God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Everyday I'm learning, waiting, trusting...

I re-read my last post today and laughed at my ignorance. I was given a very watered-down story of IVF, and every day I learn more and more of what this crazy journey is going to entail. I'm glad it's a day-by-day knowledge, because though it's hectic, it's doesn't seem much crazier from the story yesterday... so I press on. :) If I were given the detailed, tear-jerking story of IVf all at once, I'm pretty sure this would be a completely different story.

I know I'm behind, and haven't done the best as keeping up the blogging, but I really went through a season where I didn't have much to blog about. Not only was I TIRED of seeing those negative pregnancy tests, I was EXHAUSTED from telling the story and blogging about those BFNs. Now, my everyday life is full of hope, and it's taken me a minute to get back into the blogging swing. I promise though, I will do so. I want to help future women who have to go through this road; I want my friends to know that right now I don't feel like a shell of a woman anymore; I want to vent and cry and laugh so I can hide a bit of the craziness from my husband; ...But most of all, I want my baby (ies) to know how hard I worked for them, and how bad I needed them. Blood. Sweat. And Tears. :)

So... where to begin?

The Treatment Steps of IVF
1) Physician Plan- My doctor made a personalized plan on how she believes is the BEST way to get me carrying ONE baby.
2) Medical Clearance- The doctor must decide if you medically need IVF. Most doctors will point to other routes to attempt first, such as an IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) or infertility drugs such as Clomid. Since Walter and I had 5 'rounds' of infertility drugs andan ectopic, we were clearned to jump right to IVF. Semen Analysis collected. This is where we found out my ovaries are 'beautiful' and his semen was 'awesome' but they 'just won't ever met'. Haha.
3) Financial Clearance- Before the months of work, let's make sure we can pay for it okay? Walter and I had the help of my mother up to $10,000 of the $19,000 price tag. We told our doctor to 'push through' and that we'd just recieve good news orbad news along the way. On 02/10/12 we got that good news! Our insurance (UNCOMMONLY) decided to COVER OUR IVF CYCLE! This, I believe is a combination, of good luck and getting a nice agent at random, and having a past ectopic. However, our doctor told us the couple before us were declined and had to go through three rounds of IUIs before the insurance would clear IVF... and the male had had a vasectomy! We got very lucky. We have been beyond blessed by our Lord.
4) Schedule IVF Cycle- Always tentatively, since everything is on my body's timing, however we are scheduled for implantation March 9th-13th!
5)Bloodwork/TET- Testing, testing, testing to proceed. The step also includes the TET (Trial Embryo Transfer) and our Sonohysterography. (More on these later)
6) Medication- We begin our injection medication tonight! (More on this later as well!)
7) Monitoring- How is my body reacting to the drugs?
8) Egg Retrival- The perfect time to grab my part of the baby equation. This is planned down to the exact HOUR.
9) IVF/transfer (ET)- Boy meets girl, in the lab. The smallest baby (ies) are implanted.
10) Pregnancy test- After a GRUELING TWELVE. DAY. WAIT. I go in for a pregnancy test to know the results.

Last Monday 02/06 was our TET and Sonohystography. This is where I sit back, TRY to relax, and go through the embryo transfer minus the embryo. It's a few tests and an ultrasound to make sure baby's first 'room' is ready to go! The doctor is also taking time to measure my uterus, and create a 'blue print' in the direction we will need to move and take when we do have the embryo. We want that day to go as smooth as possible! :)
A few of the tests they did:
First we had an internal ultrasound. Not so painful. We looked at my uterus, my ovaries, and my ovarian follicles. We learned that my uterus is tilted towards my spine, and pretty much learning against it. After a second of panic, she explained that most women's lean toward the front, but have a 'unique' uterus like mine isn't anything to be scared of. "It's like being left-handed" she said. This also means I won't 'show' as much as most mommies do. My ovaries looked good as well, with many follicles like my doctor had expected. I have more follicles than the average woman, thus is the final nail in the coffin in diagnosing me with PCOS. My body won't release an egg, so it creates more 'roads' for eggs to be released. Yet, I never do.
We also took a catheter and measured how 'tall' my uterine cavity was. To be blunt, PAINFUL. This test has me on the couch for two days, cramping and complaining... but, as all this is, worth it. Lastly, another test was to inject fluid into the walls of my uterus, mainly to see what I could carry. After the pain, this wasn't bad... until I sat up. Over-share alert: but now I'm pretty sure I know what a breaking water feels like. Ew.
The best AND worst part of this day? It wasn't the cramping, or hearing the news that my uterus was 'unique'... but it was that these tests were done in the EXACT room I was in while I learned about loosing baby Grace. As soon as we walked down the hall, a flash of memory came back so painful. Walter and I walked in and sat down, shocked. Yes, it hurt. However, it also felt good to lie back and dream and hope of our future and baby Grace's sibling(s). It was a nice band-aid to a moment I don't want to remember Gracie by. This time, we got good news and we were in the clear to proceed with IVF! :)

Tonight we begin injections. I'm still not sure how many there will be overall, and only God and my body will know. This is what I know thus far:
02/13 (today) - 02/16 I will continue birth control. Originally, I was supposed to begin injections yesterday, but they couldn't get the shipment to me in time. After an hour of tears and waiting, my doctor approved to begin injections a day later... after going to Walgreen's and spending another $36 on birth control for ONE extra pill. Go figure.
02/13 (today) I will begin my Lurpon injections. I'm still learning about the medicines and won't get my calendar until tomorrow, but I think I will do 10 days of Lupron injections, and then I will begin my period. On Day 13 will be the egg retrieval (on the 36th hour-whew that is concise!)
Next will be the Follistim, Menopur, and HCG injections. I will post more on this tomorrow when I get my calendar and know a little more. Any of these medications can be stretched longer, etc etc but we're not hoping for that!

For my praying friends, the #1 thing you can be praying for me now (besides the hormone crazies and not killing all around me) will be to NOT do something called 'Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation'. Usually, our ovaries are the size of a walnut. The IVF process will cause my ovaries to be the size of two ORANGES. Yes, they will go back to size. However, if my ovaries are just TOO overworked, the doctors will force a month wait to get my body back into shape because pregnancy could make this situation worse. Yes, it will just be a month wait. Yes, I can handle that now... but let's be honest... I probably won't be 'myself' at that point. :)

For now, I'm still learning, and waiting. Faithfully, crazily... Walter and I are learning to laugh and trust God more and more in these times that seem crazy to most. And that, my readers, is what gets us by.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the update, and I look forward to hearing more! I will also be praying like crazy for the fruit-sized ovaries issue... That just does not sound fun all around. :( :::hugs:::