September – I remember September was when the women who take my blood every visit had to switch arms because I had developed so much scar tissue in my arm from getting so many blood draws that my right arm was no good anymore. Awesome. Labor Day weekend I have six (my highest number and the max my Dr would continue on with an IUI) follicles and we go in for IUI #4. My hopes, along with my Drs, my acupuncturist (who I highly recommend to anyone going through infertility), and Austin’s were high for this round. It was my last chance and the odds were good since I had six mature follicles. Only one had to stick. It didn’t work. I was devastated. I was at one of my best friend’s bachelorette party weekends and everyone was having a great time and all I wanted to do was go home and cry. Luckily my sister and some of my other best friends were there to help me through it. A few days later I was back at Dr H’s office getting my IVF counseling visit on what to expect. Austin and I both had to get a panel of blood work done to make sure we were candidates for IVF. I remember laughing because I got the shiny green packet this time for the IVF. My IUI packet was boring and plain but when you’re shelling out the big bucks you get the fancy stuff! Ha! I was also reminded that the chances for an embryo to survive through the 1st trimester due to my condition were 55%. Definitely not what you want to hear but I’ll take it.
October – Start medication for IVF cycle. This is the list of medication I took: Follistim, Menopur, Novirel, Lupron, Progesterone, Doxicycline, Estrace, & Medrol. Almost all of those medications were taken daily. For a while I was taking SIX injections per day!
Ok, I just had to show this picture. This was me right before we left for a Halloween party getting ready to give myself a shot. It just makes me laugh seeing me standing there with my wig cap on measuring out my medicine. Ha!
November – On the 5th I went through the trial transfer to make sure everything is going to work. On the 8th I went under anesthesia for the egg retrieval procedure. Once we arrive home after the procedure I was experiencing so much abdominal pain that I couldn't move without Austin helping me. We get a call from Dr H saying that they retrieved 25 eggs and 20 of them fertilized!! That is amazing and not a common amount! Three days later on the 11th we go back for the embryo transfer where two of the embryos are implanted and the rest are frozen and put into storage (sounds so clinical but it’s just the way it is).
We were so excited after the embryo transfer!
I was on bed rest for 24 hours and start taking the daily progesterone injections and wearing estrogen patches. Here my Mom is teaching Austin how to give me the progesterone injections. Those are completely different than all the other shots I was getting and it was easier to have someone give me those. Yeah....I ended up just doing it myself since I took them for 12 weeks.
My sweet hubby and Brody hanging out with me while I was on bedrest!
My awesome sister took off work to hang out with me too!
I have to mention this because I think it's so neat, maybe it's a coincidence, maybe not, but three days later on the 14th the fertility bracelet that my sister bought for me broke off my wrist. We think it's because that's when the embryo's stuck. Call me crazy, but you hold on to any hope you have and that was a sign for us. I didn't need the bracelet anymore. :) Later that day I started experiencing pain like I have never experienced before. EVER. I posted about this back in November 2010 but now I can explain how we got to that point. My left ovary was HUGE from producing so many eggs and on top of all of that I developed kidney stones (talk about bad timing!). After an ER visit and four days in the hospital doped up on Morphine I started to slowly feel better. The major issue that we ALL worried about while I was in the ER/hospital was that I could be pregnant and should I be taking all of these medications? There were a team of Drs making these decisions for me thankfully but I was so stressed about it, especially at the ER when the ER Dr wasn’t being very helpful or understanding about the situation. My Dr on the other hand was calling the ER doctor and then calling Austin immediately after making sure that I was taken care of and that the ER doctor didn’t mess any of the IVF stuff up. I’m so grateful for him being so protective of me that night. We were so scared and it was awful and the worse thing I’ve ever been through in my life. The kidney stones couldn’t have come at a worse time but it is what it is. We had to go with it and make it through and be strong and pray that our embryos could survive it as well.
Hanging out in my hospital room
Our prayers were answered on November 22nd, 2010. I went in that morning for the blood draw. I was so nervous. I waited ALL day for them to call me and tell me whether I was going to be a Mommy or not. I waited at Tracy’s house for a while killing time with her and Leah, I then came home and watched TV and stared at my phone every five minutes. I have to document what I was doing when I got the call because I think it’s just funny and very typical of me. Finally, in the middle of watching Beverly Hills 90210 (ironically it was the episode when Janet tells Steve that she’s pregnant) I got a call from Nurse Allison at 3:30pm. She said she had good news and that she fought with the other staff to call me and said congratulations!! My HCG level was 135 and we were pregnant! We hung up and I cried. Like, HARD crying. For a while. Then at 4:30 Dr H called me and said “It’s a miracle! You have one stubborn baby in there!” He was so excited for us and I was beyond thrilled. Now I just had to wait on Austin to get home because I didn’t want to tell him over the phone. He knew I was getting the call that day but I just kept texting him saying I still hadn’t heard anything to try to throw him off a little. I was being harassed by my sister (seriously, but I would have been doing the exact same thing to her so it’s ok. Ha!) all afternoon with text messages and I HAD to tell someone because I had already been sitting at home for over an hour with no one to tell our news to so I finally called her. I tried to act all normal like it was a regular day and she was just freaking out so I told her I was pregnant! She was SCREAMING in my ear and was so excited and Leah thought that was just so funny and she was laughing at her mommy and I could hear her too through the phone so it was really sweet. My parents had been calling/texting Tracy all day asking if I knew anything because they didn’t want to bother me. So Tracy told them that we were all coming over for dinner because Leah didn’t need to go out and that we’d wait to hear from me then. I had told everyone that my results may not come in until the following day in case I didn’t want to talk to anyone that night or in case they really didn’t come in that day. Because of my hospital stay EVERYONE knew we were getting results that day. So, Austin FINALLY came home and I had Brody dressed in a t-shirt that I had made for him 11 months earlier that said “BIG Brother” on it. He greeted Austin in the entry way like he always does and I was videoing his reaction. He was so excited! We then headed to my parents house and called his family on the way over there. No one was ignoring our calls that day! Most of them were 1st ring answers. Ha! We got to my parents house and everyone was staring at us as the door opened and B still had his shirt on and Tracy was videoing us and my Dad saw Brody and said “you’re pregnant?!” and my mom then saw the shirt. It was so exciting and special to all of us. We had a GREAT thanksgiving that year! So much to be thankful for. Two days later my HCG levels were 376, five days later 3,647 and 10 days later 32,308. Baby T was growing in there!
Brody in his special shirt!
December – On the 8th we got to see Baby T for the 1st time. :)
January – January 5th at 10 weeks we got to see Baby T moving! We were both just in awe looking at our precious little baby in there. It was so surreal seeing her moving her arms and legs around and actually looking like a baby! I loved that day.
The rest of our story has been documented on the blog from 12 weeks on.
Going through infertility is something no one wants to experience. It was something I hadn’t really ever thought about before I experienced it myself. I had NO idea that so many women experience similar things that I did. I felt like my body was failing me and I was “broken”. Obviously I wish we could have conceived a baby naturally and not gone through all the pain and money that we did but part of me is grateful for it. I’ve been asked several times if I would do it all again and my answer is yes, I would do this ALL again in a heartbeat. Our baby girl is SO loved and we are just so happy that we get to be her parents that I would do it over again without a doubt. One day when she’s older I’ll get to tell her how she got here and although it’s not the most traditional or conventional way, it’s the story of how much her Mommy and Daddy loved her and wanted her sooo much before she even existed. If these past few years hadn’t have happened I would have no idea just how strong I can be which brings me to my final part of this topic.