Friday, July 31, 2009

No news...

For once, I can actually say that this time around, no news is good news! Yesterday morning, we got the call that we had been pushed out to have a day 5 (or possibly day 6) transfer! Basically, that meant that on day 3, our embies were still dividing (some taper off by this point, or at times, there aren't enough viable ones to warrant waiting an extra two days to transfer the best ones). Being pushed out to day 5 allows the embryologists to determine which ones are really the "rock star embryos" (aka better quality), which would have a greater chance of becoming a viable pregnancy. Sooooo, in other words, we wait...they'll call me tomorrow morning sometime to let us know if we need to come in tomorrow afternoon or if we wait until Sunday.

It's been kind of annoying to wait since MONDAY, but I know that this is the good kind of waiting, so I'm trying to be patient. I went to work in my classroom a couple of times to keep myself occupied. I set up all my bulletin boards (maybe I'll post some pics soon) since it wouldn't be such a great idea to stand up on chairs and tables in the next two weeks. I've also been catching up on some housework. I vacuumed & mopped & cleaned all of the bedding...AND I got 5 lesson plans done for my grad class (moms of preschoolers/kindergartners, or teachers, leave me a comment if you want me to send you the lessons for fun game ideas!)! See? I can be productive when I want to!

I also made Candi's spaetzle to go with dinner (leftovers) tonight & it was awesome! I could have eaten the whole bowl & between the two of us, we almost did! Check it out! Yum!

Keep those prayers rolling in! I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fertilization report is IN!

Sorry to keep you all waiting...

You're never going to believe this...

Of the 36 eggs retrieved, 30 were mature!!! Of the 30 mature eggs, they did ICSI on all of them and......

ALL 30 fertilized! We now have 30 embryos waiting for us in a petri dish!!

I cried, Becki cried, DH almost's a great day! I go for b/w & u/s tomorrow, but I won't get official word on when transfer will be until Thursday morning. My guess is that we're looking at a day 5-6 (Saturday/Sunday) transfer!


Monday, July 27, 2009

B is absolutely amazing!

I don't have a ton of time to update...I have to run out the door in about 5 minutes to go get my first PIO shot from my nurse co-worker, but I wanted to keep all my bloggy-buddies in the know...

Today was an awesome day! G & I left the shore house around 7:30 this morning & made it to the RE's office around 10. B had been there since 8:15AM, but she had already been taken back to be prepped for the retrieval by the time we got there, so we communicated via text until she got taken back. Around 11, G was called back to give his sample & then about 30 minutes later, I got a text from B that brought tears to my simply said "They got 36 eggs!!!!" It's enough to make this 3-egg-producing girl shout for joy! Seriously - that girl is the most fertile infertile I've ever seen! She came out just minutes later & we saw she & her hubby off (she was in pain and just wanted to lie down in the car and relax).

The fert report should be in tomorrow & then we're looking at a transfer on either Thursday or Saturday...with a slight possibility of Sunday. Please keep praying! God is in control and God is GOOD!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Monday is THE DAY!

We just got a call from the nurse that Monday is THE DAY (THE DAY, being egg retrieval day!). We couldn't be more excited! B texted me this morning saying that at her ultrasound today, they found 20 on the left and 12 on the right, with about 12 at 15mm or greater (mature). She will take her trigger shot tonight & retrieval will take place at 10:30 Monday morning!!!!!! Please pray & tell everyone you know to pray! More updates to follow!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Five years ago today, I married my best friend. Happy Anniversary, G!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rock-star ovaries & some pics!

Not only is B an angel, but apparently she's got rock-star ovaries, as well! At her first follicle check today, they found 17 follies moving & grooving in there! We are ecstatic to say the least! I go back tomorrow for more u/s & b/w. I emailed the nurse about having my TSH checked since I've been on thyroid meds since December or so & I wanted to make sure that my levels are ok at the time of transfer (since TSH abnormalities are linked with early miscarriage). She noted that my levels haven't been checked since February & that she would add it to my bloodwork order tomorrow. She did say that they would monitor it very closely after a positive pregnancy test, but I don't want to wait that long to make sure that everything is ok...there is just way too much riding on this & I know I would hate myself if I didn't try and make sure everything was as perfect as it can be, come time for transfer!

And since I obviously forgot to do this last week, here are some pics from last weekend's wedding!! We had a great time dancing the night away!

First, Jenna & I getting the centerpieces ready, moments before the ceremony started!

Michelle & Jenna (my cousins) with their significant others, with G & I

Gregg hanging out with his two favorite girls after the ceremony!
Jenna & me hanging out waiting for more post-ceremony pics (would you ever know we're 11 years apart in age??)
The Happy Couple!!

Dancing the night away!

PS - this is my 200th post!! AMAZING! Thanks to those who've stuck with me through thick and thin!

Menu Plan Monday

I should have just attached this to yesterday's post since I pretty much know what we'll (we?? I mean, I'll) be making anyway, but here goes... (PS - if you're visiting here from OrgJunkie, please read my last post & pray for us!! Thank you!!). You'll see a lot of repeat recipes from last week because we just never ended up getting to a few of them (other things came up, etc) & recipes got shifted around to different days.

Sunday -
Stromboli, peas, oven-roasted zucchini & fresh pineapple
- leftovers (stromboli, enchiladas - don't worry we didn't end up having them until later last week than we had planned, so they're not old & gross!)
Tuesday - Grilled Coconut Chicken
Wednesday - Pot Roast in the Crock pot (Just coat the meat with a packet of Lipton Onion Soup mix, pour a bit of beef broth in the bottom & throw in some chunks of celery, carrots, potatoes & onions...I'll put the leftover meat & juices in the freezer to make vegetable soup next week!)
Thursday - Going out for Japanese Hibachi for our anniversary!!!
Friday - Our Anniversary!! Hopefully going to the shore for a few days!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Let the madness ensue!!!

As of Friday, the madness (that is IVF) has officially begun! G & I had to drive to New Jersey (about 1.5 hours) at the crack of dawn for bloodwork (both of us) and an ultrasound (me). They said that everything looks good, except that I've got a bit of free-fluid hanging out in my uterus. The doctor said that it is normal & there is nothing that they can do for it, but that they do hope to see it go away before we get to the transfer date, so PLEASE pray about that for us! It isn't that the fluid would necessarily decrease our chances of implantation, but it certainly won't help & they're just hoping for a clean, plump uterus to accept the little embies!!

In other related news, B started her stims (ovary-stimulating meds) on Friday!! This is like THE BIG STEP in an IVF cycle. At her first (baseline) ultrasound on Friday, they found about 10 little eggs just hanging out!! And that was UN-stimulated!! They said that by the time she gets the stims in her, we could hope/expect to find about 20 of the little buggers going to town in there! We are so blessed! B goes back for another ultrasound on Monday and I go on Tuesday! Please continue to pray!

G & I have been throwing around a few ideas of what to give B as a gift. When it comes right down to it, nothing really seems appropriate or meaningful enough to reciprocate the miraculous opportunity she is giving us. Her enthusiasm & generosity have given us something that we haven't had much of over the past four years...HOPE. Finally, last night, the idea came to me (after some great suggestions from my online IF group girls) to call on my bloggy buddy Melissa for some help - and help she has! Despite the fact that she's on a jewelry-making break for the summer so she can spend time with her loved ones, she has GENEROUSLY offered to make a Hope Bracelet for us to give B. It will match the one that she made for me a year or so ago, which I won from her in an online contest! Please check her out for all your custom-jewelry needs (starting in late August when she returns from her break). She really is an amazing person!!

And finally, I was looking through my blog archives & I found this post, which seems appropriate for the theme of Hope we've got going on today. Enjoy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

MPM and IVF w/ DE update!

Hey! We're back from the whirlwind weekend of wedding duties (so much fun! pictures to come!) and 3 softball games for G yesterday! His team won the church league championship, so that was quite exciting...and the victory was especially sweet because they beat the one team in the league who consistently shows bad attitudes and tries to cheat every year (yes, this is church softball and no, I am not kidding!)

It's been a while since I've done an MPM, so I thought I would get back into it this week... I love having my menu all set out ahead of time, but we've been in and out of the house so much lately that it's been hard to get it all pulled without further ado, here is this week's menu plan!
Monday - Meatloaf, baked potatoes & fresh green beans (recipe below)
I'll also be making my famous Buffalo Chicken Dip tonight for G to take as a snack at his grad class tomorrow!
Tuesday - Sticky coconut chicken & rice
Wednesday - Easy Chicken Enchiladas
Thursday - Pot Roast & veggies in the crock pot
Friday - Vegetable soup (made from leftover pot roast)
Saturday - homemade stromboli

As for our IVF cycle, I've been on Lupron (aka Loopy Lupron) for just over a week now & it truly is making me crazy! Yesterday, on the way home from my parents' house, I felt so nervous/anxious the whole time & started crying at random (and non-emotion-evoking songs) on the radio. I truly am going nuts. Thankfully, I had an ultrasound & bloodwork this morning & am now advised to knock my dosage back from 20 units to 5 & also to start my estrace! My donor (B) goes for her first ultrasound on Friday & then should be good to go to start her stims!!!!! G & I also have bloodwork on Friday (and I have an ultrasound as well) & then a meeting with the lawyer to pick up our paperwork/contract for B to sign.
Afterwards, we think we're going to treat ourselves to breakfast/brunch & a matinee of the new Harry Potter movie!!! Please continue to pray! It means the world to us!!

The Best Meatloaf You'll Ever Taste:
2 lb ground beef
1 packet Lipton onion soup mix
1 cup bread crumbs/oatmeal/cracker crumbs (any combination will work great!)
2 eggs
2 tsp. salt
1/2 c milk
1 small onion chopped fine
1 T ketchup

Combine all ingredients & shape into a loaf in a loaf pan or in a casserole dish with a drip pan. Smear a bit of extra ketchup over the top. Bake at 350 for 1.5 hr. Let rest 5-10 minutes before cutting!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

We have officially begun!

As of Sunday, our IVF w/ DE cycle has officially started! I began my injections of Lupron & today will be my last day taking the BCP (thank goodness because I'm breaking out and gaining weight something AWFUL!). B starts her Lupron today & goes next week for her first (baseline) ultrasound. I will also be going for an ultrasound on Monday & then G & I have to go for some bloodwork next Friday.

As everything comes together, I keep getting more and more nervous...I've been through this whole process three times before and each and every time just brought more heartache and disappointment. Even with B's infectious enthusiasm and optimism, I am still having a hard time being positive and upbeat. I have been telling myself (in the months leading up to this) that I would keep an optimistic attitude and only focus on the positives...but, well...if you've been through the whole she-bang before, you know that it's really difficult to do. You know how much is riding on the success of the procedure, but you're also acutely aware of the statistics. And I don't even have to make mention of the fact that if this doesn't work, we will no longer have any money left in our pockets to even think about starting to adopt...

So that's where I am right now...wanting so badly to be optimistic, but still aware of that nagging sense of doubt that always manages to creep in. I continue to pray each day that this would be our time and things would finally start to go our way. I'll keep the updates coming!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Stressful Week & Camping Updates!

First, let me say that I got a follow-up call from Bed, Bath & Beyond the other day from one of the District Customer Service reps. She asked when I had visited the store because she was attempting to figure out who the clerk was in order to get her some further training...She apologized profusely & asked if there was anything that she could do for us because she didn't want to lose our business. I definitely could have milked it for all it was worth, but I'm not that kind of person (even I would never want a freebie at someone else's expense)...especially since G & I were laughing about it...but it was really nice to get the call & know that they do care about the quality of service that you receive at their stores!

In other news, this past week has been one of the most stressful ones in a long time, which would explain why there haven't been blog posts updating on things in life, camping, etc. The RE's office called us on Monday night to inform us that while they were incorrect with their call the week prior telling us that we owed for pre-screenings, they still did need to collect for B's required FDA screenings in the amount of ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. I thought I was going to die. I vented to the billing lady on the phone saying that I know it isn't her fault but how is it possible that these expenses were never outlined to us from the get-go...she was incredulous that we had never been given an itemized list of costs. Then I started crying on the phone telling her that I didn't know if we would be able to remain a part of the study. This "free" study, which was only supposed to cost us a "couple thousand" in screening costs has ended up racking up $6000 in bills when all is said and done. That just does NOT sit well with me. I also vented to a nurse at the office that if we had known it would cost that much, we might as well have gone through an agency. That would have saved me all the hassle of finding a donor & lining up somewhere for her to go for distance monitoring. So I hung up the phone, told G & cried some more. His parents ended up finding out about it and offered to give us some money so that we could finish out what we've started. We are eternally grateful...

THEN, Wednesday, I got an email from the nurse telling me that she received the consents that we signed & sent back in, however the envelope was not addressed specifically TO HER & it ended up getting opened at the front desk & being given to the research team. The research team would not accept it because it is actually supposed to be signed in-office & then witnessed by the nurse...which, of course, I was never told! I ended up having to re-print the paperwork out, get DH's signature & spend $13 to mail it out Express so that it would be there the next day (Thursday, the last day before their long holiday weekend) in order to be able to start meds on Sunday to keep on schedule. Again, I cried and got mad and thought I was going to lose it on someone at the office (specifically the nurse). You can BET that, when all is said and done, we will be sending a letter to the office manager, detailing all of the issues, miscommunications and lack of organization that we have had to deal with over the past few months. Please pray for us!

Last but not least, let's lighten the mood with a list of fun times from camping (the first 9 are due to G & J pretending they were Harry Potter characters pretty much the entire time...let me remind you that they are 29 & 18 years old!!):
British accents
Leaky cauldron
Ron, Luna, Professors Lupin and McGonnagal (sp), and Hermione
Hagrid and fang
Dennis creevy aka creepy Joe
chamber of secrets
stupify, lumos, and all the other spells
dark forest
Frisbee golf
screaming in the bathroom (I told Jenna that she had 'sunburn' on her head and she thought I said that she had 'something' on her head and she started screaming like crazy)
pancake rock
Recycle Bin Ball
"you scared the poop out of me!"
aunt chris yelling at us for saying sucks
cheating at phase 10 (Gregg and Jenna cheated pretty much the entire game so that Jenna could win)
yummy mountain pies
teri's creepy voice-"I like what you're wearing"
popping lids off bottles (pretty much making bottle-rockets out of water-bottle lids)
long johns
crossing the dam
bridge run
Jenna ordering ice cream in a British accent

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