10 weeks 3 days. Doppler Success!!!!!!

Well, we did it.  We gave in and bought a fetal doppler.  Honestly, I had no idea these existed and were available for home purchase until reading about them on people’s blogs over the past few months.  I never thought I would get one.  But since graduating from the RE after our first ultrasound at 6w6d, we have yet to see the OB.  Our first OB appointment is at 11w1d, which happens to be next Wednesday, but I’m not even sure they will do an ultrasound then.  It is supposedly an “intake” appointment.  This OB practice is very laid back or at least that is what I am telling myself as they weren’t in any hurry to get me in.

So, on to the good news.

We ordered a Sonoline B off a website called Clinical Guard and paid about $55 for it.  Not bad and I am SO happy we bought it.  It was worth every penny.

It took us about 5 minutes to locate the baby’s heartbeat.  During those 5 minutes, all we could hear was the placenta.  That, in and of itself, was quite reassuring to me.  I didn’t mind if we couldn’t find the heartbeat, knowing it was still early to get a good listen.  But I kept probing and then all of a sudden the pitch changed as well as the sound.  You could hear the valves close and I knew we had honed in on our baby.  The heart rate was 164bpm.

Yeah!!!  This was the best thing I have heard in weeks.  Music to my ears!

 

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Ultrasound # 1 at 6 weeks 6 days!!!!!

Our ultrasound couldn’t have gone any better.  Our baby…yep, just one…is growing beautifully and perfectly measuring right on schedule!  It was a HUGE relief.  We are so excited and it made it all so much more real!!!  We have been curious leading up to this ultrasound if we would be having 1 or 2.  When I initially received my first beta result a few weeks ago and it was 98, our RE told us at that time it would probably be just 1, but then when my beta quadrupled in 2 days, we thought maybe they had both made it.  I was really rooting for both of them…but having found out the news today, honestly, I felt a HUGE sense of relief wash over me.  Twins would have been fun, but there also would have been a lot more risk involved to both them and me.  A single pregnancy is the best for baby and mom and I really am so thankful that though we put in 2 what was meant for us was one.  There is a small part of me that wonders about that other embryo…was it a chromosomal thing, did it just not find a good spot on my uterus, did my body just only allow one…who will ever know and I won’t dwell on it, but I am just so thankful to have 1 healthy, strong growing baby!  Thank you, God!!!  This is the greatest gift I could ever possibly dream of!

And…I get to officially graduate to my regular OB!  Yeah!  We are SOOO excited to have appointments closer to home and no more paying out of pocket for everything!  It’s the small things, right? : ) But, of course, we would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Thanks for all your support!  It means the world to me!

Beta # 2 Results!

I just want to thank everyone for all the love and support over the last 2 days.  We are still in shock but little by little things are starting to sink in a bit more.  I know this news isn’t always easy to read or receive in this community.  That said, I just want you to know that my heart and prayers are with everyone wherever they may be in their own journey to have a child.   I don’t know how to express that well, but that’s where we are at.  We are so humbled by this most recent turn of events in our world and give all the glory to our God.

Our Beta was 427 today.  The number went from 98.4 to 427 in just 2 days. Our first ultrasound will be on August 13th.  We are really looking forward to it!!!!

9dp5dt. Beta Results. Pregnant!

I don’t even know where to start.  These past 9 days have been a faith building exercise.  Learning to trust, learning to wait.  Lessons that seem to reappear time and time again in my life.  This past week and a half was no exception.

On 3dp5dt transfer I had my only “symptom” of a possible impending pregnancy.  I felt a few quick, sharp stabbing pains in my left flank. I also experienced a few brief cramps with the intensity of my uterus feeling like it was being wrung out like a wet rag.  That was it.   Other than that, I have felt 100% completely normal.  Though I guess this is not a surprise as I have not really experienced any side effects of any of the medications throughout this IVF cycle.  The only thing I had was a little nipple tenderness with my high estrogen levels prior to retrieval.  Nonetheless, it began to make me nervous, I scoured people’s blogs and the internet…should I be feeling more?  I worried and I fretted…but then I remembered, every story is different, there are plenty of people who don’t feel pregnant for weeks.  I realized, once again, that this WHOLE thing is out of my control and that all I could do was keep trusting God, keep walking, and keep hoping.

My husband and I decided that we would test early.  I figured I would rather ease into whatever is ahead.  If it’s negative, I wanted to begin to prepare myself slowly.  I figured that would be easier for me to shoulder than waiting until beta day with all the stress and anxiety of finally getting to that day only to find out it was negative.  We took our first test last Saturday at 6dp5dt.  After  peeing on the stick, I quickly dismissed it as soon as I saw the control line appear without the slightest mark on the test line, assumed it was negative and jumped in the shower.   Perhaps in hopes to convince and prepare my own heart, I had reminded my husband prior to taking the test that it was too early and that it would probably be negative.  Nonetheless, in the shower, my heart sank and I prayed that God would give me the strength to handle this whole thing if it didn’t work.  Lo and behold, upon getting out of the shower, I looked at the test and there it was…a faint pink line.  The first I have ever seen in our 20 months of TTC.  My husband could hardly believe it.  I thought back to all the encouraging posts I have seen of women with pee sticks that started out faint and slowly grew darker.  Where would this go?  Could this be it? Was it still possible the hcg trigger shot was still in me?  It had been 13 days since we had had our trigger shot.  Only time would tell.  So we kept waiting and continued living.  We prayed and prayed and prayed to our faithful God who is sovereign whom we knew had the perfect plan for our lives.

The next day the test was positive AGAIN!  We decided there must be something wrong with these cheap 88 cent Walmart test sticks and dug in the bathroom closet for our one and only digital pregnancy test.  This would tell us for SURE that we weren’t pregnant, I just knew it.  That’s all they had ever shown us.  A big, fat emotionless NOT PREGNANT.  But within a minute I realized it had left out the NOT and only the word PREGNANT had appeared on the screen.  Could it be true?

Well, our line continued to darken yesterday and this morning.  I went in for my beta at 8am and waited 5.5 agonizing hours for my clinic to let me the know the results. Finally at 1:30pm my Doctor called to let me know that I was PREGNANT.  He told me that they had all been fighting over who would get to call me with my results and that he won the fight because he is the oldest.  I thought that was SOOO sweet.  I didn’t expect him to call at all, as the lab tech told me this morning that she is the one who typically calls with results!

Our beta was 98.4!  We are so excited about this number but also a little nervous.  I hope it is high enough, I guess we’ll know in a few days.  I just gotta keep the faith!  It all comes back to that for me.

We feel extremely humbled and are in complete shock right now.  We feel beyond blessed but are also experiencing a great deal of what I am calling “survivor” guilt until I can figure out a better term.  We don’t feel like we deserve this amazing outcome with so many still in the trenches.  Our hearts break for everyone battling infertility and we want everyone to get their joyous results too.  Also, I am all to aware of our how delicate this pregnancy is and will just have to wait and watch and keep trusting and praying that God will bring it to fruition.   I will never forget the road that has led me here and those that have journeyed with me.  Thank you for your support, your care and all your prayers.

I will keep you posted with our next results on Thursday.

our FORK is coming…

Time is ticking away. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

An old song…stuck in my head seems so relevant today.  In a few short days, I will be starting clomid again and so will begin our final two months of our infertility plan.  2 more IUIs, 2 more months.  That’s it.  Beyond that is the unknown, the gray…the difficult to discern.  At that point, the arduous task of determining the next step will commence.  We will have reached our fork in the road and will have to decide to either pursue adoption or do IVF.

Also, today officially marks the end of our waiting season.  Our efforts to get pregnant and pursue infertility treatments have been on hold since our appointment with the RE on February 1st.  Well, the 65 days have now passed.  Perhaps our waiting will pay off.  Maybe our sperm will now find it in them to meet that egg, now uninhibited by chemicals that once made their one God-given task impossible.

But wait, you say…why so short a window of opportunity for yourselves…why only 2 months?  Why not give it more time?  But to you, I ask…how much time do you allow?  How much longer does one endure the pain of waiting, wondering…will it be THIS month?  Will this be OUR month?  It digs deep, it is a hope consuming process and it takes all the strength that one can muster, all the dependency that one can place on their Savior, to trust, to keep walking and to find the courage to hope each month.  So, we are giving ourselves 2 more months.  2 more treated months to give ourselves the best shot.  If the sperm are working, then we will give them every possible chance of success.  If not, we need to think about moving forward.

When we started this whole journey, I figured it would only be a matter of months before we were able to get pregnant.  As the months have turned into a year and the year has turned into a year plus many months, we are slowly reaching our end point. I still have so many ethical questions about IVF.  I just can’t stand to think about our embryos…frozen in a clinic…waiting for a family life, for a warm bed and cozy hugs from mom and dad.  I’m not sure I could give them up for embryo adoption and I certainly would never give them over to science.  Would there even be extra embryos?  What we would do with them?  How many children we would be willing to have?  I could go on and on…how many would survive the FREEZE, how many would survive the THAW?  These are things that plan as you may, they are all big IFs.  There is no certainty we would even have extra embryos, and definitely none that IVF would even work for us – which is extremely scary to think about.  I think either step…adoption or IVF will be a huge step with many unknown risks either way.

Nonetheless, today I celebrate the passing season of this one particular waiting period.  There are so many more, but this is one small victory and I’m grateful to have made it to the other side.  Now if only I could cling to some of that hope I felt when we first discovered this news…I want to believe that this really could be it.

To believe.  That is what I am committing the next few months of my devotional time.  Believing GOD!  More on that later…

Musings in Infertility

3 things to report:

1.  A friend who has known about our infertility for the last 8 months asked me last week if maybe our timing was off.  Really?

2.  A friend told me today…instead of being understanding and supportive, and after she had finished telling me that they have been trying to get pregnant for 3 months and how hard it has been on them (they have a 2 year old)…she said, “Oh well, at least you guys have this time together.  We had 3-4 years before kids and I’m so glad.”   Thanks.  I’m not on your time line.

3.  The baby shower I went to last weekend…an interesting happening occurred.  While my friend was opening her gifts, her sister-in-law began describing to the woman beside her, in a regular, non-hushed voice about her struggle with infertility over the last 3 years.  I mean, I completely understand the pain she is experiencing, but there is a time and place for every conversation.  It wasn’t subtle, but seemed more like an attention grabber.  The hostess of the party just stared at her in disbelief as she rattled on and on as our dear friend opened her presents and we celebrated the upcoming birth of her daughter.  Many of us acted as if we hadn’t heard her.  It was rather repugnant and I felt embarrassed as a fellow sympathetic infertility sojourner for how she handled herself.  No bueno.

 

Other than that…it’s 2 week window time.  I feel ambivalent.  Will it happen this month, probably not.  I am so curious what our next move will be and how this is all going to unfold.

Take care.

 

The Iris and the Lily

Captivated.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.” Matt 6:25-28

Captivated by the presence of God.

Have you every wondered about those lilies in the field? Stood in awe beside the Grand Canyon? Floated helplessly in a raft among turbulent river waters? Sat in wonderment as your body miraculously healed that cold you had been suffering from?

Today I was doing anesthesia for eye surgeries…and as I was watching the monitor of the operating microscope, I couldn’t help but to fall in love with the iris all over again. What an imaginative, magnificent God to fashion so many different eye hues – hazel, blue, green, brown, chestnut, gray – beautiful. Uniquely different. Wonderfully created. How can people possibly believe in evolution when such divine perfection confronts you daily?

I began to think about our bigger story. The lilies of the field, the iris of our eyes. What about my heart? How much more would he care to cloth it? How much more would he dare to accomplish the great work for which it was fashioned?

I know he is going to show up BIG in my story. I have a first class ticket to the glorious production of my life. Even more, I have been cast as the main character. His masterpiece slowly unfolds. A story overflowing with fulfilled promises and tender mercies. A story meant to be lived line by line, word by word. He is intentional that I might capture the full essence of the purpose for which I was created, the testimony I will live to tell. I am thrilled to have him as my Director…seated upon the throne. At times, he tells me to stop. “CUT!” He gives me a pep-talk. “Alright, Danielle, I love you. You are doing a great job, but I need you to shift your attention to exhibit A and quit moping through this scene. You gotta believe me when I tell you that the storyline is building. Character development. It’s all part of the story.”

“ACTION.”

I trust him. I refocus my attention and allow Him to work through me. He has directed my steps my entire life…holding me closely. Sometimes, I have become too sure of my step and wandered on my own for awhile, but soon he has taken my hand in his and slowly led me back to his footpath.

Tonight, I dream about the day I will be able to look back and praise God for his faithfulness in THIS part of my story. I know He is a part of it even now. Even when He feels so incredibly far from me and I am “alone” in my fear and apprehension for the future. I am comforted by His word and the knowledge that He has turned His ears towards me and has heard each and every one my prayers. I wait in silence for His response. Soon, sweet murmurings encompass me and I am told to be ever present, ever captivated by His love – He will do the rest.

So many questions. So much waiting. So much yearning in our hearts.

Just remember the lilies.