Monday, March 12, 2012

A long story that ends in Celebrations!

About 2 months ago, John and I made the decision to stop IVF after one fresh cycle and one FET (frozen embryo transfer) cycle. We honestly felt good about our decision as the medical, financial and emotional nature of this process was taking its toll. We have and still feel called to adoption (we are waiting on the Lord for this as well).

After our decision, I called my nurse and left her a message on her voicemail explaining that we were ready to call it quits. It was just too hard and we were tired of it all. Later that afternoon, my doctor called me to question me about my decision. I was actually very impressed that he was concerned enough to do that for us. The doc and I talked and I remained strong on our decision. He did say that he really thought he could get me pregnant. That night, John and I found out that the program that we went through, Attain IVF, stated in their contract that "if you were in between cycles, and you did not achieve a pregnancy and you wanted to stop they would refund 70% of the initial loan" which was about $12,000. This did not include medications (those costs were history). We were pleasantly surprised as we figured we needed to complete all 6 cycles in order to receive any type of refund.
We called Attain IVF and told them we were finished. They told us how sorry they were and gave us their condolences. Another very nice thing! All we needed to do was send in the form signed that stated that we wanted to quit.

We were done... We had the Attain form signed and ready to be mailed out. We told the doctor we were finished and we felt good about it.

That night, John went to bed. I stayed up as usual to watch my recorded shows and do some photo editing or whatever it was that I was suppose to be doing.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have never had so much anxiety in my life. A strong panic sensation came over me. I was thinking "oh no, what did you do?" I do not like to be a quitter. I did not think that I was in this situation, but I knew that if we did not at least give it all 6 attempts I would wonder for the rest of my life, what if? Sometimes I feel like I give up too early on things and this was one of them. I hated what the meds were doing to my body, but I still wanted to give it a chance to prove me wrong... that it could grow a baby!

I composed an email to my doctor around 1 am stating we wanted to continue, was it too late? I called my sister and paced... trying to decide if I should wake up John to tell him that I changed my mind. It is not like he would be surprised... I change my mind all the time. Especially with tough things like this. We both do.

I knew making this decision wasn't easy for John and it was an emotional roller coaster ride for us both. I didn't want to wake him up and say "I changed my mind, should I send this email to the doctor, ok you can go back to sleep now." I knew he wouldn't be able to sleep after that and I couldn't do that to him. I called my sister to talk it through with her (she works 3rd shift and just had a baby so I knew she would probably be up). She never told me what to do, but was very helpful in calming me down.

I wrote John a note and tried to sleep myself.

When John's alarm clock went off, I was up explaining to him what happened to me the night before.
He was extremely supportive and said, "yes, send the email to the doctor asking if it was too late to continue." I sent it around 6:30 am.

Relief came over me when I got an email from my nurse saying that is wasn't too late and to start birth control pills immediately and order my other medications so we could get started on the next IVF fresh cycle. I did not have any remaining frozen embryos left. Even if we did, the fresh cycles have a higher percentage rate of working. That is why they do Fresh IVF & frozen FET alternating.

We felt pretty stupid for changing our minds and it was so emotional the times before; we decided not to tell anyone, but family about our decision to continue. It is really hard to tell people, "no it didn't work, I am not pregnant." 

Let me be straightforward here that if someone came to me today and said I want an adoption plan for my child and I would like you to raise him/her we would in a heartbeat. Our decision to adopt did not change, just our decision to continue IVF. We are praying about our future children wherever they may be.

We always felt that IVF was a gift from God. He fully provided it for us both monetarily and emotionally. We grew closer to the Lord and to each other through it. Maybe this journey will prepare us to be adoptive parents/foster parents in the future. We know in our hearts that God wants us to adopt someday. We felt that God was allowing us the choice to pursue biological children as well through IVF. We have faith that God can do anything He wants, but that doesn't always mean that He will do want we want. We had no idea if God would bless us with a biological baby through IVF, but we knew He would bless us as a couple for pursuing His leadership and guidance through our daily struggles and joys.

I will never fully understand why God, for now, is closing the door on adoption. He favors adoption and has adopted us all as sons into His kingdom for all who accept Him as Savior and Lord of their life. The verse below states only sons, but it is to include daughters as well. God gave women the same importance/inheritance as men by including daughters as sons to be equal in our adoption into His heavenly kingdom.

Ephesians 1: 3 - 14 
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5hec predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And hed made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
11In him we were also chosen,e having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

I want to adopt as badly as I want biological children. I will always want to, I have since I was a child. I wanted to adopt more than have biological children when I was in my twenties. It is puzzling to me why I must wait on this as well, but I must be patient and wait upon the Lord for his direction in this.

And so this long story continues... as did the IVF (round 3).

I was dreading it, but I had to know if it would work... after all God had provided everything. It was amazing to watch him provide each time down to the last penny everything we needed to keep going forward. We prayed and said "if this is not what you want, please stop us."

A few weeks later, I started my meds, everything went perfectly as perfectly as it could. All my dates were early and I was able to have my egg retrieval and transfer 3 days before scheduled. I grew 20 eggs this time. 13 were mature and 9 fertilized. Praise the Lord so many were of Grade A(1) quality and 8 celled by day 3 that they allowed them to culture until day 5. The goal is to become a multi-cell (60-150 celled) blastocyst. I have done tons of reading online about this and the best possible embryo is a blastocyst. It has the highest quality and ability to implant. On a day 3 transfer when the embryo is only 6-8 cells (in a natural cycle) the embryo would still be in the fallopian tubes. When the embryo reaches the uterus it should have already developed into a blastocyst. With IVF the only place to put the embryos is in the uterus, so it is best to have the embryo be what it would naturally be when it reaches the uterus and that is a blastocyst. Of our 13 embryos, 2 reached blastocyst by day 5! YAY! I was so excited; this had never happened before. We had a better chance (medically). Spiritually there is always the same chance, because God is in control. Thank goodness!

On day 5, we transferred 2 beautiful grade A blastocysts. The transfer is very uncomfortable, but it went well and we were in for the 2 week wait.

On day 6, with the 2 blasts comfortably inside me. 2 more embies made it to blastocyst. These 2 were frozen for future use. The remaining 5 of 9 did not continue to develop. But having 4 blastocysts this cycle was very promising!

It only took 1 week to get a positive HPT. I peed on one of those dreadful things on Friday curious to see if the HCG trigger ovulation shot was out of my system and I got a negative. I was pretty sure the shot was gone by now and I read online that some people in my situation had tested positive that early. I threw it away. I didn't want John to see it and get discouraged. I acted normal as if nothing had happened. After all it really was still too early. My blood test wasn't for another week. The next night, I thought I am just gonna pull it out of the trash (ew, I know!) and see if it is still neg. and low and behold there was a faint second line. What? I cried a little, prayed and was so excited and went to bed (because well, there was nothing else to do).

Later I read that any results read after 10 mins. are unreliable. Well, that didn't stop me from testing again the next morning (Sunday, one week after the transfer) with a digital read test. I was completely sick of seeing one line. And it said pregnant! What? I was so nervous and excited and was praising God in somewhat disbelief. I had to take more tests to be sure. It was 6:00 am on Sunday... again John was asleep. I knew he was sick and needed the sleep so I tried to go back to sleep. I decided I would tell him at 10 am. I kept peeking over to see if he was awake. Of all days for him to take tylenol PM, that boy wasn't waking for anything. I did fall back asleep and told him the news later that morning. We prayed and thanked God and celebrated by me peeing on a few more tests! :)

I emailed my nurse to tell her and I was able to move my blood test up 3 days and the results came back.... Congratulations you are pregnant!

I had to go back again today to see if my numbers had doubled as they should and they did! YAY!
I am still pregnant.

I have one more blood test this coming Friday and an ultrasound in 2 weeks to hear the heartbeat.
If all goes well we will have one (or two) little additions to our family.

We are so thankful to the Lord for this blessing!
A little nervous about the next steps!
But very excited and thankful to the Lord!
And thankful to all our supportive friends and family for all their prayers on our behalf!

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