Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beta Day...

When the phone rang last night, it was a much different experience than when CCRM called us about Cooper.

We weren’t waiting by the phone patiently. We didn’t even expect the call to come until possibly the next day, but we had our phone with us.... just in case.

We went to a family swim with Cooper. Since I can’t go in the water, I sat on the ledge and watched my two boys splash about. Afterwards we went tobogganing on some small hill. And then we went to Boston Pizza for dinner.

We were in the middle of dinner at Boston Pizza when the call came in.

Dave’s cell phone rang and both our hearts leaped out of our chest as we saw the call display was from CCRM.

Dave answered, but they asked to speak with me. I told Dave no, for him to take the call. So he got back on the phone and said my wife would rather you give me the news. I’m not sure what exactly I was avoiding. Either we were or we weren’t. But for some reason, I felt overcome with emotion and didn’t want to know.

And then I heard Dave’s voice.....

We were pregnant.

Our beta came back at a whopping 193!

We are pregnant.

We are really pregnant.

After years and years of not getting pregnant and then finally getting a miracle at CCRM – I’m almost stunned to think that it could happen again.

I was overcome with happiness. And then suddenly, overcome with sadness. The one person in the world, the only person I wanted to call was my mom. I remember calling her immediately after we got the news about Cooper. And now, she wasn’t here. The feelings that rose up inside me were almost too much to bear. Not having my mom to share in this joy felt wrong, and lonely. And the thought that my mom will never know one of my children crushed me in pieces.

You see, up until now I have sort of been emotionally shut down from this IVF cycle. I haven’t intentionally shut myself down, but in many ways I’ve managed to stay detached. It was almost as if this wasn’t really happening to me, like I was just checking in on a friends progress from time to time to see how they were making out and if the cycle worked or not. I felt excited, the way I might for a really good friend, waiting and wondering whether they will get pregnant. But I also feel like I could shrug it off, the way I might if this was happening to a friend and not me. “Not pregnant? Oh, too bad. What do you think we should have for dinner?” I felt like I hadn’t really given myself permission to really think about these embryos. To picture them as my little babies, that I’ll one day be holding in my arms. I didn’t want to get emotionally detached, only to have the test say no. And even worse, somewhere deep down, I wasn’t sure I really had faith in miracles anymore. I wasn’t sure that I really believed that with hope, all things are possible. Because deep down, I felt if those things were true, my mom would still be here today. I would have done anything in the world for my mom to survive her cancer. Anything. I prayed harder than I ever prayed, even than for a child. Yet, she is not here. And so part of me felt like, there was no point hoping or praying for a miracle, because they simply did not exist.

Yet, here we were. Given another miracle.

After of of the longest darkest road of our life, Cooper miraculously came to us, and blessed us with becoming a family.

And now, after losing my mom, the hardest loss I can ever imagine knowing, our two embryo’s have miraculously implanted inside me, blessing us with a the hope of new life.

Our test came back positive.

They are REAL.

And it’s clear to me. That this baby (or babies) needs me to open my heart up to the beauty of miracles once again. To the magic of joy, and love, and yes.... hope.

We are blessed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Transfer Day

Our embryos are finally home… where they belong.

After blood work this morning we took a walk in the hills above the CCRM office. We did a bit of shopping, had lunch, did our scentless, soapless showers and relaxed before the transfer.

Here I am meditating in my Think Positive embryo shirt – the same one I wore before our last (successful!) transfer with Cooper.


We’re excited and all ready to hopefully expand our family.


I was nervous in the transfer room but we played our hypnosis scripts and visualized our embryos surviving the thaw and ready to come home.


On the wall in front of me was a birch tree painting which reminded me instantly of my mom. I felt her presence in the room and knew that she would be with me during the transfer.


I held Dave’s hand and in the other I held this rock – the same “good luck rock” we had since we were trying with Cooper. My mom and dad held on to it the last time for us and today we brought it with us for good luck.


Our embryologist John Stevens (the miracle worker, and the same embryologist we had with Cooper) wheeled in our embryos in their fancy high tech mobile home, dimmed the lights and we got started.

I’m happy to report that both embryos survived the thaw without any damage, wear or tear. We were so relieved!

Dr. Gustofson transferred 2 embryos (one 4AA and one 4BA). The 4BA embryo which was frozen on day 6 two and a half months ago started expanding a bit upon being thawed, the other one (which was frozen on day 5) was also very healthy but didn’t expand in the dish this morning after it was thawed which is perfectly fine as well.


The transfer was a little hairy at first until Dr. Gustafson did a couple practice transfers to navigate my tricky cervix, but the embryos were loaded in with no problem in the end. Here we are moments after the transfer. We rested at CCRM for an hour, they wheeled me in a wheelchair down to the car and got me laying flat, and now home (at the hotel) on 48 hours bed rest.


And the moment you’ve all been waiting for – our 2 perfect embryos!!

The one on the left is the advanced expanded blast and the one on the right is the advanced blast (that looks just like Cooper!)


I can hardly believe it –

We are PUPO with twins!!
(Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

And, we're here!

I can’t believe we’re here.

We’re really finally here!

After a whirlwind week of wondering if this cycle would even go ahead – we have arrived in Denver and are all set for our embryo transfer in the morning. Even though I have a sore throat and stuffy nose, nothing should be compromised.

We ended up having to leave Cooper and nana at home (which wasn’t part of the plan) and come just the two of us. This will mark the first time that we’ve ever been away from Cooper for more than a night. And we’ll be gone for 4 nights to be exact. Arriving today and leaving Monday – after 48 hours of bed-rest. I was so sad to leave him for that long, but we know it's for a good reason, and we know him and nana will have their own little great adventure together while we are gone. Even so, I already miss him like crazy!

So after a long travel day, tonight we are cozied up in our hotel room together, drinking herbal tea, eating snacks, missing our little guy, and thinking about what will happen tomorrow. Will our embryo’s survive the thaw? Will they be worse for wear? Will we have a smooth successful transfer? Will our two little embryo’s snuggle up tight and get ready to implant? It’s anyone’s guess.

All we can do is think positive and hope for the best.

And see it in our dreams.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Life's Hiccups

I went to London today for my bloodwork and ultrasound today and my results looked great!

Estradiol 429.8 (they like it over 300)
LH 9.4 (they like it under 15)
Progesterone 0.46 (they like it under 1.0)
Uterus Lining was 9.7 (They like it over 8)

So we were given the green light to go ahead and book our airfare to fly out on Wednesday!


In the meantime, we took Cooper to Emergency for a fever (and cough) that had lasted 6 days. And the results came back that he has tonsillitis. His throat is red and covered in white spots and his ears are inflamed and sore. No wonder he’s been so sick! So it’s a good thing we took him. The bad news is that she started him is that he may not be able to fly with us and Wednesday. The doctor said it will take 7-10 days for it to clear, even though we should start to see improvement within 3. But she does not recommend we fly with him if he has a fever, sore ears because of cabin pressure, and simple because he could catch other things from the airplane because his resistance is low. Nana and Cooper were planning to come with us, as being away from him for 5 days was not in the cards. But if they have to stay home, at least nana will be with him (and grandpa for the first little bit too). So for now we have put the brakes on purchasing his airfare until Tuesday to see how he is feeling.

Hiccup number two is that for the past 24 hours I’ve been feeling sick (Sore throat). Since tonsillitis and strep is contagious, I had them take a swab of my throat too, to see if I have it. I have already had my tonsils out so that is the good news! But since my throat is very sore, it could either be the beginnings of a cold (not great to have a viral infection, but still doable) or it could be the a bacterial infection like strep, in which case I may have to cancel my frozen embryo transfer. We have to wait to speak with our nurse on Monday to see what she thinks, and my results won’t come back until Tuesday. I know I can’t take antibiotics to clear it while going through an FET. And I certainly don’t want my body to be fighting off a bacterial infection when we transfer our embryo’s, because I want my body healthy and in the best shape to accept our embryos.

So for now, I drink tea, try to get some rest, give Cooper his medication and WAIT...

It’s all out of my control, so all I can do is sit back, try to stay calm, and wait to see what happens. And try to remember to breathe, stop trying to control, and surrender.

Whatever will be will be.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And we're off! (For the very last time)

Today marks the day of our last IVF cycle, ever.

Well hopefully.

There is still a 10% chance this cycle could get cancelled, but more on that later.

AF arrived two days late, that little minx, I'm sure just to give me one last laugh. But arrived she finally has, and our FET has been scheduled for Jan. 20th.

I started my patches today (thank god no Lupron injections this time). I opted out of the Lupron suppression for this FET, since it doesn't affect the success rates. The month long Lupron injections is really only to guarantee that I don't ovulate before they start me on progesterone. But by going with my natural cycle, I'm usually fairly accurate, so there is only really a 10% chance of this happening. If I ovulate early, we'll know at my suppression check, and will have to cancel the cycle and start the FET process over another month. But I'm fairly confident that won't happen. HA! Confident, yeah right. But I just didn't want to deal with needles and medication over the Christmas season and New Years. I spent so many of my years doing this, and now that I finally have a child that I can enjoy the season with, there was no way I was taking away ANY of the joy. No way in hell. I wanted to relish every single moment with my family and enjoy the miracle of the moment. So after a wonderful, medication and needle-free holiday season, I'm now ready to take on this FET. It's a brand new year and anything is possible -- hello 2012, we're ready!

My new yearly calendar has quotes on it. And the month of January reads: "If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but ot dream more. To dream all the time. -- Marcel Proust."

I like that quote. And it's very fitting, as I plop an estrogen patch on my big, much too dimpled, butt -- and hope for the best. I can't believe how much time has passed since the beginning of our fertility journey. How much has changed. How much we have gained and how much we have lost. I'm 36 years old, married, with the same great husband and dog, a gorgeous 2 year old son, a supportive father, mother-in-law and father-in-law, living back in Ontario, and minus my mom and best friend.

Life is for the living, my grandma always said. So we are living as best we can -- one day at a time -- and hoping to create another 'life' and miracle that will add to our life in so many new and wonderful ways. In this great big circle of life.

We don't know what will happen, but that's the thing about life... we never do.

All we can do is open our hearts to as much joy and love as possible.

And never, ever, give up hope.