Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"An Angel in the book of life wrote down my baby's birth. And whispered as she closed the book "too beautiful for earth."

Hello all! I just though I would send out an update! Thank you all for the sweet messages of concern and prayer. Please keep them coming as they are very needed these next few weeks especially! 

I started my Lupron shots on the 26th and other than the actual medicine stinging like crazy and a few crying spells, and an allergic reaction on my arms, I haven't noticed any side effects (lol, I love to be complicated).  I will do my best to explain what the meds do since I have people ask me constantly. Lupron in a nutshell causes a "flare effect". The flare effect of Lupron can be used at the beginning of a fresh IVF cycle to help stimulate the development and maturation of eggs. Lupron is given for a few days and then injectable fertility medications are started.  It essentially acts by suppressing the pituitary gland (the gland which is normally responsible for triggering ovulation). However, before suppression occurs, Lupron will briefly stimulate the pituitary causing an increase in the pituitary hormones LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone).

Two days later I started Gonal F injections. Gonal FSH increases the number of growing follicles and stimulates their development. Within the follicles are the developing eggs. FSH also increases the production of oestrogen, and under the influence of this hormone, the largest follicle continues to develop. This medicine is used to stimulate the development of follicles and eggs in women who are having difficulties getting pregnant due to problems with ovulation. 

So the side effects of both of these are:

  • Pain, bruising and inflammation at the injection site in men and women.
  • Headache in women.
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Mild to moderate over-stimulation of the ovaries (ovarian hyper stimulation), causing the production of many eggs.
  • Disturbances of the gut, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and bloating in women.
  • Breast enlargement, weight gain, acne and swelling of the veins in the scrotum in men.
I am experiencing every one of them except the scrotal swelling which if Steven doesn't play his cards right...he may experience! (lololol! crack myself up again).

I have this entire week off which is a God send because I am going to need a lot of sleep I do believe. 

Please pray for me this week. As if the hormones are not atrocious enough, this would have been my week to deliver nugget #1! November 6 would have been my first babies due date (at least by my calculations) and anybody that has ever had a miscarriage knows, a mommy never forgets that date. I cannot dwell on the past, however I do feel like that baby deserves some remembrance and I won't ever stop thinking about it! It was my only "first child"! Hopefully I'll be adding a sister or brother to the mix here shortly! 

Enough about that (sniff, sniff)...I go back to the doctor to see my new babies again this Friday. At that point they will assess how the medicines are working and at what stage the eggs are in order to plan their retrieval. November 10 is the tentative date for removing those bad boys. They will put me to sleep and use a very large needle to poke through my uterus and into my ovaries and get each individual egg out of it's nest! How cool is that?! Then we will put them together with Steven contribution to the process, and wait..... 

Somewhere around November 13-15 they will take the good embryos and implant the two best ones back in and WAIT...

All of this is assuming they have enough eggs to harvest and that they survive this process. I am praying and believing that I will produce more than enough and that they will be exceptionally gorgeous! (ha)
At this point, if they are ugly PLEASE DON'T TELL ME! I will dress them cute anyway.

Many prayers needed for my health, sanity and marriage over the next month please! 

Here is a sweet reminder of my first angel that I won't ever forget! 
XOXO sweet fetus!

                       Nothing will ever out do this I don't believe! 

Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. ~Douglas MacArthur

Well,  I am 35 and fabulous! I wanted to update you all on our progress in this "journey" that kind of resembles hell a lot of the time! I was started on birth control pills two weeks ago. The purpose is to regulate my cycle, to a tee! We don't want any early ovulation so they time this in order to get my body to participate. After many years off of any birth control, one would think that this wouldn't be such a big deal, BUT...I'm going crazy! I was never able to tolerate bc pills because of the side effects, and this time is no different. I have been hungry but can't eat, nauseous, anxious and hormonal as I can possibly be. I totally feel, well...pregnant. So my schedule looks something like this...

Yeah, I kinda want to shoot myself! I have to consult this because I have no idea where I am supposed to be or when, and on what meds. I finish the bc in another week and we move on to the big dogs.  I just realized  what a big commitment we have made. IVF is making significant demands on my time, energy and emotions. This seems like a small price to pay, and I'm sure it will be but it much harder than I ever thought it would be. During this time, I'm making trips to back and forth to the fertility clinic, taking pills, receiving injections, and being monitored for possible problems as well as signs that the treatment is working. And emotions are running very high. This pretty much sums us up right now.

As a result of taking responsibility for the emotional impact of the infertility, the woman experiences intense feelings, such as pain, anger, fear, etc., which, combined with the messages that her way of dealing with things is in some way dysfunctional or "crazy", causes her to feel an anxious depression. As feelings spill out, she feels out of control and doesn't really know how to ask for what she needs, especially from the husband she is struggling so hard to protect. She may yearn for an emotional connection/interaction at one moment and in the next withdraw emotionally from her husband when she fears she has disappointed him.

Men find themselves in a position where, regardless of how well they've been trained to solve problems, they are helpless to make this situation better for the woman and, as a result, may give off messages that she is "too" emotional or sensitive, hoping that this will calm her down. The wife hears this as criticism of her coping and care taking skills rather than as an expression of her husband's fears. 

We have no idea how to relate to one another. There isn't much he can say to make me feel better and quell the anxiety, and I'm done trying to talk about it. 
This sums me up!
So thirty-five is hard. Not because I feel old (but for the record I do feel my age creeping up on me), but lets face it...I make a pretty fabulous middle ager. LOL. Really because I my expectations have been blown to hell and back. Thirty five holds so many implications in the fertility world that one can't help but feel like your getting set up on the firing line, execution style. I am trying to keep encouraging myself so In my ventures to do so, I'll share them with you. I still don't understand why we have to go through this, I probably never will. But I do have hope!

Trust, it's not something that is easily done. Sometimes it means letting go of what you believe, what you feel is rational, and putting it in Gods control. It means letting things leave your control, and having hope that God comes through.

Of course, there are easier times to have trust. It seems a lot easier to trust God after winning a million dollars, or getting a new job, or having something good happen to you... but it seems so much harder to trust Him when things aren't going right.

Sometimes we find ourselves acting like Sarah. We know that God has promised to take care of us, but looking at the situation we almost doubt that He is able. Like Sarah, when we hear that good news is coming, we find ourselves sarcastically laughing. (Genesis 18:12-14)

I've always wondered what Sarah thought of that laugh after she knew she was pregnant. I've always wondered how foolish she felt, for doubting God. I sometimes feel what Sarah must have felt!

Because no matter how chaotic things appear to be, or how much we are struggling, God is right there with us. And while we may not always be able to depend on our jobs, or our banks, or even our government, we can always depend on God. Because God not only keeps His word, just as He did with Sarah and Abraham, but nothing can stop God from keeping His word. (Job 42:2)

Today, what struggles do you face? What challenges are in your life? And most importantly, where are you putting your hope? (Romans 5:2-5) My situation is difficult and very public! Most people are not as open about their problems as I have been. But the truth remains the same. The only constant in any bad situation is God. He is the only thing I have. The only comfort and the only way. 

Be encouraged today. No matter what life throws at you, He does care and He is listening. I know that he has good plans for the Elliott's! I have no idea what they are, and that's the hard part. All that I can say is I'm still "ALL IN"! 

I will update as new developments arise. If you see me on the news or on J Ruben Longs website, just ignore me! Just sayin.