Monday, June 30, 2014

Our Embryo Report Card

Total frozen embryo count is 4 and they made their mommy and daddy proud. We have 2 grade A's, 1 grade B, and 1 grade C+. (Hey, I was an A,B,C student and I made out just fine.) So, hallelujah-praise-the-Lord! This part of the waiting game is over. I thought I was literally going to throw up when I saw the embryologist on my caller ID yesterday (Sunday) because I was so nervous. That day she had already frozen the 2 A's and 1 B, and told me she was waiting on the others to see if there would be any more to freeze. She called today (Monday) and said she froze one more and it was a C+. They grade the embryos A-D based on many different facts. Obviously, A's the best then B and so on.

We are thrilled to have 4 embryos to work with. Answered prayers. I say prayerS because we prayed over and over and over and I know many of my prayer people did too. Thank you!!

Now on to the next IVF adventure: the transfer. We are waiting on cycling timing on this and will hopefully be doing the transfer in the next couple of weeks. Also, YAY to not hyperstimulating which was a possibility when I last posted.

I know it's so easy to say "God is good" when things are going good, but let me just say :

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hurry Up & Wait

The egg retrieval was a success. They got 24 eggs (whoa). I got to sleep through the whole process and was just uncomfortable afterwards, not really in any pain. Before the procedure, our doctor came in to talk to us about the chance of me hyper stimulating. With my young age (ha! 28 is young in the IVF world. Good for the self-esteem), large egg count, and high estrogen level, I was a prime candidate for this to happen. He talked with us about freezing all of our embryos and trying the embryo transfer in a few weeks instead of a few days. That way, there would be 0% chance of hyper stimulation and a higher chance that the embryo transfer would be successful.

This was a little disappointing because Brett and I both were expecting to do the transfer within 3-5 days, but after waiting for 4 years for a baby, what's a few more weeks, right? So we decided to go the frozen route.

We just got a call from the embryologist saying out of the 24 eggs, they could use 14. They are watching 7 of the eggs waiting for more maturity, and 7 of the eggs have been fertilized. These little guys (or gals lol) have days more to go to make it, so these next few days will be a game of "hurry up and wait" and prayin', prayin', prayin'.

If I've learned one thing from this experience it's patience. Waiting for God's timing can be frustrating. Sometimes it feels like He doesn't hear you at all. Sometimes you feel almost forgotten.

I love this verse I found randomly one day, and I think it fits with our IVF journey: "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." Romans 12:12. So please keep praying for me, Brett, and our Baby BooHeini embryos, and thank you for everyone who has been constant in prayer for us. It has helped us get this far. Well, the prayers and Muddy's cupcakes..those help too.

Thank you mom for the Plain Jane and Prozac delivery yesterday. #cupcakesheal

Monday, June 23, 2014

Big Mama Shot

Doctor's visit on a Sunday?? Whaaat? But yes, we went to the doctor bright and early Sunday morning to do blood work and ultrasound. (The infertility world never sleeps.) The nurse said everything was lookin' good and she'd call me that afternoon. We got the call that I was ready for egg retrieval Tuesday (tomorrow!). Yay!! So this meant it was time for the "big mama shot". Dun dun duuun! It also meant my sister, Amanda, got to put her nurse expertise back to use. Dun dun duuun!

"Mwahahahaha"

So after watching the World Cup at our friends house -USA! USA! USA!- we headed over to The Cantrell's to really get this party started.

I've been dreading the rather large, intramuscular HCG shot that is given in the back hip. No more so than my niece Kate though..oh my word. haha.

We decided she probably shouldn't be a nurse.

She was my official "hand holder".

Afterwards, we mini-celebrated our shot success .

Sam be like "Champagne..in a can?"

The morning before the retrieval and after the HCG shot, you're supposed to take a pregnancy test and it should say "positive" so I did, and it did, so we are a go for retrieval tomorrow. I'm going under, so Brett has strict instructions not to let me blog, Facebook, or Instagram for the day, oh and feed me TCBY, let me watch any musical I want, and just dote on me in general.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stim Shots: Just A Little Cray Cray

So the Lupron shots I've been taking have been going well, as I said in last week's post, and I started my stimulant shot last Friday. It was slightly more complicated than the other one, and after one small breakdown (poor Brett) , I got it together. I couldn't remember if I was supposed to turn the shot dial to 225 or 275 so I had to page the nurse on call and she couldn't get my file until the morning, and I felt stupid for not remembering, so I just wanted to throw the box across the room and cry but I couldn't because I remembered the receipt for how much this stuff costs and ANY WAY, I've tried to keep my cray cray contained.

I've had pretty bad headaches the past few weeks, but they've mostly gone away since I've gotten to lower my dose of Lupron. This stim shot called Gonal F (stim = stimulant.. I get to use all the cool IVF lingo now :) has just made me feel slightly tired and bloated, but bloated is good for this situation. I've been going to the doctor every other day to do bloodwork and/or an ultrasound and went today and the nurse said everything is looking really good. Lots of eggs..yay! I even got to see them on the screen haha. So, it was a happy visit.

I go back to the doctor Friday to check on things again. I thought I'd get so sick of these appointments, but it's actually comforting to be in the room at 7:30 every other morning with a group of women who are going through the same thing I am. You can see the nervousness all over our faces and then for most of us, the relief of leaving the ultrasound room with good news. It's nice to be looked after by such sweet people on the doctor's office staff too. They are great!

We should be doing our egg retrieval sometime next week. Get exciiited!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Hurricane Rach" Blew Into Town

1st themed party post! Yesss..I love them. :) Well, we were all supposed to go to the Levitt Shell for the free Summer concert series for my sweet friend Rachel's birthday party, but the weather did not cooperate (I'm talking severe thunderstorm warnings) and it was canceled. So we used the weather to our advantage and made the best of it. In blew "Hurricane Rachel". The theme queens came together and pulled it off in like 3 hours. We just used stuff we had to decorate, everyone wore tropical clothes or bright colors, and we used Brett's infamous (to himself) beach playlist. It turned out so fun!

I made these copycat Krystal burgers that were sooo good (but of course I'm going to say that because I made em' ha! )But here's the recipe if anyone wants to try them. I cut them into fourths to make them last longer.

They're super easy and super delish!

No birthday would be complete without some Muddy's. We were laughing at this picture because it looks like Josh is holding fire.

So glad we got to celebrate such a precious friend! (and we love her husband Josh too..especially since he always takes themes to the extreme)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"The Meds Are Heya" aka The Medication Has Arrived

"Meds are heya!" little Jersey Shore reference for ya there. So we walked in from our annual Bousson Family Beach trip to a counter full of foreign boxes and bags. Brett's mom had signed for them while we were gone and kindly set them out for us. It was a little overwhelming if I'm being honest with you. There were needles and pills and instructions and stuff in the fridge..ahh! It was also an exciting feeling like "wow..this is happening!" So I read all the directions, watched the videos, and psyched myself up for my first time shooting up giving an injection. I also did what any other normal 28 year old girl would do..SnapChatted all my besties a picture of the needle for some words of encouragement..haha (and I'm serious). Then, I just closed my eyes, well I guess squinted my eyes, and went for it! It seemed so not that bad afterwards but coming from someone who has previously looked the opposite direction any time I've gotten a shot, given blood, or even gotten my finger pricked, this was a big feat.

Told you I was serious.

The 2nd night was even easier and after that..piece of cake. I go back to the doctor June 11th for a check up, so until then in the words of the great "Lil Jon":

"Shots shots shots shots shots shots Shots shots shots shots shots Shots shots shots shots shots.

Everybody!"

Monday, June 2, 2014

In a nutshell: Our IVF story so far..

"Let's start from the very beginning..a very good place to start"-Sound of Music Sooo I figured I needed to get a movie quote and/or singing out of the way in the first sentence because that happens more often then I'd like to admit.

Reason for the blog: I wanted to share my journey with other people. The 'i' word... yes, infertility is still kind of a taboo topic today which really bothers me. I hated that I felt ashamed or embarrassed about a medical condition that we couldn't help. We even talked about keeping it a secret and not telling anyone. It seems silly now looking back. Who's the "we" I speak of? Brett - the hubs. Oh and by the way, I am one of those people who abbreviates abbreves words so I apologize in advance.

Anyway, Our Story: Brett and I met in college, started dating right when we both started teaching in 2009 (me-Elementary, him-High School), got engaged in 6 months, and married 7 months after that in November of 2010. We moved fast and we were both okay with that. We knew we wanted a baby right after our honeymoon ship docked from the Bahamas, but obviously God had another plan for us and surprise, surprise, we were not in control! :)

We tried for almost 2 years then finally we decided it was time to take the next step. We started seeing our fertility specialist (Dr. Kutteh, of Fertility Associates of the Memphis) in 2012. We spent most of that year getting poked and prodded and tested. In this process we found out we both had several things working against us- a thyroid problem and ovarian cyst for me and low motility for Brett. In October 2013, I had surgery to remove the cyst and they found out it was actually in my fallopian tube. So pretty much the whole year we were going up and down, it was an emotional roller coaster. One test would give us hope, and the next would be extremely disappointing. It was draining and sad and needless to say, I was kind of glad to see 2013 go. We went to see Dr. Kutteh at the end of last year for our "game plan" meeting and brought my parents and Brett's mom with us. We talked with him for 2 hours (#sorryI'mnotsorry), and got our timeline together for "Baby BooHeini". That's our celebri-baby in case you were wondering. It's a combo of Bousson (maiden name_ and Heinrich (married name). Cute Huh?

We knew we needed time to save up the money to go through with the procedure. It was a lot of money for any young married couple, well any couple for that matter. That's where the other stress factor comes in. It seemed impossible to raise the money in a few months, but God showed us nothing is impossible with Him. We've gotten to see that time and time again throughout this whole journey.

Our troops stepped up immediately. They helped us raise the money by throwing us a crawfish boil, a spaghetti dinner, and helped us with a yard sale. We had so many people praying for us and supporting us financially, it was hard to believe. It's hard to even find the words to say "Thank You" to people who are helping you get something you want so much! We've raised the money and are SO excited to get this IVF process started. Thankfully, Brett and I have been able to lean on each other, our incredible family, and our amazing friends...who may be the only people reading this haha. I've gone back and forth about sharing this experience because it is so personal, but I feel like it has become an important part of who we are, and I am proud of that. Stay tuned for the next post: "Meds are heya!" :)

Some of my girls and me at the spaghetti dinner @ Pete and Sam's.

(Here's all the pics from the Spaghetti dinner on my sister's blog: http://lukeamandacantrell.blogspot.com/)