FET 3: Beta Eve

I debated for awhile on whether or not I would write this post right now. But then, I really got to thinking, which I will explain in more detail below, and decided I would. 

We found out a few days ago through a HPT that we are indeed pregnant. It is surreal to even type those words. Its been a long time. 7 years of trying, failed IUI’s, surgeries, 4 IVF’s, 3 miscarriages, and here we are again, pregnant. 

First, I should start off by saying that we are thrilled. I cant, and I wont deny or take away from that. We are thanking God every minute. And thats exactly why I am sharing this with all of our supporters so early on. 

The truth is, from the moment we saw those 2 pink lines show up, our lives forever changed again. We are beyond invested. We already have our hopes & dreams for this pregnancy, we share them with each other everyday. We want to celebrate every minute of this life or lives inside of me that we can. 

We know how quickly it all can change. And God forbid it does change, we want the support of those around us. That means more to us then keeping a secret. If our betas dont rise this week, or if there isnt a sac or heartbeat in a few weeks, we will need all the love and support we can get. We are trying not to think that way right now, but we know anything is possible.

We believe in the power of prayer. Please keep praying for us. We really believe this or these are our rainbow babies. We believe we will see them this winter. I have to believe because if I dont, I know thats a really dark place and I wont go there. So, we hope you can rejoice with us today in our news! Today is a good day, today we are pregnant! 

  

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Bible Verses to Keep Close

None of us understand why we have to suffer in life.  Repeatedly suffering is even more confusing and frustrating, depressing, and heartbreaking.  During this roller coaster ride my husband and I have been on, I have gone through many different phases in my relationship with God.  We have had our fair share of ups and downs, as I’m sure anyone who has been through trauma can relate with.

I have been collecting bible verses over the years that hold a lot of meaning to me and keeping them in my paper journal.  I reference them from time to time, and they comfort me and help me keep my faith.  I think that others struggling (with anything in life, not just IF or RPL) might find them useful, so today I am sharing them.

The Future

John 15:7- If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.

Proverbs 16:3-Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Jeremiah 29:11-“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God’s Timing

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8-There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:11-He has made everything beautiful in his time.

Trials

James 1:2-4-Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Phillippians 4:13-I can do all things through him who gives me strength.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10-But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest upon me.  That is why, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Faith

Matthew 19:26-With God, all things are possible.

2 Corinthians 5:1-I will walk by faith even when I cannot see.

Genesis 1:28-Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply.”

Sorrow

Revelations 21:4-“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Psalm 30:5-Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

Matthew 11:28-30-“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

 

Fear

Phillippians 4:6-Be anxious for nothing.

Proverbs 3:5-6-Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Psalm 23:4- Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

 

Enjoying the Moments

I caught myself singing along happily to the radio as I drove to work this morning. Lets just say that hasnt happened in a loonnng time…

I noticed how I felt full inside, I felt hopeful, peaceful, and content about my future. As I realized how I felt, I thanked God that I do (even though it still puzzles me that I am feeling this way). For once, I do not feel any pressure or the urge to do something. 

Thats when I decided that I will continue to enjoy living in these happy moments as they come instead of doubting them.  I say this because this morning it dawned on me that one day things will likely all be so different.

One day I will have my babies to feed as I try to wolf down my own meal.

One day I will have my babies to change as I yearn for a shower or a bubble bath that is almost unheard of.

One day I will have my babies to put to bed and wake up with numerous times a night as I am in a half dead, sleep deprived state.

One day I will take them to their very first day of school as I rush to get ready for my own first day with my students.

One day I will watch them play sports, help them with their homework, listen to their stories, and cook them dinner after a long day of my own.

One day I will lay smashed in my bed with our kids, dogs, and us, trying to remember what it was like just the two of us. 

One day I will I will hear laughs, screams, cries, and noises all day and all night, forgetting what the silence I now know is like. 

One day I will be spending all of my money on field trips, school supplies, clothes, and toys instead of purses, jewelry, and spontaneous getaways. 

Would anyone in the infertile world want to miss out on any of these “one day” moments I described for the latter “all about me” moments I described? 

Of course not; I cant wait for those wonderful, one day moments.  I dream about them all the time.  And I know that all of the moms out there are thinking, “I wouldnt trade them for the world.” I get it, because I consider myself a mom although my children never walked the Earth.  

But I used to dream about many of the moments I am living now, too.

I used to dream of owning our own home.

I used to dream of marrying my husband and knowing I would get to sleep next to him every night.

I used to dream of having a career where I could teach and make a difference in kids lives.

I used to dream of getting my masters degree and teaching at a college. 

I used to dream of being able to have the funds to go shopping, and travel on my own schedule. 

All of these moments came true, even though at times they seemed almost out of reach.

My point is that today, as I sung to that radio, I felt at TOTAL peace that my “one day” moments with our babies will come. Its like something just clicked. How amazing is that? I think its pretty amazing! 

So, in the meantime, I am going to try and keep enjoying all of the moments I earned -that once seemed impossible- instead of focusing on the ones I dont have. 

Are You There God? It’s Me, Angela…

Hysteroscopy #4 was Monday.  I know in some cases no news = good news, but that is not the case.  I wish I had better news to share.  We prayed and prayed for it.  We have waited almost a year from our last transfer for it.  However, it didn’t come.  And I can’t say I am surprised….What’s another major disappointment at this point?

Our upcoming October FET is off.  Cancelled.  Done.

During the hysteroscopy, my RE found that the mass that was surgically removed back in May returned.  The “something” on the ultrasounds really was “something” after all.  It only took 3 months for that f’n monster to grow back ( you will have to excuse my language).

I woke up from the twilight anesthesia with tears rolling down my face.  Not from any physical pain—just mental.  It reminded me of the feeling I had when I awoke from one of my D & C’s…EMPTY.  I could hear bits and pieces of the “oh no’s, “dammits,” and “shits,” from the staff during the procedure, and in my half alive state, I knew all too well what it meant.

I recall pushing the nurse off of me when she kindly tried to help me get dressed..hell, this wasn’t my first rodeo—I could do it myself. They showed me images and comparisons, blah, blah, blah.  They encouraged me not to give up hope…again, blah, blah, blah.

My RE said she wanted to consult with the 4 other specialists at her practice about what to do at this point, which brings us to today.  Their “meeting of the minds” took place this morning.  I sat by my phone waiting all day for the call to come in.  For some STUPID reason, up until today, we believed it might be a possibility that we could still proceed with our FET in October. It hadn’t been indefinitely ruled out on Monday…we had left it all hanging on the professional consensus today.

The call finally came around 4 p.m.  The consensus was that not ONE doctor thought we should move forward.  In fact, we won’t be moving forward for quite some time.  In fact, we most likely won’t even be bringing a baby home with us in 2016 at all.  If ever.

The recommendation is for an MRI of the mass next.  This has to be done by some specialist at some hospital.  My RE gave me all the details, none of which I remember any of tonight as I sit here and type this. Originally, I intended on writing things down and asking things during our call today, but none of that happened.  I dropped my pen, listened, and put my hands on my head as I blankly stared into space.

The MRI will rule out a few things (of which I don’t even give a damn enough to get into right now) and depending on the results, the plan of action would go 1 of 3 ways:

  1. Have another operation —looking at springtime for a possible transfer date with this scenario
  2. Lupron suppression for at least 3 months- looking at springtime for a possible transfer date
  3. Gestational Carrier

I guess it was only a matter of time before #3 was thrown directly on the table.  Because at this point, we all know options 1 and 2 may very well fail.  Shit, option 1 already did fail once.  

When she told me I may never have the opportunity to feel life inside me again, I felt all the blood rush through my body. She could barely get the words gestational carrier out…I was pretty much like “go ahead, give it to me.”  I can’t describe how I know I was pulling it out of my RE…I just do.  After 2 years of being in direct contact, I know her and she knows me.  She kept saying how sorry she was.  Yea, us too.  No girl grows up dreaming of IVF, miscarrying, or let alone, a surrogate.

I think this might be one of the hardest posts I have written.  Before writing this, I cried and yelled at my mom on my drive home.  I should add that I only did all this because I know I can let it all out with her.  She tried to tell me it’s not the end of the road, it’s not over, she loved me, and all that.  She tried to support me the best she could.  I mean, really, at this point, who knows what to say to us anymore.  I get it.

I don’t want to hear it’s all okay, because in our world it is not all okay.  There are no rainbows here today, folks.  And yes, you may tell me they are on the way, to keep my faith, and hope…but that doesn’t change today.  Another let down.  Time keeps on passing us by.  It’s been a LONG road and I would like to think we have done OK being patient on it…so I must ask…are you there, God??? Remember me?!?

So, tonight, my husband and I just laid in the dark crying.  All too familiar.  We talked about how we let our hopes get up again, how we feel so lost.  Yet again…  1 step forward…20 back.  There was a lot of silence.  What can we say? I feel like this may be our biggest crossroad yet.  We talked about giving up on all of it.  Who knows.  The conversation ended with how maybe we need to get the hell out of here and go away, from everyone, just the 2 of us.

Hysteroscopy Eve

Well, H/S # 4 is Monday morning.  After loss #3 back in February, we decided that we would do another H/S before ever transferring again, so it makes sense that we have one right now.

H/S #3 in June, just 3 months ago, came back all clear after my operation, and thus, we didn’t think another H/S would really be needed this quickly.  We originally thought that having H/S #4 would be more for peace of mind and reassurance that all was still looking good before transferring again.  Wrong.  As you know, images from my HSG in late July and my ultrasounds in early August showed “something” irregular lurking around in my uterus.  So, here we are, actually needing the H/S again this soon after the last.

Our October FET is completely riding on the results of this H/S.  If there is “something” small, like a polyp, that can easily be removed while I am in a twilight, she will remove it, and we will move forward with our upcoming transfer.  Or better yet, there will be nothing at all showing and we will go forward.  However, if there is “something” large found again, like the mass back in March, she will not be able to remove it on the spot, and our October transfer will not be taking place.  I have no idea what will end up happening if the latter occurs– I don’t know if I am ready to go through another operation like the last one.  I am trying not to put too much thought into that for now, but realistically I know it could go either way tomorrow…50/50 chance.

We have learned that patience is necessary throughout all of this.  My husband and I have been together over 15 years now, and married for over 8.  We have been trying to have a baby for over 7, and we have been wrapped up in IUI and IVF cycles for 3 years now.  God is good and only He knows when the timing is right.  It might be next month, but it might not be.  All we can do today is pray for His blessings and protection to surround us….we would love if you could do the same for us! Thank you so much.

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

Could it be a Sign?

Last week, I posted how much I believe in dreams.  Yesterday, I posted how indecisive and worried I am about making the decision about which clinic we will move forward at.  I also discussed how I am praying God will make it clear to us which path to take.  

Last night I had another dream.  Or maybe I should say a nightmare.  It was about our current clinic. They had scheduled another Hysteroscopy to perform on me before we did another FET.  It was a total disaster.  It took 2 months for them to get me in for it, which I was clearly not happy with.  The day the H/S was originally scheduled for, they put me under anesthesia and I awoke only to hearing them say they couldn’t do the procedure because they didn’t have the necessary tools at hand. So, my mom drove me back the next day for them to try to do it again.

When we arrived the next day, we were informed that our RE was MIA.  So, we sat and waited for hours.  Finally, our familiar nurse called us back.  As I usually do before any procedure, I asked her to make sure I was out of it and wouldn’t feel anything during it. She proceeded to tell me that I could not receive any anesthesia because I had some the day before when they were not able to perform the H/S.  I started to throw a fit, demanding it.  She asked me to leave and told me that they would call me later in the day after she talked with our RE.

We left. My mom and I drove around for hours (since we do not live in the area, we couldn’t go home).  I kept calling the clinic and no one would pick up.  Finally, my mom drive back so we could confront them.  She was not happy about all of this either.  When I walked in, I saw another familiar staff member. I started angrily telling her that it took us 2 months to get in for this, now I have missed 2 days of work, you tell me I can’t have anesthesia and to leave, and I still haven’t seen my RE! After this rant, she asked me who I was.  Like she didn’t know! SMH. I started shouted as I was crying, “You know who I am! Do you not remember what we have been through?!” She tried to cut me off and I interjected, “No! You will listen to me! We have had 3 IVF losses here at this clinic! Do you want us to take our embryos someplace else?!” No reply.

This nurse called for the other nurse at this point, as I was extremely irate. She said they would give me the anesthesia, but that my usual RE would not be the one to do the procedure.  Some creepy guy came in and started speaking another language to me.  I couldn’t understand a word he said.  Supposedly, he was the RE in place of my usual one.  He quickly inserted a needle into my arm and I started to zone out.  I knew I was going under, and I told him, “that’s enough..no more!” I felt like I was going to die from too much.  Then I was out.

The procedure was horrific. I will spare the details, but the end result was my uterus being damaged beyond repair.  When I awoke, I found myself walking through a dark alley with my current RE.  She questioned me, “what happened? Are you okay?” We nicely conversated back and forth and she told me that she didn’t think I was ready to move forward with another transfer.  And then, I woke up.

Could this be a sign that I asked for? My husband seems to think so. Or am I totally over analyzing things? I need some feedback friends.