Friday, March 16, 2018

(IN)FERTILITY FRIDAY - Genetic Testing Results

I was just about to walk out the door today and realized, I had not updated you guys on the status of my embryos. So this post is going to be short and sweet, but I didn't want to leave you in suspense. Moral of the story: We have 1 "normal" embryo. We have one shot at a baby and no other option if it doesn't work but to do the whole thing over. I am grateful we have one though. Of course I would have loved 2 but atlas we have one and they didn't call to tell me sorry you have nothing to transfer. The other came back with some missing chromosomes on chromosomes 6, 7 & 18. Not sure what that means, except it would probably not end up in a viable pregnancy. The wait on Wednesday to hear the results was miserable and the worst part was waiting the entire day and then them telling me sorry we don't have the results at 4 pm when they were closing. A very sweet nurse Patty did call me first thing yesterday morning though to tell me she didn't have the report, but found out I had one normal which I throughly appreciated!

So from here we transfer this baby in and hope it is the perfect one God has been making us wait around for. I stopped my birth control and will start some estrogen on Sunday and I have an ultrasound in 2 weeks to check the lining of my uterus. If all looks good we are scheduled to transfer this embryo on April 3rd, just after Easter! I am not sure why, but I have a good feeling about this one. Hopefully this doesn't bite me in the behind :), but I think it was very fitting that God only gave me exactly what I needed. Only one more baby and no choice to be tempted to choose gender. He gave me exactly what I needed and took care of all the tough decisions for me. (Bc lets be honest, if I had 2-3 good embryos, I would try putting them in to see what happens. I couldn't just leave them frozen forever) So that is where we are. Thank you for your prayers and I am super grateful that after my horrible call 2 weeks ago, I went to church is it was the best sermon I have heard in a good 5 years and it was life changing for me. Had me crying the whole time, strangers touching me praying for me, and all of my favorite songs were sung. It was meant for me and I felt peace with whatever happened after that. So don't worry I haven't been in misery for 2 weeks. I was back to normal and perfectly good until this Wednesday when the results were supposed to come in. I am good now though! So keep the prayers coming...we need a nice thick uterine lining to let this baby attach to and healthy pregnancy and child at the end of this. Thank you guys for all your support and I will keep you posted on how things are progressing. XOXO

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Bad News. Talk about going from a huge high to an ultimate low. It happened today. Last I posted, 7 out of 8 eggs fertilized. Last time I did a fresh cycle 3 years ago, I had 7 that fertilized and all 7 made it to be frozen. Well I am a realist and figured one or 2 would die off so I was hoping for atleast 4 maybe 5 that were able to be frozen and genetically tested. The nurse called me today and let me know that only 2 made it. Yes only 2. :( That's 2 that were frozen and biopsied. We still don't know if they are normal or abnormal, just that only 2 developed properly into the blastocyst stage. :( I was so upset; or I am so upset. I am little better now, but the initial shock of it was not good. Odds are 50% of eggs are abnormal so that would give me 1 to try to implant. And to be honest I don't think those odds even count when you only have 2 to test. I very well could get a call in 2 weeks and them say sorry but both are abnormal and we have nothing to transfer. So it was not a good day.

To be honest, I don't even know how I feel. One second, I am pissed. Like how much more do I need to possibly go through to try and have a baby. Clearly God thinks I don't need another child and I should be happy with the 2 kids I have. And then I go to...well atleast I have 2 children already, can you imagine if I was going through all of this trying for my first child. Then I go to...McLaughlin party of 4, fine, lets sell all the old baby stuff and make a dang craft room out of my extra bedroom. So glad I have a van, a million baby clothes, and items that won't be used. Just get it out. Then I say well since I'm not pregnant lets plan that European vacation I want to go on. Or Maybe I will homeschool Delainey and just travel around the country just me and the girls. (haha that one is a little extreme. I love the idea, but don't know I could actually do it). Then I feel guilty, like did I try to rush God, maybe I wasn't supposed to do this yet, maybe he is trying to show me that I really need to relinquish control and trust that he is all powerful. Like I don't feel like I could really conceive naturally one day. How ridiculous to think God couldn't make a baby for me if he wanted to. So this is my come to Jesus moment to let go of any shred of control I still have or think I have.

Honestly I don't know how I feel. I told Dave there is going to be none to test and this was my last try so this family of 4 is what it will be. And I would like to believe I would be ok and content for the rest of my life. But I don't know if thats true. I am surely not a quitter, but when is enough enough? Who knows! I can't answer that.

So moral of the story, we wait. We wait another 14 days to see if either of these embryos come back normal. And if by the grace of God we have a normal one, we will transfer it in about a month. I wouldn't wish this emotional rollercoaster on my worst enemy, so those of you who never have to experience it, be glad. I can take 5,000 shots all day everyday, but the mind games that go along with it are miserable. Sorry for not coming on here with a lovely post about I know God is in control and whatever happens is part of his plan for my life and in 5 years I will be glad all this happened. Yes I know it all and I believe it all. But, that doesn't mean I can't be mad at God for a hot minute about the crappy situation and then I will go back to all I know and love about God. This is how I am really feeling.

So I will be back in 2 weeks to let you all know what the results are. Luckily I am going to Orlando next weekend for Blakely's birthday. We are going to the Bippiddi Boppiddi Boutique to get her hair and make up done and then doing lunch in Cinderella's castle to meet at the princesses. She is going to love it! So that trip will get my mind off of things. Follow along on Instagram to see all the fun we are having. Thanks for the prayers and I would love some continued prayers that those embryos would come back normal. One would be lovely, 2 would be amazing!! Thanks guys and talk to you in 2 weeks. XOXO

Monday, February 26, 2018

(IN)FERTILITY FRIDAY - Retrieval recap

Sorry I am not posting till now. Blakely came down with the flu and I left for Middle school camp on Friday so I didn't have time to post on everything with the craziness.
So Thursday morning, Dave & I headed in to the Dr. for my egg retrieval. I was called back to my own top secret area and Dave was left in the waiting room. They said we will see you in about an hour when she is done and the anesthesia has worn off. So off I went, I wish he was there with me while I did all the pre-op stuff, but I do appreciate that the room is locked with a code to get in and they allow no-one except who is absolutely necessary in there. Its the retrieval area, but also where they take your eggs and fertilize and store them. No need for extra people around to mess things up.

The gave me my IV, took some stats and took me back to an OR table, they said ok we will see you in 15 minutes and I immediately was out. Next thing I know I was waking up and asking how many eggs I got. The Dr retrieved 8 eggs. That was pretty good. I would have loved 10, but 8 was very realistic since I only got 10 almost 4 years ago. I am getting older, so 8 sounded right on track. They got Dave out of the waiting room and down I rode in a wheelchair to the car and we were off. I was little tired and had some minimal cramping, but other than that no issues. The next day my stomach was a little bloated, but nothing to complain about. So then it was time to wait.

While I was having surgery, Dave was taken away to "fertilize" the eggs and we were going to receive a call in 2 days to see how many of them fertilized properly and started splitting into cells and eventually a baby. Since I was at camp with zero service, they called Dave and told him the news. He eventually got a hold of me and he told me that 7 out of the 8 had fertilized properly!!! I was hoping for atleast 6 so I was super happy with 7! They said the 8th one actually had divided into 1 cell so they were going to watch it. It may just be slower than the others, or it could die off, but 7 were good. So we continue to wait! Hopefully all 7 babies are growing and diving strong and I will get a call on Thursday to let me know a final number. At that point we will decide if we want to biopsy and do genetic testing or just freeze them. Hopefully we will have atleast 5 or 6 and will move forward with the genetic testing. Those results take another 2 weeks so more waiting.

In the meantime, I am waiting for a period to come and then depending on when that happens, hopefully I can time it to have the results back in time to transfer 2-3 weeks after my period starts. Its all up in the air though still so no exact transfer date. Just a rough outline. Thank you for all your prayers. I have felt such a peace with whatever the outcome and being at camp during this was great for my soul. Definitely put things into perspective for me. Yes I want a baby, but there are also so many innocent kids out there that need Jesus and just someone to love them so whatever happens I know it is part of God's plan and it will be exactly he wants to use me to fulfill his mission. Dave called during our worship time and when I went back in, my current favorite song was being sung and the gratefulness I felt to God was so overwhelming, I just cried the whole song. To get such good news, to see some girls who have never even been to church have their hands in the air, eyes closed worshiping, to see so many amazing kids who know Jesus shine like a light for him. It was just a beautiful sight. And the song is amazing! Here is the song:
Moral of the story: IT was a GREAT weekend friends! Thanks for your continued prayers for these babies to grow and I will keep you posted on the final number on Friday! XOXO

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

IVF Retrieval Scheduled

Yesterday I went to the Dr. for my 5th ultrasound of the past 2 weeks! I am racking up some serious miles driving to downtown Jacksonville this often but its worth it. Anyways the ultrasound went well. He saw my biggest one was 17 and the others were between 14-15. So he decided to give them one extra day to get to optimal size which is 16 mm. So last night I took my last of the Gonal-F pen and then Menopur. I had to buy 2 more menopur yesterday at the doctor, but the rest of the meds I timed perfectly! I do not have 1 single drop left of any of the medications. So tonight instead of my normal regimen I am taking a Lupron shot at exactly 9:30 pm and then another one at 9:30 am tomorrow morning. These ones have to be timed perfect because the retrieval is scheduled for 36 hours after your first shot. If you are off by a few hours, your eggs could release prematurely and then there would be nothing to retrieve so I am patiently sitting by the shot to make sure it is right on time. LOL

So Thursday morning I am going in for my retrieval. I would really appreciate some prayers that all goes smoothly and the Doctor gets every last egg and they all fertilize well. The more eggs the better at a shot for a baby so I am hoping and praying for 10 or more. I know that sounds crazy like "that is 10 babies", but in reality not all will fertilize. So say maybe 6 or 7 make it to Day 5 and then they average that 50% of the embryos are abnormal after the genetic testing, that would only leave me with 3 embryos so the more the merrier on Thursday! It is a quick 20 minute procedure where they extract the eggs through a needle vaginally and then you are on your way. From what I can remember, there was some cramping but nothing too bad. Hopefully this one will be similar and I'll be good as new by the next day.

Also yesterday I had my 2nd acupuncture session and I liked it so much more this time! I guess I knew what to expect and was able to relax more and it was lovely. I didn't fall asleep but was very close. Anyways I am off for now and will be back on Friday to let you know how the retrieval went. No matter what the outcome is, I know that God has the perfect number planned out for me and will give me exactly what I need. It's definitely provides a peace as I go through this to trust in his plans for us. Talk to you all soon and thanks for the continued prayers. XOXO

Saturday, February 17, 2018

(IN)FERTILITY FRIDAY - 3rd & 4th Ultrasound

Hey guys! I wanted to wait till my ultrasound yesterday to do my blog post, so here is the latest progress update! 

We are moving along slowly, but surely! They upped one of my medications to 2 units of Menopur a day and that seemed to be the trick. At my ultrasound on Wednesday they were measuring around 9-10 mm and she saw about 11 eggs. That was very promising to me that there were more this time. My goal is 10 so that seems more of a possibility now. She said everything looks good, keep doing your shots and see you in another 2 days. She also said this is about the time when my eggs are big enough and there are so many that your body my ovulate on its own. So we added in a 3rd shot called Cetrotide to prevent your body from releasing the eggs. I do this one every morning. My estrogen was around 250 so she had me take a cetrotide shot right after my appointment instead of waiting till the next morning to be safe. I would have died if I ovulated too soon and at my next ultrasound there was nothing left in there. So I throughly appreciate her for checking the estrogen and calling me after I left to say better yet don't wait till tomorrow take it today now just to be safe! 

So I went back again yesterday to see if things were growing. The main reason you go so much is because the timing of all this is based on the size of the eggs. So when most are around 16 mm it is time to retrieve them. So we keep checking to time it perfectly. Yesterday my biggest was 14 and the rest were around 11-12 mm. This lady counted around 11-12 but I think she measured the same one a few times :) so still looking possible for 10. She said stay on the same dosing of meds because it is working and come back again on Monday for an ultrasound. So in my type A controlling mind, when I go on Monday they are going to all be around 15 and he is going to say we are about ready so lets do your trigger shot and do a retrieval on Wednesday. If not Wednesday it should be Thursday the latest. So thats where we stand with everything. 3 shots a day and just hanging out. 

I did however throw in a little acupuncture this time. A lot of research has shown it increases your chances of implantation and getting like 10% so why not try it out. I have a few friends who have done it and swear by it so on Wednesday I went to my first acupuncture session. She specializes in fertility so she squeezed me in quickly to try to maximize blood flow to my uterus while these eggys are growing. I am still on the fence about it all. It was relaxing, but a few of the point she stuck needles in hurt. I thought I would feel nothing, but you definitely feel some pokes as she puts them in. She did them in my head, arms, legs, feet and stomach. I think this part of the IVF process is not as important for acupuncture as the transfer part is. She sees you the day before and right after the transfer to reduce uterine contractions and blood flow so the embryo will attach. I figured why not give it a try. It can't hurt so lets give it a whirl. So that is where we are this week. 

Hoping for a retrieval on Wednesday and then I am off to our churches middle school winter retreat on Friday. I am a counselor for my 5th grade girls and can't wait to spend the weekend getting to know and love on them and trying to give them a deep foundation of who Jesus is. Thank you for your continued prayers and I will try to come back and give you an update on Monday on when the retrieval is. Hope you all have a good weekend! XOXO

Just for future reference for myself: My stomach is getting huge, very bloated and tender from all the shots. I look a solid 3 months pregnant. I wish I did a before picture last week. I will try to find one from a few months ago and post a current pic so you can compare. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

(IN)FERTILITY FRIDAY - 1st & 2nd Ultrasound

So this past Wednesday,  I had my first ultrasound to make sure I had no cysts and everything looked good with my uterus. All was well so I got the green light to start all my shots. Before I tell you about that I'd like to give a shout out to my sweet husband Dave. He made an appointment!!! Wohoo :) I joke with these nurses that I really do have a husband bc they have never seen him and his so crazy that he couldn't even come in to sign some papers so he had to get them notarized. Wednesday he was able to come so I had to snap a pic with Big Daddy!

So anyways back to the shots, I started my first 2 shots Wednesday night. I am taking 300 units of the Gonal-F and 1 mL of Menopur. The Gonal-F comes in a "pen" form and it is super easy. You dial in your dose and then shoot it in your stomach. Doesn't hurt at all. The Menopur though requires some mixing. Pulling a saline solution from one vial into another with powder then getting it back into the syringe, then changing to a smaller needle. I have gotten the hang of it all for the most part, but this one burns when going in. It is not unbearable but its a decent 5-10 second burn. So I have done that regimen for the past 4 days.

Today I went in for my second ultrasound to see how my eggs were looking and he was able to see 4 good ones on the left and 4 on the right. They were measuring between 4 - 7 mm. I think they wanted them in the 5-7 range so he decided to up my Menopur to 2 mL's a day. So hopefully the little extra will help those small eggs grow. I was hoping for atleast 10 eggs but I went in saying whatever the outcome is what God has planned for me so just trust in him. Usually at the retrieval they get about 80% of the eggs that they see. Just bc some aren't good quality and it is hard to get them all. So at this rate we are looking at a possible 6 eggs before being fertilized. This genetic testing may or may not be happening. We will just see how things progress. I have another ultrasound on Wednesday so hopefully we will know more then.

My biggest concern is making sure Dave is there for the retrieval day. Since we won't know the day until 2 days before it makes life very difficult with work and covering his doctors. Please say some prayers that it is any day BUT Monday the 19th. He is so busy that day. Of course that will be when it happens :) We will figure it out though. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers and pray that these eggs continue to grow and multiply and we get a healthy baby at the end of this! XOXO

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

McLaughlin Ski Trip 2018

We are back from our week long Ski trip and it was a wonderful week! We had so much fun skiing and the girls did amazing. Honestly they were champs all around. They traveled really well on both the plane and in the car. Poor Blakely did get car sick on the way to Steamboat the last 20 minutes of the 3 hour car ride but she told me and threw up in a bag and no one even knew what was happening.

The condo we stayed at was perfect! It was 4 bedrooms, 2 of which were upstairs and had a little living room in between so that is where us 4 stayed. It was great because when the girls woke up before everyone else they could sit and watch tv till everyone else woke up. The view of the slopes was so gorgeous as well as being able to walk out your door and ski down the mountain was the best part of all.

The first day of skiing, Delainey went to ski school and I skied with Bill & Marcia. The weather was warm and sunny and was my favorite ski day of the week. Blakely stayed with Emily since she couldn't ski since she is pregnant. (It was lovely having some child care :)

The second day, we went into Downtown steamboat and did some shopping and had lunch and then David flew in that afternoon.

Thursday we all went skiing and Delainey was off on her own and she did great! She was taking on some blues by herself which I just started doing the last time I went skiing :) That night we all went out dinner at the Ore House and the food was excellent!

Friday we put both girls in Ski school and went skiing with just the adults. Delainey was off on the mountain with her instructor and class and Blakely did a private lesson on the bunny hill where she got to practice skiing without the harness on. She loved it!

Saturday was our last ski day. We all except Blakley went out skiing in the morning and then that afternoon we scooped Blakely and ran 2 more runs. We went out to dinner that night with Emily & Will to celebrate our 11 year wedding anniversary. They surprised us and paid for our whole meal which was so sweet and unexpected.

Then Sunday we spent the entire day traveling home. Which is never fun losing 2 hours. It was a long day to say the least! We survived though and back on our East coast schedule. Until next time Steamboat! :)

PS. I am off to the FIRM tomorrow for my first ultrasound and to get the ok to start shots tomorrow so I will do an infertility friday update and let you know how it goes! XOXO