So its been a hot minute since the last time we updated all of you on the progress of Baby Buck. We had our first ultrasound at Redwing Mayo along with our first visit with our doctor there. Everything is looking really well with our little peanut. I'm considered 9 weeks 3 days along and baby's heart beat was a healthy 172 beats per minute and is one inch long. I can't even begin to describe how awesome it was to see our little bug moving around on the ultrasound, such a little wiggle worm we have already. My first thought was this kid is going to be a future crossfitter. Although its to early to feel any movement yet, its such an awesome feeling knowing that our baby is happy and living it up inside its temporary home. I never knew I could love someone so much already and have yet to meet them in person. As I watched the baby wiggle around on the ultrasound screen, I couldn't help fall more in love with this kid and feel so incredibly thankful that God has given us this gift. If you think about the whole process of conceiving a child and how timing has to be so precise and then how it goes from small cells to a full blown human is incredible. Its a miracle! God is incredible, the development of a human being is incredible! How can people not believe in our awesome creator?? Seeing this child change every time we are blessed to be able to see him or her makes my faith in God go even deeper, and makes my love for God even stronger.
Morning sickness has been up and down, from weeks 6-8 it was all day sickness and its finally starting to get better. I notice a little in the morning and then at night right before bed. Food has been up and down, basically crackers, toast and any white carb but as of lately Ive been able to get more protein in which is good. Heart burn set in last week and the gagging feeling happens off and on through out the day. Im trying to see the humor in all of this and well pregnancy isn't so glamours. Somedays I can't eat enough and then there are days where nothing is appealing. But with heart burn I get reminded of everything I ate at each meal, oh so pleasant! Cravings have been all over the board, pretty much anything salty right now is amazing and cheese, anything cheese related I love. Since last night I have been on a taco kick, which I don't hate. Man I love me some tacos and I'm hoping this baby has a love for guacamole, chips and salsa as much as I do. I like to think the baby is having a little fiesta in my belly as I devour said tacos! Its funny at how amazing certain foods taste now that Im pregnant! I have been able to continue with crossfit 5-6 days a week and love being able to continue to stay active. My five o'clock class is actually the time when I feel my best so being able to crossfit has kept me pretty happy. Im being smart about my workouts and lowering my weights and modifying certain movements but Im just happy to be able to move. The days when we are just lifting are a bit mentally harder, I can already tell my strength has gone, I've lost my strict pull-ups that I was so proud to be able to do. But I know that strength is something I will always get back. With our more intense WODs I can tell that I huff and puff a little more with all the extra blood flowing through me. I compare it to when I did a crossfit class at 10,000 feet in Breckenridge, just short on oxygen and more quickly to. But overall exercise feels good and I pray it continues that way throughout my whole pregnancy.
My first Mother's Day was pretty special. I got to enjoy the afternoon with my mom and sister in law at brunch. Afterwards I hung out at my parent's house and just visited with my mom out on their deck. It was such a gorgeous day to be outside, the whole weekend was. Ryan was so sweet and gave me a nice card and a bouquet of tulips. The evening was spent grilling out with Ryan's mom and dad and just enjoying the evening. I can't wait for next Mother's Day to have baby in my arms!
I have had so many friends and people send us cards, gifts and just messages that they are praying for us. The kindness that people have shown us is unbelievable! It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it! I just hope to be able to spread kindness to someone else in a similar situation as Ryan and I. This afternoon I got to visit with one of my high school classmates and college roommates that I haven't seen for a while. She is a mom of two adorable boys and listening to her talk about her boys and just being a mom makes me so excited to be entering into the mom life! Her gift she gave me and just the time we got to spend visiting means more to me then she probably knows! Thank you Ashely, you are the best!! Thank you to all my girlfriends who have taken the time to send me gifts, cards and messages, you sure know how to make a girl feel loved! Its pretty awesome to know I have such an amazing group of friends that I can get future mom advice from.
Our next appointment is June 15th and we won't have our next ultrasound until Im 20 weeks along. We will keep you posted on all the baby updates. Also Ive been meaning to do a post on how spring planting went for us so stay tuned for that! For now enjoy pictures of Baby Buck and look for our video of baby moving on Facebook and Instagram!
148 beats per minute is our baby's heart rate. Strong and healthy. I wish I was able to give all of you the exciting news that they found two heart beats in there instead of one but God's plan is different then what I desired. I struggled with how I wanted to write this post, worried about expressing my true feelings and how people would respond or judge me. But then I thought about how many people have reached out to me and have thanked me for being so honest during the whole process and how it has helped them in their IVF journey. So Im going to be truthful with my feelings and some of you may roll your eyes and think Im ungrateful but those who know me best will understand and those who have gone through IVF will most definitely understand. SO HERE GOES NOTHING.
Im beyond excited to be having a baby but when the doctor said one sac, my heart sank. I even asked the question theres only one, he responded just one and I said out loud bummer. Ryan quickly said no not bummer. Dr. Corfman looked around in my uterus checked the baby's heart rate and all looks healthy and well. Thank God all looks well! As I laid there watching the monitor watching the little heart beat flutter nothing sunk in besides the fact that there wasn't twins. I was dead set that it was going to be twins and expressed pretty loudly on the blog on how I wanted twins. I think everyone else was thinking it would be twins to. I got my hopes up and the result didn't turn out the way I wanted. I had so many people say its twins and I had a dream you had twins and you get to thinking yup its twins. To be honest I almost feel like Im letting a lot of people down that its not twins. I have no control over these embryos but you start to think for each one that doesn't stick its another baby I couldn't bring into this world, another life that didn't make it. All I have to be is a host and why can't I just be a host for the two embryos that we had. Another thought that went into my head is that Im going to have to do this all over again. We will have to come up with another twenty grand to start this process. Im going to have to put my body through this all over again. From day one of birth control pills, metformin and stimulation meds to the two week long wait of finding out if you are pregnant or not, the whole process sucks. IVF sucks! There is nothing fun about it and its like a sick and twisted game on your body and your emotions. You are gambling not only with your body but your emotions with no guaranteed result of pregnancy. Another thought that went through my head is how much older I will be when we try again. I will be 31 in June and each passing year makes it even harder to get pregnant. Each passing year my eggs get older and that means more medication and harder on my body. Ryan is 35 and Im thinking crap how old will he be when and if our next child is born. All of this worry for the future when I have no control over the future. Then not only do I feel this way but I also feel bad for feeling this way. Here I am being so ungrateful for the precious gift God has given us and all I can do is worry about the future. What an awful person I am! Who acts this way??
I was hoping it would be simple, put two embryos in, get twins and be done and never have to enter the IVF world again, never have to pay to get pregnant again. We would have twins and life would continue on and we could actually use our money to pay off debt, finish our basement, whatever else we wanted to do. I cried almost the whole way home and Ryan didn't say one word to me. I think its hard for husbands to understand exactly how their wife may feel in a situation like this. Literally all Ryan had to do is donate his sperm and the rest is up to me and the doctors. He physically and even partially emotionally doesn't understand how I feel. IVF is not an easy process and for me my body does not like the hormones. I know I don't want to have just one kid so yes our IVF journey won't be ending at least not yet and yes I will put my body through it all over again. The physical part is hard but it doesn't compare to the emotional ride of IVF. Its also scary to think this may be our only child, we may try again with IVF and have no success and have to settle on having only one child. Apart of me now even though our baby isn't born yet can some what understand what its like for those who have unexplained infertility after their first child. The desire to want to have more children even though you already have one.
I really feel very selfish for writing exactly how I feel and almost feel like I need to mourn my what could have been and go through the emotions. My friend Carol put it best to me when she said, the picture you had in your mind might not come true, but I bet the "new" picture will be just as fulfilling. I know in due time God will reveal to me on why both embryos didn't take, just like he revealed to us later, on why our first go arounds with IVF didn't work. This is all part of God's plan and Im thankful he blessed us with this baby. Im not perfect, I am an sinner and feeling this way is human. Even as I write this I think of all those struggling with infertility and it makes me angry at myself for feeling this way when I know so many who just want to be pregnant. Im so thankful for this pregnancy more then anyone can imagine its just hard not to think about the future. I know by doing this Im taking joy away from this pregnancy and this baby. We could have gone into the ultrasound today and had no heartbeat. Have the emotional toy of finding out you are pregnant to finding out you know longer are. Again Im thankful for this baby!!
So here I sit typing this out thinking about how many people will be judging me for acting this way and really Im actually worried about posting this because I don't want to come off ungrateful. But all I can say is try to put yourself in my shoes, in our shoes. Think about how long this journey has been for Ryan and I, think about the amount of money we have spent to date on trying to get pregnant. Who wouldn't want to think one shot, two babies and be done. Im very much excited for the precious baby inside of me but I think the pregnancy will feel more real to me when I actually start to show. The baby looks like a white blob on the screen with a little black bump moving in the center of it. He or she is the size of a blueberry and Im considered 7 weeks and currently due on December 19th. At exactly 6 weeks nausea kicked in and seems to have intensified since this past Saturday. Im hungry all the time and pretty much only want to eat carbs right now. Meat is hit and miss and cravings have been all over the board from mac and cheese to gummy worms. Majority of my nausea is from morning until lunch time and then picks up around 8:30 at night. I can't complain Im not vomiting but have really felt like I wanted to. Im tired only if I sit still but if Im moving and being active Im fine. Ive been able to crossifit in the evenings still and actually really feel good when Im doing it so hopefully that keeps up. So far minus feeling just off and my clothes not fitting the pregnancy ride isn't so bad. Im trying not to complain because Im thankful for the nausea and my clothes not fitting because I could be in a different boat right now. I think the ultrasound was more exciting for Ryan then it was for me, he seemed pretty excited to see the little heart beat fluttering away, I feel pretty bad I was such a kill joy on the ride home. If only my sweet husband could look inside my head and my heart he may get my craziness.
One in eight couples will deal with infertility. Its a journey like none other and my advice for those who are struggling is speak out, don't be afraid to ask for help, get support and find a way to process the journey. Most importantly never lose faith! God has a plan for all of those going through infertility trust in him and he will guide you. If I didn't have my faith my dream of becoming a parent wouldn't come true. Im so thankful to God that by the end of the year Ryan and I will be holding our precious baby! Even as I journal these words Im already feeling the weight of how I feel lifted off of me My next appointment is May 18th so it will be fun to see our little blueberry actually looking more like a baby by then. Thank you all for the support and continued prayers please keep them up for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. Again everyone I am very excited and beyond happy that we have one very healthy baby growing inside of me. God is good!
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!
Alrighty peeps we have good news to share, Sunday is the official day of our embryo transfer!! Whoop whoop!! We won't know until Saturday what time we will head up to Maple Grove but needless to say we are nervous and excited. The goal was to get to a five day transfer as it increases our chances of getting pregnant. The embryos are typically in the morula or blastocyst stage of development by day five. Our first go around our embryos didn't make it to this stage and we ended up having a day three transfer where they did Assisted Zona Hatching on the shell of the embryo. Basically they poke a small hole in the side of the embryo to help with continued development and implantation.
We currently don't know how our embryos are doing and won't know until before the transfer when we meet with the embryologist. If you remember we have five eggs but it doesn't mean that all five eggs where successfully fertilized. We are assuming that our embryos are doing well in order to get us to the day five transfer, otherwise if they weren't we would be going in sooner. We are considering this good news and that God is taking care of our five babies. The plan is to transfer two embryos and freeze the remaining if we have some to freeze. Yes we know twins will be a lot of work but we are praying that both of those embryos will take. Clearly we will be happy if only one takes but we know that whatever happens is in God's hands. Ryan and I talked about how the words, "be not afraid" occurs in the bible 365 times, one for each day of the year. Its scary to think of our transfer not working and going through all the emotions of yet anther failed IVF attempt but we will try our best going into Sunday with not being afraid and trusting that God is there for us. He really has given me a sense of peace through this process. Ive been way more calm this go around then last, Ive had less pain and less worry also. Not going to lie our first attempts with our IVF I felt like a crazy person, and had zero trust for my doctors. I think you know when something doesn't feel right and with Mayo it never felt right. I just was so in the zone of wanting to get pregnant to see that we should have left Mayo along time ago. I haven't had one moment where I haven't trusted our current doctor. Thats a pretty good feeling.
As of today Im feeling ok, still have some discomfort and pressure in my uterus and ovaries and Im hoping that by Sunday that will be next to nothing. My appetite is up and down and I'm trying to push the fluids as best as I can. I would love if the weather would clear up so I can get out and do some walking. We will be sure to post about how our embryo transfer went, in the mean time please continue the prayers and positive thoughts for us! Can't wait for Sunday and may our embryos be ever in our favor!
On Sunday night at 11 pm I gave myself the HCG injection, thirty six hours later we headed up to Maple Grove to have my eggs retrieved. The nurse took us back and we got prepped for the procedure. I put my stylish hospital gown, robe and oh so lovely blue booties on. They gave me valium right away to get me relaxed. They then took my vitals and a nurse made her way in to get my IV inserted. We can't say enough good things abut all of the nurses at the Midwest Center for Reproductive Health. Truly this place makes you feel like you are apart of a family. One of the nurses was telling us, that they get so invested with each family that the day of pregnancy tests they are just as excited and just as upset with whatever the outcome is. With my crappy veins I was nervous about how well putting my IV in would go but the nurse did a flawless job and I had zero pain. Dr. Corfman came in and went over the procedure it self and soon enough I had two nurses walking me down to the surgical room.
They got me up on the bed and one nurse was there to administer my anesthesia and the other nurse was there to collect the fluid and eggs that comes out of my follicles. Dr. Corfman's goal is to use as little anesthesia as possible, so Im slightly sedated but fully awake. They also wait to administer it at the right time. Dr. Corfman does a water bath to clean off my lady parts inside and out. That was the weirdest feeling ever and then after that it was time to go in with the ultrasound and needle to retrieve the eggs. Basically a needle is passed through the top of the vagina under ultrasound guidance to get to the ovary and follicles. The fluid in the follicles is aspirated through the needle and the eggs detach from the follicle wall and are sucked out of the ovary. The nurse collects the fluid and eggs and then they got passed through a small window that goes directly to the lab. The lab then looks at the eggs and eventually they inject Ryan's sperm directly into my eggs. I was able to watch the procedure on the ultrasound screen next to me and then also on a different screen to see the eggs as the lab is looking at them. The anesthesia made me feel dizzy and sleepy so I pretty much just kept my eyes closed and the anesthesia nurse and Dr. Corfman both walked me through what they were doing. The feeling of the needle going into my follicles was interesting using two to three jabs and it went in. Some mild cramping but overall the pain was minimal and they only had to use the least amount of anesthesia possible. The retrieval itself took five minutes and they were able to retrieve five eggs. Afterwards Dr. Corfman did a trial transfer where he placed the catheter in my uterus to make sure that everything will go smoothly for the actually transfer. I warned the doctors before hand about how I don't do well with anesthesia, I usually get pretty sick coming out of it. They sat me up and gave me some time before they moved me to the chair that would bring me to post op. As I sat there all three of them place their hands on me and we sat in silence for a few minutes. I felt as if they were praying on me, not sure if they were or not but I took that time to just thank God for a smooth procedure and prayed that he would take care for our eggs and future embryos. I cried coming out of the anesthesia which is also very typical of me but I was so thankful for Dr. Corfman and his staff. Everything from start to now almost finish has gone so smoothly and so painless. Completely different then our experience with Mayo Clinic.
They wheeled me back to post op where Ryan was waiting. He actually got to watch the ultrasound as they were retrieving my eggs. They gave me some food to try and eat since I hadn't eaten anything since the night before. I was very nauseas and felt really crappy. Even after two doses of Zolfran my nauseas wouldn't go away. They took my vitals often and at one point my blood pressure was 85/55. My blood pressure is usually pretty low but that made the nurses a little nervous I think. I got to the point where I just wanted to go home and they wheeled my down to the pickup. The car ride home was the worse car ride of my life. Every bump and turn made me want to hurl even more and eventually over the Lafayette Bridge I lost my cookies. As soon as we got home I made it to the bathroom just in time to do it again. Ryan made me some toast which I forced myself to eat and then I tried to rest. I had some mild cramping last night and slept just ok. This morning Im pretty uncomfortable. I have a lot of pressure, some mild cramping and plenty of aches. Ate only some of my breakfast this morning so I'm still feeling off, just happy to not be throwing up. I plan to relax and take it easy the next few days. We will know more today when our embryo transfer will be. Im slightly nervous since we only have five eggs. Each egg will have Ryan's sperm put into them, but it doesn't mean that all will fertilize. But God has a plan. Ryan and I laid in bed last night and talked about how our five babies are growing as we speak. How cool is that!
Ryan took some photos of the procedure. The large dark circles are my follicles and we will be posting a short video on our Instagram account and Facebook where you can actually see the needle going into my follicles and aspirating the fluid and eggs out of them. We will have another blog post tomorrow on what we find out today. So stay tuned. Again thank you of all the love, prayers and support. They mean so much to Ryan and I.
Yesterday Ryan and I ventured out to do a few errands down in Rochester and I decided to wear real pants. Real pants that is as in jeans. Ive been living in either my leggings or baggy sweats since my ovaries are pretty enlarged and I didn't fully realize how swollen they actually are until I put jeans on. Let me tell you the struggle was real. How can one pair of jeans cause so much pain and discomfort? Needless to say Im uncomfortable and it seems to heighten as the day goes on and at night while I should be sleeping. Not only are my ovaries enlarged but because of this they are pushing on my bladder and digestive system making that a whole other situation which I will leave out the details on that. So besides the struggle with pants we have good and exciting news!!
I left the house this morning at 6:45 am for another ultrasound and blood draw and we found out that my egg retrieval will be on Tuesday!! We check in at 10 am and by Wednesday we will know when the embryo transfer will be. Tonight I will take the trigger injection or also know as the HCG injection. This is an extremely time sensitive injection and I will be giving it to myself at 11 pm tonight. Im currently done taking my stimulation injections and tomorrow will start doxycycline twice a day for a few days. This afternoon Ryan and I had to make an emergency run to Walgreens to purchase the right size needle for my injection tonight. My mail order pharmacy never sent me one and luckily I looked this afternoon instead of 10:45 tonight otherwise we could have been in trouble.
Ryan and I are very excited and its been hard to not think about how our life could potentially be changed forever in the next few days. Im slightly nervous for the egg retrieval just because this doctor doesn't use anesthesia, he believes that it is hard on the eggs. I will have medication to make me relaxed but I will be fully awake and present during the procedure. With Mayo clinic I was completely put out and had a lot of pain that day that lead well into the next couple days. I trust this doctor so I know everything will go smoothly. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but there is just something about pain in your uterus that sucks big time. This week will really go quick and so much will transpire over these next few days. We will be sure to post on Tuesday or Wednesday with how the procedure went and when the transfer will be. My follicles are growing like weeds and my uterine lining is still in prime condition. Please continue the prayers for us and that the egg retrieval goes smoothly. Once the eggs are out of me they will use the best ones and then inject Ryan's sperm directly into them. We are hoping to get our embryos to a day five transfer. Day five transfer usually has a higher percentage of sticking versus a day three. But whatever happens will happen. Day five transfer just means that the embryos have been dividing and growing more. Game day is almost here!! Stay tuned...
Alrighty peeps another vaginal ultrasound and blood draw went down this morning. Luckily my drive was a bit smoother today and I didn't have to deal with a ton a maniacs like I did on Wednesday. The nurse and I are getting to know each other pretty well, she's getting to know me more then I would probably like, legs up in the stir-ups and all, but I love how she always compliments my uterine lining with adjectives like beautiful and gorgeous and then proceeds to tell me how good of a job I'm doing on my progress. She definitely makes me feel like I'm not screwing this whole process up. My arm is starting to look like a drug dealer from the blood draws, that is thanks to crappy veins and bruising easy. Props to my nurse though who has successfully drawn my blood on the first attempt each time. With Mayo clinic it never failed I got poked in both arms sometimes three times just to get a blood draw on me.
I have four big follicles that are progressing well. They measure them and want them to at least be a 15 and mine are measuring above that. I also have many smaller follicles right now that are measuring below a 15. The nurse said to be prepared because I could potentially have my eggs retrieved this weekend but that all would depend on my blood work, or I could be back up Sunday for another ultrasound and blood draw. I left feeling the, excuse my language, but holy shit this is happening kind of moment. I called Ryan and told him and said I would know by lunch time what the plan was. With in minutes I had tears in my eyes and felt incredibly scared. So much is riding on this round with IVF. Game time is fast approaching and I could soon be finding out that Im going to be a mom, that Ryan and I would be parents. Crazy!! I went to crossfit and got in my version of the 17.5 open workout, remember I'm on restriction but can still work out, thank baby Jesus for that!! It felt good to move, sweat, and focus on something other then IVF. After crossfit I phoned in to my voicemail system and found out that I will head back up Sunday morning for my 8:15 appointment for another ultrasound and blood draw. By lunch time on Sunday I will know what the game plan is, but potentially could be doing my trigger injection either Sunday night or Monday night. That means my egg retrieval would happen either Tuesday or Wednesday!! Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!
So for those of you praying for us, pray for my follicles, that they continue to grow and be strong and healthy. Pray that we will have enough eggs to be able to have embryos to freeze and pray that everything this next week goes smoothly. The obvious, pray we get pregnant on the fresh embryo transfer and pray that God gives Ryan and I the strength to deal with whatever the outcome may be. I had a patient the other day who follows the blog and she said to me how much she admires that I'm choosing to be so vulnerable and put myself out there when it comes to this process. She said she never realized how much it takes for some people to get pregnant. She was able to get pregnant pretty easily and she said how easy it is to take that for granted. My hopes for blogging about this process is to hopefully help someone who may be going through the same thing. To let them know that they aren't alone and talking about infertility is ok. I have had more people come up to me and say that they are praying for us and that they are hear to support Ryan and I. It is such a good feeling to know that people care and that people are routing for us. I have been blessed to build a new friendship with a gal I have never met who is also going through IVF, please say a prayer for Becky. Her and I are pretty much on the same time frame with our IVF so its been fun swapping stories with each other. Ive also been seeing a new chiropractor. Dr. Ryan and his wife Dr. Kaitlin are awesome, I can't say enough about them. Even though they are just my chiropractors they give me a lot of peace and make me feel really calm. Happy people are contagious and the two times a week Ive been seeing them I always feel really good. They are a positive light in my day when I need it most, same goes for all my crossift peeps, the support from crossfit family has been tremendous! Look for another update on Sunday other then that enjoy your weekend!
I snapped a photo of my ultrasound, my right ovary, the large black circles you see are a couple of the follicles, the yellow dotted line is the nurse measuring my follicle. The second photo is a picture of my beautiful, gorgeous thick uterine lining, just incase everyone wanted to know what that looks like. Hormones keep doing your job!!
I ventured through the cities this morning for my ultrasound and blood draw. Props to all the people who commute in the cities, I don't know how you do it. I hate driving to work and thats a 20 minute commute so driving through the cities plus being overly hormonal and uncomfortable makes it even more fun. My ovaries are busing making follicles and things are progressing well. My uterine lining is looking awesome and I just got my orders to toss in another injection called Menopur tonight. Starting tomorrow I will be doing three injections, one in the morning and two at night. The third injection I will start is called Ganirelix Acetate. This injection essential shuts off my brain to my uterus so I don't ovulate and so they don't have to worry so much about hyperstimulating my ovaries. I will head back up on Friday morning for another ultrasound and blood draw and get my directions for dosages and next appointment shortly after that.
Over all things are going well, Id be lying if I said my mood swings haven't been up and down. I can already tell my ovaries have enlarged and my discomfort level is getting higher each day. During this process my ovaries can get to be the size of oranges or even grapefruits. Essentially it feels like my pelvic region is full of air, very bloated and tends to feel just achy in general. Sometimes I'll get mild sharp pains in my ovaries, almost like some one is stabbing a little knife into them. Let me tell you fun times are being had. I start to feel slightly lonely during this time. Ryan can't really do anything to help and its all on me. Im the host for these future babies so you start to worry about screwing up the dosage on your injections or doing something wrong that will hurt your ovaries or potentially mess up your egg retrieval day. All those little fears I guess would say are normal though. Sadly Im a seasoned pro at this whole process already so I know what to expect on all of this, but I still worry. Its a good feeling though knowing that when I leave the doctors office I have complete faith in him and his staff. I figured for my stress of having to drive through the craziness this morning and the wonderful feeling of my ovaries making eggs I deserved a donut from the best bakery around. I swung in to Hi Quality Bakery in Cannon Falls and picked up a couple donuts for Ryan and I because well donuts make everything better, right?!?!