Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Feeling good and ready for babies!

Hi everyone!
I am so sorry I have not kept up on my promise of keeping everyone posted daily about our stay in Missouri and our IVF. We have, needless to say, been sick, busy, and very tired.

I can just say that I have had the time of my life with Logan!  Even though we have been miserable 90% of the time due to nausea, diarrhea/constipation, crampings..etc.  We have laughed louder and cried harder then ever.  Having her to share this experience with was ordained..I have been truly blessed.  This, along with all the new friends that we have met here, makes this whole trip a reward for a lifetime.

Our husbands got here a few days ago...the first day was a little unnerved.  We had to pack up our shared room and move to 2 separate rooms.  Our energy level was very low so it was so hard on us to pack and gather all our stuff.  This hotel has been the worst stay I have stayed anywhere, although their staff is rather patient and accommodating..that's hard to trump some things that have happened.  Early Sunday someone decided to get high across the hall from us.  Assuming their bathroom vent didn't work like ours, it just poured out into the hall and into our room.  An hour later the cops were still doing searches.  Its beyond crazy here...somewhat comical but kinda hard to handle when our top orders were not to be stressed out.

On Sunday night I took my HCG trigger shot, which basically breaks my eggs of their stalks in the follicles and lets them float freely inside.  36 hours later we would have them retrieved...that was this morning at 8am.  We were hoping for 25 eggs, then assuming that 50% of them will be mature that would give us around 14 to work with.  I did very well in surgery, the last thing I remember was sitting on the table and feeling the medicine enter my body..I said, "oh, I feel that!  Let me think of something funny to say before I pass out :) "  Then that was it...lol  I woke up in a recovery area and Chad was there.  I was pretty crampy but got a prescription to help ease the discomfort.

Before I went into surgery I was getting my iv in when I could hear Logan in the other room.  She was the patient before me and I was so excited to see how many eggs that they retrieved from her.  She was so sweet and a lil loopy :)  She was extra talkative and charmed all the staff by spreading her love around :)
We were so happy to hear she had 40 eggs!!  I knew she would be hard to beat but I am proud to say we did our best and have 31 eggs ourselves.  For being over the age of 35 I thought that it was such a good number for us and actually higher then I anticipated. 

I praise God for all He is doing.  He has been so close and intimate with me.  A few nights ago He gave me a new spiritual gift..its beyond all I could have ever asked for.  He is so generous and fulfilling for me.  It truly was a miracle.  He has such a gentleman's way of loving on you and coming so quickly to your aid.  He rushed in our room on Saturday night like 10,000 soldiers and poured out on us so abundantly.  Thank you Lord for always displaying your hope to me and for leading me so personally!

Tomorrow I will find out how many of our eggs are mature and how many we can fertilize.  Friday morning will be our transfer of 2 embryos assuming everything goes well..  Thank you for all the prayers that are being said, we love you all and pray that the Lord blesses you for your kindness!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

K-LOVE - Jason Castro "You Are" LIVE

Hope this song blesses you!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sent from a friend...

I received this email from a friend today and wanted to share.  It blessed my heart and I hope it blesses yours.

I know I have to share this with you.
Amy, this was a devotional that I read yesterday and I thought of you and all the gals you're with during this time. Just the encouragement that you've given to people (even those who can not really relate to infertility) would be worth the trip to Saloam even though we know perfectly well that God could do it without IVF. You'll understand what I mean by that after you read this. I've been encouraged and wanted to share this with you.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Faith: Doing Exactly What Jesus Says to Do
by Jon Walker, author, Costly Grace

“Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” John 9:7–8 (NIV)
"Jesus uses your desperation to push you toward your purpose."

Then Jesus said, “Go . . . wash in the pool of Siloam” (John 9:7 NIV).

At first, the blind man may have hesitated, confused about how going to Siloam would give him sight. He may have been wondering, “Why would Jesus make me do this when he could have simply healed me back there?”

But his desperation pushed him toward the Pool of Siloam, just as Jesus uses your desperation to push you toward your purpose.

The blind man may have heard the laughter and ridicule as people watched him stumble toward the pool: “Look at that fool with the mud on his face.” “Even we can’t see with mud in our eyes!” “Are you crazy enough to think you’ll really be healed?”

But the blind man could not be shamed from doing whatever it took to be healed. Jesus told him what to do, and if that meant washing his face in the Pool of Siloam, then that’s what he’d do, no matter what anyone else said.

Siloam means “sent”—Jesus sent and the man went, and once he’d washed his face, the man could see!

Faith means doing exactly what Jesus says to do. When Jesus finished rubbing mud into the blind man’s eyes, he didn’t say, “Now quickly wipe away the mud.” He didn’t say, “Go to the nearest well for water and then wash your face.” He said. “Go to Siloam.”

When Jesus tells us what to do, we need to pay close attention to the details. Otherwise, we may act according to our assumptions -- according to what the Jesus we imagine in our minds might tell us to do. You want to follow the real Jesus, who not only knows what he is doing, but also has your best interest at heart.

Grapefruit ovaries

Today's Dr appt went great!  Doc checked me out and was able to see that my follicles were growing rapidly.  The ultrasound showed that my ovaries are about the size of grapefruit!  Each time we are monitored our follicles are measured and they grow about 1-2mm a day.  On my right side I had 10 follies with the sizes of 11mm, 10, 12, 10, 13, 11, 10, 11, 10, and 10.  On the left side I had 7 follies at 11, 10, 10, 10, 11, 10, and 10mm.  When they reach the size of 17, they will give me a hcg trigger shot which will release the egg to freely float inside the follicle, as of now it has sort of a stem that it is being developed on.  After the trigger we will have the egg retrieval 36 hrs later.  We are thinking maybe Sunday will be our day.
I will know for sure on Friday when we will have the surgery. Since I started seeing my doctor at the end of September, I have gained 14 lbs...I am currently averaging 1lb  a day in gain...hopefully I wont care soon anyway.

After our appt, we came back to the hotel to rest for the day.  When we got here we noticed that the bathroom floor was covered in water.  We contemplated on where in the world it could have came from and soon realized that it was leaking out of the ceiling fan above us.  Everything was soaked!  Our hair dryers, makeup, and personal items were all drenched.  We called the office and found out that the TOILET from the room above had overflowed and flooded their room.  Can anyone say Ew....

They moped it up and gladly accepted Logan's request of getting our week free of stay.  They so badly want to please us do to the potential connection they have with our Dr and how he refers patience to stay there for a discounted rate.  We were instantly emotional because of the episode and also our hormones being out of whack! It sucked to finally have a day of rest and have to pick every item out of my bag and spray it down with sanitizer. Just when I sat to recoop, I noticed my butt was soaked as well...I jumped from the bed and saw that my bed was wet.  The fire alarm above my bed had served as an exit for my upstairs neighbors toilet water to escape.  Ugh!!  I was beyond words, I couldn't even speak with fear I would say something like..."Grrrrrr!"  I felt like a crazy animal who was on vicoden, inside I wanted to eat the manager but on the outside I was a spacey zombie like Hoosier girl with wet bloomers!  The manager switched out my mattress and brought new bedding.  Later he came back with a $50 gift card to a nice restaurant in town.  It took me a little while to wipe the foam from my whiny mouth but finally realized that this poor man had been very fair and sweet.  I felt much better when I gave him a hug and told him that I appreciated his kindness. 
The rest of the night we have been laying around doing nothing. It feels good to not have anything expected of you.  The meds we take keep us feeling sick so this helps to just chill out for awhile. 

Prayer requests:
Ilana and Chad...both are sick and miss me
Tanner to know I love him
Faith n Fertility girls who are struggling
Our doctor and staff
To rebuke fear and doubt
For all 17 girls who are doing ivf this month to be blessed
For us to feel better

Thank you!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pow wow at the nail salon...

Last night was restless, not much sleep has been had since we arrived.  Logan sometimes calls our hotel the "Roach motel" so we tend to sleep with one eye open.  Our room has a slightly weird smell that almost sticks to the walls.  Our own clutter also makes it seem even more putrid but as you hang out here, the more you just start to become one with the filth  :)

We woke this morning to run over to Dr S's office to pick up last minute meds that we had to reorder.  As of now I have taken over 1300 pills and 21 injections in my belly.  The shots are getting a little harder, as I'm running out of room.  Each shot needs to be taken a inch away from your belly button and the prick holes are very noticeable.  My belly is tender and bruised but I suppose battle scars are always good to have :) We heard from a friend of Faith N Fertility today via facebook.  She had an ultrasound today at 11:30, so we picked up our meds around the time she would be there hoping to bump into her.  As soon as we walked in we caught glimpses of each other from across the room, we have never met face to face but we instantly knew who each other was.  After hugs and smiles, we greeted each other with much love.  Its priceless to know and speak with other women who know how you feel and what you are going through.

We brought the Dr some rich chocolate cupcake balls for a snack and called them "Hoosier Balls,"  he thought they were great and chatted about his "Indy girls." We then headed to some relaxation time at the Fashion Nails & Spa.  Our FnF friend let us know that they had great pedicures for $20.  We thought this would be great time to do something for ourselves.  We pulled in the parking space and soon met up with another FnF friend who joined us at the spa to introduce herself.  After exchanging hugs and instant connections, we went on to sit in the massage chairs & put our feet in the water.  The oriental business was fairly quiet and reserved but after the 3 of us hooping & hollering about our upcoming adventure, the whole place turned into a zoo.  The 2 girls in the chair next to Logan became instant friends who exchanged numbers before they left...the technician, Tina, was our little side kick for the visit.  We met up with the owner of the spa who gave us a 15% discount on our services and offered to work out a deal for all FnF friends that we sent his way.  It was a neat experience which resulted in many new friends.

We did some random shopping and headed back to the hotel to eat chili with our hotel neighbors.  I got a call from Ilana tonight who was not feeling so well.  She misses me terribly and has also caught a cold.  Her scratchy little voice told me that tonight her "head was heavy," which means that she is so sad she cant hold her head up...poor sweetie.  I spoke truth into her telling her how very much I loved and missed her and how special she is to me..she was still sulky til I told her I was sending her some gifts in the mail.  I love buying for her as she is so overjoyed with things like silly straws and bubbles :)

We ate dinner and came back to our room exhausted.  Our neighbors are super sweet and great company but I don't think we have stopped running since we got here.  It hit us very heavy tonight.  I have an ultrasound and lab work done first thing tomorrow then back to bed for me.  After talking with my family tonight and being sad, I became drained. I need a day to rest. Ivf is so stressful and with the drugs, the running, and the absence of my family, I am really feeling it tonight.  I am praying for the Lord to draw nearer to me...He has brought me here for a reason and I want to spend lots of time with Him, listening and obeying.  I'm reconnecting closer to Him tonight for without Him I cant do anything.  I'm so thankful He is so willing to minister to me.

I'm praying for all of you as well...I know the Lord will bless you for the way you love me and my family!

I'll post ultrasound results tomorrow,
Love from Missouri,

Monday, February 14, 2011

4 lbs and a bunch of follies

We arrived in St Louis yesterday afternoon after a 5 hr drive straight here.  On the road we made great time regardless of the large pop from Mcdonalds that exploded in our laps driving down HW69... I apparently put it in a broken cup holder that pierced the side of the cup and stayed intact til I was dying of thirst and picked it up.  Before I could take one sip we had managed to pass it back and forth until we clumsily threw it out the window onto the interstate.  I protest against littering but this was an emergency!  Needless to say I sucked it up and drove all the way to Missouri with a litter of Coca Cola in between my legs and drowning my purse, cell phone, and ipod :)  Ohhh Memories!

We checked into our previously scoped out room...good ol #110 but then soon saw that 110 stunk.  Literally!  It was a mess...dirty room, carpet, bathroom, ants, cigarette burns in the blankets, Logan about cried :)  ...I reminded her that little kids lay in dirty conditions all over the world but we still decided to humbly ask to see another room.  We are now settled in a bit better room, for our rates we cant complain too much.  It feels somewhat like home with Logan's candles and all our goods from Indiana.  We brought enough food to make some meals, blankies that smell like home, and a dvd player to rent movies.  We don't however have our strapping handsome husbands on Valentines Day like so many other women...starting to really miss Chad and the kids.

This morning we woke up for an early appt with Dr Simckes at 8am, we were very rushed as we didn't sleep well and was rushing ourselves doing injections and hair.  Its nice going to the clinic and seeing the other girls there.  In the last 2 visits we have met 6 of the other couples who are going through ivf this month.  There are a total of 17 families this month.  One couple is occupying the room next to us, Laura and her husband.  He is a pastor and they have made friends with us, we hope to have dinner with them tomorrow.

Being with Faith N Fertility (our support group on facebook) has allowed me to hook up with other past, present, and future patients of Dr Simckes.  Friday a group of 7 of us from the group are eating pizza and sharing stories during a planned girls night.  I cant help but think that God is purposely putting into my life these people, without this ivf escapade I would of never been introduced to them.  It amazes me how intricate God designs every relationship in my life.

Today's appt went very well, because Chad and Dave are absent, Logan & I sat in on each others appts.  Logan was first with great results and nice follicles.  My ultrasound was good also, showing around 25 maturing follicles with the largest being around 10mm.  On the 8th I traveled here for an ultrasound and saw a large follie of 13mm which has since dissolved.  I was so grateful, seeing as it was ahead of the "gang" we most likely would of had to drain it but as of now he has left the building and we are all in sync once again.

Doc talked today about the effects of laughing and joy on your spirit, and how "clowning around" can affect ivf and everything else in your life.  I think that's why I love him so much.  As I looked at him across the room and listened to his stories...he just blows my mind.  Everytime I go in there I want so badly to have his "time", every doctor I have ever seen rushes to move to the next patient and makes me feel like I am not suitable for conversation.  Just today he spent an hour with Logan and I, not talking ivf and babies but sharing with us... We have became friends.  He truly cares and only because its not hard for him. We are not some burden with a bank account or a statistic in his agenda, we are here for his care and he takes it seriously but cant help but be personable and makes us laugh.  He understands that a person needs communication and empathy, he also sees that ivf is emotional and none of us would be here by choice but because of pain we all gather to the point.  With him as the guide, underneath the leading of God, I will trust him.  I don't intentionally advertise for him but it comes naturally when someone has treated you above the rest.  I seriously think he is just that way with everyone.  Reguardless today when he left the room, my heart was happy, my draw was dropped from the relationship he is building with me, and most importantly I felt strong with hope.  He gives big hugs and leaves me feeling like he cares about me having a baby as much as Chad & I.

Doc used the words "perfect" today when he talked about the way things look.  I agree...I feel good!  I am having some strong ovulation cramps throughout the day..mostly in the evening.  I whine a little but think its a good indicator that the gonal-f is maturing my follicles and preparing me for motherhood.  I gained 4 lbs since the 8th, answers the questions as to why I felt kinda bloated lately.  Other then that I am so good, I have a thick peace all over me...as if there is no other place I should be.  As much as I miss home and my family, I know that I am here to retrieve my children and bring them home.  Notice I said "them" we are praying for twins. Why not...right!

Things I learned today:
Dr Simckes loves Anthony Hamilton music :)
2 girls living in a hotel room quickly turns into somewhat that resembles a pig sty
Logan loves to shop!!!
I suck at shopping :)
Valentines Day is more then flowers
Metformin meds help you with constipation
Fancy coffee makes are well worth the money

Thanks for following me on my journey.  This is such a big time in our lives...please pray for our cycle but also for my Chad, Tanner, and Ilana, they really miss mommy.

Joshua 1:9 was given to me before I left by a sweet friend...Be Strong! Dont be frightened! Dont be dismayed! God is with you WHEREVER you go!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Something about His name.

As I was putting Ilana to bed a few nights ago, she was inquisitive as always.  Asking questions at bedtime is a way for her to obtain tons of knowledge and also buy her some time before lights out.  She always tends to say, "Mommy, can we talk?" and then its 101 questions.  So this night, I of course had no reason to not hangout and said, "sure, we can talk.  What would you like to talk about?"  Recently I have talked to Ilana about the power of Jesus' name, and how whenever she is scared or lonely all she has to do is same His name and something powerful happens.  I love her childlike heart and how she fully believes this to be true and it reminds me how often I don't believe so sincerely. 

As we were wrapping up our chat for the night, I turned off the lights and slowly headed downstairs.  She tends to stop me on the first, second, and third step out the door.  As I ventured out, I heard her say, "Jesus" out loud.  She expected me to say it back as I could hear in her anticipated tone.  I replied, "Jesus" and then I heard her little giggle fill her room.  She yells again as I'm walking down the stairs..."there's just something about His name isn't there?"  I could picture the smile on her face as she spoke.  I said, "yes sweetie, there sure is!" 

What a great way to tuck her in...she picked right up on the truth that we as adults have forgotten or failed to believe fully.  I hope that I can start living my life in a way that no fear can reside in me because a simple word, "Jesus" is attached to my every fiber.

Tucking you all in tonight...Hugs, kisses, and "Jesus" to you!

Josh Wilson - Before The Morning

Remembering today that everything that comes my way is "Father Filtered"