Friday, November 9, 2012

Fast Forward

           A year ago I was broken, dry and empty. My hopes for embryo adoption shattered by an early miscarriage, I was deeply sad. During those first few months, I felt like all I could do was rest in the shadow of my heavenly Father's wings. I cried a lot and clung to God's promise to complete a good work in me. We really didn't know if we would ever adopt embryos again, but I felt like God's words to us would not return void.  
          Today, I am 20 weeks, 3 days pregnant with our precious son and daughter! At a very unexpected time in April, we got a phone call from our clinic in California asking if we were interested in an embryo profile. To make a long story short, we prayed about it and it felt right, even though the timing was so crazy! July 10th we were in California for the transfer. Everything has gone well and both babies are growing and healthy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Since my last post, things haven't been exactly peachy. My blood test results continued to show my beta hCG levels dropping to zero. For our own need of certainty before pulling the plug by ceasing hormone treatment, I had an ultrasound on Monday to see if either embryo was still in my uterus. For a brief and scary moment, the ultrasound technician though that she saw an embryo growing on my ovary. After consulting the Radiologist, it was determined to be just a cyst. I stopped taking hormone injections and am still waiting for the inevitable flow to start.
As usual, I did some research on the internet about ectopic pregnancies and found that there is a higher occurrence following FET because the embryos are put into the uterus in an upward direction and can by their momentum move up the fallopian tube. 98% of ectopics are tubal pregnancies, attaching to the inside of the fallopian tube. 2% are ovarian or abdominal pregnancies, attaching to an ovary or somewhere inside the abdomen. These pregnancies are considered to be not viable because they often cause internal bleeding when the baby grows big enough to burst the fallopian tube causing internal bleeding which is often fatal to the mother. In rare cases, a mother has risked all odds and delivered a healthy baby by cesarean section; women like this will forever be my heroes! Medical science does not consider this to be heroic, but foolish. I am inspired women who are convicted that a baby is worth risking all for!
Time is slowly healing my heartache. We are praying for direction on what God has for us next. We still have hope. God has blessed us with the beautiful family that we already have and so far we all still have room in our hearts for more. We will see where that leads. Thank you for all your prayers, we have surely felt them!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pain Chronicles

For the record, I was blissfully pregnant for 2 weeks. We loved and talked to our babies every day. We prayed for them and blessed them, our kids frequently kissed and talked to my tummy.
Tomorrow morning I will call the clinic for my blood test results, maybe for the last time. Mondays blood test indicated that the embryos have stopped growing. Today's blood test is most likely going to confirm that outcome.
Half of me wants to believe that a radical miracle will take place in my body, the other half of me wants to assume the fetal position and try to recover from the crushing pain.
I know that the hardest part is ahead of me and I lack the strength to walk it out. I trust that God will not leave me; His grace is sufficient for even this.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Due Date

Now that I'm actually pregnant, I have a great responsibility to grow these babies well! I have been on prenatal Vitamins and Folic Acid for 6 months already to make sure my body has the nutrients it will need for the job. Steve and I enjoy an evening walk a couple times a week and I keep flexible with a yoga type stretching routine.
Lately I have found that I really enjoy porridge with dates and walnuts in it for breakfast. I have switched to herbal teas and an occasional decaf coffee. I can't get enough cranberry juice and occasionally drink it out of a wine glass!
My pre-pregnant weight was 137lbs. I won't post before and after pictures, that would just be embarrassing! I may post the odd belly picture when I actually have a cute baby bump!
I'll be 5 weeks pregnant tomorrow which gives me a due date of July 1st.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Breaking News

I know all you want to hear about is the results of the test, but first I'm going to tell you about my week! It was an emotional roller coaster as I assessed signs and symptoms wondering what they meant! I felt really tired all the time and my swollen and sore mammary glands were indicators that the tests would be positive. I was also experiencing frequent abdominal cramping which was making me fairly nervous, and several times I thought for sure I would start spotting at any minute. The emotional roller coaster was the hardest. I thought the situation out from every angle, trying to be positive, but not wanting to be too confident in case the letdown was severe.
As a non patient person, I couldn't wait for a blood test, I had to pee on a stick! Monday, single pink line: negative. Tuesday, faintest little barely there, hint of a second line: does it count? Wednesday, same phantom line.....
Wednesday I went to see my Doctor to get a requisition for the BhCG tests. He made it out for twice a week for as long as I want so I can observe the increase of the hCG hormones as the pregnancy progresses. The appointment wasn't over until noon so I missed the lab by 12 minutes. I went in first thing Thursday morning for the blood test; knowing I wouldn't get the result till later that day or the next. I don't like waiting! Another pee test, two pink lines! Yes, there were definitely two!
This morning I got the results of the blood test; beta hCG count 7.5; anything over 5 is positive!
So there you have it, whoohoo!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Waiting Game

It is so nice to be home with our family! The kids are so excited; they talk to my belly all the time!
The 28th of October is the day I am supposed to have a blood pregnancy test to find out for sure if the babies are growing. It will be interesting because I can't get in with my Dr. to get a requisition for a beta hCG, so I will have to take whoever I can get; always a little unnerving. Not to mention the results of the test!
Just because I feel like I have to do something to improve my chances of pregnancy, I have been reading books and magazines on the subject, as if it will help. I have noticed that my bladder needs to be emptied regularly or risk embarrassment! My breasts are growing and tender again and I have had the painful stretching sensations in my abdomen that seems to indicate that my uterus is growing. We are hopeful and praying for the babies to grow healthy and strong. Nothing to do now except wait.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Babies on Board!

Yesterday our appointment went well. We arrived at the clinic at 3:15. I had a few papers to sign and then we waited. When it was our turn to go in, Steve and I went through the door, down a long hallway to a treatment room at the end. There was a chair for Steve, a treatment bed and gown for me, an ultrasound machine and a tiny window to the lab where our embryos would be passed through.
The nurse gave us the aftercare instructions; basically to keep taking the hormone injections until the pregnancy test and then if it is positive, to keep taking them for a few months. I am also to be on bed rest for 2 days, no baths for a week, no sex until preg test and no pushing, pulling or heavy lifting. Dr. Kumar came by to meet us while we waited for the Embryologist.
Next, the Embryologist came in with pictures of the Embryos. They are 5 day Embryos (as opposed to 3 day; which are also commonly transferred) which means that they are more developed and have a higher rate of attachment to the uterine wall. She showed us in the photos how one of the Embryos was just exactly how they would like to see it. She described it as 100%. The other one she said was only 50% and explained how the cells were not responding as well. She suggested though the one didn't appear to be strong, we still had one Embryo that showed promise. I looked at Steve, then told the Embryologist that we would be transferring both Embryos to my womb, because they would both have every chance of life that we could give them. She changed the 1 to a 2 on our paperwork, and I signed it, initialling the spot that said there was a chance of twins!
Steve and I prayed for our Embryos again. We prayed that both Embryos would thrive, but that above all, God's will would be done. As I lay there waiting for the Doctor to come in for the transfer, I reflected back on the process that had gotten us to this point. I thought about the Legal Adoption papers that had gotten lost in the mail then found at the last minute. I remembered that my ultrasounds almost didn't take place and I had to travel so far to get them. I thought about my medication stuck at the border and how I was told that customs would not clear it for me and yet they did! I thought about my last week at home, trying desperately to track down my blood test results so we could go ahead with the transfer and how they were elusive  even till 9:30 pm on Friday night before we were scheduled to fly! I considered all of these things and they greatly increased my faith for our second little Embryo that was showing weak signs of life. Maybe I needed all those trials along the way to remind me that my God is AWESOME and nothing is to big or to small for Him!
When Dr. Kumar came in for the transfer, he explained the steps of the procedure to us. The nurse used the abdominal ultrasound so we could all see when was happening. The Dr. rinsed the cervix and cleared away the mucous plug to access the uterus. Then when he was ready, he had the Embryologist pass the Embryos in though the little window from the lab. The Embryos were in a long syringe which he passed up into my uterus. When he had it in the top portion of my uterus, he placed the Embryos in my womb. The syringe was passed back to the lab to be sure that neither of the embryos were retained and when the Embryologist said "clear" the transfer was complete!
Dr. Kumar gave Steve an ultrasound picture of the Embryos in my womb, though you can only see the carrier fluid that they are in. I was instructed to remain completely relaxed, which wasn't a problem because they had given me Valium earlier. They tucked me in with a nice warm blanket and we waited there for 20 minutes. Then the nurse cam back to take me to the bathroom, which was a relief because my bladder was incredibly full! Dr. Kumar came and told us that he was extremely happy with the way everything had gone. He said that the rules for my next few weeks are; No mental or emotional stress, no physical stress, no decreases in caloric intake/no dieting. I got wheelchair treatment all the way out and Steve bought the car around to the front door. I slept all the way back to Altadena. We stopped at The Cheesecake Factory and bought a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake to make sure that I had enough calories for the day!