Wednesday, January 31, 2007

After Failed IVF

I'm not sure how to start this post. I have preferred not to talk about our failed IVF attempt over the last few days. It is very upsetting to think about - and not so upsetting if I just don't think about it. Unfortunately, after something like this it's too easy to think about what may have caused it to go wrong. I find it hard to believe it will work with a frozen embryo transfer when it didn't work on the fresh cycle. Our odds were much better with the fresh transfer. But I know it has worked before and I have decided not to ponder on it - as it won't make a difference anyway.

I had a very supportive weekend. I spent time in NC with my dearest friends, and while I was there for a baby shower, it was very comforting to spend some time relaxing with my friends and with my husband.

Thomas and I still need to schedule our post IVF interview with the doctor. They are going to let us do this by phone instead of driving the 6-hour round trip.

We have discussed briefly when we may decide to do the Frozen Embryo Transfer - and I believe we will be waiting until the fall. My work schedule with the Florida Legislature means that I am busy Jan-May and not so much the rest of the year. And we have to plan accordingly. I guess that means I have plenty of time to attempt to lose 20 lbs. Oh boy. How exciting.

Friday, January 26, 2007


The news is not good. I am not pregnant.
We have to set up another appointment with the doctor to see what the next step will be. We have 4 more embryos to try with ...
I'm not sure yet when we will do that.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Day 26

I am so thankful that this month is nearly over. I can't tell you how anxious I have been for it come to a close. Finally, tomorrow I should know something. I can't thank you all enough for all your kind thoughts and prayers. Thomas and I are very thankful to have such a large group of friends and family to support us through times like this.

I'm sitting here now with a headache, exhausted, and nauseated - but not so bad I can't eat. I really haven't shared a complete description of how hungry I've been. Today, is really a bad example because I had tons of junk, but just to give you an idea:

This morning I hurriedly ate a bowl of shredded wheat before leaving for work. About 10 am, while in a committee meeting, I had to leave to 1) go to the bathroom (nothing new) and 2) scarf down a pudding and peanut granola bar (I was starving). By 12 noon I was eating a bowl of spaghetti-Os with meatballs. And by 2pm I was eating my second lunch - a friend brought in some left over chinese - I ate it all. By 4 pm I was eating three chocolate chip cookies, and now its dinner. Usually there is at least a salad and fruit here or there - but not today. I really need to get control of myself.

And finally, due to popular demand. Here is a photo of the house we are under contract to buy. Nothing real fancy; it was built in the 50s. I'm personally excited about the hard wood floors, the lighting, and the pool.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Day 25

blah. Still a few more days.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Day 24

I had tonight's post all planned out. I was going to discuss the phases of control (i.e., losing it) that a person dealing with infertility goes through. However, my emotional state remained questionable today and I decided I don't really feel up to it. So instead, I checked out a few definitions this evening to see which term fits my current emotional state: stressed, insane, powerless, concern ... hyperventilation. And none of them fit really well; I decided I'm too complex to fit myself into one term. So I will briefly state that I will continue on and I will try to convince myself each hour of the day that it really isn't that much longer before I hear the news.

On a more positive note, Thomas and I finally heard back and we are moving forward on purchasing a house! I am hoping that it will keep me busy. But honestly the real estate agent is so good I don't have much to do ... well, except for simplifying what we own, donate, and pack. So, we are under contract, and things may still fall through - but we expect all will be fine. What makes the move so great is we will be closer to school and work - it will be approximately 2.5 miles to FSU campus, 3.25 miles to the capitol, and 5.5 miles for Josh to get to work.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Day 23 - Blue Monday

Did you read that today is the saddest day of the year? No kidding. No wonder I woke up in a foul mood. A British university psychologist, Cliff Arnall, devised a formula that took into account six factors: weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year's resolutions, low motivational levels, and feeling a need to take action.

Well, I personally can't decide which one factor I am more upset about. Let's first start with the feeling a need to take action. Yep. Did that. Hubby and I have done all we can do to get pregnant. And guess what there is nothing else to do ... but pray and wait. And realize that you really don't have control over anything.

Next, let's move on to New Year's resolutions. I don't remember making any. My new year plan was to start IVF, get pregnant, and have a baby. What was I thinking??!? I should have learned my lesson years ago on this one. Well we started the IVF - actually December 31st. But the rest of it, is just plain stupid. You can't make resolutions for things you have no control over.

If I was going to make a resolution, it would have been to lose this nagging 10 pounds thats been sitting around my waist and hips. But can you say "progesterone" - the stuff has me eating all day. It's a steroid and after doing a little research I've learned it is sometimes prescribed as a way to increase cancer patient's appetites. The crazy stuff actually effects your metabolism and causes you to store fat deposits. Great. Maybe that's why I'm waking up at 4am - I'm starving. In fact, yesterday after an hour of trying to go back to sleep I finally gave in, crawled tiredly out of bed, and made my way to the computer. I only decided it would be good to go back to bed after I gave in to a bowl of cereal that had been screaming my name hours earlier.

Or maybe I'm waking up because progesterone causes insomnia. But get this, not only does it cause insomnia, it also causes fatigue. Wonderful. So all day I wander around bleary eyed, I'm zapped of all energy in the evening and can't muster enough to do anything more than lounge and complain, and then when I finally drift off to sleep - its only to find myself laying awake in bed a few measly hours later.

Here are some of the other wonderful side effects of progesterone: feeling of bloating, full breasts, mood swings, and depression.

Full breasts - check, got that one too.
Mood swings - I would say that's pretty obvious.
Depression - yep, think I'm there.
And did I mention the sore hynie.

I can honestly say that so far I guess I should feel lucky that I am no longer bloated. That's the one symptom I don't have.

All in all, I think I would be rather ecstatic if I knew I had these side effects because I was pregnant. But the truth of the matter is that I just don't know and there's no action plan I can take to ensure my success.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Day 22 - 4dpt

Today is 4 days post transfer, still really early in the scheme of things.

I am sure that when tomorrow comes and I head back to the office, someone will drill me for more information. Yesterday's post talks slightly about whether I am having real or fake symptoms. So with that being said I will go ahead and make a prediction.

I am 99.5% sure I am pregnant. I am 99% sure it is twins.
Disclaimer: Any and all assumptions on my part may be completely absurd and false based on the fact that I am being shot full of hormones each day. And the fact that I can not sleep may be attributed to a certain amount of insanity.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Day 21

Thomas has been complaining about being extra hungry lately; I think it may be his early start to sympathy weight.

The big question these days is do I feel pregnant? Well, that's hard to say. Yes, I do think the cramping I've been having is babies implanting. But the doctor said to also expect cramping from the procedure. Plus, I've been getting shots of Progesterone so there really isn't any telling if any symptoms I have may be real or fake. The amount of POI(progesterone in oil)doubled today to 2cc. So I'm trying not to read too much into anything. I honestly believe that this was the perfect time for us to do this, and I don't need to worry about it. Everything else has worked out so perfectly.

On a different note, we found a house that we really like and have made an offer on it. The room across from the master bedroom is perfect for a nursery. We should hear something in the next couple days.

This weekend I am keeping busy. I have several things to cook, clean. And I am also trying to start and finish a baby quilt for my friend's (Jennifer) baby shower this weekend. It's going to be an adorable baby boat wall quilt. I'll post a photo when its complete.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Good News Today

I wanted to go ahead and post. The doctor's office just called back to say we had four more embryos make it to blastocysts!! YEAH. So these have been cryopreserved for future use. YEAH!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Day 19 - Implantation?

Just wanted to post a short message to let everyone know that I am feeling really good. The hardest problem has been laying on my back for so long - my back was aching even before the transfer yesterday. But the bloating and soreness is finally gone!!!

The 2 embryos transferred yesterday were "expanded blastocysts 2" - but I can't tell you what it means. I do know they were the strongest, most advanced of all the embryos. The doctor explained briefly there were several expanded stages and this was one of them. The next step is for them to hatch and implant in the lining of my uterus. That should be happening today, or over the next couple days at the latest.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Day 18 - Embryo Transfer

Hey guys, T here.

Today was the big day. First things first, two blastocysts were implanted and our next planned event is next Friday for the first pregnancy test.

Additional information:

There was no pain. Just a strong urge to pee for about an hour and a half. Ever since Sherri has been on her back, as directed.

12 embryos are still developing as of today. Two had reached the blastocyst stage and those were implanted. The remaining ten are in various forms of development, several of which are expected to continue developing into a blastocyst. Sherri asked what grade the two implanted were and she was told that once the embryos make it to the blast stage they are considered excellent, so no more grades.

According to the doctors if the embryos don't continue to develop, or fail to reach the blastocyst stage by day seven, then they aren't going to. By that point it will have been several days since the last division.

They told us they expect five of the remaining embryos to reach the blast stage, which would mean seven of the original 22 made it all the way. As always, it could be more, or it could be less. We will find out Friday how many have continued and how many have stopped developing. At that point we will freeze the embryo's for future use.

We are supposed to call on Friday for a report on the remaining embryos.

In the meantime, the shots will continue and at some point (Saturday?) we are supposed to double the progesterone dosage. I'm not looking forward to pumping that much liquid into my wifes backside. It's going to leave a knot.

Anyway, we still aren't out of the clear, and that's what the shots are for. I think we still have two weeks of shots, then other methods of delivery which I'm not going to discuss. That will continue until I think the first ultrasound, which will be fun.

Next Friday will tell us if the pregnancy took and the embryos implanted. But we won't know how many until the ultrasound which will be in mid February. So, like I said, nothing to do between now and then but wait.

If Sherri doesn't have something interesting to tell you in the next couple days I'll post pictures of the needle and dosage, just for fun.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Day 17

Thank you everyone for your comments, emails, and phone calls. We are very excited about tomorrow. I have a stack of movies to watch as I lay around the house the next two days.

I picked up a small cold yesterday - so I hope it stays at bay. Oh, and we went to go look at a house today - older, but we both liked.

Tomorrow is a big day. No word today on the babies.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Day 16 - Our Second Embryo Report

Well, since I have been officially freaking out - I called the doctor's office this morning for another update. It turns out they would have called this afternoon anyway with an update, but I didn't know that. We have decided to definitely wait till day 5. Just waiting till then drastically increases our chances of success.

The good news is that the majority of the embryos are doing really well - and none died out from yesterday. We have nine 8-celled embies (they were 4-cell yesterday). Out of these nine, eight are grade 2 and one is grade 3. I'm pulling for the grade 3 because I figure he's a fighter. We also have one 6-celled grade 3 embryo and two that have stalled at 4-cells. This is really good news that so many of them made it to today and so many have already doubled. Today is the third day after retrieval, they should be 8-celled at this point -- so we have nine embryos on target.

I grabbed the above photo of an 8-cell embryo from Wickipedia.

So we just continue to pray and trust that come Wednesday the majority of these embryos will still be kicking.

In the meantime, I'm still recovering from Friday's procedure. I've been so completely bloated and sore for about a week now. I think I have probably gained 10 lbs and added 4-5 inches to my waist. Sweatpants have become a favorite items these days - so yesterday when I found a very cute pair of corduroy maternity pants at Old Navy for $6 I didn't hesitate to buy them. I'm in them now, and plan to stay that way - at least till the bloat dissipates. Which it actually has improved tremendously today.

We started new shots yesterday. Fun, fun. This time its progesterone in the butt muscle/fat. I think its honestly worse on Thomas because it looks much worse than it feels. However, I'm not sure I should really call this one until at least a week has passed. It never really is that bad until after 5-7 of them.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Day 15 - Embryo Report

They said we have 13 fertilized and developing embryo's. To increase our chances of pregnancy they want to implant the embryos that look the best. The longer they stay in the lab the easier it is to differentiate between good and bad, but it's also less likely they will continue to develop in such an artificial environment. Of course, if they could fertilize and develop in the natural environment we wouldn't be doing this in the first place.

In order to determine the embryo's with the best chance of continuing success the doctors grade the embryo's on a scale of 1-4, 1 being the best and 4 being the worst. We have 10 at grade 2 and 3 at grade 3.

The doctor suggested we implant 3 tomorrow, but we don't want to purposely run the risk of triplets. We never did. It is possible one of the eggs that is implanted can split in the womb and we would still have the risk of triplets, but that's not in our control.

Instead we are going to implant 2 on Wed. The doctor expects around 4 embryos to make it that long; could be more, could be less. The ones that are still developing at that point will be frozen for future use.

I'm happy. I think we are doing well. More than 60% of the eggs retrieved have developed into sustainable embryos. It's likely 30% or more of those will continue to develop into blastocysts; then when we do implant two we will know it's the two that will give us the greatest chance of success, and we will know how many more chances we will have in the future.

Sherri is understandably upset. We naturally want grade one embryos, and she's upset nearly half of the eggs didn't develop. And worried about how many, if any, make it to Wednesday. Plus,

I am upset that the doctor suggested we implant three. That was never an option for us and we made it very clear to them. But because he suggested it, we feel like we have decided to take the option with less chance of success, and that certainly isn't the case. If we take the three, and complications arise later because all three develop, we could never choose to "selectively reduce" any of the embryos, and I'm not willing to intentionally put Sherri's life at risk. If we have the choice to make, then we aren't going to put ourselves in that position intentionally.

This morning is both difficult and encouraging. Very strange to have both feelings at the same time. But I know that God gave us the ability to make the right decisions and the outcome of this procedure will be the right one.

I think it's important to remember that the doctor has the training, but if the decision is left to you then you have to make the one that's best for you and your family. Sometimes that means it's best to take the doctors advice, sometimes it means you trust the Lord gave you the ability to make your own decisions, and you trust in that ability. We believe we know what's best for us.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Day 14 - Egg Retrieval Report

It's been a busy couple days, so I'll bring you up to speed with recent events.

Day 12 - Nothing. Sherri had a busy day at work and I had a busy day at school. No shots either. that was nice.

At dinner Josh and I teased her about how she eats healthy now, but when she gets pregnant, especially with twins, she would be craving junk food deluxe. Just wait," we said, "you'll have us heading to Burger King in the middle of the night for Whopper meals and Crossanwiches."

Day 13 - Retrieval day. We had to be in Jacksonville at 8 so we were out the door at 5:15 and on our way. We stopped for gas and for some reason the pump was messing up when it took our card and we were nervous about making it on time already. It was looking like it was going to be one of those days you have on precisely on the wrong day. But it turned out to be just a minor bump in the road.

Once we arrived in Jacksonville it was a fairly straightforward process. They called Sherri back shortly after 8, but she didn't get started until about 9. They told her, "You're going to get a little drowsy" and the next thing she remembers is waking up and time to go home at 10. It was very easy.

When she was just waking up in the recovery area she said, "I'm starving. Do you have any Burger King?" And the doctor said he loved Burger King but he had to stay away because he couldn't stop eating it.

Too much information, I know. Anyway...

The Dr. came out to talk to me and he said they were able to retrieve 22 eggs. I said, "That's it?"

"What happened to the 30-40 we see every time we come in for an ultrasound?"

He said, "Not all follicles contain eggs. 22 is real good." Huh. I didn't know that.

He was very excited. A little too much if you ask me.

He said, "We normally get 5-10 so this is more than double. It's very good."

Ok. Great. Already our kids are overachievers...

When we get in the car Sherri is feeling fine. She was in a great mood and not any discomfort to note. As soon as we hit the Interstate she said, "At exit 343 there's a Burger King."

Seriously, everything went great. We returned home around 1:30, took a quick nap (well, I did. Sherri just slept) and we couldn't have asked for a better day. Sherri was starting to feel some pain from the surgery and I promised to get the prescription filled on later that day. And then...

I took Josh to work at 3. I had colloquium at 3:30 and Sherri was home in bed. At 5:45 I get a call, Josh is going to the hospital with severe abdominal pains. When I talk with Josh he sounds very distressed and in a lot of pain. Not typical Josh. I arrive home to get the insurance information and tell Sherri I unfortunately hadn't had time to get the medicine for her - but Josh is in the hospital.

So, for the next 6 hours we were treated to the hospitality of the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. They were very nice. I'll leave it at that.

Long story short, we thought it was Appendicitis, but the scans came back normal so we think it may be a kidney stone.

So, I spent 18 hours yesterday driving to, leaving, or lounging about hospitals. But let's not forget, 22 eggs were retrieved and fertilized yesterday and in the end, everybody went home healthy. It was a glorious day.

Tomorrow we expect a call in the morning to update us on how many eggs fertilized successfully, and when we should expect to return for the implantation procedure. Right now we are planning on Wednesday.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Day 11

It's time!

This entry is going to be short. We've had a busy day. It started with me leaving the house at 5am to make the trip to Jacksonville. My appointment, at 8 am, went quickly. Everything is ready to go the doctor reported.

What that means is a big shot tonight (a 1" needle this time) and I start some antibiotics. TOMORROW is SHOT FREE!!! And Friday at 8am we report for the egg retrieval.

Follicles today looked really good. The largest was 22mm. He measured roughly 18 of them (between 17-22mm), and I probably had another 30-40 smaller ones.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Day 9

Today pretty much stunk. It didn't really go as planned ... but all is well. Estradiol was 1535.

Our ultrasound was early this morning. After driving about 3 hours to get there, and waiting for 50 minutes to see the doctor, we learned that my follicles really aren't as big as measured here in town. More around the 9-14mm range. =(

So we are back to waiting. Which the doctor said was fine - we are on track. He also said he thought something might be up because my numbers that were coming back from the technician here in town were so high, so quickly.

I'm still doing fine, but I have one more ultrasound on Wednesday. I was really hoping today would be it. I am so tired of getting shots. And I'm tired of being bloated. And last night my left ovary was hurting for about 6 hours. And it also means another $250+gas+time+aggravation.

According to the doc, our plan is to do the final ultrasound on Wednesday and the egg retrieval on Friday. This works absolutely great for our work/school schedule. Except for the fact that I will be driving back by myself on Wednesday because Tom will be in class.

Which brings me to the point where I'd like to explain that I am such a crybaby when it comes to driving these days. Thomas has completely spoiled me and always drives any of our long trips, to the point that I just dread and hate driving. And with that in mind - we will be making 3 more trips to Jacksonville over the next week. Uggh.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Day Eight

Blood work had Estradiol at 1033, which is pretty much on track. Estradiol levels are different for everybody at different stages. What is safe for one woman is dangerous for another. As far as we know, everything is fine for us.

No change in drug routine yet. Two Bravelle and one Menopure tonight; one Antigone in the morning before we hit the road.

Tomorrow morning we are going to Jacksonville for what will probably be the final ultrasound before the retrieval and fertilization. I'm guessing they will have us come right back Tuesday for the retrieval, Wednesday at the latest. Which means implantation will be anywhere from Thursday (which would be really bad for both of our schedules) through Monday. Best case scenario is we go in on Tuesday for retrieval and Friday for implantation. Until it happens though, I don't have much else for you. So, let me address something different -

Everywhere we go now I hear Sherri say, "Do you want to look at the baby clothes?"

No, I don't.

Does getting pregnant, or just the thought of it, make women want to shop? I think it does. Clothes for her, clothes for the baby, furniture, accessories, travel needs (seriously, 4 car seats?), books...

Yes, you read that right. Books. The eggs aren't even fertilized and we are looking at books.

Big changes are ahead my friends.

Today, we were talking with Josh and he found a motorcycle he thought was a good deal and wanted to buy. "Maybe," Sherri said.

"No way," I thought.

But why? Well, "Here's the deal," I said, "personally, I don't care what you do after your done with school, in the military, or finished here and moved out. But look, If something happens to you I can't live with the guilt of having said yes." He looked disappointed.

"Besides, your family would never forgive me," I said.

"My job is to get you through school, and on with your life, preferably avoiding jail and without children of your own." That's my purpose for Josh.

I've been thinking a lot about purpose lately. Sherri has posted before about what people think of in vitro and whether it's Gods purpose for people to have children even if they need help. We all think about it.

And then I was reading today about the difference in destination and destiny. The difference between simply arriving at a stopping point along the way and fulfilling your purpose for being there in first place. One thing I know for sure is God sent Sherri to Tallahassee simply to bring me here. We spent years just a few feet apart, but it took her moving 600 miles away to get me to my next destination along the journey of my life.

Where are you going and what is the big picture, what is your purpose?

I asked Sherri if she thought she knew what her purpose in life was. She said she's always known, "To have beautiful, intelligent children who will one day change the world." She said when she was younger she didn't know how that was going to happen, but after she met me it became very clear to her.

Between the two of us I have no doubt our kids will be smart, but if they don't get her looks, well...

Destination and Destiny. Sherri and I think we have a firm handle of what we want for our lives and how we want to raise our children. We don't know how we are going to do it, where we are going to be when we do, and we don't even know how many kids there will be. But our next destination, that's in Gods hands and we need not worry about it. I encourage you to think about your purpose today and is it your destination or your destiny? I know my purpose right now and it's fulfilling, rewarding, challenging, and hard. No doubt there will be many more destinations in this journey.

Ultimately, I don't know what my destiny holds. Tomorrow, it's Jacksonville. After that... we can plan our weeks and plan our lives, but for what? I want to trust that God sent me to be with Sherri, and if her destiny is to raise beautiful intelligent children who will change the world then I will play a part. And, I hope she's right. If the only thing we ever do is love each other and raise intelligent children who change the world, then I guess well be OK. Our kids are special already and we haven't even put the parts together yet.

Books? I've got a few in mind, but let's get them here first. Besides, I think I'll start with that monster wedding album... yeah.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Is it Day 7 already?

I guess you can say its been a week. My ultrasound this morning was about what I expected - except lots more follicles. I had 29 follicles this morning - about 10 of those are not really big enough to mention though (around 5-8mm). Six of them were equal to or larger than 18mm, and about another 10-15 were around 14-16mm. I can feel them now, sordof like when you have a full bladder, but no urges to go to the bathroom. And walking can be annoying, but not really painful.

The doctor's office called right after we left the hospital here in town and said to keep going with the same dose of medicine. They didn't have my bloodwork yet, but would call tomorrow and possibly give us different instructions. And the doctor said we would "shoot for early next week" - the nurse wasn't sure what that meant though - if it would be for another ultrasound or for egg retrieval. Based on what we saw today, I guess its possible they could get close to 20 mature eggs.

Thomas and I are guessing (this is only a guess) that the egg retrieval will take place on Tuesday. But we should know more tomorrow. There is a shot that I have to take approximately 36 hours before egg retrieval - so we will know definitely at some point soon.

So today is pretty much the same thing. I had a shot this morning to prevent from ovulating. I'll have another shot tonight that will keep my eggs growing. And then another shot in the morning to keep from ovulating. And then I should receive another phone call.

I've been tired all morning, but now I'm going to go build some shelves for Thomas' schoolbooks. Its been raining for days - but has finally let up. More to come tomorrow.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Day 6

Not much happening. I'm very glad its the weekend. I've been really tired and bloated tonight. Tomorrow is my next ultrasound. I'll let you know what happens.

Thursday, January 4, 2007


Not really much happening. I feel wonderful which is good. I'm just a little tired in the evenings.

Tonight was another shot. I don't seem to be having any side effects from them. Last night, I couldn't even tell I had one.

In the morning I get my first shot of Antigon - to prevent ovulation - in the arm. Oh boy. =)

Since I really don't have much to talk about tonight, I think I'll go back in time for just a little while.

IVF is usually a last resort option for fertility treatment. Last year and even the year before Thomas and I went through some serious testing, including a laparascopy, bloodwork, graphing my basal body temperature, ultrasounds, etc. The news always started out better and got worst. It went from you will be able to have children naturally once every five years, to once every eight years, to never. In fact, the fertility doctor we saw here in town told us to call the Pope if we ever did get pregnant.

During this time we heard all sorts of helpful advice - and not so helpful. My favorite being that I was too stressed out to get pregnant. I ran across this posting today on the web, I don't know the author, but it does a very good job expressing the emotions that women go through when they are infertile.

"Couples experiencing infertility often receive well-meaning but extremely insensitive "advice." We can all list the most popular ones: "Just relax and you'll get pregnant," or "Adopt and you'll get pregnant." Of the most painful from those who think they've got the goods on God's plan, "Maybe God never meant for you to have children." The sheer audacity of making a statement like that never fails to amaze me.

"These same people would never walk up to someone seeking treatment for cancer and say, "Maybe God never meant for you to live." However, because I am infertile, I'm supposed to get on with my life. It's hard to understand that people can not see infertility for what it is, a disease for which I have to seek treatment. What if Jonas Salk had said to the parents of polio victims, "Maybe God meant for thousands of our children to be cripples, live in an iron lung or die." What if he'd never tried to find a cure? Who could think for one minute that that was God's plan?

What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility? I think he meant for my husband and me to grow closer, become stronger, love deeper. I think God meant for us to find the fortitude within ourselves to get up every time infertility knocks us down. I think God meant for our medical community to discover medicines, invent medical equipment, create procedures and protocols. I think God meant for us to find a cure for infertility.

No, God never meant for me not to have children. That's not my destiny; that's just a fork in the road I'm on. I've been placed on the road less traveled, and, like it or not, I'm a better person for it. Clearly, God meant for me to develop more compassion, deeper courage, and greater inner strength on this journey to resolution, and I haven't let Him down.

Frankly, if the truth be known, I think God has singled me out for a special treatment. I think God meant for me to build a thirst for a child so strong and so deep that when that baby is finally placed in my arms, it will be the longest, coolest, most refreshing drink I've ever known.

While I would never choose infertility, I can not deny that a fertile woman could never know the joy that awaits me. Yes, one way or another, I will have a baby of my own. And the next time someone wants to offer me unsolicited advice I'll say, "Don't tell me what God meant when He handed me infertility. I already know."

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Day 4 - Checked in with Docs

Thank you for all the comments. I love getting them.

OK. So here is the news. So far I've had a very successful go with the drugs. The tech this morning in Tallahassee found 17 follicles. Good news. After the ultrasound I checked in at the hospital for some blood work.

By early afternoon, the Jacksonville office called to tell me everything looked good and to keep going with the same dose of drugs. The nurse said my largest follicle was 11 mm; and that they would be mature and do an egg retrieval when they were between 18-21 mm. I have no idea what my blood levels were - I didn't bother asking because I wouldn't know what it meant anyway.

So the plan is to go in for one more ultrasound here in town on Saturday morning. Then we will be traveling to Jacksonville sometime after that for my last ultrasound before the egg retrieval. For those of you who are wondering and don't know the process, here's the basics of what we have left:
* Another ultrasound or two to see how my eggs are growing
* Egg Retrieval
* Embryo Transfer
* 2 week wait to see if I'm pregnant

This will all be finished by the end of the month if everything goes well. If I'm pregnant, I'll continue traveling to Jacksonville a few more times for ultrasounds.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Day Three

I realized this morning that a lot has happened that we never spoke about in the first post, so I 'd like to spend some time talking about those things that happened two weeks ago.

We had waited patiently for our first consultation with the folks at the Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine. Being a dutiful patient, I called our local expert's office to have all my paperwork, testing, information and such sent to the specialist's office. Only to find out when we arrived for our appointment that only one little piece had been sent. I was so upset. The thought that we were wasting a visit, a 6 hour round-trip drive, and $225 was all I could think about.

We had been planning to pursue IVF in October 2007 ... and hoping we could do it January 2007. Big difference. But that's what fits my work schedule. With our initial appointment scheduled for the end of December we didn't get our hopes up that we could schedule in a round of IVF just a few weeks later. Sure we had all the testing performed already, but you never know what else may be needed.

But the doctor there was great. We updated him on everything that had been done and they have a close working relationship with our local office so all was fine. In fact, they squeezed us in the day of our initial consultation to start the IVF process. Within two hours we had our doctor consultation, nurse consultation, financial consultation, trial transfer, ultrasound, and bloodwork! WOW. We were amazed with how easily everything fell into place. All that was left was to get a loan and medicines over the holiday break from several states away. That turned out to be just as easy. So, it was just about a short week later we officially started IVF.

So here we are, day three.

The day was pretty uneventful. It was my first day back at work since before Christmas so I spoke to my boss about missing some work - she was very understanding. I also went shopping today for some organic lotions and shampoos in effort to limit the chemicals in my body. And plan to make soaps later tonight.

I've started to feel the effects of the hormones. I am more tired. But what is really aggravating is that my stomach already feels bloated and swollen. I especially feel this way after the shot each evening.

Tomorrow morning I will have ultrasound #1 (really it's the third one in the past two weeks) and bloodwork. This is done to check how my body is responding to the hormones. I'm looking forward to hearing the results. I'll be sure to let you know what happens.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Day One

Well, actually day two. Actually it started more than two years ago...

But, I'll start two days ago at Pilot Mountain, NC and Sherri was in a mountain of pain. You're supposed to call the day you start because day two becomes day one and the counting game begins.

"Call us when you start and we'll get you in," is what they said. So, we called. And when the nurse said, "it's 7am tomorrow or you have to wait," Of course we said we'd be there, even if we were 3 states away.

And so we drove to Brunswick, GA, stole 5 hours of sleep in a less than special hotel, and drove into Jacksonville, FL Sunday morning Dec 31. - Day One.

"Bring your drugs," they tell you. Why? I don't don't know. We didn't even take them out of the box.

Bring your wallet is what they should tell you.

Anyway, everything went great and we went home, spent the day thinking about the future, and ended it with a shot in the belly. One vial of water, three vials of Bravelle and one vial of Menopur. A half inch needle was all it took and we took family planning to the next stage.

So today is New Years Day. Day Two.

A pretty normal day over all; We went shopping, Sherri came up with half a dozen home improvement projects she wants to start, and I am already starting to stress about school, work and the short ten months ahead. Today will end with another shot - One vial of water, two vials of Bravelle, and one vial of menopur.

If everything is successful then we will try to regularly update this site. We want to try to update everyday, but the chances of that happening are about as good as our chances of success. Maybe 70%. When Sherri posts she will probably be able to write more about the stuff the women want to read. And I, well, you see what you get.

We are going to take this one step at a time and try not to get ahead of ourselves. Our excitement will be hard to contain. Pray for us and remember, if we are successful, then we will be registering for two of everything.

Next up Day Three...