Thursday, December 13, 2012

devastation.

Words cannot adequately describe how I'm feeling right now. Today was supposed to be amazing. It was supposed to be the best day of this whole journey. Instead, it was the worst.

It started yesterday, knowing that I would be getting my blood drawn today was causing so much anxiety. It was finally the time when we would find out, 100%, if this was going to actually happen. All along, we've remained incredibly optimistic and hardly acknowledged the possibility of a failed transfer. After all, they had the fancy chromosome testing done to insure the best of the best were being transfered. My lining was perfect. The transfer went smoothly, why wouldn't it work.

I didn't sleep well last night thanks to all the anxiety. This morning, I was practically sick to my stomach thinking of what could happen today. I did my best to get the kids ready and off to school, and headed straight to the Naval Hospital. Last week, I had emailed my doctor to make sure that I could go straight to the lab with the orders from Dr. Nemiro, and since they had said yes, I made my way straight there. Of course, once I was there, things didn't go so smoothly...they were killing me! Since Dr. Nemiro was not in their system, they could not put the order through. They needed more information from Dr. Nemiro, and we would also have to wait for a specific person to add him, and she didn't get in until 9am. Oh, but I forgot to mention that she takes the bus to work, and with all the rain, who knows if she will be late or not. To avoid any extra waiting and stress, I headed over to my doctor's clinic and asked the the nurse if they could just put the order in for me. Thankfully, she did, and I headed back to get my blood drawn. I turned the corner and there was a HUGE line for the lab. Before, I had walked straight up to the counter! Ugh!! Don't these people know I had something important to do!? I finally got drawn, and then I had to wait...they said it would be about an hour.

I returned to the clinic and let them know I'd be waiting there. Thankfully, the Naval Hospital has wifi now, so at least I was able to get online and try to distract myself. After being there for about 30 minutes, and trying to stay calm, my friend Heather showed up with her son. It was SO nice to see them. They were there for her son to get a flu shot, and due to allergies, they would have to wait for a while afterwards. It was nice to have some company there to help distract me.

As soon as the clerk started walking toward me with my results, I knew it as bad news. I could tell by the look on her face that I was not going to be happy with what the paper in her hand was going to tell me. My HCG was only 1.2. To be even close to be considered pregnant, the HCG needs to be at least 5. I thanked Heather for keeping me company and headed to my car, trying my best to hold it together. As soon as I got outside, I called the clinic to let them know. Tears started flowing immediately and I could barely read my results to Jubilee. I asked them to call Ali, I was too scared to do it. I sent out a few texts and then sat in my car crying. I pulled it together a little and drove over to Ethan's school to pick him up. On the way, I missed a call from the doctor. I called him right back, but he had just stepped out, so I sat outside the school and waited for him to call.

Once he called back, the tears started flowing again. In his words, the office was very surprised that I had called with negative results. It was not at all what they had expected to hear. The embryos were fantastic, and very high grade. He said that the embryologist was shocked. He went on to say that they have an 84% success rate when chromosome testing is done. That's pretty good for a fertility clinic. But, that also means that 16% of the time, it just doesn't work, and there's no explanation why. What he said next was very surprising to me. He wants me to continue taking my medications. Say what? I just got a negative test, further attempts are not possible, why would I keep the medications going? While he said we should not remain hopeful, and he doesn't want us to go through this disappointment again, he wants me to get my blood drawn again on Monday.

It turns out, there have been a few instances where the initial HCG was incorrect. Just three weeks ago, they had a similar case where a woman with great embryos came back with a negative test. They just couldn't believe it, so they kept her on her medications and rechecked her four days later. At that point, her levels were where they were supposed to be, she really was pregnant. Had they stopped her medications after the first blood test, she would have lost the baby. Therefore, he felt he needs to again follow his instincts and keep the medications in my system. I have an appointment at a different lab Monday morning at 8am, right before I go to work. It will truly be a miracle if we get a positive result on Monday, but I'm up for continuing the medications and seeing what God's plan truly is.

I will be elated if the results change, but ultimately, I'm prepared for them to be exactly the same. I can't go through this pain again in just a few days. At this point, I just want to accept God's will and His plan. While we may not be able to understand his reasoning now, someday, we will. Maybe there is a baby being born somewhere that Ali and Brian are meant to adopt, and if this had worked, it wouldn't happen. Prayers are appreciated now, just as much as they ever have been. Prayers for peace in our hearts and minds, and strength to go on despite such devastating news.

Monday, December 10, 2012

frustration.

This past week (tomorrow) has probably been one if the most stressful, frustrating weeks of my life. I knew it would be difficult, but I had no idea I would be this anxious for test time. I also didn't realize just how the medications would make me feel.

First of all, I've had a lot of pain with my injections. After a few days, I was ready to call it quits and asked if there were other options. Unfortunately, they want me to go to at least 8 weeks on the progesterone in oil. After tons of googling, Carlos and I finally figured out the perfect injection site, and things have improved significantly. He has been giving me all of my injections, and is doing a great job. This all happened after I sat through the most excruciating pain of my life, as he massaged giant knots of clumped up olive oil out if my butt. I'm still sore, but it's tolerable. I can sit again, and the heating pad has become my best friend.

Secondly, early symptoms of pregnancy and side effects of the progesterone are almost identical. Exhaustion. Dizziness. Urinary frequency. Bloating. Almost every symptom I've had that made me think I was pregnant, is also a side effect of the progesterone, which makes me question all of it. On the positive side, I've already had some food aversions, mild cramping, mild nausea, and a very sensitive sense of smell!

Lastly, the wait. I am probably the LEAST patient person on the face of the planet. Thursday cannot come fast enough. I wish we could just go and get my blood drawn now, but I know it is just too early. If we want accurate results, we have to wait.

Praying for some peace in my heart to accept God's will, whatever it may be, and survive these next few days with as little anxiety as possible!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

transfer day.

What a crazy exciting day it was. Our appointment was at 1:30pm, so Ali and I spent the morning laying in bed, watching tv, and catching up on facebook. We finally decided we had better eat some lunch, so we headed over to Applebee's. Lunch was a little tense. We were both so excited, so nervous, so....I don't even know. Words can't explain how we were feeling. When we finished up, we headed to the clinic, even though we were early.
Just a little nervous
We were scheduled to check in at 1pm, but we were there by 12:40. Before we could even sit down, they whisked us right back to the room. I was shocked and suddenly got very nervous and shaky. I took a potty break and changed into my fashionable hospital gown, booties and hair cover. Ali was lucky enough to get to wear a "bunny" suit. Basically, a white paper jumpsuit...over her skirt and all! It was great. Then, Ali had to sign a million papers, again! Lisa, one of the clinic nurses who is absolutely hilarious, explained the procedure and gave us a remote so we could watch some "trash tv" while we were waiting. Nothing like some good crappy reality tv to make the time pass.


After a little tv time, Dr. Nemiro came in and explained the procedure, again. Then, we went into the surgical suite, and the miracle started! The room is dark (to protect the embryos) and there is a tv screen in there. There is also a small window in one of the walls that connects to the lab where the embryos are kept. As Dr. Nemiro, Lisa and Jubilee discussed changes they wanted to make to the website, and the arrangement of items in the room, they prepped me for the procedure. We got to watch as the lab tech (I think the embryologist, but I could totally be making that up) opened up the petrie dish with my name on, to verify that there were two "beautiful" embryos that were already hatching. We then watched as he used the pipette to collect both embryos and put them into the catheter. Then, Lisa left the room to go to the lab. A moment later, she returned with the embryologist. He then assisted Dr. Nemiro in placing the embryos. Dr. Nemiro has already placed a guide catheter through my uterus, so he just inserted his catheter into that catheter and injected the embryos. Once they are in place, they leave everything in place for 40 seconds to insure that the embryos don't get sucked out with the removal of the catheters. At this point, Ali was allowed to take flash photos, and the embryologist and Dr. Nemiro joked about having seizures from the flashing lights! It was hilarious and took away some of the tension from our end of the room.
Me and Lisa
Once the catheters were removed, we were done! I was transferred to a gurney and brought back to the first room we were in. I had to lay flat for 1 hour. The most important thing was to not lift my head. Lisa covered me up with a nice soft blankey, just like one at my mom's house, and I layed there and watched tv. Ali and I hardly talked. I think we were both to scared. We may or may not have cried a little bit too.
Dr. Nemiro getting things ready.
See those TINY dots at the top, in the middle, those are the embryos!
Once the hour was up, we were free to go. I had instructions to "take it easy" for the next week, no heavy lifting, pelvic rest, and insturctions on what was normal and what symptoms meant I needed to call in. They also told us to go out and enjoy a nice dinner...we laughed! There was NO way we were going to go out to dinner. We were headed straight back to the hotel and I was NOT going to move! I was afraid to do anything...stand up, walk to the car, sit in the car, pee (which Lisa made sure to tease me about relentlessly), walk into the hotel, sit up in bed. Basically, I didn't want to move at all. We ordered some pizza, watched some movies, and tried to sleep!
video
 If this video works, it's a short video of the embryologist bring the embryos in!

That was it. All the hard work we had done, the fundraising, the tests, etc was all for that! Now, it was time (still is time) to pray! Lots and lots of sticky prayers and prayers for peace in mine and Ali's hearts as we wait for the blood test to be done on the 13th!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

crazy.

I think the phrase, "this is crazy," has come out of my mouth about 500 times this past week. When they did the ultrasound and my lining was great and the transfer date was picked. Talking to family, friends, coworkers, strangers, etc. On the drive out to Arizona Monday. In bed, watching HGTV at the hotel. When I woke up. I'm sure you get the point. It's crazy. I can't believe that today is THE day! All the hard work, stress, planning, traveling, everything we've been doing for the past year was leading up to this moment, and it's finally here! Crazy. Amazing!!

Despite being exhausted, and falling asleep about 2 seconds after I said, "these people are so picky, I have to stay awake to see what house they chose," I slept terribly. I woke up about a million times and just layed here thinking about it all. It didn't help that I was starving, that I got a call from work to see if I could come in (nope, I'm sorry, I'm busy getting pregnant today probably was not what they expected to hear), and my alarm going off to tell me it was time to get up and get the kids ready for school. Luckily, I was able to get a bit of sleep and woke up just in time to throw on my jeans and get some free breakfast a bagel, from the lobby. I took all my medications, and now I'm back in bed.

The shots have been rough. The first day, I was fine with them. They didn't really hurt at all. Now, my butt is so sore. Not really painful, just major muscle soreness. Plus, they make me SO tired. I was falling asleep, in the middle of the day, reading books to my kids. That is not like me at all! I also have one site that I think may be slightly infected. I'm on antibiotics for the transfer, and the spot is looking better, but it makes me nervous. I don't know how I'm supposed to do this for 12 weeks, twice a day. We will be talking to Dr. Nemiro about the other options, to see what will work best for me. I did break down yesterday and teach my husband how to do my injections. He did a great job, and was smart enough not to show how scared he was until he was done. It will be nice to have him do it for me every now and then. I also am utilizing my coworkers when I can. Juanita was the lucky one so far, MJ got to stand guard so no one walked in on us! No matter how hard it is to continue the injections, I will do what I have to do to give the babies their best chance!

At 1pm, we will head to the clinic. When the procedure starts, we will get to watch everything on video. The embryologist pipetting the little embryos into their tubes, Dr. Nemiro placing the embryos. There is probably a lot more to it than that, but since this is my first go-round, that's what I know for sure is happening. I will have to lay there for an hour, then we will come back to the hotel. I will be on bed rest until tomorrow, and we will head home tomorrow afternoon. They will be recording everything for Brian since he left on deployment Saturday morning.

source

This post is kind of all over the place, and sorry I don't have any cool pictures for you, but maybe next time. My emotions are all over the place and are making me kind of scatter-brained at the moment. I'm just so happy to be here, and to know that this is really going to happen. In just a few short hours I'll be "pregnant"!! Thank you so much to everyone who has helped us get this far...without your help, this wouldn't be happening!