Our First Ultrasound

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Thinking back on our first ultrasound, I have to take you back to December 2012.  I remember it like it was just recently.  Prior to our first ultrasound, we discussed the best time to share the news of our pregnancy, with our families (immediate).  It was actually harder than I thought, but we both knew they would be happy whenever we told them.  Of course, there’s the first trimester risk for miscarriage.  That weighed heavy on me because I knew my mom experienced miscarriage, which meant that I could too.  My husband would remind me to “take it easy” and most of the time, refused to let me lift things.  I know he was just being cautious and it was his way of supporting me.  It was difficult for me, at times, because I wanted to do things.  Also, we didn’t want to tell our family too early.  Hope that makes sense.

When we discussed when to share the news with our family, we decided on 2 options…Christmas or New Year’s.  We ended up choosing New Year’s because of the date of our first ultrasound.  Our ultrasound was in between both days, which made our decision easier.  Although I wasn’t quite at 12 weeks, New Year’s made the most sense and we would have evidence to show – our ultrasound.

The purpose of our first ultrasound was to determine a due date by taking appropriate measurements.  So, that’s what happened.  I remember seeing a side profile of our baby and being simply amazed.  I didn’t have any words, nor could I believe that baby was inside of me!  I think my heart skipped a beat, or 2.  It was SO cool and very interesting to view.  It was awesome.  At that point, I couldn’t wonder about being pregnant, I had evidence!  We received 2 pictures from our ultrasound.

After our ultrasound we talked about how we would tell our families.  Hmm.  New Year’s Eve is my sister-in-law’s birthday and we spend it with my family.  We have a tradition of making toasts at midnight with sparkling cider.  Our toasts are pretty much resolutions for the new year and/or something we’re looking forward to in the new year.  We go in order according to age, oldest to youngest, starting with my dad.  Oh ya, we make 2 toasts each, so we waited until the 2nd round to say our clever toast.  Also, after each person says something, we lightly tap our glasses together.  When it was our turn, we decided I would say, “to our little baby” and then my husband would follow up with, “to a healthy pregnancy.”  We would see how this would go!

In sharing the news with my husband’s family, we decided that he would call his parents before midnight and then send texts to his siblings at midnight.  So, during the evening my husband went outside to call his parents.  He went outside so no one else would hear before it was time to toast.  🙂

Midnight approached and it was time for our toasts.  My husband came inside after talking with my in-laws but he wasn’t able to talk to me about it because of the timing of things.  Then he told me his phone died.  He used up his battery and needed to use my phone to send the texts.  He tried at least 3 times to send the texts with the picture but it wouldn’t sent.  Lol.  So he ended up sending the texts and emailing the ultrasound picture.  He later told me that he had to do the same thing with his parents.  The picture wouldn’t send.  Lol.  I should have known that was a foreshadowing of things to come.

The glasses were ready and filled with cider.  Everyone made their toasts and we completed the first round.  The second round came and it was our turn to go.  I went first, because yes, I’m a few months older than my husband, only months.  Lol.  I said, “to our little baby.”  We all tapped our glasses and took a sip of cider.  Then my husband went, “to a healthy pregnancy” and the same thing happened.  We were about to move to my nephew when my dad leaned over to my mom and said, “did I hear that right?”  My mom confirmed that he had and there was a little pause.  I decided to intervene because I realized the news had gone over everyone’s head.  LOL.

I got up and brought out our ultrasound to share.  Before passing it around, I told everyone I was 10 weeks pregnant.    We passed the ultrasound around and everyone was surprised, except my mom of course, because she’s the only one that knew.  Our clever attempt to share the news didn’t exactly turn out the way we planned, but it’s ok.  It was definitely entertaining.  I know we’ll remember it for a long time. 🙂

Next post: Screening Test


Yikes!

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After accepting the job, it wasn’t long before I realized the scope of everything that occurred.  At the time, I was experiencing some pregnancy symptoms and wasn’t sure how I was going to work outside my home.  No, I didn’t have morning sickness, instead, I was super exhausted and peeing quite frequently throughout the day.  I felt like I was urinating so much during the day, it was ridiculous!  Lol.

I decided I was flushing the toilet way too much, so I would wait until I peed 3-4 times before I would flush the toilet. I know, some of you may consider that disgusting, but I don’t really care.  I do wash my hands after using the restroom.  Although, now that I think about it, I don’t have to justify flushing the toilet.  Lol.

Anyways!  I was worried about starting a new job and being pregnant.  I couldn’t even stay awake for 8 straight hours, how was I going to stay up at work?  I wasn’t worried I couldn’t do the work, I was worried that I would fall asleep at work.  It would definitely be an adjustment for me (& my husband).  I knew I would have at least a month before I started.  I hoped and prayed to gain some energy by then! 🙂

Being tired made me feel lazy, although I was not.  I accomplished tasks throughout the day, but at a much slower pace than I was comfortable with.  I wanted to do more, I just could not.  I would require a nap or 2 during the day, seriously.  By lunch time, I would need to rest and then again after lunch.  As I think about it now, it seems so crazy.  That’s how exhausted I was.

On a weekly basis I would drive to Waianae to help my mom clean and de-clutter.  At times I felt bad because I felt like I wasn’t really helping.  I think I needed more breaks than she did.  Nevertheless, we did what needed to be done.

I took things a day at a time.

1st Prenatal visit

I skipped ahead a little.  After confirming that I was in deed pregnant, I called the OB department and scheduled my first prenatal appointment.  (It actually occurred before I was offered the job.)  It was 3 days after found out.  My husband accompanied me and we spend A LOT of time waiting.  I mean, A LOT, way longer than I expected and beyond my patience limit.  We waited and hour and a half, which I deemed to be ridiculous.  I was quite annoyed but remained cordial with the staff.

So, what happened at the appointment?  Well, a group of about 5 couples sat in a room and viewed a ppt (power point presentation) given by a NP (Nurse Practitioner).  It was basically an overview of pregnancy.  Honestly, it was lame, especially after waiting all that time.  Then, we met with the NP to go over a questionnaire I completed while waiting.  Following that, I had a list of blood tests to complete.  We did that and then my next appointment was scheduled for the end of Dec for an ultrasound. (A about a month later).  That was it!

Next post: Our First Ultrasound


More to Come

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Hi everyone!  I know it’s been a while since I posted anything.  I’ve been busy, just like the rest of you.  I can’t believe that by the end of the week, it’ll be February!

In November when we received the news of our pregnancy, we were ecstatic and overwhelmed.  We decided to keep quiet until we designated an appropriate time.  Well, the following day, I told my mom.  She was the only person, other than my husband & I, that knew.  I asked her not to say anything…and she didn’t.  I know my mom, she’s a trustworthy person.  She’s always been like that.  I wasn’t at all worried that she would tell anyone.  I LOVE my mom, she’s the best! 🙂

When I told my husband, he teased me for at least a few days.  It didn’t bother me, we just laughed about it.  Thinking back, that was one of the best decisions I made in this pregnancy process.  My mom would check on me and I would ask her different things.  It was great.

Some of you may be wondering why I didn’t have her tell my dad or why we didn’t share the news sooner.  When you wait for something for what feels like forever, wouldn’t you want to tell everyone??  For us, no.  We were more concerned about the chances of miscarriage than who to tell.  So, we kept quiet.

Keeping quite was very easy.  Since I posted about doing IVF in January or February, I knew people wouldn’t be asking questions because they knew we were taking a break.  Plus, the holidays were upon us, being with family was the priority.  My husband & I don’t prefer being the life of a party, we’re not gonna get up on stage and make an announcement.  That’s just not us.  Lol.

Well, as if finding out we were pregnant wasn’t surprising enough, about a week later, I was offered a job.  I was just leaving the Public Library with a couple of pregnancy books when my phone rang.  I was very surprised, not that I would be offered a position, but that it had only been a couple weeks since my interview.  I thought it would take longer.  After accepting the position, I immediately called my husband.  I remember telling him, “More blessings for us.”  He agreed.  I was still in the library parking lot.  My mind and heart were racing.  I felt extremely grateful and very blessed.  When I got home, I cried because I felt so blessed.  I prayed and thanked the Lord.  I wrote in my journal and called my mom to let her know.

It didn’t take long before things started to settle in.

Next post: Yikes!


Thanksgiving

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A few days after our fast, I received a call for an interview.  I agreed to an interview and accepted the date and time available.  As the day drew near, I was definitely more nervous.  I had at least 2 weeks to prepare for this interview and hoped everything would go well.  I soon realized that the day of my interview was the day I could be expecting my menses.  Oh dear!  I hoped that if I did get my period, it would come after my interview and I would be home, ready for it.  I also hoped that it wouldn’t come and that we would be pregnant.  Either way, I’d be ok and prepared for whatever we would face.

Upon returning home from my interview, I soon forgot about my period and decided to put up the Christmas tree.  I know, it was the week of Thanksgiving, probably the earliest I ever put a tree up!  I’m sure it was just a distraction.  Lol.  As I put up the tree, I was particular about the ornaments I chose.  I didn’t go with the usual ones.  I felt that this Christmas we would focus on hope and faith.  I did my best to express these thoughts in the ornaments I put on the tree.  Here are a few of the ornaments.

hope


hope shines bright

 

heaven and nature

 

bird

I thought these ornaments were perfect!  Looking at each of them reminded me to keep focused on the miracle we prayed for.  They helped me keep calm and do my best not to worry about the “what ifs.”  I knew that whether or not my menses arrived, was out of my control.  But it didn’t mean I should lose hope either.

A few days went by and still no period.  I tried not to fret over it because I knew it was very possible that I could get my period late.  Thanksgiving came, we made it through Black Friday, and I began to wonder.  It was a great weekend by the way.  I asked my husband if he thought I should take a pregnancy test.  He said I should wait 2 weeks after I expected my period.  I thought that was ridiculous.  I explained that with IVF we knew 10 days after the transfer, which was only a couple days after a missed period.  I didn’t think we needed to wait 2 weeks.  We talked about it and then decided I would take a pregnancy test.

Having gone through IUIs and IVF, I never needed a home pregnancy test.  Not to mention, they’re quite expensive at the store for a 2-3 pack.  Hence, I didn’t have a pregnancy test to use and I didn’t want to purchase any either.  Hmm…that presented a little dilemma.  Well, not really.  We decided that I would just call the doctor and request it.  In fact, I would have my thyroid checked at the same time.  I called my doctor and he agreed to both tests.  Yeah!  Plus, I knew that paying for a pregnancy test at the doctor’s office would be cheaper than buying one at the store.  So clever!  Lol.

The next day I went in for my 2 tests.  A few hours later, I had results.  Here is a journal entry from that day…

“I don’t know where to start but today I went in for blood work and a urine test – for my thyroid and HCG test.  When I came home from errands I got an email with my results.  The results showed that I’m pregnant(emphasis added).  I don’t know what to think!  I’m excited & scared.  But mostly grateful.  With all that Samuel & I have been through the past 6½ years trying to have a baby, this is truly a miracle.  I know there is no medical explanation for why I’m pregnant.  It’s unbelievable.  I just gave a prayer of thanksgiving & gratitude to the Lord.”

This was close to 10 ‘o clock in the morning.  I called my husband and let him know the results.  He was just as surprised and grateful as me.

I shed tears of joy that day, so grateful the Lord answered our prayers, blessing us with this miracle.

Little did I know there would be more to come.

Next post: More to Come


Something Different

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I hope you’ve enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a great New Year! 🙂

It’s nearing the start of a New Year, a time I’ve had to wait for in order to move forward with another IVF cycle.  What will the New Year bring?  I don’t know, is it important for me to know?  No, it’s important for me to have faith in Jesus Christ.

In November, after seeing Dr. Frattarelli – the OB/GYN, I knew something had to change.  Despite having to anticipate my January menses and experience IVF again, I honestly didn’t want to do IVF again.  Of course, with the 5 embryos that we have, I figured that was our only option.  However, I didn’t want that option.  I wanted us to become pregnant without assistance from technology.

I came up with an idea and proposed it to my husband.  He agreed so we went forward with our plan.  The plan was fairly simple…we would fast and pray for a baby, a miracle.  Realistically, the plan was not that easy to execute.  Just as a reminder, I saw Dr. F (ob/gyn) on Nov. 1, which was a Thursday.  Fast Sunday at church is the first Sunday of the month, which means that our plan was formed and solidified in 3 days.  On November 4th, Fast Sunday, we needed to move forward with our plan.  We fasted and prayed for a miracle.

A miracle wasn’t the only thing we fasted about.  We also fasted about a job – for me.  I hadn’t heard back from a place I applied.  I was hoping that during the month, sometime, I would be called for an interview.  We would see.

Interestingly enough, that Sunday in church many people bore testimony of miracles and faith through personal experiences.  This continued through the rest of church and for a few Sundays afterwards.  It made me wonder if miracles still happen.  I knew the answer to my wondering, yes, miracles still happen.  I didn’t know if my faith was strong enough to believe the Lord would grant unto us, a miracle.  Around this same time, my husband and I were concluding our reading of the Book of Mormon.  It was very intriguing to me that in Ether and Moroni (the last 2 books in the Book of Mormon) there are a lot of references to miracles.  Here are some of the scriptures:

Ether 12:12 states: “For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.”

Moroni 7: 29, 33, 37 explains, “And because he hath done this, my brethren, have miracles ceased?  Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.

33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.

37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.”

These are not the only references to miracles in the Book of Mormon, just the ones that stood out to me at the time.  I did read more to ponder about and listened to friends share experiences.

I knew that although our plan was fairly simple, it would require a lot from us.  For me, I think faith was a critical element to our fasting and praying.  Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ requires work.  I can’t just sit around and say I have faith.  Faith expresses trust and love, it requires humility and expands our understanding.

I knew the Lord would hear our prayers.  I didn’t know whether He would bless us with a miracle.  I trusted Him and knew that whatever was right, would happen.  I have learned that I don’t just tell the Lord what I want, I share my desires and wait upon the Lord.  I know the Lord knows what is best for me.

Next post:  Thanksgiving


Endometriosis Diet

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I still can’t believe it’s December.  It seems as though time is quickly floating by.  Soon it will be Christmas and then we’ll welcome a New Year!  Wow!

I’ve contemplated my purpose in writing about the “Endometriosis Diet” and am still unsure.  But, hopefully it will help someone or provide information to help someone else.  I’m thinking this is going to be a short post.  Hmm…think of it as a brief commercial break from the show.  Lol.

I got this book during the summer and thought it would be a resource and help for me.  I find it entertaining that endometriosis is referred to as a “disabling disease” in the book.  For me, I’ve never thought of endometriosis as being disabling.  I suppose for some it can be.  For me, it’s uncomfortable, painful, and not a fun experience.

Anyways!  The book pretty much has 2 chapters.  1 is an introduction that reviews all the foods to avoid and healthier alternatives.  The 2nd chapter contains all the recipes, although the recipes are divided up by meals.  When I first looked through it and read the suggested foods, it reminded me of my first acupuncture session.  It seemed so restrictive, I didn’t know whether I would be willing to give it a try.  So, I didn’t.  I know, that sounds bad.  But I needed to consider how much this would cost as well.  Many of the recipes included making things from scratch and then using that in a dish.  It was also time consuming.  At the time, I wasn’t willing to make that change.  Some of the recipes are appealing and I may give those a try, but I’m not going to only eat what the endometriosis diet recommends.  That may sound defiant but oh well, that’s the choice I made.  If you or anyone you know wants to borrow my book, let me know! 🙂

Personally, I felt that just changing my diet was not the only answer to controlling my endometriosis.  In previous posts, I’ve mentioned oils as a method for healing and helping.  So, I looked up the information and found that these oils are good for endometriosis: geranium, cypress, and clary sage.  I just recently got those oils and am looking forward to giving them a try.  Wish me luck!

FYI: The book is “Recipes for the Endometriosis Diet” by Carolyn Levett

Next post: In the Meantime


Day 10

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Sorry, I’ve been slacking on my posts!  This time of year tends to be like that.  Well, thank you for your patience!

Between our unsuccessful FET and now, I’ve been able to take a step back and relax.  Which is good, right?  Of course.  Ooh, before I forget, the FET completed our first IVF cycle…even though we started in May and got postponed until September.  Not sure if I mentioned this before.  Sorry if I have and you’re reading this again.  Lol

Alright, Day 10.  When I scheduled my exam with my IVF coordinator, I knew Dr. F would not be there.  Instead, I would be seen be his wife, also Dr. F and an OB/GYN.  It would be my first time meeting her.

On Day 10 I went in for my exam.  As I waited in the exam room I wondered how the appointment would go.  I hoped the lining of my uterus looked good enough so we could gain further insight on the best treatment for the next cycle – of whatever we decided.  Remember our 3 options?

After a brief waiting time, the female Dr. F came in.  She did the ultrasound and appeared to be enthralled at the lining of my uterus.  This both intrigued and worried me.  She did note that my uterus was a little different, but that it did appear to have its own trilateral pattern.  I didn’t know how to interpret what she said.  I was kind of at a loss for words.  I felt she was honest with me and I appreciated it.  I had so many questions in head.  I wondered if that meant I would be able to carry a baby or not.  As my exam continued and she looked at my ovaries closer, she recognized my endometriosis.  That explained the difference in the look of uterus.  Hopefully that makes sense.  Well, she took screen shots for Dr F to review and that was it.  After she left, I spoke with my IVF coordinator about our plans.

I was under the impression that we had 3 options.  As we talked, I realized that our options were limited to 2…FET or IVF cycles.  I thought that the fresh cycle with a little medication was a separate option.  But, it’s not.  It’s a fresh IVF cycle.  Lol.  I felt so dumb for not getting it before.  I did get a good laugh though.  Although our options were lessened, it doesn’t change the fact that we still have options…which is good.

Anyways!  In my discussion with my IVF coordinator, she requested that I give her 3 months notice before we start anything.  In previous conversations and emails, I told her that we wouldn’t be starting anything until January, at the earliest.  We laughed about how I would have to tell her now because in 3 months it will be the beginning of February.  We left it at that because we both were unsure of what Dr. F would recommend.  We decided to wait until Dr. F could review the images and then my IVF coordinator would contact me.

Within a week, my IVF coordinator called.  Since we plan to wait until January/February we have time to consider our options.  She instructed me to call her in January on Day 1 of my menses.  Dr. F has requested to do another SIS.  Fine with me, as long as it helps and allows Dr. F to continue to provide the best treatment for me.

Another factor in the process is that we will be switching medical insurance effective January 1st.  This is definitely a change but it also opens the option to a second IVF cycle, covered by insurance.  (I’ll talk about this again in a later post.)  In January, we will confirm our decision and take the necessary steps.  In the meantime, we wait… and read.

Next post: Endometriosis Diet


Considering the Options

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Well, understanding and considering all the options available to us takes a lot of time.  I don’t know if I can adequately express or explain the amount of time and thoughts involved in this process.  In my last post, I explained the options and costs:

1.  FET

2. IVF

3. Natural Cycle with meds

You know, my husband & I have spent many hours discussing the options…the costs, the time, the what ifs, etc.  You name it, we’ve talked about it.  Of course, this also includes the consequences of each option as well as reality.  One of the realities of each option is that it may not be successful.  It’s not being pessimistic, it’s being thorough.  Being thorough is necessary because if you can’t deal with an unsuccessful pregnancy, FET, or IVF cycle…it makes it more difficult to cope with.  It’s already hard as it is, you don’t need more pain to deal with.  You need to talk about the possibility of things not going the way you plan or desire.  Here’s the thing about being thorough, you need to consider all the options, whether you want to or not.  Of course, you always hope that everything works out good but that is not always the case…believe me, I know…just read my last few posts.

I never thought I would experience all 3 of the options available to us.  Honestly, considering these options with experience in mind, was just a tad bit easier.  Having had experience helped because I knew the processes and what to expect.  Two of the important factors for me were cost and pain.  Lol.  I truly had to wonder if I wanted to do injections again and actually, I was ok with it.  Most people cringe when I explain the injections to them, but in reality, it’s 10-12 consecutive days at the most.  In the big picture, I feel like it’s doable.  You may think I’m crazy but it’s really not that bad.

The prices for all the options was a hard decision for us.  Spending $4K is quite an expense, considering it’s not covered by insurance.  Plus it’s only a little bit more than a fresh IVF cycle (covered by insurance).  The other thing we considered is that a FET can be done whenever you want…with at least 2 months notice.  The embryos are frozen, you can thaw them anytime you want.  We have the option of thawing them for an FET cycle years from now.  I hope that makes sense.  The option is good, the price is ok – meaning affordable, and long term – it’s a good option because the embryos are still the age of retrieval.  So, for example, if I was 35 when they are retrieved, then they will be 35 five years later when if we decide to do an FET then.  Of course, I’m not that age, hence it’s an example.

With all that said, we knew and still know all the options for us.  It’s a matter of waiting for when we’re ready to do it.  It also matters what Dr. F recommends.  So, this means I will call on Day 1 and schedule a Day 10 exam.  Based on that exam, we’ll go from there!

Next post:  Day 10


Now What?

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks since my last post.  I’m sorry for not posting earlier.  I’ve been quite busy with a variety of projects.  I’m planning to post them on my other website soon.  Anyhow, I hope you are all doing well. 🙂

Coincidentally, the last post I wrote was the day I met with Dr. F to discuss our options.  Prior to our meeting, here are the options I thought we had:

1 – Do another FET, which FYI, insurance does not cover.  It’s an out-of-pocket expense that costs $4,000.

2 – Do another IVF cycle, which I estimated would cost another $3,000+.

and 3 – Nothing.  Take a break from all the medication and wait.

In my last post I mentioned that I was done and I didn’t want to continue trying anymore.  I felt that way because I was so hurt and the process is time consuming.  I recognized that a break was necessary but I didn’t want to take it.  Honestly, I wanted to do another FET but I knew what I needed to do…option 3…Nothing, at least for a little while.  Choosing to do another FET right away would have been more draining.  I knew my body needed to rest from all the medications and the emotional stress I experienced.

Doing another FET seemed to be only option but the price was not inviting.  Plus, money is always considered, whether or not I’m working outside my home.  I knew that we could afford to do another FET but I really had to think about whether that would be a smart decision.  I thought about the options we had and was still usure of what to do.  My husband & I discussed the options and decided we would wait until next year, 2013 to do anything, whatever it would be.  Of course, our decision also depended on Dr. F. recommendations.

The night before the meeting I wrote a couple of questions in my phone so I wouldn’t forget to ask them.  I really didn’t know what the objective of the meeting was and I didn’t know what to expect.  I figured we would discuss the FET and options, obviously, but other than that I didn’t know.

The day arrived for my follow up appointment with Dr. F.  I went by myself because my husband had a work meeting and was unable to attend.  When I arrived, they were apparently busy.  I knew I would be waiting a little longer than usual.  It wasn’t a problem because they have a TV and I have my phone to do shopkicks on.  When ready, Dr. F. and I walked to his office.  He shut the door and then talked with me while looking through my folder.  He allowed time for me to ask questions.  I only had 2.  The first questions was in regard to my endometriosis and if I should consider removing it.  I don’t remember the entire answer but I remember him explaining that removing it would be helpful if I experience a lot of pain.  I remember thinking that I do but I didn’t say anything.  I just thought about it.  The second question I had was about my menses.  I wanted to know why I didn’t get it prior to the blood test results.  Dr. F explained that during a normal menstrual cycle, a drop in progesterone levels would initiate my menses.  So, because I was still taking the progesterone I didn’t get a period until after I stopped the medication.  I was like, “Oh!”  After that I felt dumb because I felt like I should know that.  Lol.  After answering all my questions, we carried on with our discussion.

Dr. F. apologized for us not having any success.  I didn’t know what to say.  I felt he was genuine and I played it off by telling him, “it’s ok.”  That was awkward for me.  It wasn’t ok but I knew we both recognized that success was important.  Instead of dwelling on the lack of success, Dr. F focused on the embryos.

Dr. F used an analogy that helped me understand his perspective in the process, including our options.  I’ll call it…The Olympics.  He showed me pictures of our remaining 5 embryos and compared them to the olympics.  Seeing the embryos renewed my strength, hope, and purpose.  I completely understood the analogy and was again reminded of the risks involved with every step.  To make it to the freezing, each of the embryos are really good.  They’re the best athletes!  When it comes to the day of competition, you hope for an elite performance but never truly know how they will perform.  I may have exaggerated a little more than Dr. F, but you get the point right?  Dr. F. explained that he would expect 3-4 babies from the 7 embryos we originally had and with the 5 left, he still has that same expectation.  I know each embryo must meet a specific criteria so it was intriguing to me that the same expectation applies to the 5 remaining embryos.  Pretty cool actually!

We continued our meeting by discussion our options.  I was pretty accurate in my guesses for options.  Dr. F reviewed all the options, including the ones I thought about.  Dr. F, he’s so nice.  One more than one occasion, he’s told me I’m young.  Lol.  Sometimes I don’t feel young when I think of trying to have my first child at thirty-something.  But I am young! 🙂  Just a little note here…if the Dr. tells you you’re young, soak it up!  Lol.  Anyways!  Here’s a brief description of what we talked about:

1) FET.  Cost: $4,000   Begin: whenever we want.  This option is always available as long as we have frozen embryos…and we pay the storage fee.  Ya, I know, it reminds me of the all the storage facilities that have popped up on Oahu over the past 5+ years.  Except my embryos require much less space.  Lol.

2) IVF.  If we switched insurance companies we would get another “free” try.  Dr. F office would not charge us a copay for this second cycle.  Not sure if you remember but the copay price begins at $3,000.

3) Natural cycle with a little medicine.  I was not expecting this to be an option.  I told Dr. F that we weren’t planning to start anything until next year, end of January at the earliest.  He was respectful of that, which I really appreciated.  Now that I think about it, I don’t think we talked about how much this option would be.  I’m assuming that it is much cheaper than the other options.  I’m guess it’s like an IUI, which is a few hundred dollars.  Dr. F requested to do an ultrasound after we finished our discussion.  He wanted to see what the lining of my uterus looked like without medication, during a regular cycle.

Our meeting was done.  We walked out of Dr. F office and into an exam room.  I had a few minutes to change before he and my IVF coordinator knocked and came in.  During the exam, Dr. F inspected my uterus and remarked that it looked good.  What a relief!  I was hoping it would look ok.  I was so enthralled that Dr. F could tell I ovulated by the looking at my uterus.  It was amazing to me.  Dr. F wanted to see the lining of my uterus at different times during a normal cycle.  So, I have to call to schedule a day 10-12 exam.  Looks like the natural cycle is an option for now.  Yeah!

Well, those are our options.  I feel good and comfortable with them.  Another good thing is that I didn’t feel pressured from anyone to do anything.  The decisions were and are completely ours.  You know, after the FET was not successful, in some ways I felt like our options were limited to FET or IVF.  I’m glad that I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. F.

Still not sure what option we’ll choose.  We’ll see.

Next post: Considering the Options


Our Results

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It’s been 3 weeks now, since I got the results of our FET.  I guess it’s about time to share it.

I drove in to town for blood work on the morning of Sept. 20.  I was already home when my IVF coordinator called  me.  It was less than 2 hours after my blood work.  When my phone rang, I took a deep breath and answered it.  Once I heard my IVF coordinator’s voice asking me how I was doing, I knew what the results were…negative.  She confirmed that as we talked a little longer.  She explained that the results were not what they wanted and I asked her what that meant.  I felt the answer was pretty vague.  I wanted a straight forward answer – positive or negative.  She then explained that the test came back negative.  I went silent.  We scheduled a follow up meeting with Dr. F and then she offered support.  I assured her that I would be ok.  Immediately after our conversation ended, I took a deep breath and called my husband.

When I gave him the news, I knew from his response, that he was just as frustrated and hurt as I was.  I felt bad giving him such junk news while he was at work…and it was only a little after 10 in the morning.  We hung up and then I tried really hard to think about what just happened, without tearing up.  Ya, that didn’t happen.

It only took a few seconds before tears began to stream down my face.  I didn’t know what to think.  I thought about the risk and wondered if we had made the wrong decision.  Nope, we didn’t.  Just because taking that risk didn’t result in pregnancy didn’t make it a wrong choice.  Well, that’s what I think.

I thought, what now?  I was so hopeful that the FET would be successful.  I knew what other options we had, I just didn’t want to do them.  Then I wondered whether I should continue to try to become pregnant.  I truly felt like giving up that desire simply because the process is draining – financially, physically, and emotionally.  I say “I” because my husband didn’t share those same feelings.  To tell you the truth, I was done.  I didn’t want to do this anymore.  It hurt.  My heart ached for relief and tears continued to flow down my cheeks.  I kept telling myself I would be ok but I didn’t feel ok.  I wasn’t ok and I didn’t know what it would take for me to be ok.  My tears subsided and tried to do things around the house, aka cleaning.  Just FYI, dishes is not a good one to do.  But I did them and found it difficult to wipe my eyes because obviously my hands were busy.  While I was doing that my sister-in-law called.  I programmed my ringtones so I knew she was calling, in fact hearing her ringtone caused me to start crying again.  I couldn’t answer the phone, I just couldn’t.  Not only were my hands soaked in dishes, my mind, heart, and mouth were not working collaboratively.  I wasn’t trying to avoid my sister-in-law, I just knew I was in no position to talk.  I again felt bad, for the second time that day, and decided I needed to leave the house.  I left a little while later to take a drive and to get some shopkicks.  (Shopkicks is an app that gives you points for walking into stores as well as scanning items.  You can redeem your kicks for gift cards.)

I went to Pearl Ridge – Macy’s, American Eagle, Best Buy, Waikele – Old Navy, and Fabric Mart.  Needless to say, I got a lot of kicks!  Lol.  I spent a lot of time at Fabric Mart looking for material for a couple of projects.  A friend of mine, after seeing my reupholstered chairs, gave me her outdoor patio set.  I searched for material for that but didn’t find what I was looking for.  I did, however, find material for a skirt I’d been wanting to make.  While I was at Fabric Mart, my sister-in-law called again and my mom.  I talked with both of them.  By then I still felt hurt and sorrow, but I was ok to talk.  My mom & I talked for over an hour.  I walked around the fabric store with headphones in one ear.  At times I held back tears so other customers wouldn’t see.  My mom was trying to encourage me and help me.  I know it was hard – for her and me.  The pain and grief I felt was stronger than any words of encouragement, understanding, and love.  My mom tried really hard to help me.  After we talked I felt a little better.  I ate a little something at Waikele Jamba Juice and then sat outside on the bench, thinking…what now?  I stayed out for at least 4 hours before returning home.  I quickly realized that this was not like a pill I could swallow to remove the anguish I felt.  It would take much more than I was willing to give.  I canceled dinner plans for that evening and decided to stay home.

The pain I felt ran deep.  I felt so alone and knew there weren’t a lot of people that could relate to what I was going through.  Not that there aren’t people that understand, I just don’t know a lot of them.  I wasn’t looking for sympathy, I was seeking relief.  By the end of the day, my tears dried up and anger penetrated through everything.  This wasn’t going to be good.

I was SO angry, I went into an extreme mode.  I’m not sure how else to describe it.  Maybe more like defiant.  I had reached my breaking point through this entire process and I wasn’t having it anymore.  Most of my frustration was centered around the fact that I wasn’t pregnant.  It was unbelievable to me.  I just shook my head in disgust.  I remember telling my husband, “I’m done.”  I felt like we never get a break and decided to take my own break.  I was so hurt and angry I didn’t want to pray or read my scriptures.  So I didn’t.  I wanted to take a break from being faithful every time.  I didn’t even want to go to church.  I didn’t want to be around people.  I felt as though the Lord had forsaken me.  I know, that sounds bad but it’s the truth.  This was a huge thing for me, especially because I’m not like that at all.  That’s how appalled and mad I was.  I just didn’t care.  This attitude of mine lasted about 4-5 days.

As much as I didn’t want to do things, I still did.  I still went to church and spent time with friends even though I didn’t feel like it.  But I knew I wasn’t over it yet.  One night I went to a surprise birthday party for a friend.  I was asked about how the FET went and results.  I told my friend it didn’t work and she apologized.  I told her she didn’t have to be sorry.  When I got home that night I mentioned it to my husband.  I told him, “It’s like I’m numb.  I’m so mad I don’t have any feelings.”  Which was true.  I knew exactly what I was doing.  I acted like it wasn’t a big deal, but it was.  Apparently I had a good facade.  Lol.

A little over a week after we got the results, I was praying and reading my scriptures again but sporadically, whenever I wanted to.  There was also the General Relief Society Broadcast, which is an annual church broadcast for women 18 and older.  In its entirety, it’s about 1.5 – 2 hours long.  There’s usually a lunchoen and activity connected with the broadcast.  I didn’t want to go but I did want to watch the broadcast.  Instead, I went to watch 2 of nephews soccer games and my oldest nephew’s baseball game.  I sat down to watch it a couple days later.

I remember, it was a Monday morning and my husband had already left for work – it was his birthday!  I put the broadcast on.  There were 4 speakers.  They were ALL great!  The 3rd speaker was Sister Linda S. Reeves.  As she spoke and shared experiences, I just cried.  She explained some of the feelings she had as she endured a couple of trials.  I knew exactly what she was talking about and felt the need to cease my anger.  I needed to stop this “adult tantrum” I was having.  Following the broadcast, I went into the bedroom and prayed earnestly to the Lord to calm my trouble heart.  I didn’t like being angry but I felt I was justified in my frustrations at the time.  It was hindering my growth.  I included my husband in my prayer too.  I knew that this took a toll on him as well.  This is a “we” thing, not a “me” thing.  Our pain was the same but our methods for dealing with it were different.  I knew my husband needed comfort too.  I received the peace I desired, which allowed me to start to move forward – little steps at at time.

As the weeks have gone by, I’ve noticed a change.  When I first got the news that I wasn’t pregnant, I wondered how I would get over it.  Now, 3 weeks later, I know I don’t need to get over it.  I just need to move forward.  To me, when I hear about “getting over” stuff, it represents the need to forget about it and never look back.  Maybe in certain situations, that’s true, but for in this circumstance, no.  I don’t need to get over it.  It’s a part of who I am, an experience I will never forget.  Something I know, will strengthen me.

You’re welcome to watch or read the talk by Linda S. Reeves here! (It’s good!) 🙂

Next post:  Now What?