PRAYED. AND PRAYED. AND PRAYED SOME MORE. So have hundreds, maybe thousands more through the last 10 years. I've even said that I'm big enough to accept that it may just not be in God's plan for me to have a child and people give me the old, "You were born to be a mom...I can't believe that would be God's plan." Well, I can believe it...and if that's the plan, then that's the plan. LORD knows (literally) that I have prayed.
- I have acknowledged GOD in all of this...and if we get pregnant from the procedure, it is because of HIM. I AM a "Real Christian" and am FULLY responsible for the choice I made to go through all this. Basically, the doctors did what often happens naturally in a woman's body, only on a lesser extreme. OFTEN eggs are fertilized, but not sustained and a woman doesn't even know it when her period comes. Same thing happened outside my body...and though it wasn't the optimal or "natural" progression of things, the conception of those embryos and their growth (or lack of) was pretty much exactly what happens IN my (and most women's) body and they may not even know it.
- Every sperm is sacred? So, am I to have a funeral each month when I have my period because that egg didn't get fertilized and make it to a pregnancy? Please.
- I choose to accept suffering and pain because I am obedient to God. And I understand that we live in a fallen world where that happens. Doesn't mean that I have to CONSISTENTLY suffer and face pain when there are opportunities to do otherwise. I rejoice in God and all He offers.
Friends....seriously....I've said it before...if you don't like what I say or what I am doing, you really, truly do NOT need to read. If you have conflicts with what I say or do, fine...feel free to disagree. It's a free country. Just know that since I am NOT paying you to either READ or give your opinion, I don't really give a flying fig about you reading or giving your crappy opinion if your goal is to just tell me how I am wrong.
Maybe I am. Good thing we wait until JUDGEMENT DAY for the ONE who knows to let me know about it. GOD knows my heart, and that's about all I care about.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Today is my Grandmother Gosnell's birthday. She would have been 96 years old, if she was still alive. I lost a big piece of my heart when she left this earth on July 29, 1999.
She was a woman who was POOR AS DIRT, yet, when she died, we found paper after paper after paper from various organizations thanking her for her generous donations. The generous donation amounts? Usually ranged from $.25-$.50! Hilarious...even after she died, we found those requests (for which she was a MAGNET) all over the place, waiting to be mailed, with one or two little quarters taped to them!
She also loved, loved, LOVED music--and not only did she pass that to my mom, but to me as well...Visits with Grandma always involved watching the Lawrence Welk Show and just enjoying beautiful music and imagery. As I said, she was POOR...but always wished to be a classy lady.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
So...update? Well, this is the lull! Not much to update. I take the beta test on the 19th and that will be the official update. In the meantime, I'm still taking the estrogen and progesterone, so even though I am "Pregnant Unless Proven Otherwise," even if they fail to implant, I still get to feel pregnant for a while because of being so hyped up on those hormones. Hooray. Which means:
- Ravenous hunger and then disgust the second I put food in my mouth
- Swollen ovaries (making less room for my bladder and more frequent potty breaks!)
- *TMI ALERT* "The Girls" spilling out of their poor little pitiful Over The Shoulder Pebble Holders (Which, by the way, are asking what the HECK this "Cup Runneth Over Thing" I've got going on is all about!!!)
- General fatigue
Oh, I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO hope for nine more months of this. (I really, really, REALLY do. Seriously. I know I am sarcastic. Not about this!)
I DID find out some other news...of the four remaining embryos not transferred, one continued to grow pretty healthily and was frozen for later use. I had predicted maybe one would, the 6 celled one. Or maybe even the 5 celled one. NOPE...one of the little 4 celled ones!! I couldn't believe it! But, like I have been reading (and quoting) MANY a healthy, lovely and bright little child has been born of slower growing embryos...soooooooooooooooo....that's good news. IF this cycle doesn't work, I do transfer that one before we have to do drugs again. IF it DOES...well, then we transfer that in a year or two when we are ready and hope to be blessed with another child.
I must say...I've been so sad about the 3 that didn't survive. I totally, truly and wholeheartedly believe each of those fertilized embryos were lives...and I really feel a sense of loss for their inability to keep growing. It's bittersweet.
And, on a sadder note, I got an email from a former student from years ago...I found out a dear and sweet former student of mine, a boy who had a really troubled life and with whom I connected (and at one point, looked into adopting), is going to be a daddy. He's 14. I cried and cried this morning. So much potential he had...all he needed was the right people in his life and the right environment.
And in a nutshell...there it is.
Oh, and Cindy--we had talked about Sam I Am! But when two came about, we went Redfish, Bluefish! We're hoping that turns into Pink Baby, Blue Baby!!!
Friday, March 6, 2009
And, if RFBF (Redfish, Bluefish) implant, what joy! If they don't, we'll continue to pray for the peace of knowing that God is in control of our lives...whether we get what we want or not.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
We go in for the transfer tomorrow. I PRAY that they have at least divided into 6 cells because otherwise, there is no point...they are not growing as they should and this cycle will be for naught. I'm going to go with them being much like me, a late bloomer, and hope that in their tiny 2-4 celled DNA, they have MY ability to come along STRONG in the end....Because if left to John's...well, let's just say that I STILL don't have my bookshelves, some walls painted, the deck's not done, the trim in the living room is still marred and his thesis? Don't even ask....
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Yesterday was the retrieval and it was not what I expected. It hurt more than I expected but was way faster than I expected. We got there SUPER early because we were worried about being late with the snow, and basically just hung around in our little room waiting. I was freezing, by the way.
I got all the pre-op stuff done, then they started my IV to keep me hydrated (oh, was I hungry and thirsty!) and at 11:45 on the dot (they are GOOD!) went into the room. The embryologist asked me my name and social, told me to lay back and that was that. I DO remember that the stirrups were spread VERY far apart and I think my last words were something like, "Seriously, do you know how old I am? Do you think I'm that flexible anymore?" I'm sure they were glad to put me to sleep.
Next thing I know, I have a tissue in my hand and I am crying because they told me they retrieved 13 follicles. Crying? Yep. The gal who was there in the next room earlier in the day had 23. I was a little disappointed at 13...being the overachiever I have always been. I don't even remember her telling me 13, but John says she did and I just burst into tears. *Hey, I dare anyone to spend weeks shooting themselves up with girl juice and then have the nerve to say something about bursting into tears. That's what girl juice makes one DO!* I was just thinking that with 13 retrieved, and about a 60% fertilization rate from that, and then a third of those fertilized being viable...well....that wasn't going to leave me with too much. *YES...I KNOW...it only takes ONE...I swear, the next time someone tells me that, my head will explode. I've been working with at least ONE a month for the last 10 years and we all know how THAT'S obviously been working for me....*
Anyway...so, I got home and slept. Talk about sore. That's all I'll say. Oh, that, and I'll also mention how fun the Endometrin *supplement* is. NOT.
Today my nurse called me and told me that in Incubator 23 rested our 6 embryos. 13 follicles were retrieved, 12 eggs were mature and 6 fertilized. Which is lower than the 60% statistic. If they fall to the same statistic of a third being implantable, then basically we are looking at 2. Which IS what we planned to implant. And, as John pointed out, leaves us with no decisions (though they've already been made) to make about unused embryos should this first cycle work.
So, here's to God being in control of all of this. I SO like it better that way!
Monday, March 2, 2009
Today is a different day, though, and the injection site is a little sore. Okay, a lot sore. Guess that's what happens when it makes it into the muscle, huh?
So, we got a TON of snow! Ranges are between 9-12 inches, which is tremendous for this area! Plus, it is March! No school today and no school tomorrow, which is SUPER because I won't have to take a leave day--they are getting pretty skimpy--except for Friday, the transfer day. John said to think of this snowstorm as God's way of saving my sick leave. Okay, I will. And as always, thank you, Lord!
This was last night...we just HAD to go out when it started!
Dixie Belle SOOOO loves the snow...this was on the deck...she just runs around, finds balls, buries herself in the snow...too cute!
This is our SWEET foster dog, Rex with John. He likes the snow, but he sure does love John! I just thought this was so sweet!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
In any event, my E2 level was 1314 today...from 904 yesterday...which is pretty decent. There are about 9 follicles for sure that are of great size, and then who knows what has been happening today and will happen tomorrow? I'm just glad to be done with the shots. Well, mostly...John has to give me one in the badonkadonk at 11:45 tonight. Yep. Exactly. Assisted Reproductive Technology is pretty much amazing.
Here's to a snow day (I'm guessing) tomorrow and some great follicle aspirating on Tuesday and Embryo transferring on Friday. It's going to be a great week!