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

Monday, March 26, 2012


A good friend of mine wrote about Walter and I on her blog today. It is always so nice to know when people are thinking, praying, and hoping right alongside us. Like I told her, through all of the struggle, Walter and I still feel so very blessed by God for each of our amazing friends and supporters.

Read her blog here.

Thank you Laura & Nathan!

While I'm Waiting...

A friend and I talked about waiting last night. She is currently waiting on bringing home her beautiful daughter from China, and knows the pain the day-to-day can bring.
Her blog this morning was an inspiration. She took the day-to-day things 'people in waiting' sometimes miss. Her blog was about an ordinary day, that housed some extraordinary things that were simple and brought her joy. I loved it.

So I sat back and thought, what are some everyday things I've been missing? I know I've been there for it all, but I haven't really 'been there' to enjoy it. So, here is a list of things I promise to take a moment to enjoy EACH and EVERY time.

*Kisses from my husband on my forehead (those are my favorite!)
*Relaxing mani/pedis
*Getting a drink from Starbucks
*Hugging my dogs at the end of a long day
*Getting into a favorite pair of pajamas
*Stitch N' Bitch & Craft Nights on Tuesday nights with friends
*Getting to help a friend who is struggling with infertility
*Getting to learn from a friend who has struggled with infertility
*Coffee ice cream
*Making the 'nursery' into a 'craft room' (for now)
*Cuddling up with my husband in quiet while we both read
*Unplanned dinners out
*A friend's hug

(Yes, there are 13...)

Thank you, all you lovely ladies who have helped me along the way. I hope we can be there for each other for many years to come. Thank you Jill, Donna, Connie, Vicki, Jolana, Sarah, Laura, Danielle, Jamie, Britney, Rachel... you guys have been amazing and given me strength.

On a semi-unrelated note... I love Pinterest. Like, seriously, am so-addicted-in-love with it. I find news ways for it to cheer me up all the time. I just recently started an 'infertility love' board and I've been finding so many things that can help us through this process or things that have just made me smile. I thought I'd share some of my recent favorites on this board.

I definitely think it's time to get a photographer to take some pictures of just Walter and I. A few photos like this would be so sweet as well.

This one kind of broke my heart at first, but then I laughed. Strangely, it makes me feel better. Like, it wasn't my fault it didn't work the first time...

Will DEFINITELY been making this into a onesie if WHEN it works for us. ;)

Yep. This is pretty much what it feels like.

I seriously need this. I'm pretty sure I could check off a whole lot of this. Must. find. on. Amazon!

Isn't it?!

So very true.

Such good writing.

Love this.

A quick explanation of what is wrong.

I need to be wearing this shirt right now. Anyone in need of a nanny or housekeeper? :)

Funny fake card in a collection of drawing titled 'the infertility game'.

My new mantra. Along with Psalm 113:9.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Videos I Love

Infertility is...

What if...

IVF#1 BFN- Learning to Enjoy this Season

Most of you have seen on Facebook, but I thought it was time to update the blog as well.

My beta test was negative. The did not even give me a number because there wasn't a doubt I wasn't pregnant. Andrea, my favorite assistant, called me. I think she asked to. We have a special bond I like to think. It was nice, well as nice as it could be, to hear it from her. However, I know it from the first word out of her mouth. The phone rang, and I grabbed Walter's hand and I think we sucked all the air out of the room. "Jennifer, do you have a minute? It's Andrea." I looked at Walter and shook my head 'no'. I listened to her that the results were negative, and unfortunately my doctor is out of the office for the next week, so we'll have to wait and schedule my follow-up until she gets back and we could then talk about trying again. I mustered all my strength to tell her 'thank you' and hang up before bawling. After a few minutes, I began making the calls. Walter's parents were in the basement, and he went to tell them. I called my mother, my best friends, and sent out a text before posting on Facebook 'I am not pregnant. Thank you for your prayers.'

Thank you for all of your sweet comments. They continued to give us encouragement and strength throughout the day:

Laura Motl OH honey I'm so sorry. Call me if you need anything. :::hugs:::

Jill Winslow Oh Jenny! I'm sad. :( I'll keep praying for you as you grieve.

Connie Hunt Heart is broken for you two.

Caleb Thorpe ‎:(

Gretchen Day Fricke Oh, I'm so sorry. Prayers are still coming your way. I hate this roller coaster you are on. There are no words....it just sucks.

Holly Cunningham Still praying girl!

Erika Brynildsen Jen, u and Walter r in my prayers

Casey Lovejoy Jen. I am so sorry :( I will have you in my prayers. Please let me know if there's anything you need.

Rachel Paolucci My heart is broken for you guys too. I'm praying for you!

Marina Ochoa Stringham Oh no, I'm sorry ...I will most def keep you guys in my prayers , when you least expect it will happen honey. Love you.

Nathan Mangoff I'm so sorry...

Vicki Reese Lowry Oh Jen I have been in your shoes! Our first round of IVF was not successful and I remember the day oh so vividly. I was ready to give up and felt like I would never be a mom. I didn't even want to go to the "follow up" appointment as I felt there was no point to hash it all out - I was NOT pregnant, I get it thank you very much! After a few days and MANY MANY tearful prayers, God gave me the ability to accept it and move forward....yes, to a second try....a SUCCESSFUL second try! Please know I am praying for you and Walter that God will comfort, calm and hold you close.

Shannan Morton I am so sorry for you both. Let your faith help you to find the strength to move beyond this to the next step ~ whatever that may be.

Marie Woitovich-Colon Big hugs and kisses to you both. If at first you dont succeed....love you both.

Keely Hummert Giles So sorry Jen. Praying for you guys...

Kimberly Green sucky. I'm sorry.

Danielle English Nyswonger Sorry. I so wish that your results were different. Love and prayers for you both.

Carrie Triplo I'm so sorry Jen....

Erin Goebel Sorry.

Amanda Leezy Zika Sorry :(

Hannah Bilau I'm so sorry, I'm praying for you and Walter! God has a plan for this though, I'm sure of it :)

Donitta Prather Sorry

Emily Oleary im sry jenny!!!!! well you still have me!!! remember im a wallheimer!!! :)

Hannah Nafziger Sorry:(

Daven Allen ‎(((HUGS)))

Kathy Weible McBride dang it..sorry

Sarah M. Starrett ‎*big hugs* I am sorry for this loss :( We will continue to pray for you both, especially to feel God's peace among the pain and uncertainty. I love you, friend.

Rachel Byrnes I wish I had the words to say that would make everything better for you. I am praying for you, friend, and my heart is hurting with you. All I know is that Jesus is still on the throne, he loves you, and has a plan.

Vanessa Austin Uhls Josh and I are praying for you. I am glad to know you won't give up. Stay strong, and have faith.

Jamie Horstmann Praying for peace and comfort for you both!

Jamie Bricker-Mitchell ((( ))) ♥ you!

Leah Whitaker "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." You are strong, beautiful, and loved.

Thank you to the Starrett's, for your continued prayers, encouragement, and support- you are two of the best people we have in our life. Mike, thank you for my new blog song. :)
Thank you especially to Sean for your amazing phone call. I know it's in print, but you have no idea how much that cheered us.
Thank you Jolana, for your prayers and help.
Thank you Vicki for our future lunch date and for your 'been there' comment.
Thank you to Andrea, I have a feeling she pulled to make the call.

We went to lunch with his parents, and dinner with my family. I have to admit both were tough- especially dinner with my sister, her two children, and her big pregnant belly.

It was also very painful that within 24 hours of our news two friends announced their pregnancy- one right before and one right after our test. I am so, so happy for them both. It just stings very deep.

Last night my Facebook status was, 'How am I doing? Broken hearted, but still in love with the Lord our God and my husband dearly. Learning to take it hour by hour and praying and waiting for what happens next. Thank you for your continued prayers. We are blessed.' and I meant it.

I still have times where I bust into tears during the most random of moments. Pampers commercials should be outlawed. In fact, we cancelled our TV. No lie.

Walter took a personal day yesterday and we spent the day comforting each other, cheering each other up, and planning for our next course of action. We combed through our budget and knocked everything down. We talked and prayed about IVF cycle #2, IVF with a donor egg, adopting embryos, adopting a child in the states, adopting a child from out of the country... and all I can say is we're not making the decision now. Walter and I are taking some time to ourselves and get our lives together. We're spending this year getting healthy, getting financially secure, growing spiritually, and learning to enjoy this season.

Please keep up in your prayers, and thank you for being awesome friends, church family, mentors, etc. We both feel very blessed in the midst of our heartbreak because of each one of you. Keep us in your prayers that, with God, we agree on our next step forward and that we just continue to grow closer as we have been. I could not do any of this with my husband's unbelievable love.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Waiting for the Results...

We just got home from the blood test, and are waiting on the results. We decided to turn on .mindless old game shows' and this was literally the first minute we saw. I think it's hilariously annoying. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Night Before (What Feels Like) Christmas (X 1,000!)

It's the night before the big day, in which we find out if we are pregnant or not.
I just had to jump on quickly and say, for my own sanity and to document for myself...

No matter what, I'm going to love my God.

Absolutely, I hope to have twins growing inside me!

But I know if that is not the case God is going to have something different planned for me- most likely something better- even if I can't see it now.

I speak life right now.
I'm asking for two healthy babies... and one happy husband, and one faithful Lord.

If you're reading this, please stop and say a prayer for me, my husband, and our twins.

As Walter would say, "Shotski Time!"

Filled my first SHARPS container today... and got my second one in the mail.
These are how many shots I took and hoe many of each drug.

REMEMBER: It all went very, very quickly for me and I got lucky. If you are doing IVF please do not be discouraged by my smaller amount.

Roller coasters & Hope

Found this on one of the fertility blogs. Not sure of it's validity, but it brought dissappointment...

1dpt... Embryo is growing and developing
2dpt... Embryo is now a blastocyst
3dpt... Blastocyst hatches out of shell on this day
4dpt... Blastocyst attaches to a site on the uterine lining
5dpt... Implantation begins,as the blastocyst begins to bury in the lining
6dpt... Implantation process continues and morula buries deeper in the lining
7dpt... Morula is completely inmplanted in the lining and has placenta cells & fetal cells
8dpt... Placenta cells begin to secrete HCG in the blood
9dpt... More HCG is produced as fetus develops
10dpt... More HCG is produced as fetus develops
11dpt... HCG levels are now high enough to be immediately detected on HPT

I am 13dpt not counting transfer day.

However, THESE brought me hope!
success with 4 cell day 3 ET (JUST like me!)

As well as a verse from a friend...
Lamentations 3:25
The Message (MSG)
25-27God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It's a good thing when you're young
to stick it out through the hard times.

Slow-growing embryos having a rising beta!

Last night's stitch and bitch with two of my best friends. I'm making my first crochet project- a baby blanket!

I also received a gift already very dear to my heart.

Jolana (I hope you're okay with name-sharing!) if the woman who has been through IVF before, and has given me a lot of help and comfort. From her IVF cycle she had a twin boy and girl. Kherington and Kamden wore these first for their first Christmas.

They were then given to Sarah (one of my very best friends) when she had her twin boys, Nehemiah and Nathaniel. They wore them for their first Christmas.

I have them now and I am prayerfully dedicated and determined to put my little twins in these for their first Christmas! I hung them on the hooks on the door to our bedroom, they were one of the first things I saw when I woke up and my day began full of hope and love.

Thank you Jolana & Sarah!

24 hours...

In simply just twenty-four hours from now, I'll be at home, already back from my blood work. I won't have the results just yet probably, but I'll have my husband by my side and we're sure to be praying, praying, praying.

Okay... so... truth?
Yesterday I took at HPT. Actually, I took two. I couldn't contain myself. I went to Walgreens, bought a two pack and raced home while drinking water to take them. It was mid-day, and I knew it was too soon to tell. I was prepared to see a negative... or I at least thought I was. While on the phone with my best friend I took a non-digital one. One line. I took the digital one. -NO. I sat, silent and panicking.

What does a woman do when she panics?
1. I called my husband. He didn't panic. He knew it was too soon and that I was silly for choosing to do it now. "There's still hope babe"
2. I called my mom, now crying. She slightly panicked as well. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry" she says.
3. I crawled in bed, mad at the world.

4. Then I prayed. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed as hard as I could. After about 30-45 minutes I texted two of my best girl friends, my husband, and a woman who has done IVF before and has become a great help to me.

Soon, I felt crazy. What am I doing? I'm pregnant. I KNOW I am! The first time I said it felt foreign. I haven't said that yet in fear of being wrong. But I said it again. And again. And again. And you know what? I just KNOW I AM pregnant. The test is wrong. The statistics and odds are wrong. I just know my God is going to answer my prayer.

Does that mean I'm just going to skip over to my doctor tomorrow? No. I will be running, crazily, and Lord help you if you're in my way because I'll be dying to have proof that it's a for-sure pregnancy... but in my heart yesterday and today, it feels FOR SURE.

I called this morning to see if I could get am ultrasound done tomorrow in any way vs blood work. They were understanding, but told me they wanted a for-sure before we did a go ahead. So instead of a time (8:30-10:30 AM) where all the women who did their transfer on the same day come in, I now have an appointment at 7:30AM. If my numbers look odd for any reason, I'll go back and we may do the ultrasound. I know I'm looking for a beta number around 20 for it to be a viable pregnancy.

UPDATE: I seriously love my doctors. After my phone call this morning, I've had two phone calls to check up on me and make sure I'm doing okay. We are going to be 'cautiously optimistic' about the results tomorrow and I have been moved up to the next earliest time for the 2nd beta testing!

Please, please, please pray for me as hard as you can for these next 24 hours. Pray for my babies, pray for my sanity, pray for my husband dealing with it all, pray for the doctors to be patient and quick, pray to the Lord that I'll be a pregnant momma tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Scouring the Blogs...

How long TTC: Almost 4 years
Diagnosis or any known issues: PCOS, One tube removed due to Ectopic pregnancy
Treatments you tried before IVF: Clomid x 3, Femara x 2
How many IVF cycles did you do before success: In 2WW on 1st IVF
Are you using donor eggs or sperm: No
Protocol (meds taken): Long protocol; Lupron, Follistim, Menopur, Progesertone
How many follicles at ER: near 20
How many eggs retrieved: 12
How many eggs fertilized: Only attempted with 6, and 5 fertilized
How many days between ER and ET: 3 days
How many and quality/rating of embryos/blasts transferred: 1-4 cell; near perfect and 1- 4 cell, 20% fragmentation transferred... three other embryos of lower quality, did not make it to freezing
Symptoms or issues during 2WW: Fatigue, Food cravings, Headaches, Odd dreams

What day you got your BFP:
HPT before blood test:
Number of first beta:
Number of babies:
Anything else you would have wanted to know before you started this process:

Afraid for the News

I woke up this morning ready to spring into action... mainly because I am SO anxious to hear if we are pregnant or not. Walter came upstairs, and woke me up with a kiss on the lips, and two on the stomach. It was from that point on my mind has been racing.

A part of me says, "I simply CANNOT wait! I FEEL pregnant. NO scary bleeding or anything! I'm showing pregnancy symptoms! I am so excited to officially be able to tell my parents and his, our siblings, etc. I definitely have to think of a cute way to tell them! Maybe I should plan dinner with them on Thursday? Oh my goodness, how do I tell them? Do I buy them a card? Gift a small onesie? Do I say it nonchalantly and see who picks up on it? Or should I walk in the restaurant screaming and crying? lol Oh... to see my husband's face beam with that proud father moment again will be priceless. He will be such a good daddy. He deserves these babies!"
(...and I definitely did pause on blogging to text them all to plan dinner for Thursday night! We are going to TGIFridays on Thursday at 6PM. I decided this was another good place to prepare the field for blessing.)

Another part of me says, and I hate to even type these words out, "There's no way I'm pregnant. I don't feel pregnant. I can wait for Thursday. In fact, I hope it never comes. I don't want the bad news. I can totally see the doctors delivering bag news to me, I just cannot imagine the getting the good news. I didn't have any implantation bleeding either. At least I'll be able to stop progesterone and all these whacky side effects will stop..."
Okay, that's enough of that. You get the point and can fill in the blanks.

Lastly there's another part of me, and it's the part I enjoy the most, that says, "Stop. Calm. Don't worry. You are in His Hands. He's got this. Be calm. Feel peace. Let it go. He's got this."

Psalm 133:9 He makes the barren woman to be a homemaker and a joyful mother of [spiritual] children. Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

You're Dying to Know... and So Am I

Since I've been asked a lot since the posting of the last few blogs, Walter and I have decided to be open and honest about upcoming dates. Please join us in prayer.

Two Weeks

Three Weeks

Four Weeks

Five Weeks (NOW!)

03/22/12 (six weeks)- First beta/blood test to see if embryos implanted successfully and we are still pregnant.

Six Weeks

03/29/12 (seven weeks)- Second beta/blood test to make sure our HcG levels are rising healthily.

Seven Weeks

Eight Weeks

04/12/12 (nine weeks)- First ultrasound.
Nine Weeks

By the way, as I was writing this blog 'Heartbeat' by Enrique Iglesias came on randomly on Pandora. I stopped immediately; I couldn't believe it. Even though it's a song about a man and woman falling in love (with a raunchy video) I couldn't stop listening to it over and over and over (and joyfully dancing!) while I was pregnant with Grace. I haven't listened to it since we lost her.

I am now in tears. Hopeful tears. :)

2WW Symptoms

I thought I'd blog about some of the daily symptoms I'm having.
Each new symptom I come across I Google to see if it is a pregnancy symptom... and each and every time it is! ...OR that my body has too much progesterone, which is the injection I'm taking...


So, for my Momma friends, what do you think of these?

Food cravings- I know this seems silly, and that it's probably too soon, and I probably wouldn't even list this if the cravings weren't SO strange. Yes, I've had cravings for specific foods like friend green beans from Fridays, lettuce, Chinese food, and lots and lots of cheese! But the oddest craving was BBQ sauce!! I absolutely HATE BBQ sauce. Ask my mom. Never enjoyed barbecues. I always ate all the side dishes. However, the other day I ordered a pound of pork (which is also weird) in BBQ sauce from Bully's to share with Walter. He definitely didn't complain!

Aches & Pains- I figured the lower back pain was do to my injection location in there, but it aches deep. Random headaches in the temple area as well.

Breasts- My breasts are sore- mostly the sides near armpits. They feel fuller, veins more pronounced, and nipples are larger.

Bloating- Oh. My. Gosh. THE BLOATING!!! I feel like a blimp. Constantly.

Odd & Horrifying Dreams- I have had the strangest and scariest dreams consistently almost every night for the last week. I've dreamt of gorgeous blond (HUH?!) children running and laughing around at birthday parties, and I've dreamt of huge sandwiches that I've lived in. I had a dream last night of a small alien in my classroom while I was a teacher, who was picked on, and sang a very sad song. I woke up this morning, drenched in sweat, singing the song. I've also had the less odd and more terrifying ones... dreams of delivering stillbirths, dreams of bad news and suicide, and of being an old lady in an empty home.

Hot & Sweating- I get hot VERY easily now, and sweat much more than I did. While walking around Target for a moment the other day I stopped and talked to a friend who was positive at any minute I've pass out from dehydration due to the sweat on my face. Haha. I sweat all through the night as well.

Exhausted- Not much activity MAKES. ME. EXHAUSTED! I was thinking this was maybe re-adjusting due to all the bed rest and light activity stuff, but I don't know.

Urination- Much more frequent, then again, I'm drinking 60 ounces of water a day that I never did before.

Mood Swings- Over the weekend, I hated everyone and thought everyone was stupid and annoying. I'm so sorry if we spent time together.

Shortness of Breath- Is my story really that long because I cannot catch my breath?!

The Knot- It's a knot in my stomach that feels it won't digest and I can't vomit. I'm almost used to it now, because it won't go away. However, this knot came about a week before the transfer, I'm assuming due to medication.

I HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED- Any bleeding or nausea, like the doctors mentioned, or constipation, that a friend had asked about. I also have not noticed any heightened smells. Every time I smell something I ask Walter and he usually smells it quickly after, but he has a good nose anyways.

So, I know these signs can be one-part medicine, or one-part pregnancy, or completely and totally my mind filling in the blanks... but I thought I'd ask!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Baby Buys

I just thought it'd be nice to share the things I've been hording/hiding/stashing around my house for baby. I know I couldn't find them all, but I'll post as I buy/find. Not all of these items have been bought, some have been given as gifts. I am not actively buying baby items like a mad woman, though buying a cheap onesie does cheer me up and give me hope.

This is a skull pacifier. It is one of the first things I bought. Looking at it now reminds me of a time where planning for baby wasn't so panicked. I bought it on a whim a few months after Walter and I were married, and we both laughed about it.

These are two onesies, very special to me. My best friend, who had lost a baby, gave me these when I told her I was pregnant with Grace. I still have hope to put her nieces and nephews in these for her.

This crib and changing table were given to me late 2009, from a lady I nannied for. Her daughter refused to sleep in her crib, and only would sleep in her pack-and-play. After helping her get ready for her yard sale, she offered me these beautiful cherry wood items for free. I'll always remember her for that.

This was my grandmother's rocking chairs. It is one of the things she left for me when she passed away. Although it is an uncomfortable thing, its beauty and memories outweigh and I cannot wait to see it in a finished nursery.

This is another item I randomly collected from my grandmother's possessions- her vintage suitcase. The color matches the nursery's colors I've chosen perfectly and I most definitely plan to use a Pinterest idea on this to incorporate it into the room.

These were just Target $1 buys. The nursery's theme will be done in teal, chartreuse, and tan with a knight/princess theme.

When these were on clearance at Wal-Mart I bought a black one for my closet, and a teal one for the baby room door. I can already imagine this holding wipes and diapers.

Books. I have a toy chest full of books and random toys. Toys donated to me by families I nannied for, etc. The toy chest is also special because that way in my nursery when I was a baby. Oh goodness, when the baby is due my mom has offered to paint it for the FIFTH time! lol

I took my cousin Emily to paint pottery with me over the summer. She's only 12, but one of my best friends. I adore her. She mostly knows our story, and I think she aches for a cousin almost as much as I ache for a child. She painted this for our nursery to "give me hope".

I bought this along with two other items on a trip to Target. It's special to me because I was beginning the IVF process and it was the first time I could walk near the aisles without sobbing. I was full of hope.

The other item I bought on clearance at Target.

The third item I bought.

The Thirty-One pattern that gave me the idea for the color scheme. I started ordering bags in this print right away!