Wednesday, August 29, 2007

FET #1 - Day 4

Well, I've made it a whole four days - only 24 more to go before we find out if we are pregnant.
The estrogen so far isn't bad at all - I can't tell. Right now, I only have 1 patch on. Tomorrow, I take it off and put on 2 patches. Then 2 days later, I will take those off and put 3 on ... and so forth. So things may change. I think Thomas has braced himself for possible mood swings.

Really nothing has happened. I started looking for hotels in Jacksonville that had a sleep number bed. My back hurts pretty bad if I have to lay flat for long periods - and after the transfer I will be flat on my back for about 24 hours. So I am going to find a hotel with a good bed.

Generally, I seem to having good days and not as good days. Some days I get really upset at the idea of this not working, and other days I know that its best to let God lead my life and not worry about it. But it really just depends on the day. I do want to stay relaxed. Overall, I think I will be a lot less stressed than last time ... mainly because I know its more likely to not work. Our odds were so much better last time. But it's hard not to get your hopes up.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

FET #1 - DAY 1

Today starts day 1 of our first cryocycle. The only thing new that marks today is that I have an estrogen patch on my belly - something most women don't have to worry themselves with until menopause.

The plan: 1) I have to call the nurse in the morning, and 2) I have to continue with these patches, and 3) we will have to report to Jacksonville in approximately 12 days for an ultrasound, 4) I will start PIO shots at some point, 5) the transfer of 2 six-day old embryos will be sometime after day 13 (not sure when), 6) then we will get to wait 1-2 weeks to see if it worked.

Please pray for us.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Baby Oliver

I love this photo of the newest addition to our family. This is our new nephew Oliver, with his big sister. Oliver was born last Monday, and I am sure he has been a wonderful blessing to his family already. I have several other favorites that can be viewed at my sister's website.

Here is the news on the home front; we passed our health home study. The only thing left is to sign off on the final paperwork. And that is about all that has happened.

Thomas has basically started school. Even though classes don't officially start until Monday, he already has hundreds of pages to read for next week's classes. He has a very busy semester and I expect I will have more time for quilting since he will be so busy. And because we both enjoyed it so much, I want to mention that last night we attended a musical show at FSU - it was very good - music written during WWII era. It was a charity show put on by the faculty for the local classical station. Very entertaining, and very inexpensive.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

FET #1 - Delayed

If you'd rather not find out a bunch of personal information about me, then please, stop reading. However, if you are interested in our family planning, or you just find the human body an interesting science, please join me for the rest of this post.

Today I am four days late. That never happens. I thought for sure that by now, I would have started my meds for our first FET. But it hasn't happened. There are 3 possible reasons I can think of that may have caused this effect. 1) I'm pregnant - which according to the doctor's is impossible; 2)I'm completely stressed; or 3)Our vacation wasn't so relaxing after all and caused massive changes in my body.

If we were at a horse track and I had to wager, I would say #3 has the best odds. I always knew that excessive exercise could cause unpredictable cycles. Sort of the same way that obesity causes unpredictable cycles. Most young females know that it is important to be a healthy weight when trying to conceive. It turns out that sudden exercise above and beyond a normal routine can also delay ovulation.

So our vacation this month, wasn't quite relaxing. In fact, the first few days were downright grueling. Four days backpacking the Appalachian Trial, climbing more than 3,000 feet up a massive hill, stumbling for hours with a 50 lb backpack, etc - was probably more than normal exercise. In fact, I know that my heart got about 7 hours of cardio exercise the second day of our trek. Thomas and I weren't nearly prepared enough, physically, for the trip. Case in point, my ovulation was stalled and now my cycle is taking a little longer than normal.

I think I have pretty strong proof, I noticed during the month that I ovulated about a week late. Did you get that? I thought it was weird at the time and that I must have been imagining things ... but, I guess not.

And for all of you who are wondering, yes, I did take a pregnancy test. And it was negative.

Today, was a very interesting day. I had my first ever acupuncture appointment - and it was FANTASTIC! I can not stress enough how much I enjoyed it and how relaxing it was. Turns out - I'm perfectly balanced. I always thought so myself! =) But it was great to have the massage, music, and I even think the needles were helpful. But more importantly, acupuncture is scientifically proven to have some type of link to increased success with infertility treatment.

Here's a clip from a website: "A German study done in 2002 showed that of the 80 women who underwent IVF and received acupuncture, 34 women got pregnant, a success rate of 42.5%. Of the 80 women involved in the study who received IVF without any acupuncture treatments, only 21 women (26.3%) became pregnant. More recently, an American study involving 114 women showed that 51% of the women who had acupuncture and IVF treatments became pregnant versus only 36% of the women who had IVF alone. Deeper analysis of this study revealed that, while 8% of the women in the acupuncture group miscarried, the rate of miscarriage in the IVF-only group was 20%. Furthermore, women who received acupuncture also had lower rates of ectopic pregnancies."

Did that convince any of you naysayers? Well, anyway, I enjoyed it. And if puts my mind to rest a little more, even better.

And on the fostering/adopting track, our health home study by the Florida Department of Health is tomorrow morning. I'll let you know what happens.

Also, one last thing, I added a link on the right hand side titled "House of Hartsfield" - check out our friends.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

FET #1

Our first cryocycle should begin in just a few short days, unless there is some miraculous event where I am already pregnant. I got a much smaller package in the mail last week with all the meds I will need for this round of pin pricks. It wasn't really all that bad - it looks like estrogen patches for the first 2 weeks and PIO shots the last 2 weeks. It's the PIO shots that had my bottom sore for 2 months last time. Uggh.

I'll let everyone know how things proceed. I already know that this time around I will be getting some acupunture leading up to the transfer, and we are going to stay in Jacksonville, rather than trying to drive the 3 hours back home. My goal this week is to find a hotel with a good bed.

Have you heard of the old wives tale about using a pencil, needle and thread to find out how many children you are going to have? Our grandmother tested me out while home last week with just a needle and thread - it looks like - boy, girl, boy for me. Interesting, hopefully it works out - we'll have to wait and see. Brings a whole new meaning to needlpoint family planning.

I am getting a little nervous at times - which isn't good. I keep trying to reassure myself.

Home Study - Part I Complete

It's been a busy few weeks - thus the lack of posting. After spending one and half days in Raleigh/Durham to visit my grandmother, go to Harry Potter at IMAX, and my sister's baby shower, four days on the Appalachian Trail backpacking, 2 days in Tennessee, 1 day white-water rafting, and 2 days in Wilmington, we are back home. We traveled 3,000 by car in those few days.
It was a busy week back also. We arrived late Monday night, and had to go back to work. After work each day we worked our butts off cleaning, unpacking, organizing and child-proofing as much as possible by Thursday morning for our home study.

The steps to foster/adopt have been very normal thus far. We have really enjoyed the folks at Girls and Boys Town who have trained us and are helping us through the process. Thursday morning was no exception - it went really well. Stephanie, our licensing consultant, and Ariel, our class instructor, both came for what I now know is only Part I of the home study process. As expected from everything we've heard already - it was mostly questions. And all the same questions we've answered before. I'm guessing they figure if they space out the questions enough in time, they might find holes, or inconsistencies in our stories. After about an hour of questions, we were told that they would only do half of them today, come back another time for the other half, and some photos of inside the house. We asked to please do all the questions that same day so we wouldn't have to schedule time to be off work again. They were willing to work with us. We finished all the questions and did a walk-through of the house; and they are coming back for a short visit for photos this Friday. At the end of the visit they announced that after they came back Friday for the photos, they would be back one more time to go over all the paperwork one more time. Who knew it would be so many times! The good news is that they didn't foresee any problems.

So, we are nearly there for completing approval by the state to foster or adopt children between the ages of 0 and 6. We were required to give an age range, and decided that for now, younger was better. We want to raise the age in the future, but not now. There are still a few things that had to be done. Thursday afternoon, after 4 hours here with us, we had a final list of things to complete.
1. Buy a crib - Check, done (pictured above). we are required to have a bed for an infant to receive approval for that age. So we went ahead and purchased the crib we liked best. (Or I should probably say that I liked best) After ordering online, I became frustrated to learn that it may take up to a month to arrive. --- Stephanie is coming back Friday for photos of it. Yikes. So in the meantime I purchased a used pack-n-play to set up as a infant bed while I was down in Orlando this weekend.
2. Tag the fire extinguisher - Check, done. A short trip down the road and $10 was all it took to get it "approved." This it turns out has to be done yearly.
3. Proof of income, insurance, driver license - Check, done.
4. Letter to a child - Check, done.
5. Copy of Marriage License - I think this one is done. I am waiting for confirmation.
6. Bouy and rope for the pool - Check, Done. $50.
6. And the hardest of all - approval by the Florida Department of Health. I'm more concerned about this one than any. Mainly because of the pool. They have to agree that the locks on our doors are satisfactory. And I don't want them to have to come back for a second visit. To pass this, I also have to have all medicine in a locked box, and all chemicals locked up. So we still have some work to do. I have to find a box to put the meds in. And get all the chemical in one place.

That's about it for the home study. I am very excited, Thomas has voiced concern about all the equipment (car seats, bottles, toys, etc) we are going to need when a child gets placed in our home. It's a lot, but I know we can work it out, so I just don't see a reason in getting all worked up about it. We won't have much planning time for it, if any. But I'm not concerned. That seems like such a simple hurdle compared to everything else. And anything seems simple compared to this infertility crap.

We also learned during our home study that anyone who babysits for us will have to have a background check. We really didn't expect it; it never even crossed our minds. So we will be tracking down some folks we took the class for possible services.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Moving Along

I've been patiently waiting for August to start. And finally it is here. So first thing on my list of do this month ... no, not pay the bills, not clean the house, or weed the yard (which I need to do all)... but call the fertility clinic and order my medication for our first FET, or as they call it, our first cryocycle.

I will be taking Vivelle (an estrogen patch), and progesterone in oil shots again in my bum. Most of the meds I took on the IVF cycle - I won't need again. I have about $800 left in our medication from our first IVF cycle. Unfortunately, it expires in December so we can't hold onto it - I dearly hope we won't need it, but even if we did, there is no way we could afford to start IVF all over again at this time. The cost of the cryocycle is shocking enough ... it's going to be about $1900. Uggh. Medicine not included in that price. But fortunately, I think the doctor's office is going to help me out with this -- and I in turn will donate the left over meds that I have from the IVF cycle.

My packet came in the mail today describing the process for the FET. However, I haven't had a chance to read it. We are way too busy planning and packing for a camping trip. First thing tomorrow (or I should say today in about 5 hours) we are heading to NC for my sister's baby shower and then on to the Appalachian Trial for a few days of roughing it. Also, a short white water rafting trip. Yipee. I'm so excited about the next week.

My sister will be making a trip to our house while we are gone ... I hate I won't be here with her. But alas, the mountains call.