Today is Saturday, obviously, but in the south some people consider it somewhat of a sacred day! It’s college football day! Our day started off unlike any Saturday we’ve ever had! We found ourselves sitting at the doctor’s office at 8 am! May I remind you that it’s an hour drive to the doctor, so we were up at 6. I also worked yesterday evening, but one of my wonderful coworkers came in early for me so I could get home, get my shots and try to get some rest before driving an hour back to Birmingham.
It was almost eerie at the office. There was only one receptionist, one doctor (no nurse), and the andrology lab tech. We were sitting among other people going through the same thing we are. I just sat there and wondered what their IVF cycle was like. Do they experience the same emotions as me? Do they feel the same discomfort and physical experiences that I have? Do they have the same amazing support system that we have? Do they know Jesus? Do they feel the peace and comfort of His arms that I have felt so strongly this past week? Do they have people praying them through their journey like we do? My mind was going crazy! I pray that nobody ever has to go through infertility, or any life changing experience, alone.
I’ve been wanting to post an update all week, but it’s been a busy and tiring one for me! I’ve been trying to nap all day, and I can’t seem to fall asleep. Nicholas is showing our house this afternoon, so me and Molly came over to my mom and dads to rest. My mom got us all cuddled up and comfortable right away! I still can’t go to sleep, so here I am typing away! I’m ready to share so here it goes…
So I have now been on my stimulation meds for 8 nights. It has been going well, but man, I’m ready for them to retrieve those lil suckers!! I have kept a lil diary of my daily shot experiences. The menopure hurts the worst! When the medicine starts going in, it feels like a 100 little needles are spreading through my abdomen. The gonal-f burns sometimes. It’s a weird one because sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesn’t. The lupron doesn’t hurt but it itches initially then goes away.
We went for an ultrasound this past Tuesday, and I felt good. They saw lots of follicles and they were all growing appropriately! My lab work, estrogen level, was good that day! I went back Thursday morning for another check, my mom went with me to this one. Follicles were significantly larger and there were lots of them! Labwork was good that day too! I really started feeling the pressure from all the growing follicles that day as well! I was quite crampy and swollen Thursday night, and was warned that it would only get worse as they continue to grow.
Nicholas and I went back this morning for our final check before retrieval. Since he wasn’t with me Thursday, he was surprised when he actually saw all the growing follicles in there! Everything looks great! Labwork is good. I have almost 30 follicles, not all will be mature, but there will be plenty to fertilize!! They will retrieve them all! I will take my trigger shot tonight, and we are set for retrieval Monday morning at 8 am!! It’s hard to explain what the trigger shot is. It’s a large dose of HCG. It basically gets my follicles to the next stage. The stage they need to be in to be released/retrieved.
I was trying to describe how my abdomen feels to my sister the other night. I told her a normal, single baby pregnancy occurs when a woman’s body releases one mature follicle during ovulation. Multiple births can occur from the release of one egg, but are more likely to occur from the release of 2 or more mature follicles. I don’t know about all of you, but I personally cramp every time I ovulate. I definitely cramped more on clomid, which made me mature between 3-7 follicles every time. Right now, I have about 30 follicles maturing in there at the same time!! THIRTY!! Hence the swelling, pressure and cramps. This is all normal though and as planned!! The goal is at least 15-20.
I don’t know what I expected, but I didn’t realize we would be going to the doctor every other day while on my stim meds, but I am so thankful it works that way. I don’t do a lot of research. I did when I had my miscarriage and it terrified me, so now I take my own nursing advice and stay away from google! I have been following a few blogs along the way though. Blogs of women who have been, or are, exactly where we are right now. Some have been there 4 or 5 times! I learned about hyper-ovarian stimulation form one of them. While most of them are super encouraging and kinda prepare me for what’s to come, this scared me a little bit. I’ve said before that I trust my doctors 100%, and I know the Great Physician is in control, but the risks involved with this process are BIG and somewhat scary. Hyper-stimulation can be incredibly dangerous and lead to ruptured ovaries. I don’t know why I’m telling y’all this, but I am sooooo incredibly thankful that God has prepared the way for us and things are going perfectly so far!! We are so blessed, and we continue to pray that HIS WILL be done!
On our way home from the doctor today, my tired mind was wandering a little bit. We have taken each day as it comes, whatever it may bring. One day at a time! Today’s step is one we know all too well, the trigger shot, because I have taken it lots of times over the last year. Monday is our next huge step! I will be put to sleep for our retrieval, thank goodness! The last time I was put to sleep, I was going back for possible removal of everything in my pelvic region. It was the scariest time of my life, but as hard as it was to understand then, my Heavenly Father was in complete control! I do not fear being put to sleep. I have had an amazing peace the last few weeks! It just brings back some not so good memories. My retrieval procedure will be done in a totally different place! It will be done in a small room on the same floor my doctor’s office is on. There will be 2 doctors, the anesthesiologist, and the andrology lab tech. I will get to see Nicholas once I’m prepped and right before they put me to sleep. I asked if he could stay in the room during the retrieval, but they said there is literally no extra room!
I gotta be transparent with all of you! As I sit and type this, I have tears streaming down my cheeks. Putting it all out there, thinking about the steps that are now behind us, and the journey we still have before us, is overwhelming. I haven’t cried in a while, which is odd for me. I’m a crier! I come from a very emotional family! I honestly don’t feel scared at all, and I know it’s because of your prayers and support! I feel a peace that certainly passes ALL of my understanding! The tears are happy and grateful tears! I am grateful for all of you for caring!
After our appointment on Tuesday, hearing that the meds were working and knowing that it’s all worth it, I got excited for what felt like the first time in a while! I AM EXCITED! It’s a timid excitement, but it’s there, and it makes me smile. After what we’ve been through this past year, I have learned that it’s okay to be cautious, to be prepared for whatever happens. I have and will continue to pray that God would prepare our hearts for whatever His plan may be. Sometimes He does tell us, not today, not this time, and He gives us the strength and grace to be okay in the meantime! I firmly believe that we are exactly where He wants us to be!
There have been soooo many hard questions and decisions to be made during this process. My protocol is the most basic. IVF was created for people like me. People with a plumbing issue. Nicholas and I are both young, we are healthy, and I’m responding well to low doses of hormones. So some of those hard questions, such as, genetically testing our embryos, individually fertilizing each egg, how many embryos to transfer, have all been a little bit easier to answer.
I feel like God spoke to me last week. He reminded me, once again, that He’s got this. It doesn’t matter how many embryos we transfer! It’s not up to us! He already knows how many babies we are going to have, when we are going to have them, and whether they will come from one or more embryos! Does that not just blow your mind? It blew mine!
One of my devotionals from October keeps coming to mind, so of course I have to share it. The header was this…”If you trust only when you understand, you’ll live with lots of doubt. God’s wisdom is bigger than anything your mind can conceive.” Goes on to say, “It’s humbling to admit, but important nonetheless. You will never reach true, sturdy, and lasting peace and rest of heart by means of understanding. Why? you may ask. Because there will always be things in your life that you do not understand. God reveals in his Word all the things that you need to know, but he does not tell you all the things that could be known. He reveals his plan for all his people in his Word, but he does not tell you his individualized sovereign plan for you. You and I simply are not able to contain in our limited brains all of God’s plans for us and all of the reasons for those plans.” It ends with this, “So where is peace and rest of heart to be found? You rest in the fact that in his Word God has told you all the things you absolutely need to know, and then you rest in the complete perfection of his wisdom and character. You rest not because you know, but because the One who knows it all is the definition of what is wise and what is good.”
It makes sense. My little pee brain can’t even fathom what all God has in store for us. He doesn’t lay a life map out before us because He wants us to seek Him! Our need to know and understand drives us to Him! We can rest assured that His wisdom and His plan are good and true! I’ll say it again, we don’t have to get it!!
I am so thankful to have my husband home! He kinda has to be here, but I really didn’t want anyone else giving me my shots! I think y’all already know how high of a pedestal I’ve placed him on! I wasn’t about to make him go to my appointment Thursday and then go to Christmas Village, so my mom and I made it a fun girls day! I was so thankful to have her there! It was cool for her to see all of those follicles that are her potential grand babies!
I talk about this being our journey, Nicholas and me, but that OUR includes our families and closest friends as well. Our families are more involved than any of you probably know, and we are incredibly grateful for their love and support. It’s not just emotional for us, but for them as well! Even more so sometimes I think! I am my mama and daddy’s baby, Suzy’s baby sister. Nicholas is his mama’s baby boy, he’s a big brother. We have the most precious nieces and nephews. This is our families journey as well! I know it’s hard for them to see us go through difficult experiences. Neither on of us would be who we are today without them, and they all make this process a whole lot more bearable! I am thankful my parents are close by! They have dropped everything multiple times to help us out! My sis and I are super close as most of you know. It has been hard on her because she is so far away! I know she wishes she could be here, but man she has gotten me through some hard and crazy days. I tell you all of this for a reason! When you pray for us, please pray for our families as well! Pray for a peace and understanding for them. I pray that they, along with everyone else cheering us on, feel the peace in their hearts that we feel in ours!
We are ready for this! We continue to pray that God uses our experience to comfort and witness to others around us! Gonna be an exciting couple of weeks! I will update when I feel led too, I promise! Love every single one of you reading this. We sincerely thank you, and we pray that God blesses all of you the way you have blessed us!
“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Job 5:9