Monday, April 28, 2008

I am humbled...

Look what arrived at my house Sunday afternoon! Jeremy's cousins, David and Catherine, and his mom, Barbara, and his sister, Kara brought me this basket! It is the ultimate in care packages.

There are books, crossword puzzles, magazines, snacks, cash, gift cards, and the sweetest cards and notes. There are even grandma Walker's homemade snicker doodle cookies! Many of you may have known about this before I did. From what I understand, Catherine worked hard to contact people and many of you responded in love. Can I say how touched we are? Your money will help us pay for gas and medication. Your snacks will keep us chubby :) Your books and mags are right up our alley! Who of you knew I LOVED crossword puzzles? I have been journaling about this journey randomly, but now I even have a new journal to put it all in one place. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have enjoyed daydreaming about baby names, which room we will choose for our nursery, how we will decorate the room--all of these ideas are down in my new journal. Even if this doesn't work for us, we have hope. We have family and friends-who-are-like-family who we love. We know if I give birth to a child or if we adopt that you all will love and cherish that child with no reservations. I am so thankful. Thanks from the bottom of our hearts for your love, kindness, prayers, support, and giving spirit.

This Just In! Breaking News!

Hey guys! Are you ready for another update from the bruised, poked, and prodded? This week will not disappoint! It has been a busy week.

First off, my needles are getting easier every day. The injections are becomming second nature to me and the only real side effect I feel is a headache. (Jeremy says I am "a little cranky" though he may just be scared to tell me how he really feels!) I have been to the doctor 5 times this week alone. They require very close monitoring. I have to have blood drawn (seriously, I only have two arms! Both of which are bruised from blood draws and it makes me feel like I have to explain myself to everyone who sees them--"I don't have a drug problem, just a getting pregnant problem"). After the blood draws I get to get an ultrasound! This is actually kind of fun because you get to see your insides! The first u/s I had around 14 follicles. (Follicles= the fluid filled sacs surounding an egg.) That is good for IVF. The 2nd u/s I had more, the third u/s the doctor said she saw 'an Easter basket-full.' I had well over 20 this morning. That, of course, is due to the high amounts of hormones I've been injecting into my belly every day. Most women only produce one to two follicles a month. For IVF they require many more, because not all of them make it thru the process.

Boring information aside, I will be travelling to Little Rock Tuesday night to stay with my friend Natalie, because Jeremy and I will be at the clinic in LR for the egg retrieval Wednesday morning. I will be under conscious sedation while they use a 16 inch long needle to retrieve the eggs. Yes, I said 16 INCH LONG NEEDLE. Yikes. Thank goodness for sedation! We will return to Little Rock sometime over the weekend to have the transfer done.

Please pray that we have a safe trip down and back both times. Please pray that I will not get ovarian hyperstimulation. It is a slight risk that would not be a good situation for me. Please pray for God's will in whether this embryo will stick or not. Please pray for our emotional and physical wellbeing during this exciting but somewhat stressful time.

I will keep you posted as to how many eggs we got and how many were successfully fertilized. As for me, I will keep downing my Gatorade (drs orders) and I'll see ya on the other side of that 16 inch long needle!

Much love to you all!

Monday, April 14, 2008

You Have Been More Than Patient

Today I babysat for my friend's little girl. Our friends, Krissi and Will, have a little girl who is a total doll! I had a lot of fun making her smile, rocking her to sleep, and watching her walk all over the house with me while I did laundry and loaded the dishwasher. This is her asleep. Isn't she the sweetest? She slept like that for at least an hour! She just turned one at the end of March.
This picture leads me to my next subject. Krissi and I set out on our journey to motherhood the same month in 2006. Almost two years later, 8 friends of mine have gotten pregnant and many have already delivered their babies. Jeremy and I are still on that journey. As many of you know, that trip to Little Rock a couple weeks ago was to see a Fertility Specialist. We have been dealing with them since November 2007, but we went down for information on the IVF process. This is our latest and last treatment option.

First of all, let me backtrack. Like I said, Jeremy and I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years. When we began trying we both really wanted to keep it a secret. We were imagining the fun and excitement of announcing it to our friends and family. We were already thinking up names, planning a nursery, thinking about paint colors, everything you do when you have finally decided to start trying for a baby. We had finally gotten to the point where we felt settled. We had a new house, I was out of beauty school and established in a salon, and we felt like we could afford it. The Lord had other plans for us. I was crushed the first month it didn't work out. I remember sitting in the parking lot at Tractor Supply on the 4th of July to watch the fireworks over Baum Stadium barely able to carry on an intelligent conversation because I had gotten confirmation that morning that I was not pregnant.

That month turned into two. Two turned into six. Six turned into ten. By that point, I was convinced that I might have to see a doctor about this. Of course they kind of put me off, because after all, I was young and had no obvious problems, it was just gonna take time. I had a few tests run, all came back normal. Finally I had had enough of this waiting game. I told the nurse that I wanted to do something about it. They put me on a fertility drug. I tried this drug for two months and went in for a blood test on the second month and they called me back and told me that I was not ovulating. SERIOUSLY?? I've gone over a year and we're just now finding out I am not regularly ovulating? So I switched doctors. We tried 3 more rounds of the drugs and finally the doctor suggested I try an IUI. Interuterine Insemination. They simply give you drugs to grow and mature your eggs, then a trigger shot to make it ovulate, then inject the sperm into your uterus with a catheder on exactly the right day. We tried that twice. With two failed IUIs under out belt, I got very discouraged. I finally gathered my nerve and called a fertility clinic in Little Rock. I had been referred to those doctors by a few people and thought what the heck?

This new doctor suggested that we try injectible medication with our IUI. So I was taught how to stick a needle in my stomach for about 6 days of the month, then I would travel to Little Rock for an insemination. After two more failed IUIs with injectibles attempts, I was done. The doctors have never been able to find anything wrong with either one of us. Jeremy and I had been praying for guidance on what next. We prayed for adoption, for IVF, for doing nothing. We didn't know what God wanted us to do. Slowly it seemed like our answer came when we found out we had insurance coverage for one round of IVF.

IVF is a very detailed and intensive process. There are many drugs involved.

Yes that's a huge bag of NEEDLES! I have already started some of the drug protocol. The needle they start you out with is tiny, then the next set is a little bigger, then the last ones that you take for at least two weeks straight are HUGE. Right now they have me in a medically induced state of far, other than being a little cranky, menopause is ok. Soon I will start large doses of egg stimulating drugs that will, no doubt, make me feel crazy. Not to mention a steriod, an antibiotic, progesterone shots in the bum, and several estrogen patches. Fun!

I will endure many appointments at my doctor's office up here to monitor my progress. I will feel like a pin cushion with all those lab draws in addition to all of the needles I'll be sticking in my belly and rear. Finally by the end of April early May, we will head to Little Rock to actually have the egg retrieval, fertilization, and transfer.

I am so excited and so ready to get the show on the road! I am a girl of action! I like to have a plan! Please continue your prayers for us. I know from day to day my emotions change about the whole process. Soometimes I am excited, others I am saddened that we had to go to this extreme. While at times, it seems cold and clinical, when I think of the outcome, my heart is warmed. We understand that we have around a 55% chance of success. If this doesn't work, we will be back to the drawing board. We will pray for the money to adopt. We know our future is in God's hands and are calmed about a negative outcome with that thought alone. He knows us, loves us, and has our best intentions at heart. He will sustain us until we are blessed with a child.

I really struggled with putting all this info up here for the whole world to see. I tend to be private about these matters, but dealing with it all has made me be open about it. Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, and support. I know I have a huge group of family and friends who will be truly and genuinely happy for us when the time does come. Thank you for being so good to us!

I know!

I've been a bad blogger!

Please accept my apology! It has been a crazy two weeks. My birthday came and went in a flash. I had a great 28th birthday. My husband surprised me with an Iphone two days before my actual birthday. I was very surprised. I have wanted one since Christmas but knew they were too expensive. I told Jeremy that I still wanted one back in March, knowing that there was no way it would happen. Well, he got to discussing it with his mom and together they made it happen for me!
I have to say that I love it with all of my heart. I am a gadget girl! I love how much I can do with it. The pictures are amazing. The internet access is great. The touch screen is pretty cool. The map and weather feature are right up my alley! It makes me want to go out and buy a Mac computer. Especially after having soooo much trouble with my computer lately.

I was lucky enough to get several meals for my birthday. J and I went to Herman's. We both had steaks that were really good. Jeremy's mom cooked a big meal for J and I, his dad, his sister, Kara and his brother Andrew and his girlfriend, Kara. We had fun discussing our upcoming trip to Florida in August. Jeremy was telling us our agenda for the trip. He said it included waking up at 5:30 a.m. and doing aerobics on the beach, then eating a breakfast of cereal and pop tarts, then returning to the beach for Sandcastles 101. That's as much planning as he has managed so far. We went out to lunch at work for my birthday at Catfish Hole (my mom accidentally called it Fatfish Hole the other day and I found that quite fitting). I am awaiting my family's birthday celebration. I will get to pick out the meal of my choice at my mom's house. Hopefully my sis and my nieces will be able to come up soon to celebrate it with me. My friends at church bought my a couple nice presents and a cookie cake for me. It didn't last long. I love those things!

So all in all I had a great birthday week! It really seemed to last all week long! We had a revival going on at our church that week that really kept us busy. So between a trip to Little Rock in one day, my birthday, and the revival that first week of April...we have since tried to slow down...but it hasn't really worked out that way!

Remember how I said I was gonna try to cook at home more in the coming weeks? Riiiigghhtt...about that. Let's just say I failed and I will try to do better.