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 pregnant...by 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

Thursday, January 18, 2018

(IN)FERTILITY FRIDAY - I'M BACK!

Well friends, who thought this day would be upon us so soon!?! I believe I left it back in September that I wasn't sure when we would come back to this bridge, but here we are. It actually all happened very smoothly and easily so I feel good about it. I was completely at peace with taking off for about a year and maybe doing it again this summer. And then in God's usual cleverness, he started giving me signs that made me reconsider it again.
First, My financial lady called from Dave's insurance to let me know how much money I had left for infertility treatments. I was thinking I was out of money unless I went to a "Center of Excellence" which the closest one was in Orlando. That seemed like it was meant to be because Kelli was down there now so I could stay with her during appointments and she could help me out. Well when this lady called, not only did she tell me that it is not true (I thought you only had $10k if it wasn't a center of excellence and $25k if it was) but she also told me that I had only used $2500 of my $25,000 maximum!!!! I didn't understand because each frozen transfer with Brown was $5000 each. So I should have a max of $15,000 left. Well apparently he had a lovely contracted rate with them and each time cost only just over $1000. God bless! I have lots of money left then. Maybe I'll have 5 or 6 kids then! LOL jk I kid I kid!

Then a few days later, I am on Pinterest and a link pops up called How to pray for your miracle baby while waiting. So I clicked on it. It actually had nothing to do with that at all. The main point of the story was about this guy who went to church every day and prayed to God to win the lottery. He did this for months and months and then finally God got so frustrated with him he boomed through the church..."My son if you want to win the lotto then please please please buy a lottery ticket!"
The whole premise was that yes every miracle does come from God, but we need to be active in manifesting our miracles. If you have cancer do you just pray for a miracle to be cured? Or do you go get medicine and treatment? Same idea with infertility!
SO that was my ah-ha moment that maybe I am not supposed to take off a year or 2 and truly hope for a miracle baby without any treatments. So here we are back on the horse!

I switched fertility doctors and met with my new doctor right before Christmas. We devised a plan for us since I am starting all over with no embryos or anything and on December 28th I started the birth control.

So let me go back and tell you why I switched Drs. 100% totally nothing wrong with my previous doctor. I loved him and everything he did. The only downside to him is he is a small 1 man show operation. The problem with being small is he has to have a life outside of being a Dr. so to make his schedule work he has to time everyone to do their IVF and frozen transfers at the same time (within a 2 week window). He works 14 days in a row and then takes some time off. The down side of that for the patient is when you go to do a Frozen transfer he suppresses all your natural hormones and then tricks your body into thinking its ovulation time with the meds. I hated this aspect of it. I always thought why not work with nature and when you ovulate naturally put in the embryo and let your body do most the work instead of the medcations. (I mean literally he would say if you  miss one dose you are miscarrying bc your body is making zero progesterone) So that is the main reason I switched.

I am now at the FIRM where there are 5 doctors and they do IVF and transfers all day every day. When I first met with him and asked for the calendars for each month to see what worked with my schedule he laughed. He said we can do it whenever you want. We could do it in 4 weeks, we could do Feb 14th if you like that day or April 23rd or literally any day you pick! So I conveniently said well I am going on a Ski trip soon so lets do it after that. And that is the plan.

I am currently on my birth control and will stop that on Feb. 3rd. I should get my period a few days after that and my first Ultrasound and start of my cycle is Feb.7th. Since I have no embryos I am going back to the big stuff of multiple shots every day and ultrasounds every 3 days to monitor how my eggs are progressing. When they look like they are ready to be taken out, I will do a quick 15 minute surgery, have them removed, and good old Dave will be there to fertilize them and then we wait. :) The whole thing is about 10-14 days worth of shots and stuff and then its over!

We have decided to do genetic testing this time around to make sure we are putting in embryos that are not abnormal which is almost a guarantee for miscarriage. So if I miscarry the next time I am pregnant, we know it is because something is wrong with me not with the baby. In order to do the genetic testing, they will be frozen and the results come back about 10 days later. So for now we are just removing the eggs and hanging out.

We haven't decided when to do the actual transfer of the embryo (when you actually can become pregnant) yet and to be honest I don't feel too rushed to do it yet. I would love a trip to Europe! (I am trying to talk Dave into that) or maybe one more fun vacation before I do it but who knows. Maybe I will only have 1 or 2 eggs and say lets do it sooner than later in case I have to do the whole shots and egg retrieval again. This old lady is not getting younger and my egg quality and quantity is going down fast so hopefully once they are out and we have a decent number I will feel good to just time it whenever the Lord tells me to do it.  And yes I am know I am not really that old, but I did a blood test that tells you about where your ovarian reserve is and I am a 1.3 which the average 33 year old is a 2.0. Anything under 1 is considered low ovarian reserve so time isn't really on my side. Maybe a good 3-4 years left in these ovaries!

So thats where we stand! I will start back with the regular weekly posts once we get back from our ski trip. We are headed to steamboat the 29th through the 4th which is going to be so much fun!! The entire McLaughlin/Krieg family is going and I can't wait to see how well Delainey picks back up skiing. We may even let Blakely try it out too. She is a nightmare putting on pants and a t-shirt as it is so I don't see her putting on 4 layers of ski clothes, but we will see. I hope you all are having a great start to 2018. I have been doing the Daniel Fast so no new instagram posts or Facebook since January 1st, but I will be back this Sunday so keep an eye out for our trip fun and all that we are doing! And of course I would appreciate the prayers to start flowing for the entire IVF cycle, wisdom on when to do the transfer, and peace and trust that however it turns out is God's plan and we are good with it. Thanks guys! XOXO

Monday, January 8, 2018

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

On Christmas Eve, we went to our candlelight church service in the morning and then to brunch with everyone. That afternoon we went to Grammys to hang out with The Grif's and Richies. We opened presents, had a lovely dinner, and played lots of boardgames before calling it a night. We came home and sprinkled our reindeer food in the grass, set out our milk and cookies and off to bed we went. 







I of course had this great idea to take longer videos so when the girls grow up there will be some actual footage of them opening presents instead of just 20-30 second clips. The only problem with that was I didn't take any pictures only videos of the whole day :( Videos don't do well on the blog so you will just have to imagine what a great Christmas morning we had. The girls opened all their presents and then had to solve a scavenger hunt from Santa to get their big gifts. This year Delainey read and solved it all by herself. She is getting so big! She got a new bike and Blakely got a scooter. So of course we had to test them out in the 40 degree weather. LOL We ate breakfast and watched the movie Leap one of their new DVDs and then we packed up to head to Gammoe's. 
The excitement continued over there as we exchanged gifts with Emmy & Will and Gammoe & Dodaddy. The girls were given a new swing and a zipline so of course we played outside for at the next few hours. Their fun was overshadowed by Emily's gender reveal though and we found out we are going to have a baby BOY cousin coming in June! The first boy grandchild for Gammoe & Dodaddy. We had a nice dinner and then lots of fun in bath time with all of our new stocking stuffers. 
So Christmas 2017 was definitely one for the books. So much so that it is January 7th and the girls still are requesting Christmas movies and songs in the car. Delainey is obsessed with Noel by Lauren Daigle and Blakely is loving Meliz Navibad LOL (Feliz Navidad). We loved our nice long break of sleeping in, having slow mornings, and playing in the cold weather. Dave and I started the Daniel Fast on the 1st and we are doing good and the girls went back to school today. I will be back soon with an update on our plans/goals for 2018 and what we hope to accomplish in this year! XOXO

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Christmas Festivities - Part 3 (Seaworld & ICE)

Delainey's last day of school was the Thursday before Christmas, but we all know those days are a waste of time so we decided to skip it and took an overnight trip to Orlando. The main reason we were going was to stay at the Gaylord Palms and do the ICE thing where there is a whole area that is 9 degrees with carved ice to look at and slide on. We still had passes to get in to Seaworld for free for all of 2017 so we figured why not do something else and its free! Seaworld ended up being the highlight of the trip for us all!!
1. Seaworld's Christmas party is included in your regular admission instead of paying for a separate ticket like Disney does which is $95. (Disney has gotten out of control!)
2. All of Seaworld's Music and shows had a Christian undertone to them. They played actual Christmas Carols, Did an amazing performance of birth of Jesus with real nativity animals, they had much better lights, a ice skating show, a Sesame Street christmas show, and we didn't even get a chance to see the Christmas themed Shamu or Sea Lion show. Everything at Disney is so PC that there is no mention or Jesus or songs that refer to him and they of course have every holiday advertised. The rides are all the same and all they really offer is a different parade and free cookies and hot chocolate. 
3. They had an entire separate Christmas area with carolers, places to meet Santa and his friends, play free games, and all the hot toddys, hot chocolate and alcohol beverages you could imagine. 

Seaworld sold us! We of course will still do Disney and love it during regular times, but for a Christmas themed park we will be attending Seaworld from this point on. 

Crazy lady sat in the splash zone at the Shamu show! 







 We made it back to our hotel around 9:00, checked into our room and called it a night. The next morning we dressed in our ski attire and headed to the ICE exhibit. We were able to stick out the 9 degrees for about 30 minutes which was pretty good considering most people are in and out in 10 minutes. It was cool to look at and the girls did the ice slide. Of course they were more concerned with trying to lick and touch the ice than actually looking at how cool it was that it was all dyed and hand carved haha!







 So after some hot chocolate to warm us up, we changed gears and put on our swim suits to enjoy the pool for a while before heading home. Delainey braved the biggest slide I have ever seen all by herself (the blue one) and Blakely and I swam around in the heated pool trying to not get too cold!

We will definitely be staying at Gaylord Palms again when we have time to just enjoy the pool and hotel itself. You could spend an easy 2 days there and never leave in order to see and do everything. It was a great girls trip and it got us all geared up for Christmas 3 days later! I will share another post with all the Christmas Eve, Christmas Day fun we had!