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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Update on polyp problem...

I had a friend text me today that my uterus is mean and I just had to laugh cause it totally is dang these polyps!

So I had an emotional break down today and I'm a little embarrassed to even write what happened but I'm going to be totally candid.

I got a call from Dr. Conway's surgery scheduler and she told me the cost estimate that they bill to insurance ($1799 for doctor and facility fee and $600-$1000 anesthesia fee) and gave me the CPT and ICD-10 codes so I could call my insurance and see if it'd be cheaper to do it in Utah or at the hospital here. Called the insurance and they told me it's almost always cheaper to do in office than hospital because of facility fees at hospitals is like double charging you. So Dr. Conway's office it is!

Also after talking with Neal we decided financially it just makes more sense to wait to do the procedure until January since our deductible starts over again then. It's only 3 week wait or so. So I called Dr. Conway's surgery scheduler back and left a message telling her that we would like to wait until January with our deductible starting over and to do it in Utah. I also asked if this would push back the transfer. Which I assumed it would.

I then called the PA at Dr. Conway's office and told her that we would like to do the procedure in January since our deductible starts over then and asked if it would push the transfer back. She said we would need to push back the transfer and that this is the last time they'd let us move the transfer since the scheduling is so tricky and stuff. I got upset and told her it's just due to needing this procedure done and it's not like we are going to flake out. (I was teary and emotional) She told me not to take it that way and that they just have some patients that try and move things around a lot. I told her we can travel to Utah for the transfer, she said we'd have to unless we wanted to wait until April. I told her that's fine and she told me to call back once I have the procedure scheduled so she can start working on a new transfer schedule.

I feel embarrassed and emotional at how I handled things but also upset that she didn't realize how hard this is on me. It's not like I want to have polyps or want to put off my transfer. We also didn't ever move the transfer before hand and we're only doing it this time because of the polyps and financials. I mean to pay $1200 this month for a procedure and then have to pay that all over again next year towards a deductible seems silly.

I realize she probably has not been in the infertility field long ( I believe she was just trained this year to do the scheduling and in April when they did my first saline ultrasound she was being trained to do that then too.) So she is probably stressed with what's on her plate and doesn't really realize how hard it is emotionally on patients. And honestly I've only seen them a handful of times so they don't really know my personality and that I'm organized and on top of things and would never just move a transfer to be more convenient for me and thus inconveniencing them.  Nor does she probably realize the infertility struggles I've had.... (although it's in my HUGE file). I get it it's hard to remember every single patient you see and their whole history but come on you chose to work in a highly emotional field just tread with care and try to be a little more compassionate and understanding. Plus as Neal said "we are paying them a lot of money, and want the best results, so who cares if it's tricky to schedule, we need to push it back."  Love my sweet supportive, knows what to say to make me feel better, better half.

So yes I'm embarrassed and actually put of calling her back today so I wouldn't break down again and had a more level head and wasn't so sassy. I will apologize tomorrow for overreacting when I call her back telling her I have the procedure scheduled.

When the surgery scheduler called back she was super understanding and nice and had spoke with Dr. Conway who said that would be fine to do procedure in January and do the transfer down in Utah in February. I scheduled the procedure for Friday January 6 @ 11 AM. The scheduler told me she would let the PA know and that I should be receiving a new schedule for my transfer soon.


I'm ok with waiting to do the transfer in February. It will probably work out better then anyways. We will be moved into our new house and settled down and no shots for the holidays to worry about.

God is good, and I have to remember His timing and plans are better than anything I could ever plan for myself.

IVF #2 --Egg Retrieval

So we knew we would be moving the summer of 2015 back to Idaho Falls and so we decided to do another egg retrieval in hopes of getting enough embryos to freeze so we wouldn't have to drive back to Spokane to do a retrieval. (there is way more monitoring in retrievals sometimes you're going in daily to check follicle size, etc.) We had paid for 3 tries meaning up to 3 retrievals and 3 transfers or until a live birth was achieved within an 18 month period. So we were ready to move forward to stimulating my ovaries and getting those eggs out. Hoping for more than 3 like the previous cycle. Which we were down to only 2 frozen embryos since the one we transferred ended in miscarriage. 

Here are the meds we used in this cycle (the same as the first egg retrieval cycle with an addition of a couple):

Follistim: this medication contains follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and is used to help stimulate healthy ovaries to produce eggs. This medication is usually used in combination with another hormone (hCG) to bring about the growth and release of a mature egg (ovulation)
Microdose HCG:   or low dose HCG is used for ovarian stimulation during IVF it helps,the smaller follies to grow...sort of tricks them into thinking it is trigger time.
Ganirelix: Sex hormone suppressor: It can prevent premature ovulation in women undergoing infertility treatment.
Lupron: new twist on the antagonist ovarian stimulation protocol for IVF called the "Lupron trigger protocol" or GnRH agonist trigger protocol has recently been used by some fertility specialists to completely eliminate the development of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. (OHSS):
Doxycycline; Antibiotics It can treat and prevent infections
Cabergoline: It can lower high levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood. 
Heparin: blood thinner to prevent clots


STIMULATION PHASE 2015:
5/17  Last day of birth control
5/18  Labs indicate ovaries are suppressed
5/20-5/24 Period
5/21  Labs and u/s
5/22-5/24 Follistim 150 iu, Low HCG 10 units (both are shots in abdomen)
5/22 Neal to take doxycycline
5/25 Labs and u/s
5/25-5/27 Follistim 100 iu, Low HCG 10 units
5/27 Labs and u/s
5/27-5/28 Follistim 100 iu, Low HCG 10 units, Ganirelix (all 3 shots in abdomen)
5/29 Labs and u/s
5/29-5/30  Follistim 100iu, Low HCG 20 units, Ganirelix
5/31 Labs and u/s No Follistim, NO Low HCG, Ganirelix,  Lupron Trigger shot 80 units @ 11:30PM, Have intercourse with condom
6/1 Labs   Lupron Trigger shot 80 units at 11:30 AM

6/2 RETRIEVAL DAY -- Neal dropped off semen sample in morning -- 22 Eggs retrieved 21 eggs mature and placed in petri dish with Neal's sperm (which looks similar to image below)
 
6/3 Day 1- 16 of the 21 Eggs fertilized
6/5 Day 3- 14 eggs still growing
6/7 Day 5- 10 Frozen embryos 4 others still growing
6/8 Day 6 - 2 more embryos frozen
TOTAL FROZEN: 12



My estrogen was too high and I overstimulated (OHSS) so again we did a freeze all to transfer later. 

Now that's just a little run down but now some extra details. As you can see it's busy and every single day you have to remember your meds or are travelling to the doctor for labs and u/s. It's a bit stressful and you're hoping your body responds like it should.

The stimulation drugs are all shots given in your tummy and My Hubster really is the greatest, he squeezes that pooch of mine and sticks it right in like a pro. So on some days I was doing 3 shots a day in my abdomen. It was sore, it was bruised, and I felt like a pin cushion. As I started getting more follicles and they were getting bigger I felt bloated, and looked like I was pregnant and was a quite a bit miserable.

This is an image of what an ovary looks like when it's ready for retrieval x 2 ovaries



On Retrieval Day you don't wear anything with a scent, so deodorant, etc. is out. They took me back and I put on my gown and hair net and socks and they hooked up my IV. They had me walk into the sterilized room, get up on the bed and then they push the anesthesia juice into the IV and I was out.




6/2 Day of transfer Dr. Robins gave me some type of IV after the transfer I think it was creatine (don't remember the name specifically I had just come out of anesthesia) in addition to lots of fluids to help with the hyperstimulation. He said one of my ovaries was hiding so he wasn't able to drain it all and that would cause even more hyperstimulation. I was so miserable and bloated and hurt. I threw up after my transfer and a couple times at home. My sweet parents came up to help us with Grayson and they were a saving grace. Don't know what I would've done without them. Heart bursts with gratitude for them. 
6/3 Hard time breathing again sharp shooting pains up my shoulders and my whole back, laid in bed all day trying not to throw up, nauseated, bloated, had heating packs on my abdomen and back to help the pain. Tylenol wouldn't even touch the pain. 
6/4 Still super sick, hurting every where, so bloated my stomach won't even indent when pushed on, pretty sure I was gaining weight extremely fast which they told me to watch for with overstimulation. Called nurse, she said to come in next day to do a paracentisis to drain the fluid to help relieve pressure. Also started me on Heparin shots to prevent blood clots and cabergoline to help reduce hormone levels. 
6/5 Neal and I went to the clinic early that morning and I had 1200 units of fluid drained by paracentisis. I remember them pumping it out of me and it hurt worse than I expected but probably in part because I had just had needles all over my ovaries and uterus.  It took longer than expected and Neal had to go to work so my dad came to their office and picked me up and sat with me. I felt a tiny and I mean tiny bit better after being drained of fluid. I had gained 30 pounds in less than a week from this over stimulation.
6/8 Was told to continue cabergoline for one more week and heparin for additional 4 weeks and that once I started my period I would begin to feel much better.
6/13-6/17 Period

I looked 5 months pregnant and still felt bloated for at least a month. Looked bloated even longer Wore PJS and big shirts to feel more comfortable and not put pressure on abdomen. It was awful and hellish and I hate thinking about it. I PROMISED MYSELF I WILL NEVER DO ANOTHER RETRIEVAL AGAIN! (I can say that now since we have 11 embryos still frozen) Thank goodness for those little embabies.

Next up FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) #2 

Monday, December 5, 2016

H2O (Saline) ultrasound...



Had my water ultrasound today to see if there are any polyps or other abnormalities in my endometrium for our upcoming transfer in January. They do this to make sure there isn't anything that could prevent implanting of the embryo.





They found at least 3 new polyps (they told me they are like little skin tags). Which is just crazy to me. The first polyp I ever had was before the last transfer and they scrapped it out. So I'm glad they had me do this ultrasound and I'm glad we did it earlier in the month so there is still time to get them scrapped out before transfer in January.

I asked if I could do anything to prevent polyps or what causes them, they told me they just grow-- sometimes it's hormones (which I've been loaded with) but there is really no way to prevent them. 

I'm not going to lie I was a little shocked, I had this blog post draft written last night that all was well and we were a go to move forward....but tis not so. 

So now we have to schedule this surgery in the next 2 weeks to remove the polyps and we may possibly have to drive to Utah to have it done in Dr. Conway's main office. Otherwise we will be doing it in the hospital with Dr. Denson. Either way more money then we were expecting to spend. 

So I'm waiting for the surgery scheduler to call me and let me know what is our cheaper option and if Utah is cheaper Neal is in Butte, MT until Thursday working so I'm hoping they could squeeze us in Friday. 

Also got a call from the specialty pharmacy Stroehecker's for our medications for the cycle. Just for the Progesterone and estradiol shots is $417...but money is just that if I get a baby out of this I don't care what it costs!

I can't believe it's already time to prep for this transfer. I'm kind of in denial and feeling a mixture of emotions. Anxiety, dread of another possible loss and dread the sore bum from shots, guilt of the financial cost, hope this is the one that sticks for good, faith that this is all in God's perfect and capable hands. Loved this quote I read on Instagram today.

Praying for peace of mind and strength to move forward with faith and hope.

And our house is almost done being built! We will probably be moving in right around the same time as the transfer (if transfer doesn't get delayed... or our house). So lots of exciting things coming up.

If you're looking for a good Christmas present or white elephant gift we'd love you too purchase one of our coloring books to help us pay for costs of IVF. The Fiddlesticks one is kind of my favorite haha!
I'm working on the story of our egg retrieval #2 and transfer #2 blog posts so stay tuned. Much love to all who are reading along and following our journey. We appreciate all your love and support more than you even know. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

IVF #1- Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

So we started prepping for a FET in December of 2014 for the transfer in January.

frozen embryo transfer (FET) is a cycle in which the frozen embryos from a previous fresh IVF or donor egg cycle are thawed and then transferred back into the woman's uterus.


I was on birth control from 11/14-12/29 they do that so they can regulate your body and make sure the timing of the uterus and lining is ideal for a frozen embaby to implant.

My fertility clinic also started me on lupron (to suppress my ovaries) which is still funny to me because I don't ovulate.

Started Lupron on Christmas day Merry Christmas to me with a shot in the tummy pooch! 

Here was my schedule/protocol

12/25/14- 01/07/15 Lupron 10 units
01/01/15- 01/07/15 Period
01/07 Labs and u/s
01/08-01/11 Estrace 1 mg 7AM/ 7 PM, baby aspirin, Lupron 5 units
01/12-01/15 Estrace 2 mg 7AM/ 7 PM, baby aspirin, Lupron 5 units
01/16-01/20 Estrace 2 mg 7AM/2PM/7 PM, baby aspirin, Lupron 5 units
01/21 Labs and u/s
01/21-01/25 Progesterone in oil 1ml/cc (shot in bum), doxycycline 100 mg 2xday, Medrol 16 mg, Estrace 2 mg 7AM/ 7 PM, baby aspirin, STOP lupron
01/26/15 TRANSFER DAY ---- 1 EMBRYO
About 2 hours before your transfer they have you drink 36 oz of water and you are supposed to hold it until after the transfer. They do this so your bladder is full and they can more easily see where they are placing (squirting) the embryo.  

 Having a full bladder is super uncomfortable and I swear I was going to pee my pants or dribble on the doctor but luckily after they checked my bladder they let me release some before the transfer because it was so full. Again a day of no scents, no lotion, deodorant, etc. 

I put on my gown, hairnet, socks and walk into the sterilized room, climb up on the table, stirrup up and the nurse puts the u/s on your full bladder the whole time so the doctor can see where he's placing the embryo. #uncomfortable The doctor, cleans your cervix and preps it and sticks the catheter in until you see it in the uterus, the embryologist shows you your embryo on screen and it's so tiny, like the size of a pin head tiny, zooms in and you can see the cells in it---it's amazing. He sucks the little frosty up in the straw brings it into the doctor (all while you're bum is a breezing in the air) #embarassing 

The doctor sticks the straw in the catheter and then pushes (squirts) it out and you see this little white flash and it's over. They go check the straw to make sure it's empty and say clear when they see it's empty. The whole thing probably only takes 15 -20 minutes and then they just had me walk out, finally release my pee and said no exercise, sex, or overheating  until after first pregnancy test.  They said the embryo will not fall out, it kind of just floats around until it attaches (or not) to the uterine wall. They said they used to have you lay there 20 minutes and then do bed rest for 2 days but that they have seen no extra success in this and that most patients were just more anxious.  Here's a great little read on "Will An Embryo Fall Out after Transfer?"  Of course all doctors have their own protocol and whatnot so it's fine if you do bed rest too.

I was to Continue baby aspirin , Estrace 2mg 7 AM/7PM, Progesterone shot every day until instructed to stop

THE 2 WEEK WAIT (tww) waiting the 10 days until you know if the embaby stuck or not.... tried to stay occupied and not think to much about it. But doesn't work so well. 

01/30 labs Progesterone and estrogen levels look good continue meds
02/04 PREGNANCY labs---HCG level 218 (pregnant!)
02/05 brown spotting
02/06 PREGNANCY labs to confirm pregnancy--- HCG level 723 (levels doubled still pregnant!)
02/11 u/s of baby












02/13- 02/14 brown spotting
02/15 red clots and bleeding (super emotional I was  sure I was miscarrying, we had traveled home to Idaho for the weekend and so I called my nurse LeAnn and she said to come in tomorrow to do an u/s she said it is common to have some spotting with IVF and to just wait and see tomorrow. We rushed, as in drove the 8 hours, back to Spokane for the u/s the next day. My dad and Neal gave me a beautiful priesthood blessing that everything would be fine and I felt so much comfort. )

02/16 labs and u/s --we were able to see baby's heart movement my HCG level now 19,000 and Progesterone level 25. Everything looked good. It eased my anxiety a little.

02/17-02/18 brown spotting
02/19  had more red clots and bleeding 11:45 AM to 7:30PM (lots of tears, anxiety, and feeling that I'm miscarrying again, again nurse said to come in next day to see)
02/20 had labs and u/s saw baby had grown and saw heartbeat (so much love for a little bean already--I thought once I see the heartbeat everything will be fine and continue to develop normally..)

02/21 brown/red spotting
02/23 again more red clots and bleeding  started at 10:15 PM
02/24 lots of clots and bleeding all day (Called nurse again and we decided to wait to do u/s until Friday since there is really nothing to be done either way. Emotional wreck, not sure what to think... Trying to remain hopeful because the last two u/s were good of baby even though I had been bleeding)
02/27 u/s NO heartbeat or blood flow to baby. Baby stopped growing probably 3 days prior (this was hard news and I was alone, Neal had stayed home with Grayson. I asked what next step was and decided I'd like to do a D&C so that I didn't have to wait to pass the baby and we could do another egg retrieval before moving in July...I didn't get emotional until I was in the car, I tried calling Neal to let him know on my way home and my phone was acting up and no calls were going through. I got even more emotional not being able to get a hold of him... the suck in the breath sobs. I was driving through tears and when I pulled in I got to the door and Neal was there and he just looked at me and knew...he hugged me tight and I told him there was no heartbeat and that the baby stopped growing. He held me tighter and felt so bad leaving me to go to work. It was a hard day and even now as I write this the feelings of loss are coming back, the pain has lessened of course but it's still hard to remember. 

3/2 Had the D&C  at Deaconess hospital everything went smoothly(they dilate your cervix and suck or scrape out everything inside your uterus) they put me all the way under and I didn't have any pain afterwards. I was glad we did this rather than waiting to pass on my own, I didn't want to have to see my baby as I passed it and be reminded again of the loss. 

They continued to monitor my HCG levels until they were 2 or lower
3/9 labs HCG level down to 1000 and low iron
3/24 labs HCG level 24
4/21 Labs HCG level 1.6 Started Provera to induce period for next stimulation cycle for egg retrieval
5/4-5/8 Period
5/6 started birth control
5/20-5/24 Period

Up next our 2nd egg retrieval ...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

IVF #1 --- Pre-Testing to Egg Retrieval

In August of 2014, we decided we would go to the doctor to start the In Vitro Fertilization process (IVF). Grayson was now 1 year old and I felt emotionally ready to jump in to "trying for a baby" again.

PRE-TESTING
We met with Dr. Robins and went over our options and we told him we would like to do IVF. So we met with LeAnn our nurse coordinator and also Lora the financial coordinator to get things going. Before we could even begin the process we had to have a bunch of Pre-Testing done to see if there was any other cause for our infertility besides my non existent ovulation with PCOS.


My Tests, etc.:
Baseline U/S
Catheter check
Culture (gonorrhea/chlamydia)
Pap Smear
Hysterscope
Day 3 labs/ AMH
CBC/HIV/Blood Type/Rh Factor
Prolactin/TSH/ Rubella
Infectious Disease
IVF Medication and injection instruction

Neal Tests:
Semen Analysis
HIV
Infectious Disease Testing

So by the beginning of September we had all of these things done, and Neal checked out all good, and my tests all came back good so it was just an anovulation problem. So we were ready to move forward to stimulating my ovaries and getting those eggs out.

Here are the meds we used in this cycle:

Follistim: this medication contains follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and is used to help stimulate healthy ovaries to produce eggs. This medication is usually used in combination with another hormone (hCG) to bring about the growth and release of a mature egg (ovulation)
Microdose HCG:   or low dose HCG is used for ovarian stimulation during IVF it helps,the smaller follies to grow...sort of tricks them into thinking it is trigger time.
Ganirelix: Sex hormone suppressor: It can prevent premature ovulation in women undergoing infertility treatment.
Lupron: new twist on the antagonist ovarian stimulation protocol for IVF called the "Lupron trigger protocol" or GnRH agonist trigger protocol has recently been used by some fertility specialists to completely eliminate the development of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. (OHSS):
Doxycycline; Antibiotics It can treat and prevent infections


STIMULATION PHASE 2014:
10/20  Last day of birth control
10/21 Labs indicate ovaries are suppressed
10/23-10/27 Period
10/24 Labs and u/s
10/24-10/26 Follistim 150 iu, Low HCG 10 units (both are shots in abdomen)
10/27 Labs and u/s
10/27-10/28 Follistim 100 iu, Low HCG 10 units
10/29 Labs and u/s
10/29-10/30 Follistim 100 iu, Low HCG 10 units, Ganirelix (all 3 shots in abdomen)
10/31 Labs and u/s Neal to take Doxycycline
10/31-11/1  Follistim 75iu, Low HCG 20 units, Ganirelix
11/2 Labs and u/s No Follistim, Low HCG 20 units, Ganirelix
11/3 Labs and u/s No Follistim, No Low HCG, No Ganirelix, Lupron Trigger shot 80 units at 1 AM, Have intercousre with condom
11/4 Lupron Trigger shot 80 units at 1 PM and Labs
11/5 RETRIEVAL DAY -- Neal dropped of semen sample in morning -- 9 Eggs retrieved and placed in petri dish with Neal's sperm (which looks similar to image below)
 
11/6 Day 1- 4 of the 9 Eggs fertilized
11/8 Day 3- All 4 eggs still growing
11/10 Day 5- 1 Frozen embryo others still growing
11/11 Day 6 - 2 more embryos frozen



My estrogen was too high and risk of OHSS (hyperstimulation) was too high to do a fresh transfer so we did a Freeze all to do a Frozen Embryo Transfer later.

11/12 -11/17 Period and start birth control 11/14 to get ready for FET in January.

No that's just a little run down but now to the nitty gritty of it all. As you can see it's busy and every single day you have to remember your meds or are travelling to the doctor for labs and u/s. It's a bit stressful and you're hoping your body responds like it should.

The stimulation drugs are all shots given in your tummy and My Hubster really is the greatest, he squeezes that pooch of mine and sticks it right in like a pro. So on some days I was doing 3 shots a day in my abdomen. It was sore, it was bruised, and I felt like a pin cushion. As I started getting more follicles and they were getting bigger I felt bloated, and looked like I was pregnant and was a little miserable.

This is an image of what an ovary looks like when it's ready for retrieval...



On Retrieval Day you don't wear anything with a scent, so deodorant, etc. is out. They took me back and I put on my gown and hair net and socks and they hooked up my IV. They had me walk into the sterilized room, get up on the bed and then they push the anesthesia juice into the IV and I was out. Woke up in recovery room with Neal. They told me the retrieved 9 eggs and that my estrogen was too high  so risk of overstimulation was too high so I wouldn't be doing a fresh transfer on Day 6 like we'd hoped.



I went home and slept and put heat packs on my abdomen ( I mean they literally stick a needle in your ovary and suck out the eggs so of course you're sore) that night I had super sharp shooting pain up my back and into my shoulder. It hurt so bad I couldn't even breathe. I panicked I called the nurse and she said it was probably just an air bubble from the procedure and to take Tylenol.

My bloating went down after I finished my period and within a week I was feeling much better.

Next up is our first FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer)....





Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Adopting our Miracle

I have struggled knowing where to start telling our story. There have been so many different emotions (good and bad) and aspects of our adoption journey. I know I'm weak in writing and hope I can only convey how truly miraculous, how grateful we are and that we know that adoption is apart of Heavenly Father's Plan.

Neal and I knew we wanted kids and started trying to get pregnant after being married six months, little did we know we were headed into two years of heartache and sadness. We both wanted a family so badly, but found that for reasons we didn't know or understand the Lord needed us to wait. We began many medical procedures and infertility treatments. So when we found out in January 2009 that we were expecting we were ecstatic and we knew Heavenly Father had granted us a miracle. 

Then on May 30, 2009 we welcomed our sweet son Jayden into our lives but he came 4 1/2 months early and was just too small to pull through. It was the sweetest yet most bitter time for us.  The hardest thing was to leave the hospital with full hearts and empty arms.  He is still very much a part of our lives and there isn't a day that goes by that we don't think of him.

We continued to have infertility issues since Jayden was born and came to the crossroads of deciding if we wanted to do IVF(In vitro Fertilization) or start the adoption process. I knew emotionally I could not handle another let down or negative pregnancy test and we had always considered adoption as a wonderful option. We have a niece and nephews that were adopted and they are the greatest blessings to our family!

 So after praying we turned it all over to Heavenly Father and started the adoption process. I am one that loves lists and plans and being organized so it was hard to get me to the point that I turned it all over and had no control but oh how grateful I am that we did!

In October of 2012 we started the adoption process. This is a time line of what we had to do in order to be approved as adoptive parents.
10/31/12 First meeting with LDSFS (LDS Family Services) scheduled but caseworker had to cancel due to illness
11/27/12 First meeting with LDSFS
1/30/13 Background Checks completed
2/25/13 Adoption Online Courses completed
3/11/13 Individual Interviews at LDSFS
4/1/13 Home Study
4/1/13 Approval for Adoption
4/4/13 Profile went Live
5/6/13 Birth mom contacted us by email

We were ecstatic when we received her first email. We continued to email back and forth and got to know each other really well. We learned she was pregnant with a baby boy and due end of July. 

Over Memorial Day Weekend we flew out to California to meet her and her family. I was so nervous to meet them, but my fear quickly faded when we embraced in a sweet hug. While we were there Grayson's birth mom and Neal and I went to the San Diego Temple grounds and visited and walked around and took pictures and as we got back to the car, she pulled out a box wrapped in blue wrapping paper with daisy's on it and a sparkly blue ribbon tied around it with our names on it. She said to open it, we lifted the lid and inside was ultrasound pictures of the baby and a bag of skittles shaped in a bow with ribbon that she had written “Congratulations it's A Boy!” on it. We were ecstatic to say the least, we couldn't stop smiling! It is definitely a day we will never forget. 

We visited with her and her family through the weekend and then continued to keep in contact through e-mails and texting. As I visited with Grayson’s birth mom over the course of a few months, I came to know and love an amazing young woman, who is courageous, unselfish and beautiful on the inside and out. We truly admire her and the amazing person she is.

On July 21 We had the opportunity to talk with Grayson's birth father over the phone and learned about him (aka: I drilled him with questions like his favorite things, hobbies, etc. so we could tell Grayson about him). We told him how very grateful we were for him allowing us to be parents to this child. He was very nice and we felt lucky to have had that opportunity.

As we continued to talk with Grayson's birth mom, she told us the doctors had changed her due date from July 31 to August 8 and on July 25 Grayson's birth grandmother called us and told us that his birth mom had been in the hospital with heavy contractions the night before and was dilated to a 2 and that they didn't think she'd go another week. She told us they would call us after her doctors appointment the next morning. So Neal and I decided it would be a good opportunity for us to drive down to California. We left that night and stayed in Idaho Falls that night and waited to hear from them, she told us that she was still having contractions but nothing had changed. We continued on and drove to St. George and stayed with our good friends the Smith's for 2 nights and then headed the rest of the way to California. When we got there Sunday night we let his birth mom know, she invited us to go to her doctors appointment with her the next day. We were thrilled to see her again and be apart of this amazing miracle. We found out from her doctor that she was actually not dilated at all and that the plan would be to induce August 14 if she hadn't gone into labor by then. We were a little shocked to say the least but decided we would stay down there until this little boy decided to arrive.

We were able to meet Grayson's birth mom's family (her two brothers, mom and dad and grandma) for dinner Tuesday night and can we just say how awesome her family is. They welcomed us with open arms and it was like we had never left and we instantly felt a connection. We planned to watch the Bachelorette finale the next Monday together.

We stayed with our good friends the Larson's the next few nights and throughout the next week we went to the beach twice, attended a session in the temple and fasted for Grayson and his birth mom and their family, went to a couple of movies, did lots of shopping, were able to attend our old ward in Fullerton and see old friends and our old primary boys, stayed with our friends the Egbert's two nights. We were getting nervous that Neal might need to fly back to work but decided to wait because they were going to try and see if they could induce her the day after her due date at least so we continued to enjoy spending time together and anxiously waited for our little man to arrive (we told them he's already showing us how stubborn he is going to be by making us all wait)


On Monday August 5 we were making our way back down from Fullerton to San Diego County for the Bachelorette Party and got a call from Grayson's birth grandmother that his birth mom's water broke and was in the hospital but she wasn't dilating so they were giving her medicine to help her dilate and that she was in for a long day and that she would keep us posted. We checked into our hotel and were driving ourselves crazy just waiting for news so we decided to go to a movie. We didn't sleep well that night as we kept wondering how things were going for Grayson and his birth mom. At 6 am the next morning her mom texted us telling us she was dilated to a six. Her mom called us around 10am and told us that at 8:48 am our sweet baby boy came into the world on August 6, 2013.


She asked us to come to the hospital at 1pm and when we got there we went to Grayson's birth mom's room and hugged her and asked how she was doing and talked with her family a little. She wanted to see our reaction to the first time seeing Grayson so they wheeled him in a few minutes after we arrived and he was the most beautiful boy! I started bawling and just couldn't believe she was giving us the most amazing gift we could ever be given. It was love at first sight! He was absolutely perfect and darling!Grayson's placement took place in the hospital later that night and it was such a bittersweet moment. There are so many emotions involved. You are filled with love and joy and such gratitude but at the same time we ached for our sweet birth mom and her family. Being in the hospital brought back a lot of memories from when we were in the hospital with Jayden and having to the leave the hospital without him. I was so glad that she had friends and family there to support her in this decision. Grayson's birth mom was released later that night and after she left I just bawled and ached for her and her family. We had the amazing opportunity to stay in the hospital with Grayson that night and got to bond with our little munchkin. 

We have been so very blessed to be apart of the miracle of adoption. This sweet kid is my world! I know I can speak for Neal as well when I say that he truly make us whole. He is EVERYTHING to us. I am so very grateful for adoption, for our sweet birth mom and her family.


 On February 21, 2014 we finalized the adoption and on February 22, 2014 we were able to be sealed to Grayson for time and all eternity in the Idaho Falls temple. It was one of the best days ever. 




Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dear Jayden...


Through 4 miscarriages (one a set of twins after our 2nd round of IVF) and the loss of Jayden. I just want to add our story to all the others out there to provide hope. I never stop aching for and loving those babes and I think about them often, but I'm holding out for that joy that has come through my Savior Jesus Christ, and the knowledge that I will be with them again in heaven. Sending all my love and a big bear {hug} to all who have suffered loss. 

In honor of Pregnancy and Infant loss Awareness month I just wanted to share with you all a letter we wrote to our son Jayden who was born early and passed away the same day he was born. <3


Jayden,

Your dad and I just wanted you to know that we have a testimony of Jesus Christ, the Gospel, and of eternal families, although this one is written, we hope that as you watch us you will see we have a testimony. We love you so much and are so proud to be your parents. Even though your life was short here on Earth, you have had and will continue to have a huge impact on us. Through this amazing journey of bringing you here, we have learned and grown so much.

We learned patience and to trust in God’s will and timing when we were trying to have children. After 2 years He blessed us with you. We learned more love as we heard your first heartbeat, felt your first kick and got to hold you the first time. We never fully understood the power of prayer until we felt the faith, comfort and sustaining power of the spirit through the prayers of ward members, family and friends. Our faith was strengthened through this experience as you and I had priesthood blessings and we learned to trust in the Lord with all our hearts.

Heavenly Father loves each of us and knows us personally. We have felt Heavenly Father’s love through the service we have received from all of the people who have reached out a loving hand without any hesitation. We know service brings us closer to God and this is how we receive true happiness.

Your dad and I have come to more deeply appreciate our marriage in the temple and the blessing it brings. You have brought us closer together and we have truly come to know that families are eternal and are so grateful for the Plan of Salvation. This is something we had taken for granted up until now. What a wonderful Plan Heavenly Father has for each of us so we can return to Him and if we are faithful we can be together as a family forever.

We know Jesus Christ made all of this possible and because of his infinite sacrifice. His Atonement and Resurrection has taken on a whole new dimension and meaning through this experience. We are eternally grateful for our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ who has brought us this joy of knowing we can be with you again. Jayden, may you know, our greatest blessing was having you!

All our love,
Dad and Mom

If you would like to learn more about what we believe you can check out this link here.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

HCG now and moving forward...

Sorry its been awhile since I had a chance to update. Life has been quite chaotic this last month and just busy. 

I took the last HCG level test on 9/16 and it was a 5 which Dr. Conway said 5 and below they consider zero.

I start Provera tomorrow to get me to have a period and we've decided to wait to do IVF #4 until December/January when Dr. Conway will be doing transfers here in Idaho Falls.

Some of our reasons are: it gives us more time to save up money it's about $5,000 for  the upcoming transfer and then saves us on travelling to Utah and lastly  we can enjoy the holidays without it all hanging over our heads and being anxious that I might miscarry .

We will be in touch with Dr. Conway office end of October beginning of November to get our schedule and start meds for the transfer.

Oh and our frozen little babies made it safe and sound! The embryo grade report Dr. Robins office sent about the grades of them (which we never knew) is 10 of them are grade 5AA and 1 is a 6AA (they say its subjective because it depends on person doing the grading) but that they will regrade them their way when they thaw for the transfer. 

Here's a little info on the grading scale

The grading scale is the Gardner Blastocyst.

There is a number, 1 – 6 to describe the stage and then 2 sets of letters (A,B,C) to describe first the Inner cell mass and second the tophectoderm.


So seems like we have some good little embabies according to the grade but that doesn't mean there aren't genetic issues like this last blighted ovum. I'm just praying the chances of that are slim in our case. 

We did find out  we actually can do genetic testing on the embryos but that would be another $5,000. So for now we are going to hold off. We don't have the money for both a transfer and the testing and I am turning my trust to Heavenly Father and that His will and way be done. But it's good to know it can be done if we choose to do so in the future. 

Can I just say how much I loved the General Women's Broadcast?! Elder Uchtdorf's talk spoke to my soul as he spoke of what faith is and what it isn't. 

He said" “Faith is powerful, and often it does result in miracles. But no matter how much faith we have, there are two things faith cannot do. For one, it cannot violate another person’s agency,” he said. “The second thing faith cannot do is force our will upon God,” President Uchtdorf said. “We cannot force God to comply with our desires—no matter how right we think we are or how sincerely we pray.”He said: “The purpose of faith is not to change God’s will but to empower us to act on God’s will. Faith is trust—trust that God sees what we cannot and that He knows what we do not. Sometimes, trusting our own vision and judgment is not enough.” 


So while we wait for our next transfer I'll be writing the stories of our experience with  IVF #1 and IVF #2 and the amazing adoption of our sweet boy. 

So stay tuned...




Thursday, September 8, 2016

Dr. Conway Appointment

So I met with Dr. Conway who is super sweet and had some ideas on stuff to try this next transfer to hopefully keep the baby in there long term.

Her plan is to have me do baby aspirin along with lovenox or heparin starting day of transfer in case I have a genetic clotting problem that is weird and not picked up on regular tests (since my mom and grandma both had clots while pregnant) ---I've done the most common work ups for recurrent loss and all have been normal.

Then she also suggested I try plaquenil (a medicine used for autoimmune like rheumatoid arthritis) in case I have some antibodies that attack the embryo/placenta.

She said these things are all more of an experiment but it's at least something to try that may help.
She recommended I still only transfer one embryo because of my weak cervix she said if you got pregnant with twins I'd be so scared your whole pregnancy. Plus sometimes if one twin is failing it pulls the other down and you can lose both.

Her PA Stephanie will call me in the next few days to schedule a day where we can coordinate the next FET (frozen embryo transfer) and calendar. Probably looking at 3rd week in November.

The plan is to get one more HCG level drawn next Friday the 16th to make sure its zero. Then wait 2 weeks and on 9/30 start provera to induce a period.

I'm to call their office on day one of period to schedule a saline u/s to make sure the uterine cavity is clear for transfer.

And our embabies are flying to Pleasant Grove RIGHT NOW! Praying they are safe and cozy.

Thanks for all your kind comments and love. Having all this support is more help than you will ever know.

I'll post more as I know.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Passing the BO (Blighted Ovum) and the last 2 weeks...

Sorry I've been MIA the last little while, just been dealing with passing the BO(sounds stinky because it has been) blighted ovum. And also been potty training my 3 year old. 

Please read at your own discretion... ;)

So went to my appointment on Monday the 22nd and did an ultrasound and that sac was still hanging out in there. So Dr. Denson prescribed me cytotec and said I could take it when I wanted to or not and wait it out. He told me to call on Friday and let him know how things were going. 

I came home from my appointment and planned to go out with my favorite boys that night and started cramping and bleeding heavily so we canceled our plans and I took some Tylenol and laid down and stayed close to the bathroom.

The next day was super heavy bleeding and clots and I was getting really light headed, short of breath and dizzy when I'd stand because of how much I was bleeding.

It was a tender mercy to not have to take the cytotec or wait any longer.

Wednesday was a little slower but still happening and I decided since I was stuck at home anyways I'd start potty training our 3 year old. He did awesome!

I'm still spotting and SO tired of it...just be done body...just be done already...ya know.

I had labs drawn Friday Sept 2 and my HCG has dropped to 152 so I definitely passed the sac. Now we wait until levels go to 0 to do another transfer.

I have an appointment with Dr. Conway tomorrow, she's the new IVF doctor here in Idaho Falls. It'll be nice to start new and fresh with a new doctor.

Our 11 little embryos get shipped off to Dr. Conway on Thursday too. So pray for them to have safe travels!

Can I just say how incredibly grateful I am for all the prayers for our family. They have held me together and I've seen God's hand and love throughout all of this. I can actually say emotionally I'm doing good and ready for another FET (it was easier knowing there was no baby and miscarrying then seeing the baby and heartbeat and losing them).

Sending hugs and heartfelt gratitude to all of you! <3 I'll keep you posted on what the plan is next. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

What now?

So I had another u/s and lab Monday and my HCG levels rose to 26,374 and no surprise but still no baby. So now we know there is officially no baby or anything in the sac what's next?

I had a doctors appointment Monday as well and Dr. Denson feels it would be best to try and pass it on my own without a D&C. The sac is so small he feels the risk of D&C and messing with the cervix (especially in my case with incompetent cervix) would be unwise. I told him I just don't want this dragging out for weeks.  I stopped all my meds progesterone and estradiol.

I had another HCG drawn Wednesday and it dropped to 21,000 something. So maybe things are moving along. I had a blood clot and gush of blood Tuesday night but nothing since then and I feel like from my miscarriages in the past it just wasn't enough to be done.

So I have an appointment on Monday to see if anything has passed and if not he'll probably give me cytotec to get things moving. I used cytotec the last time and hated it. I didn't think it was working and did another dose and one of the pills fell out and I thought it might've been one of the babies.  They wanted me to try and collect the products of conception to test for genetic problems so I was just stressed the entire time. Awful!

This time might not be so bad since we already know this was a genetic issue so no need to try and collect anything. Let's hope things happen soon. It's already been almost a week and not much has happened in the passing/ miscarrying department.

So we sit and wait... As you can see waiting is a HUGE part of IVF and infertility. But thank goodness we have this sweet little boy to help us find joy in this difficult journey. He is our world and we love him more than life! 

In the meantime we are getting papers going to get our other 11 frozen embryos transferred to Dr. Conway office here in Idaho Falls.