A Beautiful Morning

Chicago

It’s a beautiful morning!  I wanted to wish you all a good morning too!  Freddie (the pup) needed to go out at 7am this morning, and as we were walking outside and the sun was rising, I thought to myself, “Oh what a beautiful morning!”  Yes, I’m also geeky enough to start singing it too.  I forgot how much I love watching the sun come up, so I can only say thank you God, and thank you Freddie, for the gentle reminder.  Sometimes it’s the simple things that bring you joy and remind you to be grateful. 

A virtual Good Morning to all of you!  I hope something or someone brings you a smile today!

Prayer9

Who’s claiming who?

Dogs3

Oh yeah, he did!  Here you’ll find humor in a 2 week wait.  For those of you who aren’t aware, after an embryo transfer you are required to take it easy.  Bedrest or couch potato rest, it’s often called.  We have no children yet, but we do have a fur baby named Freddie.  He’s a wonderful boy.  I rescued him from A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter when he was 10 months old, but I digress.  We came home from our embryo transfer feeling like we’d won the lottery, so I sent my husband to go and buy a lottery ticket for kicks.  While my husband went out to get a lottery ticket…

Lottery

Freddie and I were snuggled up in bed.  I was laying on my side with a body pillow between my knees and talking to one of my best friends on the phone when suddenly Freddie stands on my hip and pees all over my belly!  It took me a second to realize what was happening (I was drugged for the procedure), and when I did I squealed “Freddie!”.  At which point he hopped off the bed, not  a drop of pee anywhere else.  Just all over my belly and the bed.  Of course my girlfriend was like “what happened?!?!”  So I explained…there was a long pause….then…”well, should we take it as a omen?”  I didn’t know what to think.  This is a fully potty trained dog who has NEVER peed on his or my bed and certainly not me.  This dog is so smart that there was a time I didn’t realize he was trying to get me up to let him out in the middle of the night one night and I heard water flowing in the bathroom; it was Freddie peeing down the shower drain.  He was able to get in because we had left the door open.  Smart and resourceful pup.  So I said to my girlfriend, well I guess he either just claimed me or the baby…I’m not sure which!

Kairos21

Here is my beautiful boy.  I’d love to hear thoughts from you all about this!

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.  Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’  The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”        Psalm 126: 2-3

I won the lottery!!!

Well not literally, but statistically, it sure feels like I have!  Yesterday, my husband and I arrived at FCI hopeful, but fully prepared to receive the news that I had no normal embryos to transfer.  As 70% of my eggs would create a chromosomal abnormality, having only 2 embryos to test wasn’t in our odds.  However, God is good, and he shows us every time that he is great and what I can’t do, he can!

ControlLoss

I was happily shocked to hear that I had a normal embryo!!!  So yes, I had an embryo transfer yesterday morning.  Now I’m required to be a couch potato and rest for the next two days.  Writing this blog and letting the dog out are about as active as I’m allowed to get.  I was told I must be a princess.  My husband was even told he had to treat me like a princess…ha ha ha. 

There’s more.  Not only did I get a normal embryo, but that single lone embryo that we created from our IVF cycle this time has made it to blast.  Not only did it make it to blast, but it started hatching on it’s own, grading it a 5BA.  Wow.  I’m calling it my warrior embryo.  The chances of a single embryo surviving it to blast are so small.  It’s amazing.  They were able to biopsy that one and the freeze it.  I should get the results tomorrow.  We can’t transfer it, but that single embryo could be my next baby.

Embryo

This tiny little ball of cells, that is really the size of a spec of dust, is making a baby.  It blows me away.

Grow baby, grow!

Well, here goes!

Hope2

First, I would like to say Thank You all for your support and encouragement.  I got a phone call today with an update on my embryo.  That single embryo is still kicking (grow baby, grow!).  It’s not quite full blast yet, so they can’t to a biopsy for PGD/PGS testing quite yet.  As my ultrasound showed a perfect lining, they thawed my 4 frozen embryos from my last IVF cycle to do a biopsy and PGD/PGS testing on those.  Only 2 of the embryos survived the thaw and were able to be biopsied.  I will be arriving at FCI tomorrow morning and will receive the results of the PGD/PGS testing at that time.  If we have a normal embryo, we will do an embryo transfer in the morning.  As many of you know, the likelihood of having a normal with the low numbers I have is not very high, but I have to trust God has a plan for us.  My gut, my instinct was demanding to check and see what I have before doing another stimulation round of IVF.  I have to trust my instinct.  I have to trust God has a plan.  I don’t know what the outcome will be and my eyes are wide open.   This takes “it only takes one” to a whole new level for me.  I ask for prayers for us tomorrow.  I will post an update here as I know more.  Thanks friends.

Prayer1

Disappointment

“I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  Mark 11: 24 (NIV)

Well, we all have disappointment in life.  That is part of living.  I had my egg retrieval on Wednesday morning.  They were only able to retrieve 5 eggs this time.  This is a significant difference from my first round of IVF.  Of the 5, only 3 were mature, and of the 3 only 1 fertilized.  My initial thought and feeling was the waste.  I just went through all of that for nothing?  I only have one embryo that I have to hope makes it to the blast stage? 

My first IVF cycle was in February.  They were able to retrieve 14 eggs, 10 of which were mature, and 9 of which fertilized.  6 embryos made it to the blast stage.  Of the six, we transferred 2 embryos in a frozen embryo cycle in April.  I was able to achieve pregnancy, only to miscarry between 9-10 weeks of pregnancy.  I was pregnant with twins.  We did testing on the miscarriage and found each baby to have trisomy.  What does that mean?  It means I have old eggs, so they produce genetic abnormalities.  The exciting thing is that I make eggs, so it is likely I will have some normal.  At this stage in my life approximately 70% of my eggs are probably not the best.  With that in mind, though I had 4 more frozen embryos, we decided to do another egg retrieval in the hopes of making more embryos and then having genetic testing so that we could try and minimize my risk for miscarriage.  Here we are, not so many more eggs or embryos.  Disappointment.  The one good thing about this cycle is that my hormone levels seemed to have behaved themselves and I have a beautiful looking lining.  I asked my physician prior to the egg retrieval what her thoughts were on possibly doing a fresh transfer, since I had a nice uterine lining, and my hormones were behaving.  She definitely thought it was a possibility since we would have to thaw my frozen embryos to do the PGD testing along with anything fresh that survived.  So now, we wait.  We Pray.  I will hear tomorrow how that single embryo is doing in the lab.  Monday morning, I will go in to have labs and ultrasound to make sure everything still looks ok.  IF we have any normals, I will go in Tuesday for an embryo transfer. 

Please pray for me.  Pray for the hands caring for my frozen babies.  Pray for wisdom in our decision making.  Thank You.

“Again I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.” Matthew 18: 19-20

There is nothing to do but leave it in God’s loving hands.  Blessings to all of you.

ApacheBlessing

Take 2

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my journey. As you can imagine with a title of “Take 2″, we’re trying again.  It’s been a solid year since I started treatments for infertility at FCI.  I began the stimulation process for IVF last week and jokingly said to the phlebotomist, “are you sick of me yet?”  She sweetly said no, I love my job and proceeded to hand me a card with the quote you see above.  So here we are, trying again.  Tomorrow is a big day.  Tomorrow is my egg retrieval.  I ask for prayers as we continue this journey to parenthood.

It’s not exactly like this, it’s more like…

ICSI

However it happens, I trust God will guide the hands of those caring for us on our journey.  I will keep you posted on how things progress.  Thanks in advance for your prayers.

Happy Independence Day!

I haven’t heard it sung like this in a long time.  There’s something about the soul put into our national anthem, that makes you believe in it.  Our “home of the brave.”  Happy Birthday United States of America!  I’m so glad I call you home.

Independence makes me think of many different things.  I was walking my dog on the 4th of July, and I came across a wedding taking place in a park nearby.  Strange, I thought, to get married on Independence Day.  I’m curious to know what “independence” means to all of you.  Would you find it strange to get married on Independence Day?

I suppose Love and Fireworks aren’t too far apart!  I hope you’ve all enjoyed your celebrations, whatever and wherever they brought you!  God Bless America!

Joy

6.25.2014

On this day at 12:54am in 1975, I was welcomed to the world.  The second daughter of proud parents.  My middle name:

JOY

I like to think my parents gave me the middle name Joy, not because I was such a joy to have, but because my mother wanted me to remember the joy of being Christ’s own.

June 25th has always been a day fraught with conflict for me.  Not only is this my birthday, but the day my baby brother Paul was buried.  Paul wasn’t sick.  He choked on the pit of a fruit at age 2, and they weren’t able to get him the help he needed in a country where EMS did not exist at the time.  No one was able to dislodge the pit from his throat.  I was 6, my other siblings 4 and 8.  In my adulthood, I still miss him.

I’ve recently heard the term “seared dates” from another blog, Ever Upward.  Thanks Justine.  This is one of those dates for me.  A day that at times is filled with joy and celebration, and yet one that my soul can’t help but feel sorrow and loss.  Conflict.  I am thankful for the people in my life that remind me of the joys and help me let go of the sorrows.

My husband and dog child, Freddie, are great at this!  For them, I will be eternally grateful to God.

Psalm 4: 5-8 (NIV)     Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.  Many are asking “who can show us any good?”  Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.  You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.  I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

My comfort is in God.

My peace is in God.

My joy is in God.

Many of you know I recently lost 2 little ones to a miscarriage.  A little boy and a little girl.  I was 9 weeks along.  I can’t help but think of the song I once sang in recital written by my coach, Greg Walter.  One day, I will convert the old VHS to digital format so that you can hear the peace of it.  But for now, I leave you Greg’s lyrics:

Beyond the Blue  –  By:  Greg Walter

Way up there beyond the blue, a great big house, a wondrous view awaits my coming as did you.  By your side he’ll take me to.

And in that house, a room we’ll share.  Of ageless time we’re unaware.  Of years that passed our of your care.  I’m home at last with you for-ere.

And when I die, I’ll come to see your winged arms outstretched to me.  And in them weep so longingly.  No other place I’d rather be.

And when I die, I’ll come to see your winged arms outstretched to me.  No greater love I ever knew,  awaits me there, beyond the blue!

John 5:9-12 (NIV)     As the father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

JOY Complete.

I hope you feel loved today.

I must give you up to God…

Well, it’s official.  We are miscarrying.  I guess you’d call it impending fetal demise.  We went to the doctor on Thursday.  The fetal pole is smaller.  We could see cardiac activity on the ultrasound, but could no longer measure a heartbeat because it was so slow.  We have stopped all progesterones (life support for new life), and are waiting for things to progress naturally.  I will see my regular OB/GYN on Tuesday and see how things are looking/progressing.  Currently, my HCG is 18, 198.  We will be watching for this level to decrease as well.

We are heartbroken.

It has been a long journey just to achieve pregnancy, and now this is lost as well.  In my mind, I know there are reasons this happens.  It is God and nature’s way of protecting us.  In my mind, I know the positive is that we now know it is possible for me to achieve pregnancy.  In my mind, I know that in the end, all will be well.

But, my heart hurts at the loss.

We ask for your continued prayers for peace.

I am not a poet or a lyricist, but these words have come from my heart in this time and in this space:

Rock Me, Rock Me

Holy Spirit, God Divine

Come and hold this hand of mine.

Rock me, rock me in your peace,

Until my soul can find relief.

 

Holy Spirit guide and friend,

With a love that never ends.

Rock me, rock me from above,

Until I feel your endless love.

 

Holy Spirit, Father God,

Welcomes children from earth’s sod.

Rock me, rock me in your might,

Until I feel you hold me tight.

 

Holy Spirit’s boundless love

Fill my soul from up above.

Rock me, rock me in your grace,

Until my heart has found it’s faith.