Thursday, December 30, 2010

Month 19, Cycle 16, Day 2

Ok, ok...I had my baseline ultrasound done this morning and everything looks like it is supposed to. I have some small follicles on each ovary, but nothing that is residual from before or hormonally stimulated. My uterus is like it should be...sparing you the details in case there are men reading this blog...hehehe!

So, I will begin Femara tomorrow evening and take it Friday -- Tuesday. On Monday morning I will do a 2 hour glucose tolerance test to be sure I don't have diabetes. On Tuesday, I will have a hysteroscopy to check to be sure my uterus is in tip top shape and if the results of everything comes back normal (which I am confident it will), then I will begin taking the follicle stimulating hormone shots on Tuesday- Thursday. Friday morning I will have an ultrasound to see if the follicles are ready and if they are I will give myself the hCG to begin ovulation. If not, then I will take FSH shots for a couple more days and then give the hCG. On our way to a healthy pregnancy!!!

Thanks so much for the support. I appreciate your love, kindness and prayers. May the Lord bless you as much as He has blessed me (or more)!! In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Y'all are never gonna believe this! I started my period this morning. ON MY OWN!!!!!!

I was going to start take Prometrium starting today for two weeks and at the end of the two weeks, I was supposed to start my period. But, I was feeling crampy for the last few days since Christmas and have been spotting a little each day and whammo! Today it begun.

I am flabbergasted. The nurse I spoke with said that sometimes after a pregnancy or coming off of birth control pills, our bodies do what they are supposed to. That was probably why I conceived Ethan naturally back in 2005! So, I had to decide quickly if I was ready to begin another hybrid cycle. And, I said to myself...GO FOR IT!

So, tomorrow I go in for a day 2 (baseline) ultrasound and then I will start taking Femara on days 3-7. On day 7, I will give myself shots. I am looking to see if the doctor can squeeze me in for a hysteroscopy on day 8 and if so, then I will finish this cycle as a hybrid cycle. SO, I could possibly be conceiving again next weekend!

I just want to have a baby already, so I am ready for this. I ordered my shots on Monday when I saw I was spotting, and they arrived today, so I am good to go! Thanks for the prayers and well wishes. As much as I am sad to know that I had a daughter, I am excited to see a son or daughter to arrive in 2011!!!

Father, thank you so much for your surprises when it comes to our bodies. So much of us wants to control it all, and yet, you have it completely under your control. I pray that you bless us with impeccably good news soon!! I also want to thank you for a successful delivery for one of my sojourners who was scared for her daughter's safe arrival. And I thank you for the great news for my friend who had a bleeding emergency in her pregnancy last week. I pray for my other two friends who are awaiting the safe arrivals of their daughters in a few months. I pray that you are still in control and they all feel your loving arms around them. In Jesus' name, AMEN

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New adventures are sure to come

Today I had my blood drawn again...last week it was 14, and today it was 8. The last few weeks have made the pregnancy hormone dwindle very slowly. However, my doctor said that I do not have to have it drawn again and just assume that it is negative for pregnancy as of next week. This means I will begin my regimen of tests and meds and start a cycle soon. I will probably be starting prometrium to induce a cycle beginning next week and could possibly be starting my cycle by the second week in January. If things are looking good as far as tests go, then I may begin the hybrid medications at that time. Who knows, maybe this baby will be conceived on Ethan's 5th birthday, January 14?

By the way, I also had a phone call regarding karyotyping of the tissue that was tested after the D&C. The nurse informed me that everything looked completely normal and that means Shaun and I did not pass down any genetic mutations and we won't need to have our karyotypes tested. I then asked her if she would tell me the sex of the fetus...And she did. I had a little girl. It is weird knowing this. I am glad that I know, but at the same time it makes it more sad to grieve the loss of a daughter as opposed to the loss of a pregnancy. Now, I wished I would have went full term and been able to see my little girl face to face. I feel so bad that my body rejects pregnancy and just want to know that it is not going to happen to any more little ones any more.

Father, Thank you so much for modern medicine that it can map out exactly the chromosomes we have just from a little bit of tissue. If I wanted, I would have been able to ask what color her hair and eyes would have been. You already know this and you were the one who created this entire genetic process. I love that you are intricately involved in our being and I praise you for allowing science to discover what you have designed.

I pray for my friends who are currently pregnant and experiencing fear in regard to possible loss. Some who have scary situations involving bleeding, some who have premature labor, some who have no symptoms except previous loss history. I pray that they are comforted by you and that you fill them with your peace. I pray that you allow their children to live and to thrive in this world. I ask that you protect them and their babies as they journey this path that is paved with fear. You tell us in the bible over and over again that we are to "fear not, for you are with us". I thank you that you walk this journey with us and I pray that you calm the storms.

I pray for all those who are reading that they come to know who you are and seek out a place to experience YOU on your birthday, this Christmas. I pray that they are receptive to your gift and take time to remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season. In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Anyone want to join me for a special Christmas Eve Church service? Check out this website and send me a message. I will meet you there on Christmas Eve (I work on Thursday, so I can't make that day, sorry!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This week's Beta

Got my beta tested this week and it is down to 34!!! I am hoping that it drops to 0 next week and we can begin the next set of tests and meds. Looks like I could possibly be giving myself shots by New Years!! Not sure how I feel about this yet.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I received the explanation of benefits from my insurance company and it indicated that I had a procedure code of 629.81. I knew that infertility was 628.9 for unspecified, but I never saw this number before, so naturally....I decided to search the internet for what this code represented.

And then...there it black and white letters...A HABITUAL ABORTER. makes it sound like I committed several crimes that would receive a stiff penalty. I can read it now, the headlines, "Woman from Michigan Sentenced to Prison for Habitually Aborting."

In my head, I know that the medical term for miscarriage is abortion. In my head, I know that habitual means more than once. In my head, I understand this phrase and make no judgements whatsoever about anyone else who has ever been given this diagnosis. But, I feel so guilty in my heart reading this.

I think I remember my mom telling me that she had several miscarriages. Specifically, I remember that my mom had a stillbirth when I was small. I remember that we named her Summer because she was the only sister I had. I remember that my mom told me about her experience bleeding profusely and having to have a D&C and the pathology revealed my mom was carrying a 3-4 month old female fetus. I don't remember her telling me much else, but after my mom died, she left me a bunch of letters that she had written to me when I was a little girl. This one read something like this: My dear Sunshine, you are 2 years old and I am watching you play in the livingroom. I just had a little baby who was too small, they call this a miscarriage to my face, but when I read the doctor's notes it said, "Spontaneous Abortion". I argued with my doctor, pleaded with him not to write abortion in my chart, but he insisted that this is what it was called. I will heal from this loss, but I hope that I will be able to give you some brothers or sisters some day..."

I feel that same sentiment that my mom wrote to me about, and much like many who have had miscarriages. I feel like I wanted this child so much that to label it an abortion is truly unfair to me. I never ever intended to give my unborn baby over to a vacuum or any other procedure to kill it. Abortion is just not what I want to be remembered by and yet, there it was...Habitual Aborter.

Thank the Lord that He knows my heart and my intention. I pray that He will bless me to no longer be known on diagnosis as 629.81, but instead as mother of several living children as a result of several of my full term healthy pregnancies!

Father, thank you for granting my request to be a mother in advance. I know you will provide. In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hopeful news

I had my appointment with the fertility specialists yesterday. And I believe that I have the best doctors in the world, being as I go to the U of Michigan Hospital and they are 13th top ranked in the world. Anyway, it was a great appointment and I am glad to share it with you here.

Dr. Marsh, the younger female doctor who performed my surgery, came in to speak with me first of all and shared that the initial pathology from the tissue sent from the surgery suggested that there was enough tissue to culture and it would take a few additional weeks to get a final analysis from that on if there were any genetic cause to the miscarriage. She said, unless that comes back positive we do not need to test Shaun and my genetic karyotypes as it has a very low yield to show anything that would be helpful for us. She said that the most likely relationship between the 3 losses (full term abruption, chemical, and 8 week miscarriage) would be random selection. Or possibly a clotting disorder for me. She asked if I had any clotting testing done and I told her that I had. When she searched my file to find it, it was not in my records. I told her that Dr. Gardner sent me to Dr. Mowat, the hemotologist, and he would have the labs, but he had told us 5 years ago that I did not have anything unusual. She told me that they would request the labs and if there were anything that he had not done or that could be retested that they would let me know. But, since I probably don't have any clotting issues, then most likely all of these losses are completely rare and bad luck.

She answered all 36+ of my listed questions. Most noteworthy are:
1. Do these miscarriages teach you anything about my condition? Yes, they say to us that it is not terribly difficult to get you pregnant, except that you have to be here, but we need to identify if there is anything else we can do to help you sustain it, such as adding a baby aspirin or blood thinner when you get a positive test.

2. What would be the next plan of treatment? Do hybrid cycles until you get pregnant. It is very likely that you will get pregnant within the next 3 cycles.

3. Should I consider surrogacy? and is it legal in Michigan? No, it is not legal in Michigan, but if that were the only option, we do have ways to get around the law, and no, we don't think that it is necessary for you to hire anyone to carry your child as we believe it will happen for you shortly.

4. What if I don't get pregnant on the hybrid, what's next? Then we would offer IVF. But, if you were responding well to the hybrid, we would continue to use hybrid since you have said you do not want to do IVF.

5. Do you think with my history I should see a high risk OB or would a regular OB be fine? (she laughed and said emphatically, touching her third trimester pregnant belly) YES, see the high risk, if I were you I wouldn't mess around with the regular OB.

6. How many years of fertility do you think I have left? I want to be able to have more children and wonder if I should try to get pregnant immediately after delivering a live birth? I think you have many years left as you are still young and are responding well to treatment. So, if you wanted to wait a little while to space your kids, you may.

7. How many miscarriages would I need to have before you all tell me to quit trying? We don't have a magic number and it will not be bothersome to your physical health to keep trying, but it would depend on you and your hubby's emotional wellbeing. You two decide what is right for you.

So, then Dr. Randolph, who has worked in the practice for 25 years came in to solidify all that Dr. Marsh had said. He was so patient, kind and came in compassionately, asking both of us how we were doing emotionally. I told him that I was handling it all very well and Shaun agreed he was doing fine too. He asked how Thanksgiving was and what we were going to do to get through the holidays because he knows how rough it is for those of us who have lost. He then said, as long as we were ready emotionally, this would be the next plan:

1. Wait for beta to drop to 0.
2. Get a hysteroscopy (a camera looking inside of my uterus for structural abnormalities) done in the office before period. And take a 2 hour glucose tolerance test to check for diabetes.
3. Start Prometrim 2 weeks after beta is 0, and take for 2 weeks until I start a cycle.
4. If all tests come back, including the pathology from the fetal tissue, then we can start a hybrid cycle, if Shaun and I are ready. If not then we will wait 2 weeks and restart prometrium to induce another cycle.
5. Take Femara on days 3-7 and give shots 7-10, on day 10 ultrasound to see if follicles are ready and then give ovidrel.
6. If I give ovidrel, then 8 days later take a progesterone test.
7. Depending on results of the multitude of tests, then I may begin progesterone or aspirin or heparin blood thinners once a positive pregnancy test is seen.

Shaun and I left the office feeling a sense of confidence. I told the doctors that if they told me that it was unlikely to carry a baby to term that I was willing to admit defeat and move on to the other options, like surrogacy or adoption. They were very passionate about how they believed that I would be pregnant within the next few months and the outcome looks good. All these testings were just to prove that there is nothing wrong and it was all just bad luck.

So, I feel ready to start again. Ready to move on to being parents. Hopefully, next Christmas, we will have a little one to share it with. We believe that God allowed us to be in this place for a purpose and are praising Him for letting us share this journey with you.

Father, I thank you again for modern medicine and allowing doctors the gift of learning and discerning to use medicine and research to help people. I praise you because you are the Great Physician and you have given your knowledge to man. I ask that you continue to provide peace and comfort to all who mourn and to us who are currently on this journey. Give my friends peace who are still trying, who are deciding to stop trying, and to those who are pregnant and worrying. I pray that you allow your will and you give each of us a sense of your will so that the pain only lasts a moment. I pray that you will bless Shaun and me with a child and that you will allow us to be the parents that you have destined and designed us to be. I pray all of this in Jesus' name, AMEN!