Tuesday, February 2, 2016

And then there was one... IVF #3

Sorry for the delay, I've been processing all that happened!

After our amazing 100% fertilization report, it all went south.  Saturday I got a call, not from the lab, but from Dr. Amin.  From my previous experience, I knew this wasn't good.   Apparently on day five we had ZERO embryo's good enough to biopsy, but three that could potentially make it on day six.

My heart broke. Again.

On one hand I am SO glad we used all of our eggs, on the other hand, why does this keep happening!?

Dr. Amin called Sunday, and she let know that we had ONE 5AA (I've never had a 5AA!), and that was all.  Ironically, I had been praying for (at least) ONE (normal) 5AA all week!  I even had it written in my kitchen so I would remember to pray about it when I saw it!  See...


We had to make a decision to test or not to test, to do another cycle to get more to test, or just transfer it.  I really wish my cycle was aligned because I would have just had them put it right in!

I talked to C about it.  He just wants to transfer it.  I'm not going to lie and say I'm excited.  I'm scared to death!  The thought of going through this again, not knowing if its even normal and we could miscarry... again... terrify's me.  But, we are going to transfer it next cycle, say a prayer and  cross our fingers.

All we were praying for was one healthy baby from this.  Could this be THE ONE!?!?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Houston, We Have Embryo's...

Yesterday went perfect!  We woke up at 630AM, got ready, made a green smoothie and some decaf green tea to go.  I had L come and watch the boys, who apparently slept in until 7:45 (They never do that for us!). We arrived at the Redondo Beach lab at 8:30.

We were called back at 8:45 by an embryologist I had never met before.  She brought us back, C signed some paperwork and showed proof it was him.  I mentioned that we had twins from rescue ICSI, and she paused for a minute and asked, "were they Christmas rescue ICSI?"  I responded "YES!"  She replied, "I heard about you guys!"  Awwwww... more proof that my twins are such Christmas miracles!  They are an amazing story!

Anyway, we went back to this tiny little room where I helped out my hubby a bit.  I figure, as least we get to do this part together!  There is no way, he would do that by himself.   I was really impressed with his sample, I think it was the most ever!  The last three or four months, he has really been cleaning up his diet, taking extra supplements, and working out again.  It must have helped!

I was told we would get a fertilization report this morning, but when I woke up I saw that I missed a call from them at 6:30 last night!  My heart was pounding when I went to listen to the voicemail!  Was she going to tell me all my eggs didn't make the thaw?  Or only a few? ahhhhh....  It was good news!  Out of the 27 eggs, 22 made the thaw, five died, but 22 made it and were ICSI'd!!!!  Praise Jesus!  I told Chris it was such a good thing we did all of them because originally he only wanted to do ten and then we would have potentially only had five!

I got my second call from them at 9:30am.  More good news!  Out of my 22 ICSI'd eggs, 22 fertilized!  Praise Jesus again!  We have 22 growing embryo's!!!!!!!

Today is day one, day three they will preform assisted hatching, day five, Saturday, I will get a call on  how many make it to blastocyst and which ones they will biopsy for PGS!  Day six, Sunday, I will get another call to see if I have any six day blastocysts to biopsy. This is so nerve wracking and exciting all at the same time!

Grow embryo's GROW!!!!!  Please pray pray pray!!!!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Moving Forward...

Where has the time gone!?  I hope you all had a very blessed holiday season!  Ours was busy, but memorable.  I was totally (okay not totally) checked out of IF, and was able to just be present with my family.  CHRISTmas with four year olds is a magical time and it is amazing to see it all through their eyes.

After CHRISTmas, we left the country and went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  After a year of IF treatments, my hubby and I SO needed this break!  It was amazing, reconnecting.  We brought the boys, of course and they are just getting more and more fun to travel and explore the world with!

While we were there on a boat, C looked over at me, while we were both holding a sleeping child in our arms, and said, "Alright, I'm ready for another baby." HA! It took having our two sweet boys who are just growing into such intelligent, loving and kind boys to make him REALLY desire another.  I mean this is such a roller coaster of emotion... this past year has been.  


Last month, I did blood work searching for something else that could potentially cause miscarriage, with Dr. Anderson. It came back showing that I had a positive SSA or Sjogrens syndrome, and also had low protein S, which is a blood clotting disorder.  My first reaction was, how the heck did I ever get pregnant and give birth to TWO beautiful little boys!?  And second, OMGosh my boys are SUCH miracles!  I really had to process all of this new info.  

I sent over my blood work to Dr. Amin to get her thoughts.  She wanted me to see a Rheumetologist prior to starting any more treatments, so I did.  The good news is that I have NO symptoms of sjogrens and the RA isn't worried at all.  The bad news is that for some reason, sjogrens can cause a heart block in growing fetus's in the womb!  However, she isn't really concerned because I have already had two babies just fine and I am asymptomatic.  She said, "If we tested everyone in the world for sometime, everyone would have something show up, even if they don't have symptoms."  However, knowing all of this, if I ever do get pregnant, I will need to see a perinatologist throughout my pregnancy, which I am totally okay with since I had to with my twins too!  I loved getting to see them grow so often!

Dr. Amin just retested the protein S to be sure it wasn't low from the miscarriage and it also came back normal! Praise God!

Last month I spent a lot of time in prayer, and processing all the info.  I just wanted a clear cut answer on what doctor to use... Dr. Anderson who has an 85% success rate, but will only transfer one embryo or Dr. Amin, who has a 75% success rate but will transfer two...  And if we should thaw 10 eggs or all 27 eggs!

Well one morning during my quiet time (when I read my bible and pray in a quiet place to hear Him speak), it all became very clear to me.  I was sure as ever and I still feel very confident in this decision.  I am sticking with Dr. Amin and we are thawing and fertilizing ALL 27 eggs.  I am very happy with this decision.  I am putting this all in Gods hands as I always do.  

It hit me that morning, that out of 29 eggs our first IVF, all we had were Rocco and Maximus, and NOTHING LEFT TO FREEZE.  We had two perfect embryos and that was all!  Now mind you, those were rescue icsi'd, but now my eggs are frozen!  We are putting all our eggs in one basket, so to speak, and praying for a miracle... at least one healthy take home baby!

And when is this happening???  MONDAY!!!!!  Woo hoo!!!!  We have to be there at 830 so they can ICSI the eggs with C's Sperm!  It is so exciting because I am not having to do an egg retrieval, we just show up to give his "goods!"

We will also be PGS testing the day five embryos and freezing.  I'm currently CD 8.  So transfer will be next cycle.

Please please PRAY that we get some good looking embryo's this week!  That all the eggs thaw perfectly! That we get at least one normal one... and for God's will most of all!  We are praying for one HEALTHY BABY! 

Thanks everyone! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Decisions Decisions...

I had my consultation with the new potential RE today.

I wish I could say I left there feeling great about moving forward.  I don't.  I have a bit of anxiety about it, to be quite honest.  Now, don't get me wrong, Dr. Anderson is great.  He is very kind, made me feel comfortable, and even said, "I won't abandon you!"  Because I totally felt abandoned by Dr. R this last year.  Not totally his fault, however he warned me that he was moving, but still.  Never did I think this past year would end up like this.

So here is were I am struggling... We have 27 eggs.  How many do we ICSI?  What if we have left over embryo's... that are NORMAL!?  How do you decide what to do with them?  C made it VERY clear last night that he only wants to transfer one time.  If we have two normals, he would want to put them both in and call it a day.  Here is the problem.  Dr. Anderson will only do SET (single embryo transfers).  He said he has seen too many horrible outcomes with twin pregnancy's.  He said we were super lucky.  My other problem now is C.  He also made it veery clear that if we have two normals and we transfer one, we are are DONE.  He won't want to transfer the last one! I'm so at a loss!  What if we ended up with three?  I mean we could also end up zero!  HELP ME!

I asked Dr. A, "Now Knowing we only really want one or two, how many would you ICSI?" He said "All of them." What!?  That scares me to death!  He explained that because my eggs were frozen, the quality of them will not be as good, and because I overstimmed it could also effect quality.   He also said that for my age, and with fresh eggs, 1 out of 5 are normal. Hmmmm... so maybe we should do 10?

I don't know guys.  I feel very confused!  I have been praying all day for wisdom and discernment on this. If you have any wisdom, please share!

He is also sending me for blood work this week and wants me to do an office hysteroscopy Wednesday!  I'm CD 18 and there is no O in sight.  As for blood work, he is looking for other blood clotting disorders that may have caused the m/c.  My other RE's didn't do that!  I do believe he knows what he is doing.

I really wish God would just tell me clearly what to do.  I know he is my guide and I need to listen to my gut.  I am working on being in a quiet space when I pray.  This is a challenge with two littles, but it is a must!






Friday, November 13, 2015

She Holds Onto Hope


Prayer is an amazing thing.

 I was super vulnerable Sunday and posted on my Instagram (@naturalhealthmomma) sharing the pain and hurt of miscarriage.  I'm not sure why I posted, but I felt a huge weight lifted.  The response was not what I expected at all!  I received over 100 comments of people telling me they were praying for me!  I read every comment with tears streaming down my cheeks.  I was overwhelmed by the love and support by so many!  I was humbled, to say the least!

Just prior to the insta posting,  I took the boys and went to church.  During worship, we were singing about being in His presence.  I realized that I never want to be out of His presence.  I was taking a stand, raising my hands in worship singing songs to my Lord, praising His name, even after losing two babies, I realized God is STILL good.  I was NOT going to let Satan win.  He wants to discourage me and pull me away from the one who wants to comfort me!

Since that day, I have had many conversations with God.  I realized that I can be angry and raise my fists at Him, or have him be here from me and help me heal from the wounds of IF and pregnancy loss.  I felt like I was drowning and I really needed him to pull me out of the pit of despair.  God is so good and he has been doing just that!

I've been really praying for my heart to line up with his will, praying for Him to take the desire of another baby away from me, if it wasn't what he had in store for us.

With the loss of baby #2, it put a lot of things into perspective for me.

  • First, I realized that yes, traveling was important to me, but being a family and a mom was more important. We were planning on traveling to Europe in May, if I wasn't pregnant.
  • Being a mom, is the best job in the world.  I feel like I was made to be a mom.
  • We have a VERY short window to possibly grow our family (I'm almost 35), and a life time to travel the world.
  • Adoption is not for me (at least at this point).  God has not placed it in my heart.  I have moments where I think, yes, I could do it! But ultimately I would have too many worries.
  • Infertility is a lot like cancer.  If someone with cancer was failing treatment, would they just give up or keep trying until ALL options were exhausted.  Would they just stop the first treatment and decide "God must not want me to get well." NO!  They would keep trying to get well!  
  • I was scared to death to share all of this with my husband.

I was researching the other night on other doctors in my area, and specifically doctors with high success rates.  I was blown away when I found SCCRM!  They are my very first RE actually, except Dr. D is no longer there and the original RE, Dr. Anderson is!  He has an 85% success rate!  I think that is unheard of!

Now, there is a lot of processing still to do.  I still may go there and decided I can't go through with it again. However, I feel like if I don't, I would always wonder.

I finally came clean to C the other night about my feelings.  One of the reasons I agreed to stoping treatment 'no matter what' after our last cycle is because I though for sure it would work.  He really doesn't want to do this again, but also doesn't want me to resent him for saying no.  I told him if his answer was no, I would have to get over it.  

Well, we ended up on the same page!  We are going to see Dr. A!  I needed hope, I needed to know we still have a chance.  I haven't ever felt our family was complete, even though I am soooo incredibly blessed and grateful for my boys!

I just have to believe God has put this baby on my heart for a purpose.  I either need this dr to tell me, sorry your uterus cannot carry more kids (surrogacy is not an option for me), or yes we can use your 27 eggs!  I need closure of some sort. Or we need to move forward!

My appointment is November 23.  Stay tuned!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Trusting God Through Miscarriage

I have to share this amazingly written post. Just when I thought my faith was unshakeable, Satan found a way to shake it... But he is not going to win! I could feel the walls going up just like the writer in the post below says, but I need my savior to get me through this time. I hope this piece touches you like it did for me. 

Trusting God through Miscarriage by Krissi Trowbridge

“The enemy is after your joy. He wants to steal it forever, and ever.”
Those words shook me to my core while on the phone with a friend. You know in movies where one line is spoken and the mood heightens or changes entirely? This was that… But in real life, in my real heart. Those words pierced like arrows, challenging me to zoom out of the sea of pain I was drowning in, and see a much bigger picture. The big picture was the threat to the quality, the joy I would or would not experience in my life, for the rest of my life, and I wasn’t backing down.

Moments before my friend spoke those words to me in prayer, I had been in the doctor’s office. My husband and I went in together for a routine pregnancy check up. There was nothing unusual going on, which we were fine with after experiencing an early term miscarriage in December. We expected to be in and out after an ultrasound and blood work. We had seen our new baby at two previous appointments, and were eager to get a glimpse of that precious life we were picking out names and planning for. As I lay on the exam table the doctor put the sonogram wand over my stomach. I love hearing baby’s heart beat. It’s the most beautiful music to a mama’s ears. I waited, and heard nothing. I looked at the screen and saw our baby, still, and lifeless.

It seemed like hours staring at that screen, knowing in my heart the truth, but trying to convince myself I was wrong or I was dreaming. Finally our doctor broke the deafening silence, and with tears in his eyes said “I… I can’t hear a heartbeat.” I went numb. Was this really happening? Emotions threatening to engulf me, I was half listening to the doctor tell us to go home today and we would talk about the different options on how to get the baby out… It was all too much. All I could do was lay there.

I felt God’s peace, but I also felt the walls going up around my heart. When you receive such a blow to your joy, your promise, your faith… It shakes you. Being shaken is part of life, but remaining anchored in the midst of the storm is a choice. That choice was a very real one at that moment.

When I heard those words, “the enemy is after your joy” it was like an awakening alarm went off inside of me. Not that I had to be joyful in that moment, but that I could believe the Lord’s joy would strengthen me until I could be. There was a voice in my heart that was shouting of God’s goodness, His faithfulness, even through this. I didn’t know what it was going to look like, but I had decided I would not let the enemy steal my joy for the rest of my life. That I would walk out this pain and healing process with the Lord by my side, carrying me through. In my heart came John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

I took a deep breath and looked up at the ceiling, but my focus was beyond it. My focus was on my Father. The One who knows me and loves me. The One who had prepared me in ways and had others already praying for me. The One who doesn’t kill babies, or anyone for that matter. I felt a resolve in my heart. I felt anchored. Anchored to Jesus. Anchored to His joy. Anchored to peace that really was surpassing my understanding. Anchored to Him. My emotions were thrashing about like an incredible storm, threatening the strength of my anchor, but I just kept breathing. I didn’t understand, but I didn’t have to. I would walk this out, not to impress God with my own strength, but while leaning on Him in my weakness, fully dependent on Him, letting His strength and joy meet all of my pain. Getting up that day was so hard, as were the days and weeks after that appointment.

I had always read “the joy of the Lord is your strength” in Nehemiah 8 as if I had to force myself to be joyful, so I would be strong. This journey of back to back miscarriages has taught me it is not my joythat brings strength, but HIS. I can not tell you how many times I have listened to ‘Forever’ by Kari Jobe. I always laugh and cry with unexplainable joy at the line:
“Oh death, where is your sting? Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated!”
It has been a few months now, and I have found myself in different phases of heartache and healing. I kept feeling like I should be ok. People expected me to be ok. There are triggers that cause tears. It took me weeks to go through my closet and take out the maternity clothes. Baby showers are very different for me now. The thing is, I know that at my core I really am ok, but the Lord is still healing me. In prayer one day I asked the Lord why I wasn’t ‘there’ yet… Fully healed. He showed me a picture of me in a deep pit, head in my hands while I cried. He said, “Daughter, you keep thinking I am reaching down from the top of the pit, desperate to help you get out and move on. I’m not there. I am in the pit with you, holding you and weeping with you. Don’t focus on getting there, just focus on Me. Soon we will be out of the pit… not because of your strength, but because you allow Me in your pain, in your pit. I am not in a hurry to get you to the other side, I am interested in the full healing of your heart.” He has been beside me every second of this process. His joy has truly given me strength.

This season has been painfully healing, horribly beautiful, and one I will always remember. Yes, because of the loss, but also for the love, the faithfulness, nearness and depth I have discovered in God. We can’t know we are established in our faith, until that faith is tested. What good is a beautiful mansion, if the foundation has a hole in it? The Lord uses our pain as opportunities to draw us to Him, and rebuild us stronger than before. Just because I am hurting, doesn’t mean God isn’t good. His character does not change when I go through pain.

I will continue to embrace the pain until joy and strength burst from it. I won’t be afraid to feel it ALL, with Jesus, so He can heal me the whole way of this journey, because I trust Him. I won’t settle for anything less than redemption, and neither should you. If you too, have a baby waiting for you in heaven, know that as you read this, I have already prayed for you and your family. You are still a mother, and your baby is worth honoring and acknowledging, no matter how short their life. I see you and with all of my heart want to hug you and hear your story.

There really is nothing He can not bring you through, Mama, If you chose to trust Him, even when it doesn’t line up with what makes sense to you. I promise He won’t leave you broken. He didn’t cause your pain, but He wants to love and heal you through to a more anchored, joyful, beautiful you. Nothing is too difficult for Him.
There may be pain in the night, but joy really does come in the morning! I am praying your joy may be filled to overflowing, even in the midst of the storm. Stay anchored, Sister. He has you!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Tears

im sitting here alone. In tears.

Last night was so painful. I had the miscarriage.

It is labor with no happy ending.

My stomach is still sore. My heart still aches.

Having two losses, only makes me long for a baby more, yet terrified to try again. Could I even handle it?

My heart is broken, my womb is empty.

My tears are silent prayers. He is listening.

Trust.

God has a plan.
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