second trimester



We’re one week from the third trimester. (Or less depending on when you count it starting exactly.)

Crazy. Just crazy. 

A few months ago it felt like days were crawling and we’d never get here, and suddenly here we are! Scheduling doctor’s appointments every two weeks instead of once a month, signing up for birthing classes and baptism classes, discussing parties, getting questions about contractions… Already?! The time is speeding up and I’m so excited! 

But, before I get ahead of myself let’s talk about how things have been going and have a picture or two. Okay? Okay.

Has a baby skeleton ever looked so cute?! Say no. That’s the cutest skull you’ve ever laid eyes on. Amara weighed 1lb 10oz in that photo, nearly two weeks ago. So maybe she’s getting close to two pounds now. She’s head down and turns right to left occasionally, I can tell when her wiggles change direction in my belly. 

Occasionally, I can see them ripple in different spots, though never when anyone else is around. She moves so much for me, it’s like we have a secret code, and then the second I want to share it she stops. Her dad got a good swift kick once, and then we waited and waited but she didn’t do it again. I think she knows when we’re alone, or when he falls asleep, or when everyone else is distracted. She likes to thump my bladder; empty this thing already! she says. She moves just so when I’m leaning over too much; sit back I need more room! When my stomach growls that’s another wiggle of impatience; where’s my spaghetti?! 

Her bones are getting too strong for the perinatalogist to see all that he wants to see. We tried for better/more views of her heart this last time but she didn’t want to move to make it any easier. Again. He said we’d try once more but wasn’t confident with her growing that it would be any different. Not that he has anything he’s concerned about, but just that he’s not satisfied. Which is fine by me; more pictures are always fine by me! He told me to quit eating ice cream… Ha! Sorry I cannot help you, Sir, her bones gotta grow somehow. 

Here’s the photo I think looks like a dog snout, I turned it so maybe you’d understand the orientation. It’s her nose and mouth kindof like she’s pressed them up against glass. Or -blowing us a kiss- Dr Schneider likes to say. I don’t often recognize all her bits and pieces right away during the scan, but this I knew when I saw it and asked for a copy. The doctor looks to see if she’s got a cleft palate with this photo (she doesn’t), I just think it’s so cute. Of course I think everything on the scan is cute… Her belly, her leg bones, her gal bladder, her liver… Whatever, it’s all cute. It’s all amazing. I think about how she started out as just few cells and how now she’s a little person and I can’t hardly breathe for the amazement.

I’ve had another OB appointment since then, a long appointment to see if I have gestational diabetes. I don’t have the results back yet but am praying hard that I pass. I also got the flu shot and t-dap while I was there, and a whole bunch of blood work. I asked about my weight gain, since I haven’t been paying attention. I’m doing well; still have got several pounds for her to grow before I get near the limit they like to set for plus size moms. 

Just this last week I’ve developed this fun symptom -hello, swollen feet! It’s not all the time, this photo was after two days of standing/sitting and not much resting, so it’s not usually this bad… But it is a thing now. I’d like to say I’ve stopped throwing up… But I did that this morning… About once a week now I get to do that, so it has improved, but I don’t really expect it to stop all together. Other than the occasional aches from being on my feet too much I mostly feel really good. The tiredness never really went away, but I don’t feel overly cumbersome or awkward yet. I told my nurse it’s because I had half this belly to start with so I’m used to working with it. Ha! 

We’re mostly just celebratory over every little thing around here. OK… I’m emotional over every little thing, too. Soon I think I’ll be able to share nursery photos and talk more about the ‘getting ready’ bits. I feel like there’s lots to do and maybe not enough time..but I also think that it’ll all be okay. If the timeline isn’t perfect, if things get ‘finished’ while we get this parenting business started… It’ll all be okay. We’ll figure it out. Babies have come into homes with much less perfection than ours and life just gets on with itself. Even imperfect, we are so ready. Ready for the sleeplessness, ready for the cries, ready for every new thing to marvel over… Just ready for this little life and all that it’ll do to change ours. 

Next year, y’all, is gonna be all kinds of awesome. And I say that fully amazed at this past one. He is faithful.


It’s a girl! 

Here we are -HALFWAY to welcoming this little Bean into the world. Twenty Weeks feels SO good!

We went to see a perinatologist (aka a maternal-fetal medicine specialist) for our anatomy ultrasound. Something they like to do for IVF babies since there’s some concern they are more prone to heart defects. We spent a lot of time with the ultrasound tech trying to see all that there is to see of this somewhat uncooperative kiddo. There were head measurements, arm and leg bone measurements, and estimates for weight. All her measurements are right on track for her gestational age, and her weight is estimated at 13 ounces. All great news!

Here’s Baby Bean with knees to nose:

They took a picture of Bean’s belly, showing us this tiny stomach and organs. Diaphragm, liver, loops of small intestine; it is so cool all the things they can show you on that muddy black and white screen. They checked her nasal bone, if it was short or missing that would be an indicator of Downs Syndrome, we were happy to see a proud white line just where it aught to be. They looked close at the upper palate in the mouth, pointing out to us a solid white mass to show there’s not a concern for a cleft palate.

They also checked blood flow in the umbilical cord, and spent lots of time attempting to get every angle of the heart. Here’s where we found out we have a bit of a stubborn baby, with little arms tucked in close the arm bone shadows obstructed some of the heart views. We poked and prodded, rolled side to side, and tried all we could to get her move and allow clear pictures. We saw lots of kicking but those little arms didn’t move away long enough to help us. What we did see was there are four chambers and they seem to be working just the way they should. Her heart rate was 151. And, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a little happy that they feel we didn’t get every angle, that means we get more pictures in five weeks when we go back to check again. Let’s not forget that little heart is only about the size of a nickel and will grow a lot in the next five weeks!


We also didn’t hesitate when the tech asked us if we wanted her to tell us the gender. Oh yes! She got a great picture of a leg and tiny butt and the three little lines that tell her we’ve got a little girl growing in there. She checked twice and said she was extremely confident Bean is a girl! We are obviously thrilled! Of course we’d have been thrilled if we’d had a boy growing too, but the knowing makes it so exciting! I called my mom as soon as we left the appointment to tell someone out loud -It’s a girl!

IMG_3701The doctor came in after the ultrasound and went over the images again with us, slower, pointing out details. I got a chance to ask him if he had an opinion on my birth options, something I’d been warned he might have. There was some talk at a previous OB appointment that he may recommend I have a c-section or be induced at 39 weeks due to my advanced maternal age. (They use that term for mamas over 35.) I was beyond happy to hear him say that if I  was 40 early delivery would be standard protocol, but that I’m young (haha!) and unless I develop something in the next 20 Weeks indicating otherwise he sees no reason I can’t go the full 40 weeks! He said they wouldn’t have me go past 41, but that gives me a chance for a natural rather than induced labor (or scheduled cesarean) and that is music to my ears! So, if I could humbly ask you to add that into your prayers for this little adventure -a healthy uncomplicated pregnancy, and a body ready to do the work when the time comes- I would be so grateful. I think I’ve said before how much this process means to me, and that doing each thing is important to me. This process includes birth; the labor and pain don’t scare me, but not having the option does. I’m fully prepared going into this with an open mind that says however this birth happens is OK. In the end the healthy arrival of our Bean is what matters most. But, I’m not wishing away any part of the process, and I am passionate about having the chance to do labor and delivery au natural if my body cooperates.

I’d already made plans with a friend to take the hand print gender reveal photos that evening. There was so much laughter, so much excitement to share with our friends who feel this utter joy with us. There was also some teasing of daddy -who’s daughter with have him sucker punched right from the beginning I am sure. It was so fun to go pick out pink paint for that occasion. To pass the bows and flowers and ask my guy Do we need those, too? How girly do we need to be to share our news? We opted for just the paint, though he tried to convince me to get yellow or green and make everyone crazy building the suspense. You’re welcome from my impatient self that I didn’t agree to that! 😉 He also let me get pink glittery stickers to make a sign for our girl to reveal her name. And that, my friends, you will have to wait on! Though not so long, soon we’ll talk about the story behind those choices. I just really wanted to give this moment, this story, its time. Because IT’S A GIRL is so big and awesome, and It’s a HEALTHY girl all that much more big and awesome. Let’s just celebrate that for a minute or two, OK? OK!


Since April?! (1st trimester catch up)

I haven’t written here SINCE APRIL?!

That’s what I thought when I finally came to check in. Surely it hasn’t been that long.

Oh, but it has.

Oops. Sorry. Let’s catch up.

All that praying everyone was doing for our last frozen embryo transfer was worth it’s weight in gold.

We have a little bean growing!

I dunno why I’ve taken to calling the babe -the bean, but I have. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I get to call he or she by their actual name.

I’ve successfully made it into the second trimester so I can tell you all about the first!

There was a lot of nausea, and some vomiting, and all the tiredness. There were mountains of worry, and many doctor appointments. There were needle sticks and ultrasounds, and many bathroom stops. There was monitoring and marveling over size and what’s-happening-now; from an apple seed to a blueberry and then a peapod. Little lives grow so quickly! We saw a heartbeat at 6 weeks, SIX! This tiny being measured in millimeters had a beating heart. And so fast it had little arms and legs that kicked and waved at us on the ultrasound. Our bean already has fingerprints. The whole thing just blows my mind.

All during the process I kept thinking -I need to write about this- and then didn’t. I’m not sure why that is. Too tired and sick to work up the energy? Probably. Too anxious that we’d never make it to the second trimester? That too.

We’ve transitioned from seeing our fertility doctor to seeing a regular OB. The process was bittersweet.  I tried to convince Dr. B he could just run the whole show beginning to end but he didn’t take me up on it. I found a doctor’s office I really like (thanks to a nurse friend), but I don’t think we’ll have anything quite like the relationships we developed at Rocky Mountain Center For Reproductive Medicine.

My mom and I were on a trip when I got my very last shot. It was a thing to be celebrated! Just as soon as I quit throwing up. I looked forward to days without extra hormones thinking the sick would get better. Imagine my delight when it actually got worse! The occasional vomiting turned to every day. And all the things the doctor said to try really did not help. When I spent a day unable to keep anything down and not even wanting to drink water because I was so tired of throwing up I finally gave in and asked the doctor for a prescription. Thankfully, that made a big improvement. Not prefect, but so much better.

I keep getting told it’ll get better so I’m waiting for that little blessing to come upon me. I hope I won’t need the prescription for long. Right now everything feels like it’s moving so much slower. I only see the doctor once a month, and the bean isn’t big enough for me to be marveling in kicks and squirms yet. I can tell you it likes to swim and delivers swimming dreams to me a lot. Bean also likes pasta. You know how they tell you to eat the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet when you feel sick? Yeah, we’ve thrown up all the things at one time or another. Pasta though? Big fans. All the things I was eating to manage symptoms early on have eventually been rejected -yogurt, peaches, crackers, granola bars, oatmeal…finding food I want to eat, enjoy after the smell or first taste, and can keep down has been a fun experiment. Which, if you’ve met me in real life you would know, is downright hilarious.

We haven’t worked on the nursery any more yet, I’m hoping I’ll feel more inspired to do that if we learn if we are having a he or a she. We do have a fun stash of mixed gender clothes started, a few toys, and little things already collected I just couldn’t pass up. There’s time, I keep telling myself, it’ll eventually feel like it goes so fast but I need to pace myself. We also have some home improvement projects on the agenda for the summer. It feels slow going now, but oh-so-soon I think it’ll feel like we’re full steam ahead!

The Long Wait


We’ve been taking a lot of naps around here.

Hello, friends.
I’d like to say -I have so much to tell you!
But, I really don’t.
So much of this process is rinse and repeat that there’s not much to report. And there’s the waiting…seemingly endless amounts of waiting.

Here’s what I can tell you:
While the Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) is different from a normal round of IVF it’s not so different you’ll need a step by step.
I’ve been taking my meds like a good girl. I stuck to the complicated schedule and all my ultrasounds and blood work over the last couple months have looked great.

I had one intense day when I switched to progesterone shots and about an hour after my first one I got nauseous and fainted in the bathroom. I was only out for a minute and I did make it back to bed on my own. (D was at work) I tried to sleep, felt pretty awful, vomited over the side of the bed into a trash can. D came home early and I was supposed to be driving him to the airport that day…it took a lot of convincing but he did make his flight thanks to his sister. I eventually called the doctor’s office to make sure it wasn’t the meds; which would’ve been unlikely since I’d done this before with a different brand but same drug. It wasn’t.  My elevated temperature was a sign to my nurse friend that I had a stomach bug. Luckily, it was mostly kicked in two days. Two very sore and uncomfortable days.

That fear though, that it might have been my meds, is great way to illustrate that this infertility stuff doesn’t get easier the longer you’re dealing with it.  For me, it feels like it gets harder. The stakes get bigger. The fear of something going wrong gets bigger. The I’m so tired of this gets much bigger.

That’s my truth -I’m so tired of this.

So, my regimen of 5 estrogen pills and 1 progesterone shot a day has been my normal for a while. And, the number of alarms in my phone has gone from a dozen to just those 6. Yay!

The day of transfer I was pretty nervous waiting for a phone call expecting our embryos not to survive the thaw. I even got a phone call that had nothing to do with the transfer but freaked me out in the moment the phone was ringing. I was so surprised and relieved and thankful when Dr Sharry came out with this photo:


Yes, that’s D’s hand holding it, yes it looks rough, he’s in construction, that’s his normal.

The exciting news is that both embryos survived and looked really good! Hallelujah!

I never thought I’d say to a doctor “I’m really looking forward to that catheter.” But I did. And I was. Full bladder + ultrasound + speculum = thankful for the catheter. It’s amusing the things you get used to when you see doctors and nurses for so long. I remember the first transfer during IVF the catheter was my biggest concern since I’d never had one before. This time it was the second best part -after that photo above!

Everything else has been the same as last time.  The transfer went great, followed by bedrest for 3 days -I have the best family and friends who came and hung out with me on the couch, made my favorite foods and continually pray hard those embryos are making themselves at home.

So, now we wait. The longest weeks of our lives to find out if we’ve finally come to the transition part of this journey. The transition from infertility to parenthood. I’m anxious. I’m doubtful. I’m hopeful. I’m hanging on. I’m leaning in….
I’m complicated.

(Infertile) Bookish Thoughts


I haven’t read very many books on infertility, in fact this is the first. If you know me you might think that’s odd considering I do a fair amount of reading. I’ve just always preferred to read about the baby part, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, rather than the struggle part. I get all my struggle knowledge firsthand, thank you.

A couple weeks ago I came across an article talking about link between infertility and PTSD… Post Traumatic Infertility Stress Disorder or PTIFSD.

“Infertility awareness requires not only an understanding and recognition of the disease itself but of what that disease can do to us.”

I found validation in that article and discovered the author had also written a book -so I ordered it.

Enter The Infertility Survival Handbook.

Firstly, it was written in 2004. You and I both know medicine advances can change dramatically in that amount of time, the same is true for fertility medicine. However, most of what’s written is still relevant even if not perfectly up to date. If you’re on the fence or confused about what procedures come with signing up for infertility treatment this is a perfectly good place to start. It breaks things down and gives you a good foundation to begin to ask your doctor informed questions about your health and what you might be getting into.

There’s no sugar-coating here; in fact, the author is afraid of needles, she might have you unduly worried about needle size and placement. While she gets you concerned over drug side-effects, which DO happen but don’t ALWAYS happen (I have had very little), she also tells you it’s okay to have bad days. To be devastated and excited in turn as you go through this process. It’s very reassuring for someone who’s gone through things multiple times to say “you can do it” and also “you don’t have to do it”.

She talks about the money involved in treatment, navigating insurance, managing stress, telling your family and friends, and even about choosing adoption. I also like that there is an entire reference section of resources to help you with what’s next; be that support groups, immunology, adoption, surrogacy, etc.

My biggest peeve with the book is actually the way the author constantly reminds us of how smart she is, especially during the first several chapters. There’s multiple mentions of “putting on the white coat” so she can explain these complex medical procedures with big words. I find that totally unnecessary. I also disliked later in the book where she talks about marriage trouble and assumes her four years of therapy are enough to allow her to comment on your marriage. There are many instances of her joking, sarcastic, snarky inserts added to the writing in parenthesis where I rolled my eyes, or sighed in frustration.

Advice to milk your treatment trauma with your husband who has gotten off easy during this process bothers me. She does later talk about being a support for your guy if you’re dealing with male-factor infertility but I find it insulting to assume husbands need you to use your bad days as leverage for pampering. Maybe I’m over-sensetive to husband criticism or over-optimistic about the majority of the husband population. I do believe that this process makes you more intimate on an emotional level and simply asking for what you need is usually enough. Don’t underestimate the toll it takes on a man to see his wife go through this process. He’s not blind to that or immune to the excitement/devastation rollercoaster.

So, if you’re on Goodreads (let’s be friends) my review rating is 3 stars. I liked The Infertility Survival Handbook. I didn’t love it, though it had very good info, and I didn’t hate it, though it had some problems. Also, if you’re really wanting to read it, let me know, I’ll gladly send you my copy!

Is  there an infertility book you think I should read? Recommended away!

Until next time -♡.

Here and Now


Hello friends!

After a long and much needed hiatus I’m back…here to keep you in the loop…and in that office I spent so much time in last year.

We met with Dr.B last week, got the low down on what we do now, and signed a stack of consent forms thick enough to give us hand cramps.


Today I had my baseline ultrasound; everything begins here, same as before. And, thankfully, everything was still utterly normal. I also picked up my calendar and prescriptions to get filled. The calendar is already up and ready to begin the count down. Here’s a blurry look at that:


Schedules. Schedules.

So, the simple way to explain all these drugs is that the Dr. shuts down the part of my brain that runs my hormones and then supplements, monitors, and controls my body’s natural rhythm. The goal for IVF was to get my body to make eggs, lots and lots of eggs, and we manipulated my chemistry to accomplish that.

For a FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) our goal is to control and balance my chemistry to create the best possible home for those little embryos. Last time the focus was on the ovaries, this time all the focus is on the uterus.

Some people say that a frozen embryo cycle works better than a fresh embryo cycle (FET is better than IVF) and this switch in focus may be the key.
Please, God, let it be the key.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. We only have two frozen embryos, it feels like our last chance. We are praying when the time comes both those little seeds survive the thaw; there’s always a chance one or both may not. We’re praying those little seeds continue to grow, and eventually take root in this perfectly welcoming environment we will be creating.

Want to pray for us?
Pray I can be diligent with my complex drug protocol (Good news! Only two shots!) and pray I have the willpower to treat my body well to prepare it in every way possible.

We’re marking off our first of many days committed to this next thing. Thanks for hanging in there with us!

Did I forget something you’re curious about? Just let me know and I’ll address it in another post.

(If you’re new here Welcome! and wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into you can scroll back in time and catch up on all things infertility HERE.)



Not too long ago I wrote a letter to Dr. B. I’d run into him out shopping one evening and got to give him a hug and wish him Merry Christmas. I hadn’t seen him since he called to say the IVF didn’t work; I had been expecting to feel…upset or sad, maybe sorry or guilty…like we worked really hard, prayed really hard, for this thing to happen and maybe it was my fault it failed.

I didn’t feel any of those things though, I just felt joy. Seeing him for the first time out of the office, realizing I missed the people we’d spent so much of our time with this past year. And later, knowing I needed to tell him that the year, though difficult at times, was all part of the plan -I wrote him a letter.

Here’s what it said:
After our disappointing IVF I was having a hard time wrapping my head around all the whys and how comes. It’s been a hard 8 years hoping for this dream, and so much hard work by so many people this last year chasing it. It feels like God keeps asking me to walk toward a cliff and put my toes over the edge. That’s scary, I’m tired, it hurts, I’m a slow walker.

So, I was doing a Bible study called Discerning the Voice of God. I’m pretty sure in the 12 weeks we took to go through it people are generally supposed to learn something new every chapter. Things about obedience and seeking and whatnot. But my study was full of one thing: Trust me. Trust me. Trust me.
And arrogantly I think ‘that’s what I’m doing! ‘.

Then He got really real…
He asked me -If I offered to turn your fertility over to your best friend would you want me to?
I’m, of course, saying -Yes! Let’s do that! I trust her, she wants what I want, we’d have this fixed by dinner.
And the response I get is -Why do you trust your fallible human friend more than your infallible God?

So, back to my cliff, I was talking to someone recently about this image of God asking me to put my toes over the cliff and do that hard trust thing, and it brought up yet another question from God.
-If Dr. Bachus asked you to jump off a cliff would you do it?
And my answer was -Yes! Of course! Because I trust him. I trust if he asked me to do that then I would be tethered.
The response to that was simple and profound -Then trust me to have you tethered and keep walking.

So, I’m not trying to raise anxiety about this crazy patient with too much trust in you, but rather to reaffirm the importance of the process.
It’d be great if God let you be in charge of our infertility, we’d have this fixed by dinner, right?
But it’s not up to you.
You just get to do your part, bring the science! And turn the whole thing over to the only One who knows the reason for the journey. Maybe, we hope, it’s a baby. But maybe it’s something we can’t see yet because our toes haven’t found the edge of the cliff. Frustrating that the answer can’t be even an inch closer.

Sometimes, I get questions about if doing these treatment things are really trusting God.
Well, there can be no doubt when each moment -from admitting to my heart that adoption was a means to an end but not a solution to a problem, to right now- doors flew open before us. Some opened with a tragedy to lead us to a blessing and on to days of frustration. But, the doors haven’t closed yet so we keep going where they lead. They may not lead in the direction I want, but I can’t doubt the leading for my own expectation. Of course it’s trusting God, the dude invented everything science is based on!
Sure, He could snap His fingers and make this easier -but dang it if easy is not the point. Father’s are so like that.
*insert my teenage eye roll here*

It’s not a Christmas miracle, but a Christmas blessing instead…tears don’t make for a bad year, sometimes they’re just growing pains.


Grief is your doctor saying his prayers weren’t answered; hearing his disappointment before he speaks the hard truth aloud.

Grief is trying to hold it together long enough to finish the conversation so you don’t blubber into the phone.

Grief is curling up in your bed and sobbing until it feels like your head and chest will explode with the pain.

Grief is wishing you could sleep until it doesn’t hurt anymore.

Grief is clinging to a photo of your babies and knowing they’ll never be more than those few cells but it feels like a miscarriage all over again.

Grief is putting on makeup and sunglasses and hoping no one asks how your day is going.

Grief is giving into the ugly cry when you need to; pulling over to sob until you can see to drive again.

Grief is letting tears fall when they need to, packing extra kleenex, and knowing you have to let the pain in for it to get better.

Grief is feeling angry when people want to comfort you; even tender words to a wounded heart can hurt.

Grief is praying for acceptance of whatever happens; praying the pain doesn’t harden your heart.

Grief is time. The oblivion of sleep, the stray tears of insomnia, moments of distraction, moments carried under by the waves.

Grief is waiting; choosing to move slowly, being tender with your body and your heart. Allowing the weight and truth be what it is and not trying to rush to cover it or push it away. It’s knowing those sparks of life deserve to be grieved just as they were loved; wholly and completely.

The Transfer Story


Awake at 5am, not because I needed to be but because I think I was worried about my bladder. I got up at 2am to pee, and I needed it refilled to very uncomfortable for the embryo transfer this morning. Having a full bladder helps push the uterus into an optimal drop off position for the transfer and is one of my few jobs today. Get my shot, take a shower, don’t pee, lay with a flat pelvis afterwards.

So, needless to say I was awake at 6am when my actual alarm went off. I’d been thinking about and praying about our little embryos in the dark while I waited, excitedly nervous-hopeful. At 6:45am we were greeted by my nurse Jeneka’s smiling face, she’s a favorite, I was very happy to see her. I got changed into my gown, socks, hat, and mask -the extent of my OR prep today. Yay! D put on coveralls over his street clothes, booties, hat, and mask to accompany me this time. I got comfy on the gurney, we signed consents, Jeneka asked what I remembered about retrieval. When I told her I said “just a pinch” when it hurt so they wouldn’t stop she said she guessed it was more painful than I let on and maybe having tattoos prepared me to handle it so well.

Dr. Shari came in, that was our first face-to-face meeting and I was glad I got to shake her hand. She had the picture above to give us with the encouragement that they divided and compacted together just like they should, they look great. She also said we have 4 more about that stage and so we’ll see how they do over the next couple days to know how many we can freeze. We stared at the picture a little in awe that life begins so small, so miraculously, and that medicine can touch magic in such a way.

Dr. B came in and we were ready to roll! I did roll in fact; gurney to OR, scooted over onto the table and tried to relax while I looked around a bit at all the things I missed from being drugged a few days ago. Jeneka set the ultrasound on my pelvis, Dr. B explained what we were watching on the monitor, and then sneeky-as-can-be he dropped off the embryos via catheter. Bodies are so sensetive as to how things get delivered sometimes, geesh. He then drained my bladder for me so I could remain flat for the next 45 minutes and not be in agony. It’s the relief of 2am on a cold winter day and not having to leave the warm nest of your bed to walk across a cold floor to the bathroom. He talked over my going home instructions while we waited. Pelvis horizontal until Wednesday night (let’s call it Thursday morning), no activity that strains the lower abdominal muscles -heavy lifting, crunches. We need a nice gentle home for implantation. Then, I scooted back to the gurney, rolled back to the prep area and relaxed a while.

Dr. B told me my retrieval was one for the memoirs, and such a good story. He said it was hard work for him and so had to be hard for me. You’re so strong. He said, and I teared up. Apparently he’d almost given up on that right side ovary. He’d tried, and it was stubborn and there was a section of bowel in the way he couldn’t risk hitting to get to it. He’d started breaking down the instruments and decided he’d give it one more shot. I’m just stubborn. He said, Couldn’t leave it alone, so I checked one more time. That’s when we had you do the hyperventilating. He grinned. When you took a deep breath it changed the pressure in your belly just enough that the bowel moved aside and I could get a straight shot into the ovary. (This is with Hilary also aiding us by pushing on my belly from the outside.) He was afraid he couldn’t just have me hold my breath forever…to which I said he could have, I’d have held my breath as long as it took, that’s all I was thinking about. I’ll do anything. He said Yes. exactly what he feels too, we do whatever we have to.

So, with the needle in the ovary I let out my breath and the bowel pressed on the needle shaft while he extracted an egg. Then he asked me to take a deep breath to move the bowel so he could safely reposition the needle for the next egg. We did that over and over and it worked. He laughed It was the darndest thing. A most unique retrieval. I told him about how I had all these people praying Move, ovary, move. He said that was prefect and surely it worked.

It’s so humbling to have a doctor tell you you’re a strong person. Because oh my gosh I don’t feel that way. Keeping my smile, being willing to do the process, he knows it’s not easy and he notices those things. When I tell you that Dr. B and his staff are an important part of our journey this is why. He didn’t give up. Not all doctors would do that.

While I waited to be released to get up, get dressed, and come home I daydreamed about how maybe this time next year we’d be asking them all to stay late after work. We’d bring our baby(s) to introduce them to all the hearts and hands that worked so hard to create them. We’d have a photographer friend come and take ‘family’ photos. We’d celebrate. I’m praying in that direction, one day, one day.

Lastly, I had two songs in my head all morning…
Third Day -Sing a Song
BJ Thomas -Hooked on a Feeling
Don’t ask me why, but that’s my morning soundtrack. One for each embryo. 😉

The Embryo Update


Thank you Google images.

Retrieval success!
On Thursday morning I was given a very nice drug cocktail that made the day seem like a dream I can’t quite grasp.  And then Dr. B (with much assistance from my posse of favorite nurses: Kelley, Hilary, and Jeneka) poked my ovaries with a needle and collected 10 little eggs. The good Lord answered our prayers and allowed access to that stubborn right ovary! I did have to hold my breath a few times to help push it into place, and that’s mostly what I remember from the procedure.

Dr.B: Okay, take that big deep breath.
Me thinking: You will hold this breath as long as it takes to get those dang eggs.
Hilary: You can breathe normal.
Rinse and repeat several times.

There was minimal pain, I did feel a sharp stab a few times, but only once I remember flinching and gasping and when they asked if I was okay I said “just a pinch” so they wouldn’t stop. I kept thinking push into the pain that’s how he’s gonna get to them. And he did, 5 eggs from each ovary.

Then I went home in a sleepy stupor and mostly slept till 3 pm. I’ve had a little soreness, a little crampy feeling, more so on the right than the left, but nothing that I needed meds for after the fact. I began my anti-rejection drugs that night and my progesterone shots the very next morning to prep my body to receive back embryos. Now that we’re caught up with me let’s talk embryo development!

Everyday we get a report on what’s happening with our little seeds so I’ll update this same post as we go when I know the next thing so it’s easier to track development. (Sorry if it gets long.) Here’s a chart that might help:


Friday’s Report:
Dr. Shari, the embryologist, erred on the side of caution and fertilized 8 eggs with ICSI (Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) and 2 she allowed to fertilize on their own. 5 of the eggs are visibly fertilized -4 ICSI, 1 natural. There was no difference in egg quality or outcome between the different ovaries. Also, just because she only saw the 2 pronuclei stage (image 1 above) in 5 eggs doesn’t mean there aren’t more. It’s a temporary stage so we may end up with a different embryo count over the next several days. That’s why we get a daily report. For now, we celebrate the 5!, pray for continued superstar development and wait.

Saturday’s Report:
Dr.B called to let me know 2 embryos are at just the right stage in development, and 3 are half-a-step behind. He said that’s totally normal and looking good for today. Tomorrow he should be able to tell a little better about quality and whatnot. We just need 2 good seeds for transfer on Monday so we are very thankful. Grow, babies, grow!

Sunday’s Report:
Dr. B called with very good news! We have 4 embryos at the 8-cell stage (3 ICSI, 1 natural), and 2 embryos at the 4-cell stage. If you’ve been following our math you’ll be noticing we got a little baby bonus. He was careful to tell me it is a small bonus, and things can change quickly, but that they’re continuing to monitor growth with hope for even the one-step-behind embryos.

Our reunion is set for tomorrow morning at 7am! We’ll head over to the office a little early and have a conversation about who’s coming home with us and who will be frozen for a later cycle. Assuming things stay on this same trajectory we’ll most likely choose the two best looking embryos for transfer. If something unfortunate happens over night we’ll decide best course of action for success. One of the things I love about Dr. B is that he’s willing to push the envelope, but still approaches things with a conservative heart. He’s okay if we have twins, and he’ll push a little in that direction since we are open to that. But, he worries about triplets for my health and the health of the babies. He wants me to have a healthy, happy pregnancy and healthy, happy babies to show for all our hard work!

In our perfect world we’d obviously like this to be successful on the first go. I want to be pregnant tomorrow, that’s my prayer. We’d also like to have embryos viable for freezing, that would mean a chance at siblings later on in this perfect world we’re thinking of. However, if hard things happen and we don’t get the dream tomorrow having extra embryos will give us a chance to try again without needing to repeat the retrieval process. While that’s not the perfect world it would still be a blessing. So, as you continue to pray for our family you are armed with all our hopes. Thank you so much for your continued love and support! If any babies could be prayed into existence it will be ours. How many kids can say they weren’t just a parent’s dream, but were born first in the hearts of an entire community of family and friends? That awes me to no end.

We are so grateful.

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