Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It Wasn't My Fault...Birth Control Pills Made Me Do It

Birth control pills. It seems so strange to be taking birth control pills when we are trying to be pregnant. It is even harder to explain to people who do not understand Embryo Adoption (EA). I finally had to call the nurse at the NEDC and ask her why I was taking them. She explained that they are to keep me from ovulating on my own. I assume that would mess up my endometrial status for our November transfer. Which, by the way, is only 3 weeks away, but who is counting?
So the NEDC has had me on Apri for birth control. I was on it for my mock transfer, and I have been on it for at least a month recently. That birth control makes me a ticking time bomb! I have such a short fuse while taking them. I am walking around irritable all the time; just waiting to snap!  It has been so horrible on it! It feels like I am premenstrual every day!! Oh, and it makes me hungry. All the time. And it makes me emotional so I cry a lot. And I think it makes me nauseas. So I started taking the pills at night so that I was sleeping for at least 8 hours of the side effects.
The good news is that I took my last birth control pill on Sunday night, the 27th. All day yesterday the pill was in my system. Today, Tuesday, will be the first day functioning without the Apri hormones in my system. We shall see how I act and feel today. Alas, now that I have stopped the BCP, I will be getting a period. Which will lead to me acting like a bear again…drat! My poor husband. God love him for putting up with me! Now that I have begun the Lupron, who knows what emotional fun is in store for us.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lupron; It Has Begun

Last night, 10/23/13 I began my first in a long series of shots. This first round of shots is Lupron, injected into my abdomen. I can look forward to many strange look stomach bruises for a few weeks :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Your'e Having Triplets Too?!

Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lupron shots…which makes this Embryo Adoption cycle so real! I guess there is just something about sticking yourself in the stomach with needles that really says “it has begun.” Our last EA transfer seems so long ago now. I literally have to go back and read my blog to know when I started what medications etc. The spark of memory I seem to be having this morning says that the whole process from medications to actual transfer took much longer…but it couldn’t have. You don’t start the meds (shots) until the month prior to your cycle. So anyways, this time around it just feels like it is happening in a blur. I think part of it is that now we have children. When we didn’t have children and our soul cry was to have them, it seemed like everything took an eternity to get them here. Having infant twins tends to make things go by pretty quickly!

My husband and I were just reflecting on the fact that it is less than a month until our EA transfer. I know that I will blink and it will be November 19th. Yowza! I am excited. And nervous. And thrilled. And scared. And a little queasy (which is how the aforementioned emotions make me feel.)

Did I mention that close friends of ours are having triplets? Yeah, that’s 3 babies. This makes 2 couples we know who will have triplets. That’s 3 babies. Now I keep thinking that we are going to have triplets. That’s 3 babies! My husband says twins again. Honestly, I am not too sure. Last time I dreamed that I had twins, before the embryos were even transferred, and viola, we had twins. The other night I dreamed that we had an ultrasound done and we had one baby in there. It was sort of a strange dream. Sometimes I have dreams that have intense emotions attached to them, but not much action to explain the emotion. In this dream, I can remember seeing myself laying on the table, my husband beside me and seeing the monitor from a distance. It seems like I could see multiple sacs on the screen but the tech said there was only one baby. I can’t exactly explain the feeling, but maybe it was one of loss? Like maybe we started out with a multiples pregnancy but it became a singleton pregnancy? I’m not sure. And this was just a dream. I often dream strange things, so I try to not put too much stock in them.

If you pray for our family, thank you. Please continue to pray that God’s will be done with the thawing and transfer. We pray for at least one successful pregnancy this time around. Thank you all!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Finally Received Our Medication Protocol (Oh Boy!)

            As of Monday, October 15th, I finally received my medication protocol, which tells me when to stop the BC pills, when to take estrogen, when to begin Lupron and when to begin the Progesterone shots. Funny, because you are supposed to receive your medication protocol by the 15th of the month prior to your cycle (mine is in November) so of course I received mine on the 15th. I actually emailed the IVF nurse the morning of the 15th because I still hadn’t received it; she had it to me within a few hours. I don’t actually begin any medications until the 23rd, so there technically was no rush. But as any of you infertility mama’s out there know, we are always excited and eager to get the next step. (Or maybe that is just me).
            This time around we know that we need a 23guage 1/2inch needle for the progesterone. Last time, it took us weeks of experimenting with longer needles and many bruises to figure this out. Hopefully, we get the shot location correct too. I remember that last time, for some unknown reason, besides my sheer laziness we never took the time to warm my skin prior so that the oil with the progesterone spread into the muscle easier. This too took some time to learn, with a few more weeks of knotted oil under my skin.
            So, this time around I am little older, a little wiser, and a little more tired (insert smiling but serious face here.) How do I feel about all of this? Perhaps slightly nervous about all the shots. I think a main concern is doing it right. This whole EA procedure seems a little fragile to me and I am so afraid I will do something wrong and jinx it; however, as I typed that sentenced, it was if God whispered to my heart, “but you are not in control, I AM.” Boy, I am so glad that is the truth. These babies that we have/will have are already known by God. He will call them into being as the time is right, regardless of if I don’t warm my skin before a shot, or massage it long enough after. I am so thankful that God is in control and He is waaaaaaay more qualified than me.
            For those of you wondering, here is the breakdown of my protocol:
·        On 10/23/13 I begin giving myself shots of Lupron
·        On 10/27/13 I stop taking my BC pills and should have a period
·        On 11/1/13 I go for my first ultrasound to check my endometrium lining and estradiol levels
·        On 11/2/13 I begin taking Estrogen through and beyond 11/15/13
·        On 11/15/13 I get my second ultrasound and Estradiol lab work before the transfer
·        On 11/16/13 I increase or decrease my Estrogen (based on the lab work) and begin receiving Progesterone shots and continue these until the transfer
After the transfer takes place I will continue the above medications until a pregnancy test; if positive, I will continue the protocol until 10-12 weeks of pregnancy (that is a long time!)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Twins at 6 months

Medication Commencement

I had to take a regimen of birth control and estrogen before I went for the mock transfer. The birth control was to control when my next period would begin and the estrogen was to thicken my endometrium lining. They do this to see how your body will respond to the estrogen; how thick your lining gets. This determines how much estrogen you need to take for the actual transfer. They had a student shadowing Dr. Keenan, and of course I said it was fine for her to be present. What I didn’t know was that she would be doing the procedures with guidance. The problem was that it took a long time with her and was painful because she didn’t know what she was doing. I always forget to take ibuprofen beforehand like they tell me to. So I had a lot of pain and bleeding afterwards. But it is ALL worth it! The good news is that my endometrium lining was shockingly thick and Dr. Keenan was excited about that!
Soon I will begin the regimen of shots and doctors’ visits while I prepare my body for babies. I was sent home taking estrogen and progesterone to “wean” my body off the estrogen. Then I had a 3 day period, during which I had to begin birth control to keep me from ovulating until my transfer in November. The downsides to the medications are cost and side effects. My insurance doesn’t cover anything on the progesterone, so that is $200 per order, with 6 refills! Yikes! And all the medications have a ton of side effects, the worst of which are tiredness, headaches, and nausea.
I received my box of meds in the mail yesterday and now I simply await my “protocol” from the NEDC. It should arrive by the 15th. I am not looking forward to shots again, but I know what they are for, and that makes it all so much easier. We also have to find a local fertility clinic to monitor my lining and such before the transfer and afterwards.
So here we are, on the cusp of pregnancy once again and I am so excited. Please pray for us. Pray for the thawing process to go well, pray I respond well to the medications, pray for Dr. Keenan and Carol the embryologist, pray that we have a successful pregnancy again!
Thanks for tuning in!

Special Announcement

Hello world! Time sure does fly. As I sit here typing this, I am amazed that my EA twins are 9 months old! WOW! These two babies are such a blessing, oh, and a handful! (or two)
Both babies have been eating pureed solids since 6mo and do very well with them. Yesterday I introduced solid banana and they love it! They also eat the puff snacks that dissolve easily. I have yet to find a food they will not eat (except pureed lettuce, but c’mon, who WOULD like that?) I love that they have such a wonderful palette and appetite.
They still sleep through the night 10.5-11.5 hours. They still have 3 naps a day, but those are a total of 4 hours instead of 5.5 hours. All the eating and sleeping has really done them well. They are huge! Elli weighs 18lbs 7oz and Eli is 17lbs 1oz, and they are wearing size 12mo clothes.
Eli started crawling a few weeks ago and now he is into everything! Elli has always been a few weeks behind her brother so she can sit on her own and has just started to get up on all fours and rock; no crawling for her yet. She gets so frustrated because she wants to move and explore. I think she will be thrilled when she can finally crawl. We just had to lower Eli’s crib last night because he has figured out how to pull himself up. We also had to buy a large play yard thingy for the living room because I couldn’t keep track of the little guy while in the kitchen. Eli can climb stairs, pull up to standing and only hold on with one hand, and cruise along the couch.
Neither baby has teeth yet, but they are definitely teething. Lots of drooling, chewing, and 5am wakeups to show for it. I can actually see the teeth in Elli’s mouth; I hope they break through soon. They have a ton of hair; Elli’s is growing in still so it is puffy in a lot of areas but it only adds to her charm. Eli is as handsome as ever and they both retained their beautiful blue eyes. Elli’s hair has lightened to a soft auburn and Eli’s hair is a strawberry blond. Both babies are so full of joy and curiosity. They study everything and laugh and smile most of the day. These two little angels have changed our lives forever.
On that note, I am thrilled to announce that this November we will be going back to the NEDC in TN for another transfer of embryos!!! Yes, we are going to have more babies! Yes, it is soon. We want a big family while we are young and the twins will be almost 2 by the time any new babies are born. We still have 7 frozen embryos and we intend to try and give life to all of them (just not at one time.)
We are thrilled and nervous about more babies; but I really do miss pregnancy. We went a few weeks ago to the NEDC for our “sibling program visit,” at this visit they do everything they did at our “mock transfer” last time. They medically cleared me and did a mock transfer. They talked to us about how the embryos are stored and will be thawed and we decided how many we are willing to implant. We have 4 multi-cells which are stored 2 to a tube, and 3 blastocysts which are in one tube. Based on how they are frozen, we could wind up with between 1-4 embryos being implanted. If they thaw well and we have some still frozen we will be back some day in the future for another transplant!