March 31, 2010

An Olympic Gold Medalist!

Last week a very famous Olympian was in town speaking about the 6 pillars or character for a huge crowd of girl scouts and people from the community. Matt and I were asked by the girl scouts to take photographs of Shawn Johnson with each of the VIP groups after the presentation. We were definitely thrilled to have the opportunity to meet a gymnast who has won an Olympic gold medal!

She was very kind, humble, and sweet. She took time to sign each and every picture, leotard, and paper that was handed to her. We had a blast hanging out with her for a while.

**Funny side story- She had finished her press conference and had some extra time before her talk so she was looking out through the glass at all of the people entering the arena. As she was standing there there were about 15 adults in the room that all stood 20 feet away staring (myself included). I felt bad that no one was really talking to her so I took it upon myself to walk up to her, and ask her what she thought of this years Dancing with the Stars competitors (since she won last year, I figured she had an opinion). So we began a ten minute conversation about all of the stars and what she thought of them. She was super kind and it was weird to be having such a "normal" conversation with her.

Anyway, what you really came to see were the pictures, so here are just a few.
(Please ignore the fact that we look like mammoths!)

March 30, 2010

The Last IUI

It was a bit bittersweet as we went through our last IUI. I feel completely different this month compared to the round in January. I felt cramping leading up to, and after the IUI - last time I felt none for 2 days before the IUI, leading me to believe that the timing was way off. Matt's numbers were off the chart (I know Dad- totally too much information) - not that they were bad last time, but this was literally off the chart. I had an endless amount of follicles this time - last time I had two. I feel optimistic and positive this month - last month I knew something was off and we wouldn't conceive. There are lots of things that lead me to believe that this is the month, our month, the month that our babies will be conceived.

As of last Wednesday I had a 16, 13, 13, 10, and 9 mm follicles. We proceeded to do two more nights of 150iu Follistim, plus the trigger shot (which also helps follicles mature). And since follicles can mature at a rate of 1-3mm per day, and we need the follicles to be above 18mm.... that leads us to my math for the day (3 mm/day x 4 days = up to 12mm growth since the last ultrasound) to come up with the fact that we could have (although a long shot) had FIVE mature follicles by the time of the IUI!!!

Some people have asked me if I'm scared that there could be five babies growing right now. My answer; not really, I'm just darn excited and grateful that we even had "a chance" this month. The Dr. said that we have a very low possibility of having more than twins, so I'll trust her. (Side note and quick rant- it blows my mind to think that "normal" people have a chance to conceive EVERY SINGLE MONTH! Matt and I have literally had 3 chances to get pregnant in the last 16 months, compared the the normal person's 16 chances. Ughh, the life of a PCOS girl) And if we end up with more than twins, apparently God thinks we can handle it, so I might as well believe it too.

We now are in the dreaded wait time, waiting to see if this worked, waiting to see if our prayers are answered, waiting to see if we'll be able to cancel that dreaded IVF appointment.

I'm excited to be where we are right now. I continue to ask that you pray for us, for our possible babies, and for God to do great works this month.

Now just a few more weeks until we know if we can celebrate, or hold our breaths as we move onto our very last option.

March 26, 2010

Let's do this panthers

Tonight the University of Northern Iowa panthers are playing in the sweet sixteen!! Matt and I met while attending UNI, and we still live in the town where the Panthers are from. So to say we are excited for tonight’s game is an understatement. We are thrilled!

UNI beat out top ranked Kansas last week, so we’re kind of a big deal now. UNI was on the cover of sports illustrated this week and was also featured on all of the top ESPN shows as the big Cinderella team the day after their big win… it’s very exciting to be a panther this week!

Goooooo Panthers!

Matt and I at UNI’s homecoming this year

March 24, 2010

A so-so appointment

Our appointment was so-so tonight. The follicles are still not quite big enough. They want a minimum of 18mm, and so far I have a 16mm, 14mm, 12mm, 10mm, and 9mm follicles. So we will do two more nights of 150iu Follistim, and hope that at least two or three follicles reach 18mm before the trigger shots Friday night at 10pm.

I was surprised when the Dr. said that we had a choice of coming back Friday afternoon for a final ultrasound. She said that she is certain that at least the lead follicle will be big enough to trigger, but if we wanted to come in for an ultrasound to see how many follicles were going to release we could. She said that she doubts a "whole herd" will suddenly grow, but that it's always a possibility. She said more than likely we'll have 2 or 3 follicles release eggs. She then went on to talk about if that happens we would "selectively reduce", I sort of shut her off at that point. I did hear her say something about how she's not worried that all of the eggs would fertilize because we had two great eggs last month and none of them fertilized. She also talked about the fact that since we are getting further beyond day 14, our odds will continue to go down with each day. Whatever, I'm still remaining hopeful. So we had a choice to make, to come back Friday, or to not.

I looked to Matt and we were both immediately on the same page.

"We'll skip the ultrasound and see you on Sunday."

What's the point of the ultrasound? We're going to go on no matter what we see. If we see 5 great follicles, we're going to give it a go. God will give us only what we can handle (someone PLEASE remind me of that if we end up pregnant with quads or something crazy!!!) So we did more shots tonight, we will again tomorrow night, I'll get the trigger shots Friday night at 10pm, and then we'll head back to Iowa City for the IUI Sunday morning at 8am.

I'm thrilled (although to be perfectly honest I would have LOVED to have the follicles ready tonight!). I'm hopeful, excited, and curious to see how this cycle turns out. Keep your fingers crossed for us, and say an extra prayer for our triplets. ;-)

March 23, 2010

A big day in the making

Tomorrow is a big day for Matt and I. We will find out if these extra nights of shots have given us big enough follicles to continue on with this cycle, and a chance this month. If they haven't grown (or have disappeared, like a few of my friend's had happen this past week) then our cycle will be canceled. If we are canceled we are officially onto our very last chance at a biological child through IVF. Our very last chance.

I can't believe what a big day tomorrow will be for us. It is so scary to realize how close we truly are to the end of our road.

On a brighter note, I'm trying to remain hopeful. I know God has great plans for us. I know that I'm having lots of pain and hopefully that means great eggs are growing. But now I'm worried. Last night I had the flu, and now I'm worried that that will somehow mess up the beautiful follicles that we saw yesterday.

It is so frustrating how much this path of infertility has caused anxiety to grow in my heart over every little thing. For example, last week was my best friend's wedding, I planned on getting a spray tan (with ALL of the other 7 bridesmaids) and of course that wasn't allowed, "because the chemicals in the spray haven't been tested and could cause birth defects, would you be okay knowing you caused that?" Oh yeah, I wouldn't mind at all. Of course I wouldn't be ok. So once again, infertility threw a wrench in another plan. I can't tell you how many events we have skipped because of infertility appointments, shots, or the "we'll be pregnant by then" thoughts. I'm so done with infertility running my life, my thoughts, and my worries.

But I guess we'll be done with that all soon, because surely this is our month. =) Fingers crossed and prayers being said for at least one 18mm follicle tomorrow, maybe we'll even have two ready! =)

March 22, 2010

happy day!

Today is a great day. Today is my daddio's birthday AND we just got great news at our dr's appointment! We have 3 follicles that are now in the running! (A 14mm, 11mm, and 10mm). We were all pleasantly surprised!

I am to continue on with 150 iu for two more nights, and then come back on Wednesday for another ultrasound, hopefully to see a few beautiful 18mm follicles!

I am so humbled by all of the prayers we have received since Friday. Thank you, we appreciate it so much. Although it was hard to hear the news Friday we continued to believe that God does have a plan for us, today is a reminder of how true that is.

March 19, 2010

no such luck

We are on our way home from an INCREDIBLY frustrating appointment. We had an ultrasound to see how the follicles/eggs were coming along this cycle. We upped our dosage from last cycle (even though that one went pretty well, they did think I responded a little bit slow, so we went from 75 iu to 100). So naturally I'm expecting even better results than in january- no such luck. I had basically no follicles at all. There was one tiny (8mm) follicle but they want above 18mm and don't really count anything under 10. I held it together until half way through our time with the dr, then I lost it. I am so freaking frustrated! Thye basically told me they had no idea what ny hormones are doing or why this happened- yeah, me either. So they want to up my shots to 150 for 3 more nights and go back Monday, although they doubt much will come of it. AND to make today even better I found out that we will miss our clinic's next round of IVF by just a few days. So now we will have to wait for the May/June group...perfect, why would it time out correctly? Ugh.

Now I'm off to my best friend from high school's wedding rehearsal looking puffy eyed, all the while trying to figure out when and how Matt can get me a shot tonight (all the girls are staying at a hotel) and tomorrow between the ceremony and reception AND keep the meds refrigerated. I want to go dig a hole right about now.

March 15, 2010

Then it all went crashing down

You might remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about my dad's silo that had been iced down and made into a climbing competition. The other night my dad called to tell me he had heard a HUGE thud outside, when he walked out this is what he found. THANK GOODNESS no one was around when it fell. Last year it slowly melted off and was much more calm, this year it went out with a bang!

Welcome Spring Break

Today I started an amazing thing, called spring break! I am in heaven being home. Eventhough all I have done so far is clean, cook, and work on some photography stuff, I am thoroughly enjoying myself. I have lots more things on my list to get done this week, and then I will have my big ultrasound Friday to see how many eggs we have to work with this month, and then I'll be rushing back to take part in my best friend's wedding rehearsal Friday night, and then the wedding Saturday. Oh what a week!

March 11, 2010

On our way

We are officially on our way into another cycle. We had our baseline ultrasound and appointment this week and to my complete shock, we were cleared to start all of the meds again. I was SO sure that I had some large cysts that would once again delay us, but I didn't. I had lots of little ones, but that's why my disease is called Poly Cystic Ovarion Syndrome.

While we were there we talked a lot with Nurse Amazing (I LOVE this nurse, she is the one that always returns calls and is amazing compared to Nurse Nasty- who we've been stuck with the last few times). We talked a lot about our next steps, what our thoughts are, etc. I asked if I was crazy to make an initial In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) appointment. She said that she thinks having a plan is always a good thing. So we set up an appointment for a few days after when we'll know if this cycle is successful. When we made the appointment I told her a date, then said that I'd be calling back to cancel, she laughed and smiled. =) There is something deep down inside of me (ok, now I regret typing this, I hope I don't jinx it) that feels completely calm, and positive that this is the cycle. We got a HUGE packet of information and a huge list of things to get done before the appointment. I'm not going to rush into getting any of it done, because we won't need it anyway. =)

If we do end up at the appointment it is a SIX HOUR appointment. We thought the 4 hour in October was bad, yeah right! We both have to get a bunch of blood tests done (including AIDS- kinda creepy to get done if you ask me) and I need to get written approval from our insurance company, who thank goodness will be covering part of the $18,000 (yes, you read that right) procedure. There was a 19 page packet that we would have to sign that talked about if there are frozen embryos and someone dies then this happens, if you get divorced then this happens to the embryos, on and and on and on. It was really crazy to read through all of the information on the way home. We are so scarily close to IVF. If we need to go through IVF to start our family then we will, if God has amazing plans to spare us the physical, emotional, and bank-account pain that IVF causes, then we will be forever thankful. Either way we have the next step in line, and that's what keeps me sane.

We go back next Friday (3/19) to have an ultrasound to see how many follicles (eggs) we have growing. We want between 1 and 3. Over 3 follicles and they make you cancel if you aren't willing to selectively reduce, which we're not. So prayers are definitely welcome for 3 beautiful, big, follicles next Friday.

March 7, 2010

A lazy Sunday afternoon... not exactly

Click here to check out what we were up to this afternoon.

March 4, 2010

Really? Could I catch a break?

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.

Super frustrated. I took Provera quite a while ago to start our next cycle, so that we could start shots, and get the ball rolling again. Now I can't get my cycle to start. I am so frustrated and so annoyed right now. All I want to do is move on and start trying again, start anything besides sitting here and waiting. To top it off I feel like crap.