Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cycle Day 8

This morning started off just like the other ones when having to get up early and head in to the Dr's office. Emma and I woke at 7am and got dressed and headed out. I got poked, prodded and violated and then we were off to run our daily errands.

I'm sitting at the computer looking for macaroni and cheese recipes for dinner tonight and I get the phone call from my nurse. My estrogen is 51. Down a point from two days ago. She talked to Dr. Lucas and he wants to cancel my cycle for the month. I'm on cycle day 8 and my estrogen isn't taking off but actually decreasing.

I was a little numb at first and like oh well. As I was holding Emma on the couch after her nap I sat there and let it hit me. I cried and got it out as much as I could. I know the Lord is with me holding my hand and wiping my tears. He will pick me up another day and carry me through.

Phillip called armed with more information about trials and questions. Fierce, protective, demanding a meeting with the doctor and on a mission to beat this. The more we talked the more the sinking feeling came over me that maybe we won't have the large family that I had always dreamed of. Maybe we will always be the family of 3.

God is good and we will remain faithful. We will continue to be optimistic and look forward to what 2008 will bring!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December Cycle Day 6

After a late night last night of traveling home, we had an even early morning. Emma was my alarm clock this morning waking us up at 6:45am. I'd rather wake up to her any day over an alarm. I got her adjusted and snuggled with her for a few minutes on the couch watching cartoons and sipping juice. I ran to the shower and got both of us ready and we headed out the door for my monthly ritual.

This month I won't have my exact measurements and levels of bloodwork until the end of the cycle but I'll make do for now.

Cycle Day 6
Tuesday December 18
Returned to the office at 8am for ultrasound and bloodwork.

Left ovary-
20+ total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
20+ total follicles on the right side.

Estrogen level- 52
150iu's of Follistim for 2 more nights. Go back on Thursday for ultrasound and bloodwork.

I was actually a tiny bit bummed when I heard my estrogen was 52 but after looking back at my September cycle I was actually 2 points higher this month. Hopefully I'm on track for a great month like before except we will add progesterone at the end.

I remain in constant prayer and trust in God's timing. He is always good and faithful so I must remain as well.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hormonal? I Think So!

So after Christmas #1, Sunday we drove up to Jacksonville to attend my best friend's sister's wedding (Leanne's sister Debra was the bride). Are you still with me? Ok. The wedding was absolutely beautiful. First of all it was outside. When we walked up and sat down I realized that Mr. Dudley (Debra's dad) was standing at the front and it hit me. He was marrying them! Wow! I started tearing up immediately. I just think that is the neatest thing. So if Mr. Dudley was already standing at the front who is going to walk Debra down the aisle? Here comes Justin (Debra's brother) walking her down the aisle! Is that not the sweetest thing ever?

Mr. and Mrs. Dudley had five children! it was always so neat growing up around them. There was always someone over at their house and you were always welcome. It was a Christian home and you knew that if you ever needed anything or needed someone to talk to they would always be there for you. I have to say it was a priveledge to be a part of their family.

Here I am getting all sappy. What's happening to me? Thanks for letting me relive my teenage years and how great they were!

Back at the wedding. After the ceremony we went inside for the reception and it was like a big ole reunion! I've seen people that I haven't seen in years. I'm not a crier. The first person I run into we start hugging and I start crying. Who is this person that's living in my body? I do not know her. You have to realize that I'm usually not a person that cries easily. I'm just getting it all out today. Looking back it was actually quite funny. Then the person says to me, "Are you expecting again?" You thought reuniting with an old friend was emotional try having to listen to that question! I calmly reply, "No but we are trying and having a pretty hard time."

People just don't get it. Not only are you having a hard time getting pregnant, but you have a condition that helps you put on extra weight and is not partial to any type of diet. Getting asked if you are pregnant when you are not is pretty downright depressing. So that set the mood for the night.

Besides the few mishaps in the middle we had an absolute great time and loved visiting with everyone. I think I'm over the hormonal hump now. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

December Cycle Day 3

So today I start my shots again. Round 3. Third times a charm!

I'm on the same protocol as last time. 100iu's of Follistim for 3 nights and come back for bloodwork and ultrasound.

It was 10pm eastern standard time (1 hour ahead of Birmingham's time) and I remebered that I needed to take my shot. I'm supposed to take it between 7-9pm. Luckily I wasn't to late. The only thing I did not bring was rubbing alcohol and cotton balls to clean and make everything sterile before giving myself the shot. Phillip and I couldn't find anything so I resorted to Emma's baby wipes! Boy are we living on the edge. As I was holed up in the bedroom I was trying to find a spot on my stomach that wasn't super sensitive when I poked at my skin. Usually it's easy but this time it wasn't. I think my body is scarred from the previous months. It's on strike but I have to cross the picket lines and I went for it. Ouch! I thought to myself, "Self, why do you keep torturing me? I don't know? Well, I take that back. I do know and we pray everyday that this month will be the month that we get our miracle baby."

By now it's about 10:30 and it's been a long day. Emma didn't sleep well the night before. She went strong until everyone left. Around 4:30 she had a fever of 101.6 and was asking to take a shower. Phillip put her in the shower with him and just a few minutes later she was asleep on his shoulder. She slept for 2 hours after and long and exciting day seeing that we just had Christmas #1 with Phillip's side of the family. It's been a great day and now it's time to try and get Emma to bed. I'm sick, have no voice left, glands swollen and my eyes are being held open with tooth picks. Sleepy land here we come.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Flip A Coin

So we do the treatments this month or not? That was the big question of the day Friday. So we flipped a coin. Heads we start them. Tails we don't. HEADS! Just kidding! We really didn't flip a coin but we did decide to start treatments this month. Everything seemed to work itself out. We are hoping that my last shot will be next Sunday December 23rd but if not we have a plan. I'll fill you in on those as we go along. One of the major factors of us being able to do them was if I could carry my medicine with me on the airplane. According to the the guidelines on Southwest you can carry on any liquid medication as long as it is less than 3oz. So I packed everything I needed in a clear zip lock bag and filled it with an ice pack so that it would stay cold. If it gets warm then the medicine is no longer usable. So I said some prayers, packed my needles in my suitcase and prayed that everything would go off without a hitch. We are talking $1000 worth of medicine that I was traveling with so if I got stopped in security or if I couldn't take my ice packs through then we would be in some trouble.

Turns out that neither my medicine or I were the problem getting through security but that Phillip was! Who knew that his driver's license had expired 4 days ago! Luckily for us they let him go through security and we were able to board the plane. It did make us think twice about those people that are less than honest traveling under an expired id that had other motives but that could be pondered on another day on another blog. :)

Cyst Free!

This morning Phillip woke me up at 6:30am so I could be at the Dr's office bright and early. When we went to bed last night the plan was for him to go on to work and I would take Emma with me. He told me that he was going to just ride in to work with us and then I could come back for him later in the day when we leave for out of town. You have to realize that Phillip is totally a morning person and rises with a smile on his face and I am the complete opposite. A total night person and when I have to wake up to an alarm I wake up with moans and groans and it still takes me about 2 hours to finally wake up after a shower if it's before 7:30am. Usually Emma is a morning baby too but this morning we went to wake her up and she pointed back to the bed and I sat her down. She then scurried back to her warm spot and pulled the covers back over her and proceeded to go back to bed. Sorry sweet pea. Today we aren't so lucky! Rise and shine! This is one of the hardest parts of fertility treatments espcially when I have to disrupt Emma's schedule. She's coming down with a cold and has a cough and runny nose.

The car ride in was actually nice this morning. A good way to start a great day. We were on the interstate and he passes the exit that we would normally take to go to his work and I ask him what he was doing. He decided to go with me to my appointment and watch Emma while I have my ultrasound done! Was that not the sweetest thing? He dropped me off at the Dr's office and I went to the ultrasound and low and behold.....NO CYST! God is good!

The nurse and I began to talk about the holidays and whether I was going to pursue the shots this month. I told her our schedule over the next couple of weeks and to my surprise she said it could be done. Hmmm! This totally changes the dynamics of things. I planned on taking the month off to enjoy the holidays and not stress. But if we did do the shots, which are sitting in my refrigerator calling out to me everytime I open the door, then we could be that much closer to getting pregnant.

I have only a small window of opportunity to make the decision since we will be leaving shortly for Christmas #1.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Forward Progress

So early this morning I started much to my surprise. Since last month's episode of me starting 10 days after finishing up the Prometrium (the medicine to make me start) I totally expected to take this route again. So I was pleasantly surprise to see it was back to my usual schedule of starting just two days after I finished up my medicine.

I woke up anxious to call the Dr.'s office to see when they want me to come in so they can do the ultrasound to see the status of my cyst. I feel like the darn thing is part of my family now. It's definitely a topic of conversation and it creeps it's way into my thoughts quite often. I'm thinking of naming it. Or would that just confirm that I am in fact crazy? I won't go that far.

My nurse has been slacking on returning my phone calls as promptly as I would prefer so I had the phone attached to my hip the whole morning. She finally called back at 11 and said that they prefer to check the status of the cyst on Day 3 of your cycle. This presented a problem because we are headed out of town tomorrow and day 3 would be Saturday. So we comprimised and I told her I would come in around 7ish tomorrow morning. I guess it's a good thing that I didn't have anything planned but laundry today because tomorrow is pretty much shot. Today will be spent packing and getting the house somewhat picked up. Tomorrow morning we will head downtown for my appointment and come home and finish whatever I didn't get done today and then head back downtown to pick Phillip up and catch our flight.

I'm not sure what the results will be tomorrow and I'm not really worried about it. The good thing is that we decided to take the month of December off for treatments since we would be traveling quite a bit. If it hasn't decreased then we will move forward and see what needs to be done to get it dissolve. If it has decreased we will enjoy the holidays and wait 28 more days to start on the Prometrium again and then hopefully start some shots again.

If I get the results early enough before we leave then I will post them. If not I'll try and post over the weekend.

I'm excited to see what God has in store for us tomorrow! His peace is with me. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

PostPartum Depression and Infertility Treatments

I'm even more convinced now that it is more common to experience postpartum depression after doing infertility treatments.

I've posted before that I had babyblues/postpartum depression after I had Emma. My theory was that since I was hyped up on hormones to get pregnant and then sucessfully conceived Emma which further hightened my hormones and then once I delievered her my hormones plumeted leaving me on the opposite end of the hyped up hormone girl.

More evidence points to my theory being correct. Of course this is all my own personal opinions and are not backed by any medical facts. Since I've completed two rounds of fertility shots and have had to sit out two months, I think I'm going through hormone withdrawals. The last couple of weeks I've had similar feelings as to what I experienced right after I had Emma. Thank the Lord they are not as bad as what I had with Emma but still it makes you feel not quite right. I started noticing the symptoms the day after everyone had left from Emma's Birthday weekend. I woke up feeling depressed. I tried to think of some things for Emma and I to do that would keep us moving and busy. I called Phillip and talked to him about it. "Maybe I'm sad because everyone left and the house is so quiet again." He thought that was it and suggested that we take a nap and keep busy.

The nap didn't help and we tried keeping busy but the feelings persisted. With the sun going down much earlier these days it also makes me feel sad. It's the strangest thing. I count down the hours until Phillip gets home so we are not by ourselves. I found things to focus on and keep us busy and things have been better lately but I truely think it's because I'm having hormonal withdraws from all of the medicine.

It's scary to think that all of the hormones they pump into you can have such an impact on your daily life. I guess I'm so used to running on low hormones that I don't know a difference until they pump me up and then deflate me.

Such is life and such the roller coaster I live on these days. I am thankful that I have a husband who somewhat understands me and what I am going through and how it all makes me feel. I thank God that he lets me talk things out without judging me or calling me crazy even though some days I feel like I am. Hopefully this roller coaster won't last much longer but I know that however long we are on it that the Lord is working through us so I find comfort in that.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Scripture Verse of the Day

He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.
Psalms 113:9

He Is Faithful!

When I sat down and started journeling I told Phillip, "Boy this is going to save big bucks on the cost of therapy!" It was the best form of release I could come up with. I know the Lord has a plan for us and there's a purpose for everything we do. He is faithful! He is good!

As we emerge out of the fog I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. In my struggles with infertility and in turn my blogging, God has opened his doors to me. I am so thankful for those who read this, those who have called and those who have emailed. I am a living testimony of how God works in our lives and by faith he is healing me and hopefully you.

Thank you for your support!


Friday, December 7, 2007

Desperate To Be A Mom- Dr. Phil Show

Thursday on Dr. Phil the show focused on people who are having trouble getting pregnant. I thought it was interesting and thought I'd share a couple of clips. It's not Christian based information but it's always interesting to hear other talk about the same thing you are going through.

"It makes me angry when he doesn’t understand how hard it is for me to get pregnant, and he doesn’t want to try," says Michelle, of her husband of one year, Eric. They both want to have children, but she hasn't been able to get pregnant.

Michelle was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, making conception more difficult. "I have to go through a lot of medications, and recently my doctor was wanting me to do injectables," she explains, noting that they've spent $5,000 on fertility drugs. "Eric definitely does not want to pay for any of it. Eric's main reason for not wanting to have children at this time was to purchase a house."

"I do understand Michelle’s urgency to have a child. I do not understand the rationale to go into debt for it though," Eric says. He's told Michelle to stop the procedures because he says they don't have the money. "I don’t think spending $2,500 with very little chance of it working is worth that at all," he explains. "Those extra expenses make it very difficult meeting a monthly budget."

"I would keep trying until I was broke," Michelle reveals. "We argue almost on a daily basis ... Emotionally, we’re both drained. Financially, we’re draining."

Eric hopes to heal their relationship. "I very much wish that I had the old Michelle back," he admits. "It is a fear of mine that I will end up having some resentment toward her. The future between my wife and me is definitely up in the air."

Michelle acknowledges, "It’s definitely a desperate situation."

“You have a sense of urgency here,” Dr. Phil says to Michelle. “Tell me about that.”

“I’ve wanted to have children since I was little, and it’s always been a dream of mine other than getting married, so I would do almost anything,” she says.

Eric agrees that he wants kids. “If I could have a child right now, it would be there,” he says.

“You’re objection is what?” Dr. Phil asks him.

“We can’t continue to spend money on something that has a very, very low success rate,” he says.

“You said you’d rather put that in an item you know you’re going to get, like a house,” Dr. Phil says, “because at least you’d make the investment. You’d get the item.” Michelle disagrees with her husband's beliefs. “I always say, ‘You can always buy a house. You can’t always have a child,’” she tells Dr. Phil. “I just want to have a child so bad, and it’s really hard because the doctors are telling me that the medication's not working so far, and I just want to do anything I can to be able to keep trying.”

“If you stop now because he doesn’t want to continue to spend the money on this, how are you going to feel about that?” Dr. Phil asks her.

“I think I’ll regret it. I don’t want to end up down the road in a divorce, and I don’t want to regret my decision to marry him,” she says.

Michelle has contemplated selling items on eBay or doing anything she can to obtain the money for fertility treatments. “I was ready to go behind his back and just charge it to my account, and he wouldn’t know,” she says.

“Do you understand that you’re not investing in a thing? You’re not even investing in the process that might bring you the thing. You’re investing in your relationship. You’re investing in your family. You’re investing in your future,” Dr. Phil tells Eric. He points out that Michelle didn't choose to have polycystic ovary syndrome. "She doesn’t have that. This couple has that.”

Dr. Phil addresses Michelle. “For every thought you have, there’s a physiological correlate,” he tells her. “Right now, you are stressed. You are angry. You are biochemically, physiologically, setting yourself up in the least fertile state you could possible get.” He explains that she must learn to calm herself down. “You’re putting yourself in a bad frame of mind for getting pregnant.”

“I cringe when I hear that, because with my condition I might only ovulate two to three times a year, which makes it really impossible to try to get pregnant,” she says. “I can relax all I want, and it’s not going to help me. I need to continue with the medications.”

“I’m not saying you don’t,” Dr. Phil tells her, but he reiterates that it is important for her to get herself into a better mental state to help her chances of conceiving.

Turning to Eric, Dr. Phil asks, “What are you thinking about what I’m saying here?”

“I understand that investing in, or paying for the procedures would definitely help our relationship. It would create a stronger bond than what we have," he says. “But I just have a hard time understanding the point of going into debt. I understand that you can never afford a baby.”

Dr. Phil says he understands Eric’s logic, but he asks him, “What are you going to do if you have a baby, and it has a problem, say, at 2 years of age, and they say, ‘We think we can fix this. The procedure is $20,000, but I don’t know. It might cure him, and it might not.’ What are you going to do?”

“At that point, we’re living on milk crates,” Eric says. “You wouldn’t deny the opportunity to try to fix the problem then, would you?” Dr. Phil asks. “No,” he says.

“You’re just trying to fix the problem now,” Dr. Phil points out. “You don’t want to spend the money on a house that she resents every time she walks in.”

“I guess we’ll have to talk about this some more,” Eric says.

At the end of the show, Dr. Phil asks Eric for his thoughts. “I definitely understand that I need to maybe understand her point and try to do my best to meet her at least halfway in this decision,” he says.

“Maybe what you have to do is sit down and negotiate some type of budget for this that you work out together, and you decide how the sacrifices are going to be made,” Dr. Phil suggests. “You don’t just bankrupt yourselves forevermore. You at least make a commitment and say, ‘We’re going to go this far, and we’ll see where we are at that point.’” He reminds them that a house is just bricks. “This is your life, and let me tell you, life is brief, and time is a thief, and it goes so, so quickly.”

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Another Infertility Video from my Dr.'s Office

Here is another link to a video from my UAB infertility Dr.'s office. The women working in the lab have been the ones drawing my blood every couple of days. Dr. Sites is one of the three Dr.'s in this practice and she's also done a few of my Saturday/Sunday ultrasounds.

UAB Fertility Specialist, John Lucas, M.D

Purpose Driven Life

I continue to be amazed at my God. Monday November 12, the day I received news about having a cyst I was sitting at my computer that afternoon and in comes my daily email from the Purpose Driven Life. As I sit here and reread the devotional again I'm floored at how direct it hits my heart.


God’s Right to Rule
by Jon Walker

I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands ….” Daniel 9:4 (NIV)

God becomes real in your life when you submit to his sovereignty.

Sovereignty simply means God is in control, and that he has theright to be in control – the right to rule. No matter what you’ve thought or believed – in the past or even now -- the truth be told, God has always been in control; he remains in control; and he will always be in control. God rules from his heavenly throne, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).

If we’re serious about living a life according to God’s purpose, it’s essential we understand this issue of sovereignty. It is only within the context of God’s sovereignty that we can trust the Almighty is actively at work in our lives, no matter how good or bad things may appear (Romans 8:28).

If we don’t believe in the sovereignty of God, then we’re more likely to become plagued by worry, doubt, and fear. And, when we look across the world, we’re more likely to feel overwhelmed by the immense needs – of those who hunger, those who hurt, and those who desperately need to hear the Good News of peace with God.

You may feel inadequate for the mission, but God created you just for this moment, and he believes in you. Is it possible he knows more about your abilities than you do?

What now?

(This is the paragraph that really spoke to me!)
· God becomes real when you submit to his sovereignty -- Our God spoke the world into existence, and with the same power and creativity, he spoke you into your mother's womb, timing your conception perfectly so that you'd be in service to him at this very moment in time. Would God send you on a mission without providing everything you will need to succeed?

· God is sovereign and that means he is able -- He is ableto takewhat you giveand use it for his glory, andhe is able to handle any problem or concern you have as you complete your purpose: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him ….” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

· Talk to God about his greatness -- You can stay focused on God's sovereignty by talking to him about his greatness. We have a tendency to maximize our problems and minimize God's greatness. But when we do that, we also minimize - in our minds - God's ability to handle any problem. Instead, praise God for his greatness.

© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.
Jon Walker is a pastor-advocate living in Tennessee and the former pastor of communications at Saddleback Church.
HERE for a free subscription to The Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotional, your daily inspiration via email.

© 2007 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.

How's that for timing? :) I told you, God's good!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

November 2007

After the emotional and physical roller coaster that I/We have been on the past several months Phillip mentioned to me that maybe I should take the rest of the year off from any treatments.

What? October, November, December, 3 WHOLE months? Enjoy Emma's birthday and the holidays.

The thought was a bit enticing for the two seconds that I entertained it. Then I started thinking that I would be a whole 3 months behind trying to get pregnant. I don't really want to put it off for another 3 months if one of those months could be the month I could get pregnant. I banished the thought from my head.

Let me tell you a little bit about Phillip. He's the best husband ever. His family tells me he's the most like his Father. Sadly he passed away 17 years ago so I never got to meet him. Phillip is patient, kind, driven, dedicated, half full and has the biggest heart. He wants to provide for his family and never let us down. He hates to say "no" to me and I usually get whatever I am after at that moment. This I know about him. But if he really feels strongly about something, he'll let me know and we compromise.

I had my heart set on continuing on with my treatments the month of November and Phillip graciously went along with it.

Friday, October 26th I started my round of Prometrium taking 1 pill a night for 7 nights to start my period. I'm usually timely with starting several days after finishing the Prometrium but 3 days passed and nothing. Five days, eight days and nothing. I started freaking out. What else could possibly be wrong with me now? I could pretty much count on starting within a certain date after the medicine and now I can't even do that. I called my nurse and she said it could take up to 2 weeks after you've finished taking the medicine to start. Gee whiz that's a long time. So I continue to wait. Finally, day 10 after taking 7 days of the medicine I start. I've never been so excited to start a period.

Monday, November 12th I went in and had my baseline ultrasound excited to be starting the treatments again. I already had my medicine at home waiting for me in the refrigerator I was just waiting for the ok to start them again. I was on the table and they were scanning my right ovary and things were looking good. Nurse Michelle was assistanting on the ultrasound for the first time (I was her trial run) and she started to scan on my left ovary. She turned to the tech and said, "Oh my gosh, what's that big black spot?" The tech looks at the screen and immediately says, "Oh no! She has a cyst! Her cycle for the month is canceled."

As I lay on the table, feet in stir-ups, covered in a plastic drape, I stared at the screen knowing my fate as tears streamed down my face. I'll be sitting out yet another month. That makes two consecutive months of no treatments. I was so upset. Nurse Michelle talked to me and said that she would see what Dr. Lucas would want to do now and she would call me later to confirm.

I went to pick Emma up at Phillip's work and of course when I got there I cried some more. What am I going to do now. What does God have in store for us? I picked myself up and soldiered on. After all I still need to be a good Mom to Emma and not let her down. I can only be so sad and let it get me down. I'm a Mom. Put on your happy face and carry on. That's exactly what I did. I have 2-3 days where I am bummed but I get through them and then I'm fine after that until next go round. It's the in between and the not knowing either way whether we will be able to concieve another child. If I can't get pregnant I know in my heart I'll be ok. It's the struggle getting there.

God will not give us more than we can handle. I know that I am going through infertility for a reason and that the Lord will use me. I'm excited to be His tool and can't wait to see what comes of it.

My cyst was in fact 4cm and Dr. Lucas wants to wait another month to see if the cyst will dissolve on it's own. If it does not dissolve they will either give me medicine to help it dissolve or they will have to go in and do surgery. This is my first time knowingly having a cyst so I'm not sure what to expect or how my body will handle it. I do know that it will be atleast the first of the year until we try another round of treatments if my cyst does in fact dissolve on it's own.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

October 2007

October I had to sit out from a month of infertility treatments. They do this so that they do not hyper-stimulate my ovaries and cause me to have cysts.

So October was spent in reflection. September, Phillip and I started going to a new small group at church and we were starting a new Bible study titled "Abide."

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:3

We took pieces from John 15 and studied them more in depth each Wednesday night. The verse that struck me the most was:

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off ever branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." John 15: 1-3

Lightbulb moment! God is pruining me so that I can bear more fruit. Wow! God is good! Now how am I going to use my situation and what I now realize is my testimony to reach others who are believers or may be a non-believer? I can share my testimony to other so I can tell them what God has done in my life and what he continues to do. He is faithful and true.

So my treatments had not worked in July or September but I no longer feel defeated. I am energized! I know this sounds a bit odd but it is so obvious. God has something else in store for us. Imagine! He has something bigger in store for us right now than getting pregnant. How exciting. I cannot wait to see what's in store. What could the Lord have for little ole us? It must be big!

September 2007

Dr. Lucas changed my protocol slightly and this month I will be using a different gonadotropin shot called Follistim. It is essentially the same medication as the Gonal F but made by a different manufacturer. I have no idea why it would make a difference in the end result but I'm trusting the Doctor.

August 26th I started on the Prometrium to get me to start my period. I would take 1 pill for the next 7 days.

Cycle Day 2
Wednesday September 5
Went in to the office to get my baseline ultrasound.

Left ovary-
1. less than 1.0
5-6 total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. less than 1.0
3-4 total follicles on the right side.

Endometrium- 0.67
Start Follistem on Thursday September 6 100iu's of Follistim for 4 nights

Cycle Day 6
Monday September 10
Returned to the office at 7am for ultrasound and bloodwork.

Left ovary-
1. 0.7
2. less than 0.7
20+ total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. 0.75
2. less than 0.7
20+ total follicles on the right side.

Cycle Day 9
Thursday September 13
Returned to the office at 7am for ultrasound and bloodwork.

Left ovary-
1. 0.7
2. less than 0.7
20+ total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. 0.7
2. less than 0.7
20+ total follicles on the right side.

Estrogen level- 50
Endometrium- 0.71
150iu's of Follistim for 2 more nights.

Cycle Day 11
Saturday September 15
Returned to the office at 7am for ultrasound and bloodwork.

Left ovary-
1. 0.88
Many follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. 0.77
Many follicles on the right side.

Estrogen level- 114
Endometrium- 0.60
175iu's of Follistim for 3 more nights.

Cycle Day 14
Tuesday September 18
Returned to the office at 7am for ultrasound and bloodwork.
Left ovary-
1. 1.35
2. 1.15
3. 1.05
4. 0.95
20+ total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. 0.95
2. 0.95
20+ total follicles on the right side.

Estrogen level- 524
Endometrium- 1.10
No Meds and need to come back tomorrow for another ultrasound and bloodwork.

Cycle Day 15
Wednesday September 19
Returned to the office at 7am for ultrasound and bloodwork.

Left ovary-
1. 1.65
2. 1.3
3. 1.1
4. 1.05
20+ total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. 1.05
2. 1.0
3. less than 1.0
20+ total follicles on the right side.

Estrogen level- 1011
Endometrium- 1.34

HCG Shot!!! 5,000iu's

The HCG shot is the last shot given in the cycle. This is to trigger ovulation. Now starts the two week waiting period to take a pregnancy test.

I had such a good cycle and everything is super positive! Yea! This could definitely be the month. I'm feeling really good about it. My attitude is positive.

Cycle Day 21
Thursday September 27
Returned to the office for progesterone bloodwork to see if I ovulated.

The nurse called me that afternoon with my bloodwork results. My progesterone level came back at 5.4! 5.4? Did I hear her right? She then told me that the doctor likes to see a good progesterone level around 15-20 but they have seen pregnancies result in very low progesterone numbers. She told me not to get to upset yet and that we would check for a pregnancy on October 3rd.

As soon as I hung up the phone I began to sob. Self-pity set in. I wanted to be the Mom with lots of kids driving the mini-van since I was a little girl. I wanted to be the Mom with six kids running around and being in parental bliss. By the way, have you ever seen anyone in "parental bliss?" I'll save this question to ponder later. As I sat at the table and cried and feeling lonely a thought came to me. "I am the Great Comforter. I will sit here with you and hold your hand as you cry. As you cry, I cry. I weep for you. Trust me. In time I will give you what you ask of me."

I called Phillip and cried to him. He said he was sure the lab must have left a 1 out of the bloodwork and that it probably was 15.4. He thought I had such a great cycle and that he was feeling really good about it too. He's such the optimist! :) He told me to call the office back and see if I could come in tomorrow morning and have them run my bloodwork again.

The nurse said that she would have the lab rerun the bloodwork in the morning and give me a call. Ok. I had peace in my heart and knew that I had to trust the Lord. He had just spoken to me. He knows what I want and he will provide in HIS time.

Friday the nurse called back and indeed the lab was right the first time. My progesterone level was 5.4. We would wait and see. All I could do was pray.

No need for a pregnancy test. Saturday September 30 I awoke to my period. Atleast I had been somewhat prepared for not being pregnant since the shock of Thursday's results. I had two days to have it all sink in but there's really no preparing oneself for the fact that yet again, you are not pregnant and you cannot get pregnant on your own.

If I can't get pregnant on my own and I not getting pregnant on two rounds of shots then will I ever get pregnant again?

August 2007

August brought about a time of peace and reflection. One that was greatly needed. With the faith and confidence we had trying to get pregnant with Emma I was wondering where all that was this time around? It should be just as easy this time around. Dr. Lucas did not give me the 3 month time frame and at the end of the 3rd month I would be pregnant. This time my nurse consoled me by telling me that each month I have only a 20% chance of getting pregnant. It also doesn't mean that each month I go through treatments adds to my percentage of getting pregnant. Each month you have a flat 20% chance and that's that. I was confirmed again that Emma was a blessing from God above and it was all in his timing. I have no control over getting pregnant. I have to put my faith and trust in the Lord and let him work through me. I received the peace I needed going into my second round of shots.

Maybe September will be the month?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Positive or Negative?

Since I do not ovulate on my own and I so obviously need medical intervention for this to take place we do not get the element of "Surprise! I'm pregnant!" that most people get to experience. For that very reason we wanted to keep the fact that we were going through infertility treatments again quiet so we could also experience the "Surprise!" factor with everyone we told. Since it was fairly easy looking back getting pregnant with Emma we figured the second time would be easier.

July 22nd we were leaving to go on my family vacation for a week at Seacrest Beach. Everyone (Mom, Dad, Mike, Shannon, Brooks and Claire) had come in Saturday and spent the night with us before convoying down Sunday together.

July 22nd, two days before I was supposed to take a pregnancy test, the day we were leaving for vacation, I started my period.



Reality hits.

Tears come.

I go back to bed.

I finally got myself together, showered, prayed, and knew that God would get me through this. The week of vacation was a nice break to get away but was not an easy one. I was supposed to be checking for my positive pregnancy test that Tuesday but instead I was trying to deal with not being pregnant and not showing how upset I was.

Why was it all so much easier before? I know we are so blessed to have Emma and I thank God for her everyday. I ache so much in my heart to provide a brother or sister for her. A playmate. A best friend. Someone who she can talk about us to and the other will understand exactly.

August I will have to sit out and we will try again in September. Until next time...

June/July 2007

After going home from our appointment and had time to let things sink in I had this uneasy feeling that I couldn't settle. The internal debate had begun. Again... What is God leading us to do? Is it God's timing for us to have another child? If it is His timing couldn't he just let me ovulate on my own instead of having medicine help me? Is it in God's plan that I go to Dr. Lucas for help? Am I trying to have to much control over my life instead of giving it over to God? Should we wait?

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." Jeremiah 1:5

This is the verse that the Lord put on my heart. I knew then that we were not done having children.

Dr. Lucas suggested we follow the same protocol as last time when I got pregnant.

Results from each day I went for my ultrasounds and bloodwork:

Cycle Day 4
Monday June 25
Left ovary-
1. 0.6
2. 0.6
15+ total follicles on left side.

Right ovary-
1. 0.65
2. less than 0.6
15+ total follicles on right side.

Endometrium- 0.31
75iu's of Gonal F for 3 nights

Cycle Day 7
Thursday June 28
Returned to the office at 7am for ultrasound and bloodwork.

Left ovary-
1. 0.75
2. less than 0.50

15+ total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. 0.70
2. less than 0.6

15+ total follicles on the right side.

Estrogen level- 49
Endometrium- 0.58
100iu's of Gonal F for 2 more nights

Cycle Day 9
Saturday June 30
Returned to the office at 7am for ultrasound and bloodwork.

Left ovary-
1. 0.85

15+ total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. 0.8

15+ total follicles on the right side.

Estrogen level- 61
Endometrium- 0.72

112iu's of Gonal F for 2 more nights

Cycle Day 11
Monday July 2
Returned to the office at 7am for ultrasound and bloodwork.

Left ovary-
1. 0.7
2. less than 0.7

15+ total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. 0.8
2. less than 0.8

15+ total follicles on the right side.

Estrogen level- 60
Endometrium- 0.71
150iu's of Gonal F for 2 more nights

Cycle Day 13
Wednesday July 4
Returned to the office at 7am for ultrasound and bloodwork.

Left ovary-
1. 0.6
2. 0.51

15+ total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. 0.83
2. 0.80
3. 0.80

15+ total follicles on the right side.

Estrogen level- 119
225iu's of Gonal F for 2 more nights

Cycle Day 15
Friday July 6
Returned to the office at 7am for ultrasound and bloodwork.

Left ovary-
1. less than 1.0

15+ total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. 1.3
2. 1.2
3. 1.0
4. 0.8
15+ total follicles on the right side.

Estrogen level- 100
Endometrium- 1.0
225iu's of Gonal F for 2 more nights

Cycle Day 17
Sunday July 8
Returned to the office at 7am for ultrasound and bloodwork.

Left ovary-
1. less than 1.0
15 total follicles on the left side.

Right ovary-
1. 1.45
2. less than 1.2
20+ total follicles on the right side.

Endometrium- 1.1
225iu's of Gonal F for 2 more nights

Cycle Day 19
July 10
HCG shot!

The HCG shot is the last shot given in the cycle. This is to trigger ovulation. Now starts the two week waiting period to take a pregnancy test.

Cycle Day 21
July 17
Returned to the office at 7am for progesterone bloodwork to make sure I ovulated.

P4= 9.5

Dr. Lucas wants to see the progesterone level over 15-20. The higher the level the better chance you ovulated and the higher your progesterone levels the better chance at keeping a pregnancy if you were to be pregnant.

The nurse said not to be discouraged yet because they've seen low numbers before that resulted in a pregnancy.