First off I want to thank each and everyone of you for your prayers, love, and support. Second, I want to say thank you for being patient these last couple days and giving us time to process our thoughts and share our results with our family first. We are very excited to tell everyone that God answered all of our prayers and that we are officially PREGNANT!! My blood test came out with a beta HCG level of 1,747. This number will continue to double every one to two days for these first few weeks. We decided to wait to share our good news to find out the results of our second blood test that we had this morning, just to make sure that everything was going in the right direction. Also we wanted to be able to share our news with our families first and close friends before sharing on social media. My blood test this morning went really well and my beta HCG level was 3,715. This a very good sign that things are going along as they should. If you remember we transferred two embryos and we won't find out if both embryos implanted until my first ultrasound in May. I will have this appointment with Dr. Corfman and then afterwards will be transferred to a local hospital to continue my care.
Monday was a hard day. Emotionally I was a wreck and cried off and on the whole way to and from my doctor's appointment. I was so scared and nervous. I was fully preparing myself to have the results go either direction. I kept telling God please just let us be pregnant, please just let this work. I think as a coping mechanism I was trying not to get my hopes up since we had heard the dreaded not pregnant three times before. I decided in the car that if we didn't get the answer we wanted that we would continue to thrive. That bad news wouldn't break us or prevent us from fully living our life. I also decided that if we got bad news that my goal in blogging about our IVF journey was to bring more awareness about infertility. To show people that it really is a journey and a hard one at that. To also show people that its ok to talk about infertility and that if I could potentially help someone along the way that this whole IVF process would be worth it. After they drew my blood one of my favorite nurses gave me a hug and I pretty much lost it again and expressed how emotionally drained I was and just so nervous to find out. Over the weekend I kept thinking about how if we aren't pregnant then what would be my purpose on this world. What would be next in my life if I couldn't be a mom. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to marry a farmer, live on a farm, have some kids and live off the land. I knew that if God didn't answer our prayers that yes I would be ok but I was really scared about what my life would be like if I never got to be a mother.
Ryan and I decided we would wait until after work to call into our voicemail system to get our results. The day actually went fast, not fast enough but going to work in the afternoon helped keep my mind off of things. I couldn't get home fast enough and man did my stomach hurt. Ryan and I held hands in our kitchen called into our voicemail and patiently waited for our message to play. My tears started in as I heard the nurse talk and I thought for sure its negative by the sound of her voice and then she said that they had very good news and Ryan and I both burst into tears. We cried so much we had to replay the message again since we didn't even listen to it after we heard her say those words. There we sat in our kitchen on April 17th at 5:30 at night holding each other tight, crying and thanking God for answering our prayers. I was so hysterical that Ryan had to tell me to breathe to calm myself down. I only wish I had recorded this moment so we could play if for our future child or children, but this moment will forever be ingrained in my memory. We spent the rest of the evening seeing both sets of parents and giving them the good news and also seeing Ryan's brother and sister in law and making a few phone calls and text messages to many family members and close friends.
I always thought that we would be missing out by not being able to surprise our parents with the news that we are expecting but you know what we didn't miss anything at all. Having our parents be apart of this journey along with all of our family members, friends and all of our readers makes sharing our news that much more exciting. Both sets of parents cried tears of joy, my sister in law was the same and we got the reaction that we always wanted to get. Its even more awesome because we had so many people praying for us, routing for us and that God answered those prayers. God is so good people, so good!! There are so many moments I can think over and over these last couple weeks that he was fully present in my life. When I was struggling or having negative thoughts I would get a text, email or Facebook message from family or friends and it would help pull me out of those moments. I had a high school classmate send me the nicest message over the weekend. I haven't talked to her probably since high school and at that moment I was on the verge of tears from a gut full of worry and literally her messaged help me to change my thoughts and think positive again.
Besides finding out that we are expecting Ryan and I got good news the week prior that will help us further our farming career. So many things seem to be lining up in our life right now and we can only contribute that to God laying out his plan for us. Im telling you guys when you fully give God the reigns in your life, he will bring you so much more then you could have ever imagined. God's timing is perfect, God's plans are perfect. We may not understand that hardships when we are going through them, but trust me there is a reason for those hardships. Now people may roll their eyes when I talk about this whole faith and Jesus thing but I don't care. God is so awesome! My faith is not perfect and it wavers from time to time but Ive never stopped believing that Jesus died to save me from my sins. I may not be able to quote every verse form the bible but I know this God loves me and he loves you to. He is there for you in every area of your life, trust in him, lean on him and keep your faith strong. The moment we got the news that we were pregnant I literally felt like God was there wrapping his arms around us. For a long time I felt like the bad choices I made in life earlier would prevent me from being a mother, that God wouldn't bless us with children because of my sins. Ive struggled for along time to let go of things in the past and to forgive myself and right now I feel like Ive finally let those things go. I feel such a renewed sense of faith and my love for God feels even more stronger. My love for Ryan is even more stronger as well. He really has been so positive through out this whole process and I can't wait to do this whole parent thing with him by my side. It will be our biggest adventure yet and we will be sure to give thanks to God and let him continue to lead us. When we put him first in our life and in our marriage thats when life started to work, that's when our prayers started to be answered.
So now begins the worlds longest pregnancy. Im considered 5 weeks and 3 days today. Im feeling pretty good, slightly tired and certain areas seem to be growing at a rapid pace but overall I feel like Im glowing. I can't help but smile and even still shed a few tears from time to time on how blessed Ryan and I are. I know most people wait to tell others when they are in their second trimester but really I can't help but want to tell everyone. Anything can happen between now and 9 months, God forbid it does, but if something happens we will have that many people there to pray for us and support us. There is such a stigma on telling people and I feel like I shouldn't have to wait to tell people about this beautiful blessing or blessings growing inside of me. On that note we want to asked for continued prayers on a healthy pregnancy. I hope that God will continue to keep my body strong for the next 9 months. We will continue to do updates along the way over the next 9 months. Ryan and I can't thank everyone enough for the prayers and support. You have helped us get through this incredible journey. They say it takes a village to raise a child, sometimes it takes a village to help create one. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!! Yet again I'm crying all the happy tears!! Look for an update in May on the results of our ultrasound.
Well here we are one week down and one more week to go. Ryan and I are patiently getting through the days, he is probably being more patient then I am. You would think work would be a good distraction but its not. Im on restriction from crossift so I can't even use that to take my mind off of things. I don't do well not being able to exercise and although we are walking every night, it just doesn't cut it. Im feeling all the lovely side effects of the progesterone and just don't feel like myself. My body has gone through changes from the hormones and the lack of exercise doesn't help. People may roll their eyes when I complain about how my body has already changed and yes if we are pregnant my body will change even more. As women you sacrifice your body in order to carry a child and yes it is beautiful and amazing but it also is a sacrifice, things just aren't the same after you give birth, at least I am told. Going through IVF the first time it took many months afterwards to feel like I got my body back to normal. Its hard knowing that once again I'm sacrificing my body for something that potentially may not work. Its not just my outer appearance that changes but its putting my body through months of feeling like crap. Hopefully this time the months of feeling like crap and the weight gain are setting me up for 9 months of carrying a baby or babies. Don't get me wrong if we are pregnant I will be happy as ever to see my body change for the biggest blessing in the world.
Im trying to stay as positive as I can and some days are better then others. Ive been tempted online looking at baby items but at the same time try not to just incase we don't get the outcome we want. Ryan has been awesome and truly believes in his heart that we are pregnant. I have had a few other people say the same thing to me so hopefully their feelings are correct. Its funny to hear people talk about how they are just as excited as us to find out if we are pregnant. Its a good feeling to know we have so many people supporting us and who truly want this for us. Ryan and I had a wonderful weekend together and enjoyed much needed time outside. Ryan even got in the tractor and got some field work done. I finished reading the book, The Magnolia Story, by Chip and Joanna Gaines. Ryan and I are big fans of them and their show Fixer Upper on HGTV. Their book talks about their story and how they came to their success. Their story is pretty amazing but what is even more amazing is their faith and how God worked in their life. They chose to let God lead their life and when they followed him their life became even greater then what they could have ever imagined and it has nothing to do with their success. Their story has really helped me look at my own life and how God has worked in my life. His plan for Ryan and I is even greater then we can imagine and we are choosing to follow him.
We are looking forward to spending time with family this weekend for Easter and really looking forward to next Monday. I get butterflies just thinking about it! Speaking of next Monday as we find out our news we will be waiting a couple days to share our news on the blog. We want to be able to process the results and share the news with our family and close friends first. So please be patient with us. We are holding onto faith that God will answer our prayers but know that whatever outcome we get that it will be God's will. Please continue the prayers for us and please take the time to reflect on this upcoming weekend. Ryan and I have started a tradition of reading through the bible each night the chapters leading up to Jesus's death and resurrection. He paid the biggest sacrifice and in return we get eternal life with him if we chose to follow him. There is no greater love then the love of God. Blessing to all of you on this Easter weekend.
Ryan and Lauren
Here we are a few hours post embryo transfer, belly full of subway and relaxing for majority of the day. We arrived to the clinic around 8:30 this morning and was told to take 600 mg of ibuprofen to prevent any possible cramping during the transfer. We waited patiently and our nurse Kelly took us back to the transfer room. She opened the door and we were greeted with soft music, a monarch butterfly mobile hanging from the ceiling and the words written on the wall, "Believe in miracles everyday." We went over a few paper work details and soon enough I was in my hospital gown and we were waiting of the embryologist to come in. We received good and not so good news from the embryologist. Out of our five eggs, four fertilized and only two of the four were viable. The other two embryos stopped developing after day two. We were able to transfer the two viable embryos that were doing really well. Since the other embryos didn't make it we did not have any embryos to be able to freeze. So to put it basically if this transfer doesn't work we will have to make a hard decision on what to do next since we would have to start all over. Im not going to lie I was pretty upset to hear we didn't have any embryos to freeze, but I have no control over that so Im relying on that its all apart of God's plan. There is so much riding on these two tiny babies that it does bring some fear and worry into the situation. Ryan and I had talked before though on how if we got pregnant especially with twins we wouldn't want a lot of frozen embryos incase we wanted to be done having kids. We believe that these embryos are human and didn't want to destroy them, donate them to science or donate them to another couple while we were still alive. We also didn't want to have to pay for frozen embryos the rest of our life. So we are really hoping that because we have none to freeze that God just basically made that decision for us. We are thankful that we have two strong embryos, we could have only one or none.
I asked Dr. Corfman on why Mayo was able to get more eggs from me then he was and he said its all due to how many eggs my body decides to release. We could do this a few months later and get twice the number of eggs, it just all depends on my body. Once the embryologist left Dr. Corfman came in and they got me situated on the table. He uses a speculum to open me up to see my cervix. He washes the area and gets to the exact area he had measured on the day of the egg retrieval. This area is the prime placement in my uterus for those embryos to be happy and hopefully implant. Once he is ready the embryologist comes in with the catheter that contains our two embryos and the same fluid they are growing in. The release the fluid and embryos and then remove the catheter. They embryologist then goes back to the lab an checks the catheter to make sure it is clear and gives the ok. After that Dr. Corfman removes the speculum and I lay on the table for five minutes before i'm given the ok to get up. Dr. Corfman was pleased at how well they transfer went and even joked about how he didn't even drop the embryos this time. Hahaha! The transfer took about five minutes and the hardest part was having to relax with a speculum in you. They are the most comfortable thing.
During that five minutes I laid there and watched that butterfly mobile float above me. I couldn't help but feel a sense of peace come over me and feeling very relaxed. The beautiful monarchs fluttering around made me think of Gods love for me and finding peace in his goodness. If you look up the meaning of a butterfly it states that, butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life. Many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls. The Christian religion sees the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection. Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope and life. I told Ryan when we get pregnant I want to have a butterfly mobile in our nursery like the one in our transfer room. I don't think I will ever look at a butterfly the same way. I got dressed and we headed the 80 miles back to our home in Goodhue. I shed some tears on the car ride home from text messages I received from friends and family members. I also shed some tears out of basically just being scared. This whole process is such a rollercoaster and it all comes down to this day, so many emotions and it felt good to just cry and let out that fear. Ryan has been so awesome through all of this and has been my rock, remaining strong and positive. He even had me laughing laying on the table after the transfer when he played the you tube clip of Phoebe from Friends singing to her fetus after she had her brother's embryos transferred.
I will be on a Motrin regime, 600 mg every 8 hours for the next three days to prevent any cramping. I also start a daily low dose aspirin regime that will continue through my first trimester if we get pregnant. I also start vaginal progesterone suppositories three times a day. I was fortune to not have to do both the suppositories and the daily progesterone injection that is done on the behind. I did beg my doctor to let me do the injection versus the suppositories, but he says the suppositories are more effective. The truth about the suppositories is that they are gross and they are a pain. If I get pregnant I will be using them through my first trimester. Minor pains to have to deal with when the outcome will be a baby but none the less thats the truth that goes on with trying to get pregnant. It can take a few days for the embryos to implant, doctor said I could have some potential spotting from this and that would be a good thing, but if I don't have spotting its not a bad thing either. Everyone is different so don't get upset if I don't have it. Now begins the two week waiting game. This is the hardest part of the whole process, waiting. Doing everything possible to try to distract yourself. Time goes so fast so you hate to wish it away but these two weeks I hope they fly by. Doctor said to take it easy the next few days, walking but nothing strenuous and to wait until at least next week to do any weight training. Nothing crazy but I'm happy to be able to be active versus nothing at all.
We go up for our pregnancy test the day after Easter. We find it fitting that we will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus the day before with our family. Easter is a picture of new life and birth so as my cousin Trudy texted me we will pray that the Lord will bring a literal new life or lives into our family. We have received an abundance of prayers, love and support from family, friends and complete strangers. We can feel everyone behind us, routing for us, and literally it makes my heart overflow. So everyone keep all those prayers up!! God is good!