Wednesday, April 30, 2008

IVF update! It's a long one!

Sorry to keep you in suspense, but I really wasn't up to blogging yesterday...I was pretty much only up to sleeping, eating & lying around in bed. Yesterday was the egg retrieval and things went pretty well. We started out by meeting with the anesthesiologist and signing some paperwork. Gregg and I were taken into our separate rooms (him to give his sample & me to be prepped for my retrieval). Everyone was very nice and soothing. I was very nervous for the IV & anesthesia going into the procedure. So much so, that the doctor had the nurse anesthetist put me down a couple of minutes earlier than they normally would have because I was so nervous that I was shaking...once they started that IV and gave me the oxygen, it was so nice and peaceful. I remember feeling tingly, going to sleep & then waking up with a slight pinch while the doctor was still in there looking for eggs...and I heard the dr. tell me that they retrieved 4 eggs. I tried to say "awesome" or something, but just gave her a thumbs-up instead!

After just a few minutes of "coming to," they brought Gregg in to see me. Because we were in what is known as a "clean room," he had to suit-up in full surgeon garb before entering the room. I have a picture that I took w/ his camera phone that I'll post. Gregg couldn't believe how quickly the whole thing went. He said that he was probably only in the waiting room for a total of a 1/2 hour after doing his part, before they came and got him to bring him to me. It was nice to have him there with me. I sat for maybe another half hour until I felt like I was ready to leave & then the nurse game in, gave me some tylenol & ginger ale & we were good to go! We were leaving the hospital around 10:15! On the way home, I had Gregg stop at Wendy's to buy me some healthy french fries and a chicken sandwich because I was starved, not having eaten since 6:30 the night before.

Gregg brought me home and I watched TV for a bit & then slept for about 2.5 hours! It was NICE! When I woke up, Gregg made sure I was feeling ok and then he left to go to his school to pick up the math tests that the kids had taken yesterday & also to see what notes his sub had left (this is the first day he has missed since 2005 - and that day was for me, also!). On his way home, he picked up some pizza for our dinner & also some beautiful flowers for me...He said they were my birthday flowers a day early because he thought I deserved them after all I had been through. Awww!

While he was gone, I got a call from the embryologist telling me that of the 4 eggs retrieved, 2 were mature, 1 was almost mature and 1 was premature. They used the ICSI procedure (sperm injection) on the 2 mature ones and then threw in a little of G's sample in with the other 2 just to give them a chance of fertilizing on their own.

About 30 minutes ago, I just got a phone call from the doctor telling me that the 2 mature eggs which were given the ICSI procedure fertilized!!!!!!!!!!! This is the best birthday present ever (aside from a BFP, of course!)! This means that we will have our ET (embryo transfer) on Friday to put our 2 little embies back in!! Yay!!

Keep praying! Thanks for all of your kind words & thoughts!
Here's Gregg in his doctor costume...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's happening...

I can't believe that I'm actually getting to tell you all this, but on Tuesday morning at 7:45, I will be lying on a hospital bed, getting an IV & then getting the eggs sucked out of me at our egg retrieval. There aren't many follicles in there, but the doctor was pleased at how my estradial levels were rising (indicating that the eggs are still growing in there and not dying off) & she thinks this is about as good as we're going to get. Circumstances are still not optimal, but if we can get 3-5 eggs out of there and fertilized, I will be happy. Transfer should be on Friday, but in the best-case scenario, it will be on Sunday. The doctor doesn't think that any protocol is going to get more eggs to form in there, so we're putting all of our eggs in one basket (pun intended) and praying like there's no tomorrow. Thank you so much for all of your thoughts, prayers, kind words & comments of encouragement! They do mean so much to us!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I won!

Yay! I am happy to say that I won two books from this blog in the Bloggie Giveaway Carnival! They are two "oldie but goodie" children's books from yesteryear: Corduroy & Caps for Sale! My preschoolers will be so excited!

Friday, April 25, 2008

same old, same old...

A few of you have been asking for an IVF update, so here it goes...I'm on a new protocol this time which is supposed to stop me from over-suppressing & hopefully make more eggs. Well, you should all know by now that things just don't work out how they're supposed to for me. I just went today for my 4th ultrasound and I've got 5 follicles measuring 20, 15, 13, 12 & 10mm each. Keep in mind that they are usually looking for them all to be about the same size...but nooooo, not me! That would make my life too easy, now wouldn't it?

They are having me go back in tomorrow for yet another ultrasound to see what's going on in there (which is a small miracle in and of itself because in the previous 2 IVF attempts, we found out on the 2nd ultrasound that we were being cancelled/converted to to make it through 9 days of stims is really unbelievable...not that it makes anything better or changes the inevitable). So, chances are pretty outstanding that we will again be converting to IUI (no use wasting all that money on 5 follicles...not every follicle contains an egg, so we could have even fewer than that in there!) probably on Monday.

We've got our second opinion consultation next Tuesday evening (phone consult.) and a friend just emailed me the phone number of her current RE's office's IVF study coordinator. My friend just found out on Thursday that she's pregnant (after a miscarriage and 4 years of infertility) through one of their FREE IVF studies...can't hurt to see if I would qualify!

So much to pray about! So much to do! Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

American Idol - Top 6

Andrew Lloyd Weber week - interesting!

Syesha - song from Starlight Express - I wasn't familiar w/ it, but she sounded great. The jazzy feel is great for her!
David A. - Think of Me - I thought it sounded good - the ending was really nice - such an amazing singer and what a sweetie-pie!
David C. - Music of the Night - wow - interesting choice - I'm not sure I'm into this one - I totally agreed w/ Simon that he made the most of it, but not the side of him we prefer to see.
- Jesus Christ, Superstar - awesome song choice (way to go, ALW!) - I thought she over-sang it a little bit, though
- Evita - just ok - like the judges said, the mess up totally did her in, but I like how she isn't making excuses this week.
- Memories - interesting song choice, I'm kind of nervous about this one - I think he did ok, but I have a feeling the judges will be tough on this one

Bottom 3: Carly, Brooke, Jason
Going home: Brooke

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Idol - Top 7, plus a little sumthin'

Not a Mariah fan, so I don't have much to say this general, I was bored by most ppl's I am only ranking them from best to "not the best" and not really commenting much...

1. David Cook - cool song - he's so musically talented
2. Jason - what a cutie pie & I totally agreed with Paula (gasp!) and Simon!
3. David Archuleta - always my favorite (but he really was great)
4. Carly Smithson - big song, big voice
5. Syesha - Ditto above
6. Brooke - good song choice - I agreed w/ Randy...and I love Brooke, but I hate how she always comments on what they say to her...just accept excuses..
7. Kristy - pretty good - she seems to be improving each week

Agreed with Simon: the guys won the night!

Bottom 3: tough call now, they are all so good: Kristy, Syesha, Carly
Going Home: Kristy

DH says: Kristy, Syesha, Brooke
Going Home: Syesha

Infertility update! AF showed, so I start my lupron tomorrow & go for ultrasound & bloodwork in the morning! I start stims on Thursday - bring it on, baby! Let's make some eggs!

I miss all of my blogging buddies - I promise I'll post you some comment love very soon! Between this IVF cycle & trying to get our house market-ready, things have been...let's say UNBELIEVABLY CRAZY!!!

And just to make you smile...Disney's Desperate Housewives...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

American Idol - Top 8

Sorry this is late! I won't be going very in-depth because I just watched it now from the Tivo since we didn't have time last night...

Here is my order from the evening:
1. Jason Castro - so cute & sweet - what a great song! I love that arrangement!
2. David Archuleta - I agreed completely w/ Simon - great song choice, he sounded good & since Simon wanted to be nit-picky, he was a little nasally.
3. Syesha - I thought she sounded great & they were overly harsh
4. Kristy - Wow - this is the first time she has ever been in my top 5
5. Carly - I agree w/ them that she was kind of shouting, but I still thought it sounded good
6. Brooke - I was surprised w/ her - I thought she would have been awesome on that song, but she was just OK.
7. David Cook - I didn't really feel his performance tonight - it was a'ight
8. Michael Johns - I thought everyone sounded good tonight so I don't really have anything negative to say.

Bottom 3: Brooke, Kristy, Syesha
Going home (is someone going home? Last year, they didn't on Idol Gives Back week): Syesha

Monday, April 07, 2008

Pray for us?

Let me just start by saying that I feel bad always asking you, my internet pals (only a handful of whom I know in real life), to pray for us...but I also believe in the power of prayer, so I will continue to ask because I know it is so vital!

Today, our prayer request (for once) is NOT fertility related. I will put this all out there and tell you all (you are the first to hear) that we are considering building/buying a house! Right now, we own our twin, which we have owned for about 4 years now. It was new when we bought it, but it was the demo model, so we didn't get to choose any of the specs & honestly, they just threw these buildings together & did a pretty shoddy job in many ways. We've always discussed moving out in another 5 years or so, but last night, we were looking over SIL's (DH's sister) paperwork for the homes that they are looking into buying, since she & her fiance are getting married in December and we drove over to the community to see them. We didn't get to go inside, but we talked to SIL & realized that we could possibly buy one of these for only a tiny amount over what we are currently paying for our mortgage...and it is a single! So, Gregg's Godfather (realtor) is coming up tomorrow to see us and to do a mini appraisal of our house to see how much more we could get than what we paid (we got this place for a steal). He thinks that we could possibly have this place sold & be moved in to a new place by August!!!

G was talking to his mom today & she said that she could tell how excited we were last night, just thinking about it & she said she hasn't seen me so happy in a long time....neither of us slept last night, actually, because we were that excited... So I know this is a good thing, but we also don't want to rush into anything. We want to make sure we are being prudent financially & not just doing this because we don't think we'll ever find such a great deal again...although, in all actuality, we probably won't, since the builders are running a special, where they will take $25,000 off of your purchase price if you put in a down payment this month. Gregg really wants to do it (once we find out for sure tomorrow that we could actually afford it) and I do, too, but it just seems like it is happening so fast. G has already been talking about me looking for a real job again, which makes me sad because I really love teaching preschool, but I know that the position would only be temporary until those darned babies come along someday...then I plan to do in-home childcare & preschool...which I would love to do now, but we just don't have the space for yet...which is, again, where the new house comes into play.

And then, of course, to add to our excitement, we "coincidentally" got a general mailing today from the same builders advertising the exact homes we are looking at...we're trying not to read into it being a "sign" or anything, but we definitely think it warrants a little more research. Especially when we are considering that our (new) cars are almost paid off and I can't help but think that maybe this is what God's been holding back on a baby for...because, honestly, if we had a baby or were expecting one at this point, we most likely wouldn't consider such an undertaking...but as MIL says...maybe it's "new home, new baby" - oh Dear, God, do I hope she's right...anyway, G's planning on taking his checkbook tomorrow when we go to look at the house. A $1000 deposit will hold the lot for us until we decide to make up our mind (w/in a reasonable amount of time, I'm assuming) & we'll still get the April builder's discount...

And finally, I know I'm rambling, so I'll make this quick...we have a date set for our phone consultation appt. with the new RE in NJ. I have my files all packaged up and ready to be shipped out to him as soon as I can get to the post office...I can't wait to get some hope!

I'll post pics of the homes later when I feel like we're past the nervous "should we, shouldn't we?" stage!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

An update & a little inspiration!

Wow - I can't even begin to tell you how crazy my first two weeks of full-time work have been. This was my first week teaching the 3-year-olds and, while I know that I'm just starting out and I have to give myself a little transition time, I will openly admit to all of you that the 3s are not my area of expertise. It isn't so much that I don't know what to DO with them, but moreover that I get antsy (I think this is the former public school teacher in me) just letting them play for pretty much half of the time that they are with me. Especially since they only see me two days a week. I know that's what they need and it is really constructive for them, but I just can't help but feel like I should be DOING more. That said, however, there will be things that I will change for next year about the way I structure the 3-year-old program, but seeing as how I only see the kids 2 days a week (meaning only 14 more times this school year), I don't see the point in trying to change things like that now. I did, however, institute a new behavior program because I just didn't like the one that was in place before & I felt like this age-group needed something a little more visual to hold them accountable for their behavior. So we are now using a behavior card system & the first day was very successful, so I think that's a keeper. It's basically the same system that I use with my 4s and I basically have almost NO behavior issues with them anymore, so I think it's a good one!

I figure that now would be a good time for an infertility update as well. I am still on my birth control pills for our 3rd attempt at IVF. I have one more week of those to go & then I wait for AF. Once she arrives, I will go for u/s and b/w on day 2, and I will also start my Lupron on that day. This basically means that this is all right around the has been helpful about not letting me stress and putting it all out of my mind, so that has been helpful. I'm ready to be hopeful and optimistic again, but at the same time, I don't want to get my hopes up because I know that only means a greater let-down if/when things go wrong, but what else can you do? I also got the results of my "experimental" bloodwork back (AMH or Anti-mullerian hormone). The normal range of these results is 0.7-3.5 and mine came back at 0.7, which basically means that while I am within the normal range, any lower would indicate an ovarian reserve issue. So, in other words, I have now had 2 blood tests confirming that, while my numbers are "normal," they are also both borderline for diminished ovarian reserve, confirming what my doctor has been suspecting since August.

We also recently got a copy of my medical records from my current RE, so that I can begin seeking a second opinion. There is a clinic in NJ that does free phone consultations & they are supposedly one of the best in the area for dealing with poor responders (to ovary-stimulating meds), such as myself, so it sounds like a perfect match, even though it will be a long haul to get to appointments, etc.

Finally, I thought I would add in a little bit of inspiration that God has given me over the past couple of days. Although my new work schedule is crazy, the mid-afternoon calm while the 3 & 4 year old daycare kids are napping has given me a great opportunity to work a more-focused devotional time into my day (I sit at a table in the hall, outside the room of nappers). I have been using the Daily Bread devotionals this week (let me know if you have other suggestions - I have really been in want of something a little more intensive) & two of them really hit home for our current situation right now. I hope you enjoy them!
Click here and here to read them!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

5 Things...

Five Things Meme:

What I was doing ten years ago:

  1. Getting ready for high school graduation in 2 more months!
  2. Worrying about finding a date to the senior prom
  3. Stressing way too much about my grades
  4. Singing in the school's musical (Once on this Island) and show choir!
  5. Finding the perfect prom dress

Five things on my To-do list today:

  1. Work
  2. Take a nap
  3. Make dinner (heating up leftovers shouldn't be too difficult today!)
  4. Watch American Idol results
  5. read a few of my favorite blogs

Snacks I enjoy:

  1. Sour Patch Kids
  2. Potato Chips
  3. Goldfish Crackers
  4. Fruit Snacks
  5. Fruit Salad

Things I would do if I was a millionaire:

  1. Quit my job (maybe)
  2. Travel to warm places (cruise)
  3. Give A LOT of money away to charity
  4. Build a beautiful house & buy an interior decorator to make it cute
  5. Have IVF done w/ the best docs in the world.

Five Bad Habits:

  1. picking at my fingernails (notice I didn't say bite)
  2. laziness (not cleaning the house when I should)
  3. staying up too late at night
  4. licking my lips
  5. over-plucking my eyebrows (nervous habit)

Five places I have lived:

  1. Frenchville, PA
  2. State College, PA
  3. Williamsport, PA
  4. Slippery Rock, PA
  5. East Greenville, PA

Five Jobs I have Had:

  1. Grocery store cashier
  2. School supply warehouse order-filler (whew! That's a mouthful)
  3. Children's minister
  4. Kindergarten teacher
  5. Preschool teacher

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

American Idol - Top 9

This will be a quick one because I am tired and I have to get up at 5:30 tomorrow for Here is the AI low-down for the top 9...

1. David Archuleta - yay! He's back! He's finally back! Best performance of the night and so cute and humble! I love a good spiritual song!
2. Syesha - I was very surprised with how well she did on this song - it's a big song to take on, but I thought she did great...I mean, she's no Whitney/Dolly, but she tackled it well - 2nd best vocals of the night!
3. Brooke - I love this song and I thought she sounded great...the judges seemed unusually harsh on everyone tonight.
4. Jason - what a cutie - I thought he did a really good job on this song - seriously, I don't get the judges tonight. They said about how this wasn't a good song choice for him, but that is exactly his style of music...really, I just don't get them tonight!
5. David Cook - I thought this was a great song and a neat arrangement - I didn't know the original, though, so who am I to judge?
6. Carly - I thought she sounded good, but I hated the arrangement of the song...and I agree with Simon - who was dressing her? I hated those red pants...but then again, I have a hard time seeing past the tattoos, so I didn't even notice what she was wearing until Simon pointed it out.
7. Michael - Is it just me or does no one understand the AI judges' fascination with him...He has not wow-ed me a single time since Hollywood, yet the judges continue to rave and I missing something? Was that even a song? He just said the same thing over and over, didn't he?
8. Kristy - much better than all her previous performances, but I felt like her expressions were way too serious for the upbeat tone of the song...she could have made it a lot more fun to watch, but that's just me.
9. Ramiele - You know, I was on youtube watching some videos from tryouts and Hollywood week and I saw Ramiele belting it out and doing an awesome job on a song and then I watch her today and I feel like it's a completely different person. She has no confidence or spark anymore and that is really sad.

Bottom 3: Ramiele, Kristy, Michael
Going home: Ramiele (since Kristy's being touted on

MPM and an apology!

First off, I want to apologize for abandoning any of my readers who are still out there checking in on me - I have been a bad blogging friend for the past week and a half. This new work schedule, in short, is KICKING.MY.BUTT! For the past two weeks, I have been working a different schedule everyday...7-3:15, 7:30-3:15, 8:30-5:30, etc...I just can't seem to get anything done...add onto that that we have a weekly bible study on Tuesdays, we've been doing set-work for the musical at DH's school 1-2 times a week in the evenings & I had infertility support group at church last week & let's just say that blogging just didn't make it into the agenda any of the days last week. Hopefully next week, once things slow down again (8:30-5:30 everyday, if you call that slowing down) and I can get into a normal routine, I will be back to my normal, blogging self!

Here's this week's MPM (or I should say MPT since I'm a day late!)
Sunday: Herbed Chicken & Gravy with rice & salad
Monday: blueberry (me) & plain (DH) waffles
Tuesday: my homemade chicken noodle soup (see recipe below)
Wednesday: not sure of the entree...side of roasted potatoes
Thursday: family night w/ DH's parents/sister
Friday: maybe dinner out since we're going to the musical at DH's school
Saturday: dinner @ DH's parents' house since we're all going to the matinee of the musical together!

My Famous (at least my DH says so) Chicken Noodle Soup

1 whole chicken cut into pieces (sometimes, I will just use half of a chicken one time & save the other half in the freezer for next time)
3 stalks celery & celery greens, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 bag egg noodles
powdered/paste soup base
hot sauce

1. Cut chicken up into pieces (you can leave it whole, but I think it cooks better in pieces), leaving the skin on.
2. Put the pieces into a large soup pot & fill the pot with water, being sure to cover the pieces
3. Depending on how you want to do it and how much time you have, you can rough chop (very large pieces) some carrots, celery, bay leaves & onions and put them in the pot to be strained out later, along with a clove of garlic. Usually, I don't have a ton of time & I will just chop them the size that I want them to be in the soup & I don't strain them out, since DH likes them on the mushy side anyway.
4. Add a generous amount of salt to the water (a tablespoon or so to start with) as well as 2 tbsp of soup base and 1/4 tsp pepper - bring to a boil. I usually end up adding more soup base later, to taste.
5. Once it comes to a boil, skim off the foam, cover & reduce to low, simmer (for up to an hour and a half).
6. Once the chicken is finished cooking & you are happy with the flavor of the broth, remove the chicken pieces & remove the meat from the bones, once cooled. I usually chop it pretty fine, but you can just tear it up, too.
7. If you are straining the stock veggies out, now is the time to do it. Add the new veggies back into the pot with the broth & chicken.
8. Shake in 1/2 to 1 tsp hot sauce. Trust me! You won't taste the "heat" at all, but it will give you that warm-from-the-inside-out feeling!
9. Finally, add in the egg noodles & boil until done. Alternately, you can cook the noodles separately so that your broth isn't all soaked up by the noodles, but I like it that way.