Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pregnancy Test Results

Well.....da da da......The results are in...
Janet just called and our test results were negative. I will not lie, Chad and I are sad but we have so much to be thankful for. We have four frozen embryos waiting for us. Haveing four to freeze is an answered prayer in itself. We appreciate the support and love that everyone has shown us...We will try again. Not right away, but we will try again. I need a break for the Holidays. Thanks and we love everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Embryo Transfer

Well, the day finally arrived, but unfortunately, it was surrounded with lots of saddness. My grandmother broke her her last week and she developed an infection and she was moved into ICU early Sunday morning. Of course, I spent the entire day at the hospital sneaking into her room when the green light was on. She was unaware of us for most of the day but she did wake up once, for me of course! :) My grandmother and I were very close. I just kept saying,"Gran, wake up, tomorrow is my big day!" She opened her eyes and said, Hey Jules, I love you! She raised her hand in excited about our embryo transfer today. She never woke back up again. I left the hospital at 8 because my stomach wasn't taking the stress of the day very well. End up, that i had a stomach virus and I threw up literally all night, 36 times to be exact. My mother called me around 5:30 am to tell me the news that my grandmother passed away. We called my doctor and she said that I still needed to come even though I was still getting sick at 5:30 this morning. It was a LONG day of feeling terrible but we had our embryo transfer finally happened this afternoon. We transfered one embryou. We planned on two but we only had three to freeze and if we used up two and we do not achieve pregnancy, we would have had to do the shots all over again because they will not thaw only one embryo. THis time is very bittersweet. I know that my grandmother would be so excited today and I know that she is with me. It will be hard for me though because she was so excited about the possibility of Chad and I having a baby. I appreciate the support and prayers. I am going to attempt work tomorrow but I am in pain and still sick to my stomach so we will see. Gran's service will be Wednesday. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Embryo update

Janet called and our 12 embryos are still doing great! We will go to Birmingham Monday for them to implant two embryos. We should be able to freeze the rest! Yea!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

12 little babies

Well, not really, but all 12 eggs fertilized last night! yea! They will update us each day on how they are progressing!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Egg Retrieval

Well, the day is finally over and I am so glad. Chad and I left for Birmingham around 7 this morning. They immediately take you to a hospital bed and Chad was able to stay back there with me for a little while. They started an IV which thankfully they had no trouble. My veins have built up scar tissue from getting stuck so often so I was worried it might take a while to get the IV started. THey give you medicine to "loosen" you up before they wheel you into the procedure room. Once inside the room, they give you a little more medicine. You have to stay awake and it was quite painful but it was fast, around 15 minutes. They are able to get 12 eggs!!! I had been hoping and praying for 7-8. THey will call us tomorrow and give us an update on how the fertilitzation is proceding. It was a wonderful day as far as fertility goes, but a sad day as well. My precious gran, my grandmother, has been in bad health for awhile. About 8 weeks ago, she fell and broke 4 ribs. Her heart has been failing and she is on oxygen. Unfortunately, she feel today on her kitchen floor and broke her hip. I am so upset because I have not been able to go to the hospital due to the pain. Please pray for her. My family has worried about this happening. Thank you for checking on us. Chad and I love you all and we are excited about the possiblity of starting our family.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's finally here!

The appointment this morning went great. I have lots of follicles that are growing! Yea! The egg retreival will be Wednesday morning! We are so excited and nervous!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

YEA!

Our appointment was changed from Saturday morning to Sunday morning, so Chad and I got up at 5:15 this morning and drove down to Birmingham for a 7:30 appointment. It was the routine bloodwork and ultrasound. The ultrasound provided wonderful results, again! I have two eggs at 1.6 and one at 1.5 and two and 1.4. This is what we having been hoping and praying for. I will continue with my injections tonight and I will drive back to Huntsville in the morning. We hope that I will have at least two eggs at 1.8, which I should. They will confirm tomorrow the day for the egg retrieval, which should be Wednesday. We are just thrilled that it's finally here! I am pretty uncomfortable. My ovaries felt like golf balls yesterday and today they are more like softballs, but it's worth every minute! I'll let you know about the appointmen tomorrow!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Update

Ok, I had an ultrasound and bloodwork this morning. And I have wonderful news! My follicles have actually grown a little bit! Yea! I was thrilled. It was the first time that I've gone to the doctor's appointment and received good news. I have a couple of follicles that have grown to 1.1. We need at least two follicles to grow to 1.8. I have been injecting follistim for five nights. I will begin mixing medicine and I will mix my follistim and a medicine called menopur. I will have to be in Birmingham Saturday morning at 7:30 for an appointment and in Huntsville Monday morning. Nancy, my nurse, feels like the egg retrival will be Wednesday of next week! It is so exciting to finially have a time and day set. I actually hope that it is Thursday because my class is going to the PUmpkin Patch on Wednesday and I have never missed a field trip, but my principal is wonderful and she said whatever I need to do is fine! Please pray that my follicles would continue to grow. Another hurdle I have to cross is when my follicles do get big enough, Chad will have to give me the HCG shot. (trigger shot) It will cause my body to ovualate and then they will go in and get the eggs. I am at a high risk of hyper stimulating in my ovaries because I do have sooo many eggs. Hyper stimulation can be serious and it would halt our cycle so I pray that it does not happen. Thanks and I love you all!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Follistim Injections

I began my follistim injections last night. Follistim is an FSH injection. (folicle stimulating hormone) This is the highest dosage that I have taken so far. I can't lie, the injection was rough. The medicine stays in the fridge and it's very cold. My dear friend Katy gave some great advise about warming up the container before injecting it, and unfortunately, I forgot. I was overwhelmed but I wasn't sure if I was using the correct needle. It did not feel good. It was so cold I could feel it burning for 20 minutes after the shot. I also have to do the lupron shot every night but that one is easy. I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday and they will be looking to see if I have had any growth. I have been having some killer hot flashes. My hormones are so crazy. I have woken up the past two nights and I was socking wet with sweat. (It's a lovely feeling!) Thanks for checking in on us!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Back on Track

Ok, I started my injections two nights ago. It is just the loupron shot which is small needle, thank goodness. I have a doctor's appointment next week to get my baseline bloodwork. We also have to sign the IVF consent forms and pay the big bucks. I will begin the stimulation injections on the 14th. I have two different stimulation injections, so I will be giving myself three shots. We hope and pray that this will work on the first round!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

We're back on track!

Ok, after a well deserved break, we are back on track to begin our IVF cycle. I am in the beginning stages of the cycle. For the first three weeks, you have to use birth control. I have a conference with Janet, my IVF coordinator on Wednesday and I will get more information then. I should start my injections again next Monday. We will begin the Follistim injections at 125 IU's a night for however long it takes. In the previous cycles, I have had no growth in my follicles so we are hoping and praying that 125 units will be the magic number. Dr. Honea fears that if she goes to high to quickly, my ovaries can hyper stimulate and there are some serious side effects and complications that can arise. An IVF cycle is long and grueling but we are very excited to begin. This past year has been long and we are ready to move on to do what we need to do to have our baby! Please pray specifically that 125 IU's will be the correct dosage so I do not have to give my self injections for long periods of time. I never thought I would be able to give myself a shot, but when you are put in a situation like ours, you will do anything. Chad and I are diffently stronger now. Thanks for checking up on us!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Getting started

My break in August has been wonderful. I have been so busy with starting a new school year, taking two graduate classes and taking over the job as Alpha Gam advisor, I have been wild. I am planning on calling to schedule an ultrasound and blood work for a Saturday soon. Maybe this Saturday. I will update everyone when we get going again. Have a great Labor Day!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

It's been awhile since I last posted. The beginning of the school year is always such a crazy time! Basically, I have decided to take the month of August off and I am not doing any of our treatments. I really needed a break and I needed to focus on my classroom. I realized that my summer was consumed with bloodwork, ultrasounds, and nightly injections. A break was necessary! An IVF cycle takes at least 6-8 weeks start to finish and that is not including the tests and bloodwork before you can begin. Chad and I both have lots of tests ahead of us. I am thinking September or maybe even October for a start date. We'll just have to see. My best friend Katy is in her IVF cycle right now. She has her egg withdrawal (sp?) on Tuesday. Please pray for her and her hubbie!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Video Conference

Chad and I went to Huntsville this morning for a video conference with our doctor. We left tired because she gave us a lot of new information. She has decided to up my follistim dose to 125 units a night. She said that most women would have responded to the amount of medicine I have already taken. She is worried that when we do find the right dose, it's going to explode. Not literally, but she's worried about multiple eggs developing. That is a huge risk considering the dose of the medicine. If it works and I have some follicles grow, Chad and I will have to make some serious decisions quickly. If I have more than three follicles grow and my estrogen is high, Dr. Honea suggested that we convert to an IVF cycle. They would go in and retrieve the eggs. We would implant 2-3 a cycle. If we only have 2 or 3 follicles grow, Chad and I will probably just hold off IVF and hope and pray that we get pregnant "on our own." If my follicles are at 1.5, Chad will give me the HCG shot and it triggers ovulation. We only have a 10% chance of getting pregnant this way. If we convert to IVF, we have about a 50% chance. The odds are much better, but it comes at a steep price. We will just have to wait and see how my body responds. I think that I will be going back to the doctor on Friday for an ultrasound/bloodwork. I should start injections that night. I hope that this isn't too confusing. It's hard to write down all of the details.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tuesday appointment

I had a 10:00 appointment this morning in Huntsville. My appointments always include bloodwork and an ultrasound. Nancy still did not see any growth in any of the follicles. She actually saw even more follicles than before. I actually did not think that was possible. The follicles are the egg sacs and most women have around 8 each cycle. One becomes the dominant one and it grows and then releases (ovulation) The other follicles that did not grow simply absorb back into the body. Since mine have never grown they just all "pile up" on top of each other. Today Nancy counted 45 on each ovary. You would think that lots of folicles is a good thing however, it's a large problem with PCOS. They are competing and fighting against each other and none of them are able to grow. My nurse in Birmingham just called with my bloodwork results and my estrogen went down again so we are canceling the cycle. I will take prometruim for at least 10 days to start a period. My body usually does not start a cycle on its own and then we will go from there. We have a video conference with Dr. Honea in Birmingham early next week to discuss our game plan. Nancy thinks that she may want to add LH (type of hormone) to the follistim injections or possibly add a second type of injection. We will just have to see. Please pray that I will maintain patience and peace throughout this ordeal. My heart aches for a baby but I know that God's timing is perfect and He will NOT put Chad and I through anything that we can't handle. I know one day I will look back and be thankful of all of the lessons that He is teaching us through this. Please know that this strength I have does not come from me. It comes from my heavenly Father. If I did not have a relationship with Him, it would not be possible for me to make it through this time. Thanks for your prayers. Chad and I are heading to the beach on Friday with a couple friends from church. It will be a great get away!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday appointment

Chad and I got up bright and early this morning, 5 AM to get to Birmingham by 7:30. Thankfully we were the third couple there so we didn't have to wait long. We were hoping to see that the two follicles had grown closer to 1.5. Unfortunately, the nurse in Birmingham could not find any follicles that had grown at all. She feels like the nurse in Huntsville saw a cluster of small egg sacs. My estrogen did not go up but it did not go down either. We need for it to go up. As you get ready to ovulate, your estrogen rises. The plan is to continue the injections at 100 IU's a night for three more days. I will go back to Huntsville on Wednesday. 35 days of injections without a break is not fun, BUT the end result will be wonderful!

Friday, July 20, 2007

My appointment

Well, I had an appointment this morning and I left with a smile on my face. Nancy could see two follicles that had grown to 1.2. YEA! However, my joy was shortlived because the nurse in Birmingham just called with my bloodwork results and my estrogen did not go up. To continue the cycle, it had to increase and it went down. :( She said that Dr. Honea was going to let me continue the injections for two more nights at 100 IU's. I have to be in Birmingham Sunday morning at 7:30 for bloodwork and an ultrasound. If my estrogen stays down and/or my follicles don't grow, we will have to stop the cycle. I will take progrestrone for 10 days to start a new period and then we will try again. I am lucky that she's giving me two more days. Normally, she would have me stop the cycle.

Thanks for the prayers! Have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tomorrow

I go to the doctor in Huntsville again tomorrow. Pray for at least one follicle to be at 1.5. I'll update tomorrow.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Our Journey

I struggled with whether or not to share our story but so many people are wonderful and are always asking me what/how they can pray for us, so I thought that a blog might be the easiest way to share the updates with everyone. I fear that my friends who are pregnant or have children will feel guilt and will refrain from talking about their own little miralces. That is the LAST thing I want to happen.

(This is the short version.) Chad and I felt it was time to start a family in September. We were nervous and excited, but the excited quickly faded when we found out that we had a long road ahead of us. My doctor discovered that I did not ovulate and I had very irregular cycles. Dr. Keith put me on clomid. (mild fertility drug to induce ovulation) I was so hopeful at first, but month after month the pregnancy tests were negative. We were heartbroken. We felt it was time to move on to a specialist so we went to Dr. Honea at the ART clinic in Birmingham. After MANY, MANY tests, lots of pokes and pricks, they discovered tha I have PCOS, Polycyctic Overy Syndrome. The doctor wanted to do a clomid challenge so she could monitor my cycle closely. After many ultrasounds, they discovered that I have LOTS of follicles (egg sacs) but no eggs are ever able to develop.

So now we are in the injectable faze. I began with the lowest dose of follistim, 25 IU's but my body did not respond, we bumped up to 50, then 75, and I am probably moving to 100 in the next few days. Of course, there are risks using these injectables, multiple births or hyperstimulation of my ovaries.

It is an exhausting experience but I am still filled with hope that Chad and I will become parents. I always prayed that I would be a woman of faith during a time of struggle and God is answering my prayers daily. I know that it is not my own strength that is getting me through this.

I did have an encouraging doctor's apointment today. I have one follicle that has grown a tiny bit! I have to celebrate the small victories! :) Please pray for us. Chad has been a blessing through the entire process.

I will keep you updated as things progress. Thank you for your prayers.