"When it's obvious that goals can't be acheived, don't adjust your goals. Adjust your action steps."
We are so excited today! We just had our embryo transfer appointment and it went perfectly! The doctor was very happy with the process and felt that it couldn't have been more successful!
The process was checking in, changing into sterile clothing and then being wheeled in to the operating room. At that point, they used the ultrasound machine to locate my uterus and from that point on, the process began!
It was super brief and Joe got to be there the whole time. It was kind of bizarre, like how you would feel as a cow being milked or a rare animal being "bred"... Lots of strange apparatuses and devices to make things go to the right places! But nothing too uncomfortable or painful & our doctor was super reassuring. Everything was told to us up front, as it was happening, play-by-play!
Below is the first picture of our little one. It's just what seems to be a clump of cells but believe it or not, the sex, genetics and physical traits have already been determined! The cells will multiply daily and the hope is that it will implant within 72 hours.
In terms of embryos, there is a scale that embryologists use and our first embryo was classified as "G/G". This is the BEST QUALITY you can have in an embryo and it stands for "good good". That being said, we are really hoping that this one sticks! I have to be on bed rest for 3 days and take it super easy. Can't lift anything heavier than a milk jug or do anything laborious so I'll be a "couch potato" as the doctor calls it. Here he is below:
We won't know anything until April 10th. Below is the actual embryo in my uterus! Til then!
"And will you succeed? YES! You will indeed! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed!"
Yes, folks! The date is so near! The embryo transfer is the 30th in the morning, confirmed today by the doctor. This will be my last blog until the embryo transfer.
What they look for before the transfer are two things: thick uterine lining and the right levels on your labwork. A uterus that is ready will look like this:
It's funny when you're actually proud of your own uterus but yes, yes I am!
So, tomorrow I start a new round of injections and they're much thicker. They're muscle injections that go in the meat of your caboose 😋:
Then... the frozen egg transfer!
Then, 10 days later we will be praying for a POSITIVE blood pregnancy test!!
We will be crossing our fingers!
Until then... need some inspiration? Here are just SOME of the celebs who have done IVF:
Alright, well I'll be talking to you all again next week after the transfer!!!
Have a good weekend!
"When everything feels like an uphill struggle, just remember the view from the top!"
This week I lost my brother for unknown reasons. In the last year he had lost a lot of weight but it has been undetermined what happened to his 32 year old body. He was found in his bedroom, lying peacefully in bed but had been extremely sick that day.
There are so many ways that grief can affect everyone individually and a lot of things that can cause you to go in the wrong direction to fill the void: alcohol, drugs, gambling, unhealthy addictions and I've decided to honor him by joining a special program who have endured trauma and loss in their lives.
Not only have things happened in my childhood but as you know, I lost three babies last year. I can honestly say that I never truly overcame that grief and I won't be able to live my life to the fullest until I do. Meaning: dig deep and rip off the bandaid.
Life has so many hardships and can be so painful. It's how we become closer, or how we can grow apart. In the past I have retreated out of fear of feeling my feelings, but I believe that the best way I can honor my brother in this situation is to face it all and get that release. To get my fearless heart back!
Therapy is not for the weak! It takes a strong individual to say: "you know what? This is no longer going to own my life and I will no longer retreat. It's time to stand up and stand strong. It's time to cry and let it go. No pride. No ego. No performing. Just FEEL." Whoever said you have to be perfect and go through life's motions is a fool. Wounds need licking.
To honor my brother, I am going to make this pregnancy about freedom, love without strings and my health. My heart will be healthy, my baby will be healthy and I will teach my kids that the strongest people are the ones who don't run from their pain, but those who persevere.
For anyone wounded or haven't dealt with their grief, there are so many resources. Sometimes it takes a wake up call like my brothers death to realize how precious life it. My baby will be a living example of that.
RIP Jordan and thank you for inspiring me to be a better family member and to appreciate my life. I'll be giving my kids and extra kiss EVERY DAY.
"First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. Fourth, DARE!"
It has been a wonderful, exciting and anxious past couple of months! Hormones. YEP! Cravings. YEP! Crying for no reason. YEP! Hot flashes. YEP! But after much medication, many doctors visits and surgery, we finally have some dates to look forward to! But first let's recap how far we have come!
First, Joe and I did our initial lab work and I had my first ultrasound.
Then, I had surgery early January. This was to correct my blighted ovum and cauterize my right tube. The healing process was about 1-2 weeks and this created for a zero ectopic risk pregnancy, plus a healthy environment for a growing fetus! It was a preventative surgery.
Next, I started medications. I had to take a tablet nightly, prenatals and also a nightly hormone injection, which Joe did for me. It went right under my belly button. Then, on the night before my egg retrieval, I took a "trigger" shot, which gave me flu like symptoms and burned!
After a couple weeks of that, I was scheduled for the egg retrieval. 9 were retrieved and again I was put under anesthesia.
Next, my eggs were put in a lab with an embryologist. They were fertilized and 3 made it to the blastocyst stage, which means they are ready to be implanted and the cells have multiplied at a healthy, consistent rate.
After the eggs were fertilized, they were frozen and are now incubating in the lab. My egg transfer date is MARCH 30th! In the meantime, I'm doing estrogen patches every 3 days and estrogen pills 3x a day. The week before transfer I'll be doing injections with a much bigger needle and a more condensed serum that is pure progesterone!
Then my blood pregnancy test will be April 10th!
We are SO hoping, dreaming, wishing, praying and believing that it will be a positive test result!
"Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow."
To all who want to support a cause!
This April 23rd, there will be an event called Walk of Hope that is going to be at Town Center in Sugarland. The walk is going to be one mile long and the event itself will have several activities including snacks, a bounce house and more.
The purpose of the walk is to show support nation wide to all of the fertility institutes in the nation, to create awareness and raise money! If you know someone who has done ivf, you wish to do it yourself or you just want to support the cause, then this is the perfect event to attend!
The event starts at 9 am but you must register at 8:00. Please come show your love and support, bring the kids and get ready to have a good time 😊
The address is : 16090 City Walk, Sugarland Tx, 77479
Today my family and I went to see the movie The Shack. The moving was very touching, very moving and very emotional. It really resonated with me regarding the grudge I've been holding against God regarding my reproductive situation and my personal quest to have answers. Also, the burial of the main character's daughter made me think about the 3 babies that I had to bury in 2016.
A lot of people don't understand the tragedy that it is to have a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. One day you're daydreaming about nursery paint colors, the baby shower and whether or not the infant will have your eyes. The next day, the darkness comes over you with the knowledge that there is a looming miscarriage happening or that your child has to be aborted by method of methotrexate (chemo injections).
In my case, during one of the pregnancies, I had a woman prophecy over me and tell me that my baby was healthy and strong. That my baby would be wonderful and that I needn't worry because I was in good hands. In God's hands. When my ectopic came to be and I was rushed into emergency surgery, it was very difficult to understand what was happening or why!? I have known drug addicts, smokers and heavy drinkers who had the ability to conceive without issue-even some who drank or smoked during their pregnancies- and yet myself, as a healthy 27 year old, had severe issues.
Over the last year, every time I came to accept my circumstances, I got pregnant again. My hopes would build up, my heart grew excited, and I did daily readings about how to both embrace and nurture my pregnancies. Words can't describe the newfound faith I had and what it was like to have my husband gaze deeply into my eyes in adoration, knowing that I was carrying his child.
Well, that joy dissapated and the anger quickly began to build up again with every lost baby.
In the movie, the main character struggles greatly to accept what has happened to him and wishes to place blame on anyone who resembled the perpetrator of his story. He blamed his God who did not intervene and could not understand why in Gods infinite power, He did not protect the victim from her heinous fate.
Much to my surprise, I found myself pondering on my own situation and wondering if I have judged God too harshly, too. Have I blamed what I could not control on the One I expected to take control? And has my anger been disabling me from living the most fruitful life with freeing love that I can?
Ultimately, the man in the movie gets to bury his daughter in a beautiful garden with the Holy triad: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It was absolutely beautiful and I wept as I thought about really never getting a proper burial for the 3 unfortunate deaths in my loss. The loss of my innocent babies that I now hope are waiting for Joe and I in heaven.
This blog is absolutely meant to bring hope, inspiration and open dialogue about all of these experiences because there is no shame in all this pain! And much like in the movie, the main character could not be healed until he went back to the place where he got "stuck", where his tragedy took place. He needed to face those fears and allow himself to feel those feelings before he could forgive himself, let go of the situation and move forward into healthy, aspirational living.
Thankfully now with IVF, I can put my best foot forward and thank God that I have both the health, the egg reserve and the financial means to do this process at all. I can use this time to let go of what could have been and share these thoughts with you all. I may even do a little ceremony to bury (metaphorically) the spirit and vision that I have of those babies who I'll never meet. Its been a long time coming saying goodbye.
I hope you all see The Shack because in one way or another, we are all grieving something. We all harbor anger or resentment about something. We all have questions about the Holy triad and what it is to forgive the unforgivable. There is not one individual who would not gain insight and cleansing from this movie. Especially those experiencing any kind of fertility issues! It's one of the hardest things for a yearning mother to deal with. Death of the unborn or not being able to conceive at all!
Below: my HCG levels as my miscarriage occurred. Blow after blow with every blood draw:
With the divorce rate at 50%, that means many blended marriages and "step" children to follow..Someone needs to voice this! It's tough! Nitty gritty! Hardcore and without exception of blame! This blog is to not just inform but solidify how difficult, awkward and how severe the power struggle can be as a "step-parent"