Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Month 15, Cycle 13, Day 14

Had my visit to the Follicle Fairy this morning. My right ovary has 2 follies. One 15 mm and the other 25 mm. The left one had several small ones. And my endometrium is 7.4 mm, and I am told anything above 7 is good. So, I received my hCG shot and was back on the road home. Prescription is the same as the last 3 times: BD tonight, tomorrow and Thursday and wait two weeks for a test.

Thanks for all your well wishes and prayers. I took the first round of Spanish testing yesterday. It was a timed 45 minute test, with 40 multiple choice questions and 2 pages of English to Spanish translation. I didn't quite finish the translation, so I don't know. Perhaps the students would be better served by someone who had more ability than I. All in all, I was appreciative of the opportunity and think that I may just have to begin working through my old textbooks and practicing more. I should hear about it within a couple days. We will see.

In the meantime, I have an interview for Saline Area Schools in their Special Education Young Adult Program this evening. I am much more confident in my ability in this area than in Spanish. I adore students and especially those who have challenges different than our own. I would love to be a mentor and coach for these students. Looks like they have a lot of fun according to their website and any way we can get them to live independently is a plus. Guess we will see on that as well. Maybe today is my lucky day!!!

Thank you Jesus for opportunities and for the extra large follicle. I am hopeful that I will be pregnant this month and start a new job as well. That would be wonderful. Thank you so much for your generosity and kindness.

I pray for those reading right in the midst of their situation. Lord you know who. You know what. And you know how. I pray that you reveal yourself worthy and true right where they are. They are looking to you for guidance. Be their rock!! In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Month 15, Cycle 13, Day 9

Today, I enjoyed spending some quality time with my hubby. The weather was nice, the air was fresh, the sky was clear and it was enjoyable. Especially in my native tongue. Hehehe! Last week, I received a phone call from my school district that said there was a Teacher Assistant position that I could be recalled to if I were fluent in Spanish (remember that I was laid off from this district as of June). I told them that I was intrigued, as one of my majors in college was Spanish, but that I hadn't used it in over 7 years. I was encouraged to study and that I would have formal testing to establish fluency some time this week. So, the last seven days I have spent studying, thinking, speaking, and dreaming in Spanish. Although I am far from fluent, I have *some* ability and think that I may have a shot at this position. At any rate, I HAVE to attempt it, because in order to keep doing fertility treatments, I need insurance to cover the costs. The fluency test has yet to be scheduled, so the studying continues, but today was my sabbatical. Free of Spanish. Pero, solo un poco.

Ahem, Back to Fertility news:
My hubby and I leisurely enjoyed the hour-long drive to Ann Arbor this afternoon. Sun beaming in through the windshield, the windows open to allow the cool breeze to enter in, smiling and holding hands and gazing in the neighborhoods, peering toward potential new homes, places we may be comfortable raising kiddos, should these treatments allow.

Our informational "next steps" appointment with the Head doctor at the clinic was scheduled for 4:30pm. We waited patiently for the doctor in his office, and finally had a chance to discuss the plan with him. Amazingly, he told us what we already know, but for some reason, hubby and I thrive on hearing him tell us what other resident doctors had been saying. So here's what the doctor said!

"This is the month, right? It is, I am positive that things will work out for you. The reason you are here is to discuss what the next step is, in case this isn't the month. But, it is, so keep thinking positively. What we know from the last 3 months of monitoring you on Femara is that you both are working like you should. No blockages in the tubes, the sperm can travel and meet the egg, the egg can be fertilized. The only problem is statistics. 15-20% of conceptions end before a period and we are just glad to know that you were able to achieve pregnancy. And I am confident that you will again. Now, if not this month, then let's give you a little extra of what is needed to get great eggs and then that will be the month. The femara works to make your brain produce FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and the shots are just giving you the FSH bypassing the brain. But, since we want you to only have ONE or TWO (at the most) follicles, I recommend doing a hybrid cycle, in which you take Femara the same way you do now, and then add a few days of FSH injections and then do the hCG when you are about to ovulate. The risks are minimal and we will do careful monitoring with lab work and ultrasounds and you will do just fine. But, this month is the month!!"

His confidence and compassion are astounding. I admire his calm. I asked him some questions that I am sure he wasn't prepared for, and he leaned forward, squinted and stroked his chin. Two times he did this. Shaun and I are cracking up thinking about it. "He sure didn't expect those, did he?" I ask. Nope. Hehehe!

The nurse came in and gave me the followup paperwork, and prescriptions. The plan is as follows, I have a day 14 u/s this Tuesday to see if I am going to ovulate and if so, then I will get a shot of hCG. I will have to have an injection instruction appointment the following Tuesday. If I am not pregnant by the Tuesday after that, then I will set up a baseline ultrasound for day 3. After that I will take Femara days 3-7. On day 7 I will give myself a shot in the evening. I will take a shot each evening days 7, 8, 9. On day 10 I will have an ultrasound and bloodwork to see how everything is progressing. They will call me that evening and tell me if I am to give myself another shot of FSH that evening and the next. Then I have another ultrasound/bloodwork on day 12. They will tell me again in the evening when/if I take more FSH and hCG. If it is necessary I will return every two days until I am ready to give my hCG shot. Then I will do the things necessary to conceive and wait again. Whew. I am tired just thinking and typing all that!!!

After the appointment, hubby and I went to Macaroni Grill for a romantic italian dinner! Era muy fantastico! And then even though I knew the music in the background was probably an Italian serenade and not a Spanish Salsa, I was sure I could translate it all...So much for a day away from study. We held each other close and enjoyed a bowl of spaghetti, lady and tramp like. Muah!

Father, thank you for the opportunities and the laughs you have filled my life with. I appreciate that amidst the uncertainty in my life, you have allowed me to feel fulfilled and loved. I pray that you continue to provide this overwhelming sense of peace as the uncertainty continues. And ask that you provide some stability in the form of income or baby or both!

I thank you so much for answered prayer in the form of pregnant women who have gone on to deliver healthy little ones, in those who are newly pregnant and finding out wonderful news about their impending pregnancies, and for allowing me to be apart of their experiences. I pray for those waiting to hear from you in the desert. When we are all in limbo waiting, wondering, hoping and praying, I ask that you continue to remind us that you are GOOD all the TIME. Keep the little ones that are to be safe until they are born healthy and thriving.

In Jesus' holy, wonderful, precious and loving name, AMEN!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Month 15, Cycle 12, Day 30, 12 dpo

Spotted a little today and yesterday. I am sure I am going to get my period soon. I tested this morning and it is still negative. If I don't see a full flow in the morning, I will call the doctor and set up a blood test. But I think I am out this month.

I talked to the nurse about the shots and we couldn't get a doctor appointment to talk about it until late next week, which would be too late to start shots this next cycle, so we will do one more Femara cycle and see how that goes. If it doesn't go well, I will be deciding on the shots. I am not all that excited about giving them to myself, but I am getting desperate.

Father, I thank you so much for giving me the ability to voice how I feel via this medium. It is wonderful to be able to share so openly with people. I thank you and love you. In Jesus' name, AMEN

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Month 15, Cycle 12, Day 21, 3dpo

According to fertility friend which monitors all my fertility signs, including my temps, I appear to have ovulated on Thursday. Which makes today, Sunday, 3 days past ovulation. I felt a little nauseous today but, you know, can't really tell until later.

My doc says I can test on Tuesday, August 17. It will be 12 days past ovulation. So, nine more days until test day!!!

I received a call from my doctor's office that I have an appointment on August 26 to talk about hybrid cycle, but I let them know that if I am not pregnant this month, the 26th would be to late to start injections. The nursing staff agreed, and since the doc was fully booked until that day, they had to wait to ask him if he wanted to double book again. So, someone is supposed to call me on Monday and let me know what they want me to do. Maybe I will do another Femara only cycle and then talk about hybrid, or maybe he will squeeze me in somewhere. At any rate, this hybrid cycle talk is distracting me from obsessing about this current cycle.

Father, thank you for the distractions that allow me to breathe amidst the heaviness of infertility. I appreciate your gifts of calm when everything else around me feels like a whirlwind. I pray for peace, guidance and love to people around me and I pray for those newly pregnant!!! Thank you for answered prayer and be with those who are still pursuing. I know that through it all you are still GOOD!!!! In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Month 15, Cycle 12, Day 17

Got a peak reading on my monitor and a positive OPK. My temp was still at cover line, so I am assuming that I am ovulating today!!! I will do what I need to do and use a few other alternative medical techniques. Last night Shaun and I practiced visualization techniques...


After the deposit was made, and I propped my hips on a pillow for 20 minutes we practiced visualization: "Come on little spermy, pick your best candidate and swim, swim swim. I can see him, heading in the direction of the target, the strongest, most handsome looking one, swimming proudly to meet his destination, squeezing in through the cervix, wading through the fluid into the uterus."

I gently massaged my abdomen with my fingertips on the right side, "Ok, there little egg. Time to emerge from your follicle, gliding gently down the fallopian tubes, bouncing off the sides and waiting for your best suitor to find you. Give off the hormones that send signals to the most mature sperm out there. Do not allow a less qualified sperm to penetrate, but instead wait for your perfect companion to come."

I giggled, but remained steadfast that this visualization was key. "Ok, boy meets girl. Sperm meets egg, love prevails and sparks fly."

Shaun then touched my belly and prays "Father, I pray that this is it, that we have a long, healthy pregnancy achieved that turns out a successful safe delivery with a beautiful baby! Amen"

My back started to cramp up from the most uncomfortable position I was in and I had to get up. Time to do this again tonight and then the next night. Please pray for success!

Father, I thank you for the gift of humor and means to share this with others who are out there. I pray for my two friends who are currently in preterm labor, that they are able to sustain their pregnancies as long as they can and that they have successful, safe deliveries. One with a single birth but previous stillborn and the other who is birthing twins. Wrap your arms around each mother and hold their babies in your arms. Protect them from the possibility of loss and help them to cling to you amidst their struggles.

I pray for those who are newly pregnant, that you keep their babies safe within them. I pray for those who are undergoing fertility treatments, that you provide them with the best possible plan that results in your glory to be seen above all else. I pray that they are comforted and loved. I pray for those who are just reading along that they see your goodness and show others how great you are! I pray for my friends who are deciding about fertility treatments, that you show them clearly what you would have them do...including myself.

I love you so very much and thank you so much for each day you have given me. In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Month 15, Cycle 12, Day 16

I went back to see the doctor this morning and had my ultrasound. The right follicle grew to 20.5 mm and the left ovary had two small ones. So, they triggered and hope that the right one only releases. I am to do the deed for 3 days and call back 14 days from now for a test!

If I do not get pregnant this month, we are gonna talk about a "hybrid cycle" in which we would do Femara plus some injectable meds that I would administer at home. This would help to create 2 follicles each month. The Femara targets for only one. I don't want any more than two because the chance for abruption again increases with higher order multiples.

Please send your thoughts and opinions regarding the injections. I am unsure on how to proceed with that. I am finding out about how long I have insurance benefits for, and maybe that is the determining factor.

Father, I pray that I am pregnant this cycle so as not to have to decide to do injections. You know how much needles make me crazy!! I pray that you help those who are still trying to get pregnant as well, that you give them the grace that they need to endure their walks. I trust you and your timing!! In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Month 15, Cycle 12, Day 14

I drove peacefully to Ann Arbor this lovely Sunday morning. The sky blue, sun bright, and me beaming with anticipation. It took almost one hour to drive there, and all the while I worshipped my Father along with the music from KLOVE. This Sunday, unlike last month, I sat in the waiting room that was quiet. The rush of last month's July 4th experience, where I waited an hour while the 12 other patients went before me was gone. There was stillness. The receptionist was kind and sweet and the nurse who came to get me a few minutes after I arrived was gentle and offered me a restroom break before the ultrasound. I gladly obliged and glided onto the table just moments before the RE doctor on call and her fellow entered the room.

The fellow wasn't as gentle as the previous people I had encountered. In fact, quite painful it was. "What are you looking for?" the doctor asked the fellow, both females.
"I am trying to reference the uterus so I can tell if it is the left or right ovary."
"Well," the doctor says as she washes and gloves her hands and takes over the wand, "this prove is in too far, you won't see anything like that!"

I was so relieved that the much more experienced doctor took over, albeit only a few moments, then the fellow again tried. This time with much better success and the wincing of my forehead ceased.

"It looks like there is one follicle on your right side that is 15 mm, and one on your left that is 13." Dr. Smith says, "Both are too small yet, but it looks like they are growing so we will have you return in 2 days for another ultrasound and we will see where we are when we get there."

Then, I drove about an hour home, chatting with a dear friend on my cell phone, arriving at church on time

I will return to the U of M RE clinic on Tuesday at 8am, hopefully in a similarly peaceful fashion.

Father, thank you for consistently providing me with love and peace and joy amidst my troubles, my questions and my trials. I am begging for an opportunity to raise children to know you and seek you. I ask that you fulfill my desires and do so quickly so as I may raise them fully and begin new traditions and help them to raise their children with roots. I pray that I live long enough to have great-grandchildren that I may influence to love you and to lead great lives!! In Jesus' name, AMEN!