Due Date

I have thought about this post for awhile.  I have so much I want to write, but for the most part I have no words to truly express all of my feelings.  I have sat and stared at a blank screen for hours.  I have started and then stopped over and over again.  I have wiped many tears.  

September 5th, 2015 was supposed to be a joyful day for our family- it was the day we would finally bring our babies home after our two prior losses.  That is not the case.  Instead, September 5th is a day of mourning our twins. 

Today, as I sit and write this, I would have been 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant. 

I imagine so many things as I type that. I imagine what it would feel like to have my baby or babies moving around inside of me. I imagine the excitement of becoming new parents in just a few days. I imagine the fear of it too.  I imagine what my belly would look like.  I imagine how the nursery would be decorated.  I imagine the first car ride home.  I imagine our dogs meeting their siblings for the first time. I imagine my maternity leave beginning.  I imagine all of the bonding that would be getting ready to take place during that time off.  I imagine the sleepless nights and feedings. The diaper changing and what feels like endless fits of crying. I imagine rocking them to sleep.  I imagine the total exhaustion and worry of being a new mom. I imagine all of the congratulations, phone calls, hospital visits, and gifts.  I imagine the first smile. I imagine looking into our babies eyes for the first time. I imagine what they would have looked like and how they would smell.  I imagine their first bath. I imagine their very first outfit.  I imagine the love that one feels over flowing inside of them like no other.  

And then I wake up. 

I begin to realize that none of this is going to happen.  It is over.  Life will go on this week and on our due date will pass by.  Isaiah and his twin will not be in our arms next week.  They have gone to heaven.  Nothing can change this.

All we have left are the weekly ultrasound pictures and memories, one for every week up until week 10.  We can think of how we felt seeing their little hearts beating. How it felt to hear them aloud each week.  How amazing it was so watch them grow each time we went in.  No one can take those memories away and I am grateful for that, because it is all we have now.  

The pain is indescribable. It never leaves a mothers heart. Everyday is hard, some are harder than others.  There are always the “should have beens” and “what ifs.”  Out of all of our losses, and all of the dates that should have been, I am finding this one to be the hardest.  My heart aches. I am praying for strength. 

There will be no cards or celebrations this week. Just our dreams of what could have been, and a time to honor the lives lost. Our childrens lives.  We want them to be remembered. 

We love you so much, baby Isaiah and twin.  You will always be in our hearts and minds.  September 5 will always be dear to us.  There is so much more I want to say, but the words arent coming out right.  

  

Week 10 of Summer Happiness

Bringing you week 10, days 65-71, of the 95 days of summer happiness, all for your viewing pleasure. 

We hope you enjoy as much as we did! 

Day 65 of Summer Happiness

Lovely papasan furniture added to our newly redecorated, beach themed patio

Day 66 of Summer Happiness

 

Fountain on the patio
 
  

Day 67 of Summer Happiness

Cant wait to put our outdoor bistro set together!
 
  

Day 68 of Summer Happiness

Favorite summertime fruit!

Day 69 of Summer Happiness

 

These tomato plants started as seeds back in June…anyday now & we will have some tomatoes!
 

Day 70 of Summer Happiness

Beginning of the year present from a new student

Day 71 of Summer Happiness

Home grown Florida avocadoes …yum!

A Few Notes from an Infertile Myrtle 

I started OCP’s, or in laymens terms, birth control pills, this past week on day 3 of my cycle. Just for the record, I really do hate being on OCP’s. I can already sense the mood swings, exhaustion, and overeating kicking in and it hasnt even been a full week of consumption yet. An infertiles gotta do what an infertiles gotta do, right?  Only 26 more days of them left. 
 

  

Time is flying by. I looked at the calendar last night and realized that in just 8 weeks we could be pregnant again. Or in just 8 weeks, we could be experiencing our first transfer out of 4 that does not produce a pregnancy at all.  It hit even harder once the protocol and price quote were delivered to my inbox.  

  

A myriad of emotions started to flood me. A minor meltdown took place, but I will save all of that for a later post because it needs one of its own.  

In the meantime, we have FINALLY gotten all of the paperwork sent out for the FET grant we are applying for. It only took and arm and a leg (and 3 months), but I am happy to report this thick stack of papers is off of my dining room table and in the postmans hands.  Now, lets all just pray by the grace of God we are selected! 

Just after I returned from dropping off the grant at the post office, I checked the mail and what was in there but a lovely notice for jury duty in a few weeks. I originally got a notice for duty following our last miscarriage while I was on my medical leave from work.  When I got the notice back then, I was pissed. Heres why-one of the “excusal reasons” you can check off is expectant mother.  

  

Probably sounds pretty reasonable to a fertile, pregnant woman. But what a slap in the face this was to me just weeks after losing our children.  Now that I was no longer pregnant, I suddenly couldn’t be excused?!? Excuse me?

Thankfully, since I had never postponed duty before, I was able to put it off. You can postpone one time after the first notice, but you still have to provide a reason as to why you wish to postpone for the judge to approve. And boy let me tell you, I let it all out in my postponement letter. I made sure to tell the judge that “miscarrying mothers” or “mothers that lost a child” should be excusal reasons if “expectant mothers” is.  The judge probably thought I was out of my mind, but I really didnt care.  At the time, I was so incredibly mad at the world it didnt matter. 

When I saw the notice today, something inside of me was ignited again. I cant help but feel like it is a burn. Here we are, just a few weeks away from our due date and it comes.  I dont know what I will do about it yet, although I have plenty of ideas running through my mind.  Who would have thought that something like jury duty would make me feel this type of way!  RPL does some crazy things to you I guess. 

On a side note, I found this quote from an amazing author today, and it totally made me smile…. 

Week 9 of Summer Happiness

Bringing you week 9, days 58-64, of the 95 days of summer happiness, all for your viewing pleasure. 

We hope you enjoy as much as we did! 


Day 58 of Summer Happiness

Car show hubby & I attended one summer evening

Day 59 of Summer Happiness
 

Back on the mat!
 

Day 60 of Summer Happiness

Major summer project complete…house painted & gutters up! Loving the warm, rich tones!
  

Day 61 of Summer Happiness

  

One last summer beach trip!
 

Day 62 of Summer Happiness

Out for an afternoon summer drive with my pal


Day 63 of Summer Happiness

One of my favorite things (sushi), from one of my favorite places (Publix)
 

Day 64 of Summer Happiness

Lazy summer day reading up on my essential oils & playing around with my diffuser

Off to the Races

Well, we are off to the races folks… Another month of TTC at home has yielded nothing but a BFN (no surprise there).  So, I am officially on CD1, which means our FET calendar is in now in full effect.  This was our last month of TTC on our own.

  
Starting on CD3, I will be on the pill for 1 month in order to do my upcoming hysteroscopy safely on the day I wanted to (so I do not miss work). And in about a week, I will get my pre-op blood work done to make sure we are cleared for the H/S.  I skipped out on my therapy session this past week as things have just been so incredibly busy.  That being said, fertility speaking wise, that is really all there is to report for now!

For the most part, I have been working away in my classroom the past 2 weeks.  It has seemed never-ending, especially since I moved rooms and changed grade levels. Nevertheless, it is finally all ready to go! The kiddos come back tomorrow (I can’t believe it!) and I am hoping and praying for a great first day of school, and year to follow suit.  Here are a few pictures from my room & open house as promised last week:

   
    
 
In other news…our house is done being painted and we LOVE it! We are so happy with the colors we chose; very rich, warm tones. The body is a taupe, the trim is cream, and our front door is a deep mahogany.  The front door might just be my favorite! Makes it all pop.  I know you are thinking, where are the pictures??? My hubby made me promise not to post until the gutters are up later this week.  Don’t ask me why… If you ask me, all they do is help with the rain! He begs to disagree, stating they, “bring everything together.”  Okie dokie, then!

We ordered some new patio furniture from Pier 1. Who doesn’t love Pier 1, please tell me? The place is a dream.  Now, I just need to be rich so I can get everything there!  Anyways, we ordered a Papasan chair and stool. I am going for a beach theme like our master, so the cushions that go with the chair and stool are a Cobalt Blue.  We also got an outdoor rug from Home Depot, along with a cutesy bistro dining set.  I had the hubby hang a few pieces of wall art, one says, “beach” & another “splash.”  My mom gave us a pretty decent sized fountain for the patio, which is oh-so-peaceful.  I cannot wait for the winter months to get here so I can spend some time curled up in my Papasan reading a book with my dog.  I will post some pictures of the finished patio next week!

Week 8 of Summer Happiness

Bringing you week 8, days 51-57, of the 95 days of summer happiness, all for your viewing pleasure. 

We hope you enjoy as much as we did! 

Day 51 of Summer Happiness

Nothing says summer like homemade, ice cold, lemonade!

 Day 52 of Summer Happiness

Our fortune cookies from Chinese take-out date night

 Day 53 of Summer Happiness

One of our summer projects completed…crown molding in our master bedroom

Day 54 of Summer Happiness

 

My classroom all ready for the kids to come back! A sign summer is almost over
 

Day 55 of Summer Happiness

Fertility lucky charm bracelet passed on to me by a dear family member of mine
 
Day 56 of Summer Happiness

 

Welcome home! New mailbox (compliments of my parents) to go with our freshly painted house! Will reveal the house next week once gutters are up.
 

Day 57 of Summer Happiness

 

Our favorite pizza, thin sliced Grandma style !
 

Back to the Grind!

I promised a career update a long time ago and never delivered, so here it is! As many of my followers know, after my 5th year of educating fourth graders, I resigned from teaching this past June.

The 3 IVF miscarriages and years of fertility treatments had taken a toll on me. Leading twenty-four 10 year old kids in the middle of a miscarriage is far from easy.  Forget the hormones, egg retrievals, transfers, and such. I could manage to juggle those. It was the loss that was inexplicably difficult.

Now, don’t get me wrong, even though I resigned, my passion is to teach.  There is no feeling better than watching a child reach a level of success that they never thought they could reach.  The look on their face when they finally “get it” is irreplaceable.  And this goes for all students, not just the academically challenged, but the academically gifted too.  There is always a higher threshold to push them to, regardless of their so-called “level.”

This being said, I continued to work through my first 2 losses, only missing a day here or there (I had already missed days due to the IVF treatments).  I couldn’t stand the thought of letting my students down by not being there.  Plus, I am Type-A to the fullest, and the thought of losing control over my classroom drove me bonkers.  I don’t mean to sound conceited, or whatever you want to call it, but I knew that the person standing in my room just couldn’t deliver it to them the way I could. Yes, there are plenty of amazingly intelligent subs out there, but its not the same when they dont have that ongoing relationship with the child that the classroom teacher does. 

But when the 3rd and latest loss at almost 10 weeks happened, I couldn’t work through it like I had the others.  A.k.a. Game over.  I put in a medical leave for 1 month. I could have taken off 2 months, but that would have meant I would have missed all of their state testing.  I knew they needed the comfort of me and only me watching over them during those tests.  That is the only reason I came back after a month.  

While I was home during my medical leave, I was still working.  I went in before the subs got there in the mornings, made copies, created lesson plans, collected student papers, graded them, entered their grades, sent emails, etc.  It never stopped.  Not for one minute.

After my leave ended, I made it through the remaining 3 months of school left.  I underwent 2 surgeries during that time; it was tough, but my students always gave me purpose.  I knew how much they depended on me.  They brought me joy during such a terrible time, and I had missed them while I was gone.  It was only because of them that those 3 months flew by.

Thankfully, I was surrounded with supportive people throughout all of this.  The administration at my school encouraged me to take the time I needed to heal physically and mentally.  My RE gave me no trouble at all with filling out the needed paperwork so I could get approval by the school board.  Aflac also approved the leave and I actually got paid during it (not what I would have had I been working, but still something).

When the year ended and I put in my resignation, I really had no idea where God would lead me.  All I knew at that time was that I needed a change.  

I started looking for some employment here and there.  I knew I would continue to teach at the college come fall semester (I am signed up to teach two fall classes by the way!), but wasn’t sure what else I would do, if anything.  I went for a few interviews, and the day that I was offered a part-time gig at one of them my phone rang.

I was informed that one of the third grade teachers at the school I had taught at for 5 years had resigned during summer.  I was asked if I would be interested in taking the position.  Until that phone call, I had never considered going back.  Not once. But all of sudden, I was thinking.  And sooner rather than later, I realized I was thinking hard (remember my passion is to teach!).

I started talking with my family about the possibility.  If they didn’t think it was a good idea, I knew it couldn’t be.  That would make the decision very easy for me. But surprisingly, they were not against it at all. So, we started praying about it.  We made a list of the pros and cons.  I began talking to some of 3rd grade teachers that I would be working with.  I talked with my team of administrators.  I wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page…God forbid this could all happen again. I didn’t want any secrets about where we were in our so-called journey.

And lo and behold, I accepted the position! I signed on for this upcoming school year as a 3rd grade teacher, and I must tell you, I am so very excited about it.

God is simply amazing in how he works.  If I hadn’t resigned in June, I would not have ended up with this fresh start in my comfort zone.  It’s not everyday that you find bosses who want you back, even after all you have gone through. Most would probably be glad to see you go (keeping it real).

My new team is wonderful in every way.  Everyone knows our story, and is rooting us on.  My classroom is pretty much all put together now (thanks to my hubby and my mom) and I received my class list.  We only have 1 week until the students return (August 17th), but us teachers will be there for the entire week prior, starting tomorrow.  Yep, summer is officially over!

I wanted to update all of my fellow bloggers for a few reasons…1.) To share the great news of course! and 2.) In case I start to fall a little behind in responding to posts, or you don’t see posts from me as often, you will know why, and 3.) For lots of prayers for a SMOOTH school year (we will be doing a FET in October).

It will most likely be a busy few weeks as we start out the school year in 3rd grade, plus teaching the 2 college courses. Wish me luck!  I will post pics of my room soon 🙂

P.S. This is our last FB connected post (if you follow us only through FB).  Our page will still appear on FB, but no new posts will run through it!

Week 7 of the 95 Days of Summer Happiness

Bringing you week 7, days 44-50, of the 95 days of summer happiness, all for your viewing pleasure. 

We hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Day 44 of Summer Happiness

This peacock was randomly in my mom’s driveway one summer afternoon!

 Day 45 of Summer Happiness

A little anniversary present to my hubby, celebrating 8 years of marriage !
 
 

Day 46 of Summer Happiness

My anniversary present…new kicks. Just peachy!

 Day 47 of Summer Happiness

Frozen yogurt with all the toppings from a local place we frequent called Tutti Frutti

Day 48 of Summer Happiness

 

This “painkiller” seemed fitting after a full day of doctors appointments!
 

Day 49 of Summer Happiness

Summer cuddles
 

Day 50 of Summer Happiness

 

White Ibis Florida bird on my hubbies lunch break
 

The Plan

After collaboration between my OB, RE, and family Dr., the decision was made that I will not be on any anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds during a future pregnancy. I am OK with this decision. I trust the professionals and what they feel is best for me at this time. 

The bloodwork my Gastro Dr. ordered came back today. It was completely normal, with the exception of my elevated Bilirubin which is benign.  This being said, there will be no further evaluations needed in this area. 

  
The plan for our all natural FET will be as follows:

  • Make sure we get the “all clear” from our hysteroscopy scheduled in early Sept.
  • Day 3 ultrasound and bloodwork in late September 
  • Pee on OPK sticks starting cycle day 12
  • Go in for an ultrasound when we have the positive OPK, detecting LH surge, most likely on cycle day 14 
  • If ultrasound shows lining 8 or > and a follicle measuring at least 16mm, we will trigger that night
  • Start minimal progesterone supplementation 36 hours after trigger or 6 days prior to transfer (pretend retrieval day) 
  • Transfer 1 day 6 embryo 6 days after progesterone begins!! 
  • Bedrest for 48 hours
  • Pray for a BFP & a sticky baby due in late June 2016 ❤️

***As you can see, no estrogen, Lupron, or any of that jazz!!

I will also continue to see my therapist during this cycle. My goal for our upcoming session is to develop a plan for what we are comfortable doing beta and ultrasound wise should we get a BFP. It would probably be smart to devise a plan for a BFN as well. 

I am going to put a call in to my acupuncturist this week to start treatment again. Id like to get a package deal if possible, something they havent offered in the past. I was dropping $75 a visit and usually more than once a week for a few months. Ridiculous!  However, I love her and I know she knows what she is doing. It is also a natural remedy for my anxiety.  I have gone to my acupuncturist for all 3 of our transfers but only up until transfer day. I was always scared to continue after transfer, yet I read about you ladies doing it all time. I asked my RE about continuing after transfer and she said it was fine too. 

Please share with me your experiences with ongoing acupuncture after transfer! 

Decision Time

We have been praying for peace about which RE to go with, as we wanted to make our decision by the end of this week. Enough dragging it out already, we are ready to be done with this step and move on.  As you very well know (and may be getting sick of hearing about), we have been unsure of whether or not we wanted to stay at our current clinic.  While there are many things we love about them…Things We Love there are also things we don’t… Always Room for Improvement

Earlier this week, we met with the new RE ( New RE FET consult ), and he reviewed his plan for a future FET, the results of our HSG, and did a lining check where he saw the “something.”  I failed to mention the FET protocol he prescribed in my prior post.  I think I was too worked up about the “something”  to go into much detail at the time.  Anyways, he was not for a natural, a.k.a. un-medicated cycle.  His reasoning was that he feels that they can do better than I can do on my own. Hmmmm, I don’t know about that.

Anyone who has been following along knows we ideally want to be as drug-free as possible due to our negative experiences on the meds, especially the estrogen.  When I told him that taking it can feed the growth of masses he argued that my body is producing it anyways.  But if you ask me, the estrogen I am producing naturally is not the same as the synthetic stuff he wants me to go on that I have been on before.  So basically, the protocol would be the same at his place as it had been for our previous FET’s.  Although the protocol would be the same, the price is still $1,000 more than our current RE.

Today, we met with our current RE (where our 3 frosties are housed) for an ultrasound, and FET consult.  Going into the visit, we felt like it was almost a last ditch effort.  We wanted to see what she would want to do differently moving forward, if anything at all.  Many of you are aware of my anxiety, and a major fear of mine is how I would feel being at the same place in the same rooms where I have lost our 5 babies.  Needless to say, I have been carrying around my homeopathic anxiety drops, and I was pretty sure I would need them going here.  Heck, I needed them earlier in the week as I sat in the waiting room for the new RE so why would it be any different today?

We were greeted pleasantly upon arrival.  We know the staff very well, and it’s been awhile since I have seen them all.  Before being called back, the nurse handed me a rough draft of a letter that my RE wrote for us.  This letter was required for the financial grant we want to apply for.  Our paperwork (all 21 pages) is ready to go, with the exception of this letter. I asked for the letter a few weeks ago through email, and even though we weren’t sure which clinic we would end up at, I wanted to get the ball rolling just in case.  I know this may sound a little child-like or game-like, but I didn’t want to ask again about getting this letter after my first request.  I wanted to see that they would do it without being hassled for it.  I wanted to be handed it today, and I was. The nurse asked me to look it over, and if it was to my liking, they would sign it and type it up on letterhead for me.  I thought it was great…here it is…

  
About an hour into the visit, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I had not felt any anxiety or any need for my drops. We started off with the ultrasound. I am currently in the Luteal phase after ovulation, when the progesterone my body naturally produces should have compacted my lining a little.  In other words, it wouldn’t normally look as thick as it had before or during my LH surge.  This made me nervous.  How much thinner would it be?  Well, the good news folks is that even compacted, it still measured an 8.5!  Talk about exciting.  Thank you, God!

The not so good news is that she did see the “something” in my uterus as well.  Although I don’t want this “thing” there by any means, it was additional reassurance that both her and the other RE are on the same page with what they see.  When two sets of eyes see the same “thing” at different times, you know it’s got to be “something.”  She also said she was not sure what it could be like he did.  Her recommendation was to do another Hysteroscopy to explore it.  I figured this much.  After loss 3, we agreed that before we ever did another transfer again we would do a Hysteroscopy before it anyways.

I got dressed and went into her office for the most important part–the plan for moving forward.  We started off the discussion with how I have been–my visits with my therapist and my family Dr.  She was very pleased to hear that I have been seeing Dr. G for therapy, as some of her other patients do too.   

Soon after, we jumped in to the protocol for a FET.  I thought I might be hearing things when she softly said, “I know in the past I have not been all for an un-medicated cycle, but I really feel like a natural cycle would be best for you now.”  Wow! What? I hadn’t even mentioned the thought of an all natural cycle to her in months upon months. My hubby and I both assumed she would hand us the same old calendar with the same old BC, Lupron, E2, and progesterone on it, but thankfully we were wrong; we didn’t even have to initiate the discussion of what we wanted.

Of course we asked her why she felt this way now.  She explained that based on how we have been tracking my lining it seems the best idea. My lining gets thinner on estrogen–the exact opposite of what it is supposed to do when on it during a cycle.  We have checked it for 3 consecutive months now, and it has been thick enough to be considered ideal.  When on estrogen, and we are talking aggressive amounts, it is thinner.  Plus, she agreed it can feed growth of masses and with our history it doesn’t seem like a good idea to chance it.  I cannot begin to tell you how elated we were to hear all of this. 

She went on to say that we are not the typical patients, and that what works for the majority isn’t working well for us.  In addition, she provided literature on new studies that are showing all natural FET’s are quite successful, especially for a patient who has already been pregnant off IVF each time they transferred (ME!).

We talked about transferring 1 embryo versus 2 and all agreed on 1 as the best bet at this point.  We conferred about who would do the monitoring ultrasounds should we choose to move forward, another important factor for us.  We would only be getting them done by the RE herself-no nurses. At the other RE’s clinic, the nurses would be doing them for us, not the RE. I should note that it’s not like we don’t trust the nurses at these clinics…we just feel that having the person who will be transferring that embryo looking at my uterus each time is better.  We did have a slight problem arise in the past that has influenced this way of thinking.  

Another topic of discussion was in what case a natural cycle could get cancelled. The great part about this awful thing (cancellation of a cycle) is that when it is natural, no meds have been wasted or much money spent at all.  Plus, the overall cost of an un-medicated cycle is much cheaper to begin with anyways (about half the cost of a medicated FET).

We sat down to look at calendars next.  We didn’t get the generic calendar handed to us that we have in the past.  Instead, we sat down with 3 blank calendars, August-October, in front of all of us. 

  
At the other RE’s we did not look at calendar’s, it was verbal, and I tried to input as much as I could into my cell phone as they told me dates.  Anyways, we compared doing a September transfer versus an October.  An October transfer was the only option at the other RE if we wanted him to do it, not any of his partners (the 6 partners rotate transfers and his week isn’t until October again).  We decided that September would be too soon for us, especially getting another H/S done beforehand.  This being said, regardless of clinic, October will be our month.  Yes, you heard me right, we will be transferring our future baby in October!

It could have only been God watching over us today.  As we sat and went through the dates and times for things, everything was falling into place.  I will barely miss any time off, and not by my doing; it just happened that way.  We do not have a “set date” for a transfer, something we hated having in the past and would still have at the new RE’s if we want him to do it. 

Since we are un-medicated, we cannot nail down an exact day until we get much much closer.  My body is in charge this time, not the meds.  We do have an idea of the 2 week time frame the transfer will be in, but that is all for now.

As we left today, we felt total peace and a sense of joy, just what we prayed for! Most importantly, we feel confident in our current RE’s hands as we move forward.  In no way do we regret getting a second opinion at all–in fact it has helped us to feel the confidence we feel today.  

As you can see, we have made our decision to stay where we are at.  We welcome all the positive vibes from our wonderful friends and family about our decision! We are so excited for what our future has in store– Jeremiah 29:11