Sunday, September 25, 2011

We Are Back!

Nice pic, not sure about Adam's "lazy" eye!
Adam on the trail...

Starting off...

"Real men..."

This weekend, I decided I needed to get out of town! I was not on call and Dr. M gratiously agreed to round on my one patient for me. I knew that I wasn't really comfortable being several miles back in the woods with no cell phone reception while on aspirin and this was our last hike for at least a few weeks (hopefully for much longer)!
Mom, Dad, and Trey left Thursday for Pigeon Forge; while Adam and I left after work on Friday. On Saturday morning, we had a great breakfast at the Apple Barn together. Trey, Adam, and I then headed up to Cosby, TN to Cosby Cove, a portion of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. We really didn't have time to make our "usual" 5-7 mile hike secondary to the shorter days, so we chose a 4.4 mile hike to Hen Wallow Falls.
The ascent was a nice climb...for 2.1 miles. The last 0.1 mile was straight down a rocky, rooty, and VERY slick path! The falls were flowing very nicely and were quite beautiful! We enjoyed them for about 15 minutes then made our way back to the parking area. It was an absolutely perfect day for a hike and I am SOOOOO glad we went!
BTW...I got stung AGAIN by a yellow jacket on the trail! For those who have followed the blog for a long time, you may remember that this happened a couple of years ago. I ended up with a whelp that covered my entire flank! This round, it was on my left leg. For now, it's about 4"x2" in size. I suspect that it'll "grow" to about twice that within the next 2 days...if history repeats itself. Gotta LOVE sensitive skin with delayed-type hypersensitivity!
I'm now back home. My meds are all set for the week (injections that can be "pre-drawn" are ready and pills are in the organizer). I feel rested, calm, and just ready to get the process started tomorrow. Overall, the weekend was a perfect getaway for Adam and I to spend time with Trey and my parents...AND to relax! Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Monday It Is!

Well, just got back from a rainy wet drive to Nashville. Today was the day that we went in to be sure that we are "suppressed." In layman's terms, to see if we were in chemical menopause yet... While I don't know the results of the bloodwork, I can tell you that the ultrasound definitely says that we are! My ovaries were tiny today...which is a good thing (relatively speaking)!
Anita and I met (she says her quickest "calendar talk" in a long time) to review the calendar. I got my blood drawn, Dr. V did a quick ultrasound, and I was on my way. I guess you could say that we are now "regulars" because EVERY person in that office knows me by name!
We are heading to the Smokeys this weekend to relax, maybe hike (weather permitting), and to get ready for this next phase... For sure, we will be on 11-12 pills per day and 4 injections per day. We'll head back next Wednesday to see how things are progressing....
For those who have the time or can take it, please send prayers and warm thoughts our way! This is a BIG deal for us (though sometimes I think mainly me) and we'd LOVE for it to maybe work. Our odds are low for success (less than 15%), but this is our last round before having to move to some major protocol changes...
Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why Two When You Can Have Four???

There never seems to be a dull moment in our lives! Yesterday, while slaving away in our wound care clinic, I got a call from CRH in Nashville. I guess Anita missed me, because she called to ask me if I had talked to Dr. Vasquez. I said, " Should I be worried?" She went on to tell me that the studies from my blood-letting last month had come back...finally. When the panel was drawn, it was to look for antibodies and other lab anomalies that would increase the risk of spontaneous placental clotting..which is a HUGE factor in miscarriages and complications of some pregnancies. It also could explain why, despite being relatively "pretty," Scrappy A and Scrappy B didn't "stick." (If you don't know who these are/were, I guess you'll be reading the previous blog posts!) The panel tested for 23 things. Being my typical overachieving self, I didn't test with one high (which is a bad thing) value...I got 8 "highs."
So, I'll be you are wondering what this means. Well, it means that had we not done this, we could have gone through multiple IVF cycles only to miscarry. I am VERY thankful our doc tested early, as this could save us lots of heartbreak (which I'd argue we've had plenty this year).
The good news is that this problem is "easily" fixed... All we need is Lovenox, a prescription blood-thinner. And we only need it until we fail the cycle OR until we go into labor. Yep...this is a LONG commitment! I was, however, very thankful to get the call today from the pharmacy. The girl initially told me that we qualified for free shipping, to which my first thought was heck yeah...because you are about to tell me that it costs half of my mortgage every month! But, she went on to say that the drug (with our insurance who approved it immediately) was only going to cost $7/month... AMAZING! (If you think medication costs are high...try buying infertility medications!)
Now, if you are wondering about the title of the goes. Instead of 2 shots per day (plus an almost daily blood draw in Nashville), we now get to take 4 (and we STILL get that almost daily drive to Nashville to take my blood)! I'm trying to mentally prepare myself to me a human pin cusion...and it's NOT easy! The meds arrive Friday and I'm imagining that we will be "stimming" by next Monday. 2 more days before the sticking (well...we are already on 1 shot a day...but I'm talking about the 4 deal), ultrasounds, drives to Nashville, and afternoon phone calls begin. Wish us luck!!! Again, why 2 when you can have 4???

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sometimes it's the little things...

In the eyes of many, this is a trivial post. But, for is a BIG deal! On our last cycle, I gave myself Lupron injections daily without much fanfare. Unfortunately, this cycle has been very different. On Monday morning, I did my usual routine and grabbed the syringe out of the refrigerator. I stared at it for several seconds (maybe even a full minute) and just couldn't bring myself to do it. I guess you could say that my anxiety got the best of me! Adam came along and I handed him the syringe and said, "just do it please." He reluctantly gave me the shot and has done so all week.

This morning, I got up with the goal of making waffles and bacon for breakfast. I knew I needed to take the Lupron, but Adam was still in bed. I hated to wake him up, so I took the syringe out of the fridge. I prepped my skin, paused several seconds, and managed eventually to give myself the injection! Amazingly, it didn't even hurt or sting...which is what it usually does!

I'm thrilled with myself and hope this will be day 1 of many days to come of giving myself the Lupron. I feel a greater sense of accomplishment over this than I probably did graduating from college. Heck... In the scheme of things, college was WAY easier than this infertility stuff!

Today is already a great day...and it's just getting started. I'm heading to work now to round, finish up charts, and prepare a credentialling application. (Sounds fun doesn't it???) But, I feel quite accomplished in my morning. Sometimes it really is the little things...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

And Another Journey Begins...

For Adam and I, tomorrow begins another IVF cycle. This morning (while he's still asleep), I was doing some spiritual reading and trying to educate myself a little more about God, his will, and our place in life. I often use my quiet Sunday mornings for this, and find that it sets the tone for a nice week...sometimes more than attending church.

Because Adam is Catholic (though certainly not "practicing"), I really wanted to educate myself more on the Catholic stance of IVF. I knew the Catholic church was "against it"... but I wanted to know why and what scripture they used to support their stance. So...thus my study today.
Needless to say, there is not a concise answer. be a brief as possible, there are two major issues/points that were published in the Catholic doctrines in 1987.

1. The Catholic church believes that babies should be created through relations between a man and a woman...period.
2. The Catholic church believes that souls are created at the time of fertilization, thus embryos have souls. Therefore, discarding embryos is considered abortion and thawing embryos that don't survive is in essence, the same.

Wow... Obviously this opens a HUGE can of worms! Rather than go on and on about my issues with this doctrine, I wondered where in the Bible these issues were addressed. As you might expect (since there wasn't anything even close to IVF in those days), they are not!

But here's one verse I did find...
Psalm 113:9 He gives the baren woman a home, making her a joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!

While looking a little bit further, I found this...written by someone named Carol. It pretty much sums up my readings and thoughts this morning. For those who haven't crossed these bridges, it will enlighten you. For those who have, hopefully it was inspire you!

I am a religious person and my faith in what God means when he gives people certain challenges has kept me going through this ordeal. What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility? I think he meant for my husband and I to grow closer, love deeper. I think God meant for us to find the fortitude within ourselves to get up everytime infertility knocks us down. I think God meant for our medical community to discover medicines, invent medical equipment, create procedures and protocols. I think God meant for us to find a cure for infertility. No. God never meant for me to not have children. That's not my destiny, that's just a fork in the road I'm on.
I've been placed on the road less traveled and like it or not, I'm a better person for it. Clearly, God meant for me to overcome my devastation, guilt and sorrow in order to develop more compassion, deeper courage, and greater inner strength on this journey to resolution and I haven't let him down. Frankly, if the truth be known, I think God meant for me to build a thirst for a child so strong and so deep that when that baby is finally placed in my arms it will be the longest, coolest, and most refreshing drink I've ever known.

Happy Sunday everyone!!! God Bless You!