Monday, April 30, 2012

First Ultrasound - Molly

There is a part of me that feels like I just cried wolf. We just got back from our first ultrasound and I was a nervous wreck going in. In fact, my mother suggested that possibly I get some meds to help "keep me off the ledge". I don't necessarily feel foolish for my actions though, I have experienced a wide range of things with pregnancy. First there was the typical, normal pregnancy until BOOM - I go into labor at 16 weeks. Second pregnancy had 2 wonderful, promising ultrasounds then the bleeding started and when I went to the ER, there was no heartbeat at 9.5 weeks. My last ultrasound for pregnancy resulted in an empty sac floating on the screen and a very nervous nurse and she rushed to get the doctor.

Rightfully so, I was sick going into this ultrasound. I was prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. The faith and prayers of so many felt wasted, because I was unable to be positive myself. I'm used to feeling like the martyr, so I was prepping for it once again.

The moment she placed the probe in, I could see it. I could see the sac and I could see the flutter - a heartbeat. My eyes spilled over with tears.

There is ONE bat in the cave.

top pic - one bat, strong heart beat, bottom pic - possible second bat to the left

The nurse began to search around for a second. You can see a sac, possibly a yolk, but no flutter - no heartbeat. We are not disheartened though, sometimes it takes a few more weeks to see the second or sometimes a few more weeks confirms that it isn't viable. We go back next week for another ultrasound.

WE ARE THRILLED though, beyond belief. This little bat (and maybe the second) is the product of so much faith, hope and incredible charity for ALL OF YOU. We are so grateful for all of the positive energy being sent our way, every prayers counts.

They urged me to continue to take it easy. There was some blood surrounding the sac (not abnormal) but they want me to rest - a lot. So that's what I will do.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Waiting On A Miracle (Monday) - Molly

i really hope it is

Here I go again, crazy time. Maybe it is the impending ultrasounds (TOMORROW), maybe my body is trying to tell me something. Maybe I am overreacting, but I can't stop.

After my scare last weekend, I have been really good about taking "time" during my day to just lay down (and napped I did). Then on Wednesday (6 weeks exactly) I got really excited when the nausea set in. Oh how I loved that feeling! 

Back up. Let me date this out - it really started last Monday, but it was slight. It was Wednesday when my appetite was directly affected. Thursday gave some relief, but only until the evening time (acupuncture helped me out). But as of Friday and Saturday, I feel sort of like myself, I'm barely nauseous and my afternoon naps aren't so dreamy.

Let me also add that I woke up with more bleeding on Thursday morning. I did not call the doctor because it was brown and watery and it seemed more residual of Sunday's bleed and nothing new. No cramps, no pains, but I am still freaked out.
I should have called.

 I feel "not like myself", but I also don't feel like I did earlier this week.

So what do I do? I feel so nervous, so unsure. Why the sudden relief? Is something happening? Did something happen? Is this pregnancy over? Is that why my symptoms are fading? I hate that I have ZERO confidence.

I feel that I am preparing for the worst, and not expecting the best.

 I am not cramping and not bleeding. My chest is slightly tender, just nothing like it was. I am still peeing often, but I am also drinking a lot of water. 

I am just wondering why did I have 3 days of nausea and then - poof! - it's over.

Monday can't come fast enough.

Until then, praying for nausea and fatigue. 
(who does that!) 

and I have got to get off the internet........

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Very Nice Gift - Molly

A few posts back I received an email from a friend regarding my blog. Turns out a good friend of hers has been reading it and has also been down the IVF path. She asked (her friend) if she could send me her extra estrogen patches. So my friend (still following?) emailed me and asked if I could use more estrogen patches. 

Well being a 4 patch girl, I knew I would eventually need more, so I enthusiastically accepted. The patches arrived a few days later. Four boxes full (32 patches).

Now i knew this was a generous gift, but I had no idea until yesterday.

It was time to order more. Being only 6 weeks along, I know I have a few more weeks before the weaning begins. I refilled my prescription and gave them my Benny card for payment. I was a bit curious of the charge, so I asked the final price.

When the customer service rep rattle back to me that it was over $300, I was floored. 

Each patch is OVER $9 a patch! 

$9 a patch! I am wearing $36 dollars of meds on my belly EVERY OTHER DAY!

I then became VERY GRATEFUL for that generous gift I received a while back. 32 patches were GIVEN to me. That is one generous package.

So THANK YOU to that wonderful person (you know who you are).

I will always remember the kindness that was shared with me. I hope I can pay it forward.

one expensive little patch!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Good Things Do Happen to Good People - Molly

I am a big fan of Guiliana Rancic (if you didn't already know) and her willingness to be SO public about her struggle with infertility. This week they announced that through the help of a gestational carrier, she will have her sweet baby late summer/early fall. What a sweet miracle for this amazing couple.

I was pleasantly surprised as well during last night's episode of ABC's Private Practice. Dr. Addison Montgomery, who has also struggled with infertility and IVF failures, also received a baby via adoption.

catch her Tuesdays at 9pm

I have also received other news of fellow unexplained infertility friends (known and not known) about their successes as well. It's so nice to see good people get good news. My heart and prayers go out to those who I know are still battling. Remember, you may have lost the battle, but you will win the war. Stay strong and stay positive.

Can you tell I am still on a lot of estrogen?

In other news, I am 6 weeks today and the nausea has completely set in. What a glorious feeling!!!! Nothing sounds good to me, but once I do eat, I feel better. It is the eating that is the challenge. I will admit to some potato chips and onion dip last night. It was the only thing that peaked my interest!

Mid-afternoon naps are also a favorite of mine (it also helps with the progesterone suppository, I have to lay down). Our ultrasound is on Monday. Jason and I are so excited. Hopefully we will find out if there are ONE or TWO bats in the cave right now. I have had no more additional bleeding, not even old blood.

I have slowed my schedule down and am so grateful for all the help with Penny that has been offered. She is thrilled to have play dates and I am thrilled to not have those puppy eyes looking at me every hour of every day.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Small Scare - Molly

I had a small scare this weekend.

Sunday morning started out as it always does. I got up, showered, made some crock-pot goodness for the church potluck, drove to Haylee's to get my shot (Jason was out of town), changed my sheets, fed Penny - typical Sunday morning.

Nurse Joe giving me my PIO shot

As I was putting my dress on, I felt it. Gush. A small gush, but gush. I looked down to see a quarter sized spot of bright, red blood. 

I freaked.

I got a bit hysterical.

I knew this situation all too well.

Then there was a few more gushes (small ones).

I immediately called the doctor. The nurse was kind and began to reassure me that this was probably normal. She asked if I had been overactive this weekend; exercise, gardening etc. I sheepishly said yes.

Breakdown of my week:

Monday: Laundry and headed up to the mountains with Penny for a few days.
Tuesday: Walks with the dogs, slutty brownies and Chinese takeout.
Wednesday: Blood work, walks with dogs (in the mountains), took Penny to the lake, started on some baby blankets.
Thursday: Four hour playdate with Penny and friends at the Open Space and spent the day finishing my baby blankets.
Friday: Back to the Open Space for another 3 hour playdate, laundry, cleaned up guestroom (changing sheets etc).
Saturday: Up early, traveled to a Field Trial, was on my feet all day, took Penny to park, cleaned the house (cleaning the baseboard type of clean).
Sunday: see above

So I guess I was a bit overactive, but it doesn't seem overactive for me. But I was probably a bit dehydrated as well. Another no no. 

The nurse ordered me to get off my feet as soon as possible and to gauge the bleeding. If I continued to bleed, to call back, otherwise to report for blood work early Monday morning. Jason was out of town, so I called a friend to have her husband come over and give me a blessing. They rushed over and performed a blessing that immediately calmed me. Another friend came over to stay with me since I was not allowed to do anything but get up to pee. She brought movies and McFlurries. She also spent the night so that she could give me my shot in the morning. Penny and I were very lucky she came. 

Penny refused to leave my side. I had noticed that morning she was extra clingy. She was really wanting me to just sit down and love on her. I think she knew something was happening and was trying to get me off my feet. Vizslas are not the most protective of breeds, but she did a good job protecting me yesterday.

So I have been in bed since 11am yesterday, besides giving blood this am. The doctor just called and confirmed that my hormone and HCG levels were great. 

I am still pregnant. 

I have learned my lesson though. I need to lighten up. As much as I would like to do more, until we have our ultrasound (next Monday) and we get further along, I have to take it easy, break things up and stay hydrated. 

Jason took an early flight home and has stayed with me today. A good friend came and took Penny on an all day play date (she needs it). I am still in bed and will plan to get back on my feet (lightly) tomorrow. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Off My Ledge - Molly

 Not much new to report. Sorry about that. 

I went in for blood on Wednesday and had a minor panic. I was in debate of whether or not to test my HCG again. I had been in debates since my last HCG blood test. The nurse informed me that since my last two HCG tests had been high (with the second one more than doubling the first), they were only going to continue to monitor my progesterone and estrogen (which are stable and good) over the next few weeks.

As excited as I am that the doctors feel so confident, I am nervous and scared of what the ultrasound will bring. I have had an ultrasound where there is only an empty sac, so I need to be sure that the bat(s) are still in there. I need to know they are growing.

I keep feeling for something.

 Is my chest tender? Tender enough to mean I am pregnant?

 Is this headache a symptom of pregnancy?

Am I nauseous? Or nauseous enough to mean the pregnancy is progressing?

Does this yawn mean I am tired because I am pregnant?

Wow, I am really hungry. Is it because I am pregnant?

I could go on and on. I am just waiting for it to "hit me". I want to barely be able to keep my eyes open. And I want to be hungry. I want food adversions and waves of nausea. 

Call me crazy, but bring it on!

Anyways, back to my appointment. I hesitated when the nurse was poking me. Then I asked if I needed another HCG test. The nurse drew a vial, unwrapped my arm and looked at my chart. "Wow, your HCG numbers were really good. You don't need another test. But if you want one, we will do it." I asked her if she thought it was a good idea. She then began to talk me off my ledge. "If this pregnancy wasn't progressing, you would know", she said. 

It was exactly the same words my acupuncturist said to me on Monday at my appointment. He said the only things I needed to worry about was heavy cramping and lots of blood, otherwise I could relax. Again, he was talking me off my ledge. 

So right there I made a decision. I have to stay off this ledge. I have to have faith and trust that the doctors are doing EVERYTHING they can. 

So this week, today and right now, I am grateful for the wonderful people in my life who have talked me off my ledge. I have the feeling I will be back up there each and every day, week, month until I have my baby(ies) in my arms. 

It's going to be a long 9 months.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Let Me/Us Not Forget - Molly

I have been thinking about this post for the last week. I feel that it is important to address it to remind not only myself, but everyone else out there.

Over the past 4 months, Jason and I have felt so incredibly blessed to have had so many people all over the world say prayers for us, think of us, set intentions and send us positive thoughts/energy.

Now we are at this point. I didn't think it would happen. But it did and we feel so blessed. So incredibly blessed to have had so many people rooting us on and who continue to do so. It has been overwhelming, in such an amazing way.

With all that said, I want to remind myself and all of us to not forget those who are still struggling.

More than anything, I have learned that MANY people are wanting a family. 

And MANY people are fighting the daily struggle of bringing a baby into this world. 

MANY people are still in need of our thoughts, prayers, intentions, good thoughts and energy.

While Jason and I tried to conceive naturally, we were surrounded by people who just could, who didn't really mean to and who possibly didn't really want to. We were also surrounded by people who did struggle with conception. Maybe they didn't struggle as long or had a such a difficult fight, but they struggled. 

What I struggled with was "once they conceived, they forgot what it was like to struggle". 

To me, I felt like they jumped ship and left me behind. And that, was a struggle for me - personally and emotionally. 

Now, I am no longer "in the same boat" as so many of my other wonderful friends who are still struggling with infertility and I hoping that they don't feel that I have left any of them behind.

So I am asking all of you, my family,friends, colleagues and readers - please keep praying for those families that are struggling. You may know them, you may not. But there are SO MANY wonderful, loving couples and families who need our constant prayers, thoughts, intentions, good thoughts and energy.

Let us (those who have struggled) not forget them. Please keep them in our thoughts and prayers. They still need them.

And let us not forget our own struggles - for they have made us who we are.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Now What? - Molly

this is the now what stage I want
And I thought time couldn't move any slower when I was in between retrieval and transfer. 

Holy Cow!

Waiting for my next blood test (this Wednesday) and the first ultrasound (4/30) is torture.
I am still in the "no exercising" phase. UGH! I feel like I have so much time on my hands and I can just feel my arms and legs getting softer by the minute.

I have made myself (husband helped) a nice list of things to accomplish, my house has never been cleaner and my pup Penny is getting A LOT of time outside. 

It's nice to have this time - but now what?

Daily pills (3 x a day), shots (once a day) and suppositories (still 3x a day) keep me busy enough. My booty is getting some firm spots on each side from the injections. Jason has become a pro at my PIO (progesterone in oil) shots every morning. It gets a bit tricky when he is gone traveling, but thankfully I have some good stand-ins.

Acupuncture is now TWICE a week. Ok, so add that to my calendar. 

But really, now I have this feeling of - NOW WHAT?

We wait. 

(I have become really good at this.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Update - Molly

I went in for more blood today. My poor veins. They tested my HCG, estrogen and progesterone. I received the call around 130pm that my HCG levels had increased by 66%. My hormone levels are great, so they will keep my shots, pills and patches the same for now.

I just received an email from the Head IVF Nurse at CCRM. I think I will save this one.

Dear Molly O Reynolds, Congratulations on your 2nd HCG increasing more than 66%.You're Pregnant! If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to give your nurses a call.
Next up - more blood on Wednesday for hormone check and an ultrasound on 4/30.


Now I'm off to acupuncture.

Have a great weekend!

(i know we are)

"Normal"..... Haylee

Hi everyone!  Sorry I have been MIA as of late, but Miss Molly has had all the excitement going on!  Not a lot has changed on our front.  Still enjoying just being me and taking each day one at a time. 

It is kind of weird, this is the first time that my body has been 100% free of any hormones/fertility medication in about 2 years.  And by weird I mean good weird & sad weird because it makes you see the amount of time, however it allows me to see how far we have come.

After our egg retrieval my cycle came fast and furious and quite frankly mean.  It was bad.  I will leave it at that. 

The mean cycle left & I felt so good.  I could be "normal".  For the first time I didn't worry about anything fertility wise.  We just did our thing.  No checking, no planned sexy time, no "oh shit, what time is it did we miss a window"- you get my drift.  So, in all this fun I pretty much also let go of looking at the calendar to see when my next cycle should be coming.

April 1st came and went (I am still in denial it is April)...  then something internal reminded me about this thing we call a cycle.  I counted the days and then started to freak out.  Now, I have never been "normal" in this department, but things were quite a bit more scheduled when I was being tracked by my doctor and nurses.  Low and behold-  I was late (which really, in my case doesn't mean much).  However, my head did start to race.  You know, all the what if's and what not's started filling my mind.  I held off buying MORE pregnancy tests for a couple days.  After that I couldn't deny I needed to be checking and bought a few. 

I tested and it was negative.  I talked to Joe.  I mean wouldn't this be great if we were pregnant, but then what would we do about our cuties in the freezer??  Yes, my head went all kinds of places.  He set my mind at ease and told me not to let my mind get the best of me, to take one day at a time and just be- whatever is meant to happen will happen.  My husband is incredible.....
I moved on feeling comfortable to NOT test for the next 3 days. 

On day 34 I had to test again (I mean come on, can you blame me??) - yep, negative.  I decided to test the morning of day 36 and if it was negative with no cycle I would call CCRM and get a blood test for full confirmation.  At this point I am not going to lie, I was hoping a miracle had happened. 

Alas, day 36 started another "day 1" for me.
Ganesha- the remover of obstacles

Nothing about this is "normal" or easy.  However, I am still grateful. 

Next month though, I tell you this....  I will NOT waste any more money on pregnancy tests.  I will go straight to CCRM and get a blood test!

Much love to you all and a super big congrats & loves to my dear friend Molly.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

And.... - Molly

The results are in. The doctor finally called. 
I was supposed to conference Jason in because he is traveling. I got flustered, my heart was pounding and I totally forgot. 

The test came back positive. I am pregnant. 

 My HCG number was very solid, but there is still more work to be done. 
 Friday, I go in for more blood and they want at least a 66% increase in my HCG levels. 

 My progesterone and estrogen are solid. I will continue with my patches, pills and (gulp) shots. If Friday goes well, they feel confident in my pregnancy and they will only continue to monitor my hormones. I will contact my perinatologist and set up an appointment to be monitored there as well. 

In 2 weeks, I will do my first ultrasound and hopefully they will be able to tell me if ONE or TWO bats are hanging out in the cave. 
We are elated. Beyond belief. I feel more relief than excitement right now. We still have so far to go. But yes, I am over the moon. 

Without all of you, this would not have been possible. The amount of support and love I have been given, especially in the last 48 hours has been tremendous. I am so grateful. This is truly our little miracle and all of you are a part of it. I guess it might be time to start thinking of a new blog title.....any suggestions?

Closing Time - Molly

 This post is labeled Closing Time, because that is the song that is running in my head. Woke up with it there, even though I really didn't sleep much/well.

It's been a long journey. Almost 4 months exactly since I first met with Dr. Schoolcraft and agreed upon IVF. 

4 months. 

Back in December this seemed like it would take forever to be here, but now, I almost wish I could put it off for another week. I wish I could pretend for one more week that "I am pregnant". 

But now it's here and it's hard to feel one way or the other. 
There is the part of me that feels SO positive - "there's no way it didn't work" type of positive.

Then there's the me that is so used to building it up, only to have it all fall down around me.

Yet, this time, I have an audience.

What a wonderful, loving and support audience you have all been. I am still touched by the emails and comments - anonymous or not, that I received. People are so thoughtful, so kind and truly optimistic.

I know that regardless of the outcome, you will all be there as I continue my journey - whichever road it leads us down.

I've been listening to my mix, hoping that one or both babies are chilling in the bat cave.
 (That's how I envision it, them attached to my uterine wall, upside down, like little bats in their cave.)

Even though "our song" has been " I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz, this song has especially touched my heart since the transfer. 

This is more of my "results" song.

Lay It Down - Jaci Velasquez, was recommended to me from a regular in my spin class. Download it if you can.

I've been looking till my eyes are tired of looking
Listening till my ears are numb from listening
Praying till my knees are sore from kneeling
On the bedroom floor

I know that You know that my heart is aching

I'm running out of tears and my will is breaking
I don't think that I can carry the burden of it anymore

All of my hopes and my dreams and my best laid plans

Are slowly slipping through my folded hands

So I'm gonna lay it down, I'm gonna learn to trust You now

What else can I do everything I am depends on You
And if the sun don't come back up, I know Your love will be enough
I'm gonna let it be, I'm gonna let it go, I'm gonna lay it down

I've been walking through this world like I'm barely living

Buried in the doubt of this hole I've been digging
But you're pulling me out and I'm finally breathing
In the open air

This room may be dark but I'm finally seeing

There's a new ray of hope and now I'm believing
That the past is the past and the future?s beginning
To look brighter now

'Cause all of my hopes and my dreams and my best laid plans

Are safe and secure when I place them in Your hands

So I'm gonna lay it down, I'm gonna learn to trust You now

What else can I do everything I am depends on You
And if the sun don't come back up, Your love, Your love will be enough
I'm gonna let it be, I'm gonna let it go, I'm gonna lay it down
I'm gonna lay it down, I'm gonna lay it down

So I leave you now, as I lay it all down in front of the Lord. It is in his Hands, always has been. I just hope I can understand His plan for us. I hope that I can be strong enough to not give up and continue on until I am a mother. 

(sorry, I'm a nervous wreck - trying to be positive, but prepping for the negative)
When I know, you will know.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

5 Happy Years - Molly

Today is our 5th anniversary. 

We were married at noon in Laie, Hawaii.
(and no, Jason is Japanese, not Hawaiian)

After we were married, Jason expressed that he would like to wait 5 years until we had kids.

I laughed.

"You should have married me 4 years ago then." That was my response. 
(should be noted that we dated on and off for 4 years)

Tomorrow (Wednesday) we take our blood test to determine if we ARE or ARE NOT pregnant.

5 years of marriage. No kids. One dog. 

I hope Jason gets his wish.

Happy Anniversary Jason.
I love you.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

human KINDness - Molly

Hi Molly, I managed to stumble across your blog one day while bored at work :). I just wanted to let you know how happy I am that your levels are up and things are looking good for you. I am 14 weeks pregnant with my first and can't imagine what you are going through, I admire so much your courage and strength. I work in the Los Angeles Temple and put your name on the prayer role earlier this week and have had a constant prayer in my heart that things go well for you. I just wanted to send you  a little note to let you know that thoughts and prayers are constantly with you. Even from strangers! Good luck and I will keep in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks so much for your example.
Molly, I've just spent hours reading your blog getting updated. It is quite a journey. I have hoped for this for you for years. I'll continue to pray for you and Jason. Thank you for sharing.

Molly, I am so excited for you and Jason and your growing family!  I will be thinking about you on Monday and sending prayers and every bit of good energy your way.  This is such a long, bumpy road you have been on and will only make you cherish your baby(ies) even more once they are here.

To Molly, I came upon your blog the other day and as someone who has also been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, I can relate to much of what you expressed in your blogs. I am a very private person and generally don't like to share this type of information, especially with people I don't know.  But I felt so much of what you described, that I couldn't not email you.

Hey Molly!! Just wanted to drop you a note to say my thoughts and prayers are with you and those two little babies! Thanks so much for sharing all the details of your journey! It helps to know I'm not alone. 

Molly, Wow, egg retrieval. You poor dear, what a journey you and Jason have been on. Thanks for sharing such an incredibly personal, intimate roller coaster ride. I'm glad it went well today. You seem as happy and positive as ever (I'm sure you have your moments) and its inspirational.

Hey Molly, just wanted to drop ya a line to let you know that you have been on my mind a lot lately. Praying for you and Jason. May God pour out His blessing upon you both.

Hi Molly! I wanted to tell you I read your blog and you are in my heart and in my thoughts. We tried for a year and a half, then we were able to concieve... The range of emotion we went through was... Unlike anything else. I truly feel for you. That being said, there's not a doubt in my mind that you'll get and stay pregnant! You are going to be such a loving, kind, and fun mother!

Molly, just want to let you know I love reading your blog. You are really amazing and wonderful. I know you will make a great mom someday.

Molly, I have been thinking of you everyday! I love your new blog...What a strong and amazing person you truly are. I hope everything today really helps with the best to come!

Molly, Just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you. We had to undergo 3 procedures before we were able to conceive...and then there was only a 50% chance. Miracles do happen! 

Molly, I have been reading your blog, and I feel like I am there with you every step of the way. I thought that it would be good to tell you that though, so you know that you have one more person praying for you and sending good thoughts. I have PCOS which is one of the big causes of infertility, and I constantly worry that getting pregnant will be a struggle for us. I can't imagine anything more frustrating than wanting to be a mom, being responsible, making all the right choices so that you will be a great mom, and then being denied that privilege of motherhood. Just know that you are not alone, and I admire you for being the strong and compassionate woman that I knew and looked up to so long ago.  

Molly, A good friend of mine has been struggling with getting pregnant too and has been very frustrated for a very long time. I've sent her the link to your blog and have urged her to read it and reach out to you. I also want you to know that what you and Haylee are doing is so incredibly brave and inspiring. You are giving those who struggle a voice and that is commendable. You, Haylee and those struggling are all in my prayers.

hi molly, this email may sound so random, but i felt like i should write you.  i have been following your blog and your process of getting pregnant.  i am hopeful for you and appreciate how much you are willing to share with so many.  i look forward to continue seeing happy news posted :-)  i miscarried in the fall (early) and am sorry for all the sorrow you have had to go through, but your faith helps me try to be more faithful as well.  i just wanted to let you know it makes a difference for at least one person!

Molly, So because I posted on your showed up on some of my friends' newsfeeds. Two girlfriends texted me.  One said she was bawling her eyes out reading it and said she will keep you in her prayers.  The other just did her 3rd round of IVF (has a 1.5 yr old from the 1st round) and is now 12 weeks preggo.  They, along with so me -- including me, are rooting for you and these babies big time!  I just know you are going to carry full term :)

hey Molly - read your last blog posts while sitting at the airport (doesn't everyone catch up on their reading at the airport?? lol) When I was at one of the Buddhist temples in Japan, I made a wish for you and Jason. The monks will pray over my wish for one week. That is very good luck in Japan. Hope those hormone levels stay high! Sending hugs and best wishes your way from all of us :) 

 These are just some excerpts of emails I have gotten. I am inspired and uplifted by all of the KIND words, thoughts and prayers. Humans are truly compassionate and I feel so blessed to have received so much of it in the past few months. We didn't start this blog because we were looking for sympathy. We started this blog to process our thoughts, journal our emotions and document our experiences. All of this has been a total and complete BONUS. 

I am excited for my blood test on Wednesday. I am nervous as well. I cannot wait to share the news - good or bad - because I know what ever it is, we are supported and loved. 
Human KINDness. It's a wonderful thing.
Thank you.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Hard Question = A Harder Answer - Molly

Don't give me credit for this. I am borrowing from a good friend's blog. She too has experienced loss and has been granted blessings via IVF. She gets it. Always has. I admire her bluntness in answering this question, but I also admire how kindly she answers it. I have always struggled in describing how I feel, what I want to feel or how I expect others to make me feel.

So if you have a friend going through infertility, whether they are being treated or not, here is a great guideline for how to be a better friend to them. It's a hard (and thin) rope to walk on, and I know (those with infertility) don't always make it easy (I am especially guilty).

So in the answer to the question, "how to do you want people to treat you or what do you want people to say to you" - within the regards of infertility (before you find success and have kids) -  here are some ideas.......  

Here's what NOT to do/say:

  • don't try to hide things to "protect" her
  • don't mention how lucky she is that she gets to sleep in or not get woken up in the night, deal with tantrums, etc.
  • don't tell her how great it is that she gets to travel (if she does)
  • don't tell her that pregnancy is horrible and she's lucky she doesn't have to experience it
  • no unsolicited advice is necessary, i.e.:  don't think about it & it will happen; just relax; don't drink/eat _______; try acupuncture; try this position; do a cleanse; maybe you should lose some weight, etc.
  • have you thought about adoption?
You CAN say things projecting into the future with a positive spin like when she gets pregnant
  • You're going to be the best mom/best parents
  • you'll be so appreciative
  • you'll know not to take them for granted
You can say things like "it's not fair," etc.  But it's not fair for anyone.  You wouldn't wish infertility on anyone, except teenage drug users.  :)  You can tell her that you have another dear friend that struggled for years with infertility, and now she has 3 kids... that's at least hopeful. :)

It's just a bum deal, and don't feel the pressure of coming up with the perfect thing to say to her, because there isn't one.  Honestly, there's not much to say, except be honest and be brief, and follow her lead.  If she wants to talk, let her talk.  If she doesn't, best not to bring it up.  Often just the mention of the issue can bring tears, and sometimes, all you want to do is have a moment when you're not thinking about it.  Church is hard, baby showers are hard, kids' birthday party invites are hard, sometimes driving in the car and hearing a song on the radio is hard--she probably fights back tears daily.  She just needs honest, empathetic friends.  The only thing that will really heal her sadness is a baby, and you have no control over that. 

There isn't one thing that I remember being that special "aha" that made me feel better.  But people who hugged me, let me cry, and told me that they knew God had kids waiting to be mine, somehow, someway, helped comfort me.  It wasn't until I lost Wyatt (at 20 weeks along) that I didn't care how babies came to me.  That usually takes some serious soul-searching and heartache to come to that conclusion.  But my own advice, that I came to on my own, was that God had a plan of happiness for me and my family, and that no matter how babies came to me, I would love them, and cherish them, and I would be happy.  

All in all, be a friend. Share. Be happy. Be joyful - especially when your own family is experiencing joy. But try, just try to be mindful. We don't expect people to get it right all the time. Heck, it's a lot to ask of people, and for that, we apologize. I know I don't intend to be difficult or push people away. It's a defense mechanism. I am protecting myself from the hurt, the want, the desire to have what others have. I have always been happy for those around me, those who have gotten pregnant and had babies - I don't wish my hardships on anyone else. It breaks my heart when others have to experience what I have had to experience. I don't want a medal for my trials. I just want support. We (any who have been in my shoes) just want to know we are supported, thought of and loved.  In the end, we just want what you already have. And until we get it, we will always be a little extra sensitive to the fact that we don't have it - yet.

So, if you have a friend that might be struggling. Wrap your arms around them and just be there. It means the world to us.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

THEY'RE UP! - Molly

Blood results are back and my hormones are UP!

Estrogen was around 181 and now it's above 900!

Progesterone was a 3 and now it's almost an 18! They are still wanting this around 20, so we are close! Still working on it!

I know this has happened because of the power of prayer. All of the prayers being said on our behalf contributed to this small miracle.


Now, I can relax a bit. 

April 5th, 2009 - April 5th, 2012.......Molly

I can't believe it has been 3 years.

I went in for blood today. I was going to wait until tomorrow, but I figured my sanity was worth going in a day early. They will call me this afternoon to tell me if my estrogen and progesterone have increased.

Trying to stay positive.

So here as I wait to see if I am pregnant, I am reminded of when I was pregnant. Three years ago this journey officially started, only we didn't know what was happening - until it was too late.

I was 15 weeks and 4 days pregnant (and it was a Thursday around 130pm) when I noticed some brownish discharge while at work. My OB was just down the hill from my school, so I decided to go in for a doppler. There it was - a beautiful heartbeat. I relaxed. They sent me home and told me to stay there through the weekend. 

The low back pain kicked in Thursday night. Jason was traveling. I rested on Friday, but could not get comfortable, the low back pain was just too much. I took Tylenol, took warm showers, used heating pads and just tried to bear it. I thought it was just the ligaments in my uterus expanding, nothing else crossed my mind. 

I called the NurseAdvice line several times on Friday and Saturday. They just told me to relax, take a Tylenol and sleep it off. Saturday afternoon some relief came so we met up for dinner with some good friends. After dinner we gathered all together to play some games. It was around midnight that I used the bathroom and noticed it - one drop of bright, red blood. 

We rushed to the ER. 

After a short wait, the doctor came in for an ultrasound. There he was (only we didn't know it was a he at the time and the ER doctor was no help),  strong heartbeat and all curled up in my belly. Seeing that allowed us to relax a little and they sent me home with a prescription for a UTI. 

We woke up Sunday morning and Jason went out to get my prescription. The back pain worsened. I couldn't sit, stand, lay down, walk - nothing helped. It was debilitating. I waited for Jason to return and while I waited, I was in agony.

When Jason returned I took my meds, but the back pain only got worse. It was so bad, I vomited. We got in the car and rushed to the Emergency Room. Jason dropped me off to park the car and I walked in. As I walked in, I felt a gush.

I checked in and went to the bathroom immediately only to find blood. All kinds of blood - dark, light, brown, red, thick, thin and lots of clots. They finally got me into the ER, but we were still waiting.

I couldn't get comfortable on the gurney, the low back pain was too much. Then another gush - this time clear liquid. My naive self didn't realize at the time, that it was my water breaking. They got me into a room and tried to administer morphine. The pain increased and became much more rapid. 

Then I just felt the urge to push. I had no control over it anymore. So I did.

Out he came. Right there on the table. I could see his eyes, ears, fingers and even details like the fingernails. We were speechless. We were shocked. Physically, the pain was gone but emotionally the pain was just beginning and we have been feeling it ever since.

They confirmed it was a boy. Then they left us alone for a few moments. We cried together. 

Then they came in, wrapped him up and took him away. I wish I would have asked to hold him. I wish I would have asked for more time with him.

We walked out of the ER 20 minutes later - without our son.

I was 15 weeks and 6 days on that Sunday. 

Now here we are. Two embryos now inside of me and we are hoping and praying they survive, that my body can support them, that they have all they need to implant and grow, that this is the end of our three year journey and the start of a new one.

Three years ago today. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Day After - Molly

Still in bed. Watching some really bad TV. I guess I picked some good days to be down - it's snowing out. Sunday was a warm 82+ degrees and today - snow. That's Denver for you.

How am I feeling? Physically, I am fine. I don't feel "pregnant" or anything. Spiritually, I feel so incredibly blessed. My faith and hope are high. I know that I have very little control over what happens from here. I have laid it all down in the hands of my Heavenly Father. He has a plan for us.

Mentally, my mind is way too active right now. According to my blood results my progesterone and my estrogen levels are NOT what they should be. I am trying to not read too much into it, but I know that in order for this pregnancy to be successful, they need to increase. I am trying not to worry. It would just be so heart breaking to have this journey end because my hormones wouldn't cooperate.

They have added an extra pill of Estrace (estrogen) to my daily intake and a shot of progesterone oil (in my fleshy hip/butt). I also have to make sure the progesterone suppositories get up as high as humanly possible. The doctors think that maybe the pills are absorbing where they should, so I have been working really hard at that.

now that's a needle

our sweet neighbor Amy taking the plunge!

I go back in Friday for more blood. Hopefully the tests will be more positive. Until then, I am trying to just take it easy, laugh as much and possible and shove those suppositories as high as they will go. Today Jason juiced me some carrots, beets and kale. According to the internet, dark leafy greens, beets and carrots all help boost estrogen. Berries, sugars, broccoli (and some other things I really like to eat) all decrease natural estrogen levels.

it tasted like I was eating mulch

So, I am really just trying to wish and hope for the best. If there is a chance to squeeze out a few more thoughts and prayers that my levels increase, I would really appreciate it. These little babies need all the help they can get right now!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Transfer Day - Molly

Well, my feet are up and my head is at a 45 degree angle. The doctor and my acupuncturist prescribed a lot of laughter the next few days, so Tosh.0 episodes have been recorded and will be watched. What can I say - he makes me laugh.

It was a successful transfer. According to Dr. Schoolcraft and the embryologist, our embryos thawed and maintained their perfection. It was neat to see them on the magnified screen.

The doctor just called with my blood work. Despite 4 estrogen patches (every other day), 2 pills of estrogen twice a day and 100mg inserts of progesterone 3 times a day - my levels are still too low. They are calling in a prescription of progesterone injections (in my butt) and probably estrogen too. Those levels need to rise and stay up in order for these embryos to survive.

So we are not out of the woods yet. My little environment is not quite ideal. Hopefully we get my levels up in the next 24 hours.

Thank you so much for all the texts, phone calls, FB messages, comments, prayers, thoughts, hugs, intentions, well wishes etc - it has really been overwhelming - in a good way - to know that so many people support us in this journey. My heart is extremely full.

It was wonderful having Jason there with me today. He was very curious in the acupuncture and in the transfer itself. The whole process was pretty amazing. We played our song (I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz) twice and many tears (happy tears) were shed. It has been such a long journey. We are so ready for this.

Now we wait and hope these little embryos implant. I will admit, knowing my levels are not where they should be makes me nervous. I am just trying to be grateful that the doctors are on top of it. I just hope these little ones can hold on until then.

one of my many acupuncture points

chilling and listening to my playlist

ultrasound to make sure my bladder was full - it was!

my uterus and bladder (bladder is the black part - very full)

using ultrasound to guide in catheter

Embryologist and Dr. Schoolcraft magnifying our embryos

embryologist prepping embryos for transfer

transferring of embryos - viola!

It seems like it has been a very long day already. I am a bit tired. The Valium was awesome at relaxing me and my uterus, but it wore off by the time we got home. So now we just wait to see what doctor says about injections. Jason is tending to me very well. Still some mixed emotions, but trying to stay positive and remember that I am in good hands.

I will keep you posted!

Temple Night and A Blessing - Molly

We are getting ready to head off to our appointment. Before we left, I wanted to post about our weekend and how we have been preparing for this day. On Friday night, Jason and I attended a session at the Denver Temple. We usually go once a month, but this night was special. It was our last session before the transfer.

Blossoms and blue skies at the Temple

What a great way to spend a date night

The temple is a special place. It is a place we can go to feel closer to our Heavenly Father and gain a better understanding of where we came from, why we are here and what happens when this life is over. When I attend the temple I always feel so much peace, calm and understanding. I know that things are going to be alright. Being there with Jason is even better. We get a chance to renew our love and commitment to each other and to our Heavenly Father. I am so glad we got to go before our transfer. It was exactly what I needed.

On Saturday night, we had some friends over to help Jason give me a Priesthood Blessing. Again, for those who are unaware of what that is, it is a chance for Jason to exercise his authority and give me a blessing so that I may feel peace and comfort. It was a really special blessing not only in the words that Jason said, but in the fact that we were able to have some good friends take part. To feel such love and support from people that we are still getting to know was such a fantastic feeling. 

I do feel comforted and I am at peace. I know that one journey is over and a new one is beginning today. We have a long road ahead. I am not sure where we are going - yet, but we are going to get there. 

And I know that we are not alone.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Playlist..... - Molly

The Playlist (to be continued, hopefully)

Before I say anything, I want to say THANK YOU. What amazing song selections you have all provided me. The best part was listening to the songs and thinking about how they were important to you as well - it made me feel closer to you all - so THANK YOU

Some songs did not make the list - for now. If this all works out, then the list will evolve. But for now, this is the playlist I have spent the last few days listening too. I listen in the car, on walks with Penny, while I get ready and sometimes when I am in bed on the computer (Jason makes me wear headphones). I always am in tears at one point or another, but I am blaming the hormones for that. 
We have OUR SONG for tomorrow. Even though we got so many wonderful suggestions, we went with a song that we had been listening to for the past few weeks. It wasn't until I started thinking that we needed a song that I really listened to the words. For us - it's perfect. 

The song is Jason Mraz - I Won't Give Up

When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
There's so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

I won't give up on us

Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

And when you're needing your space

To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

'Cause even the stars they burn

Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
No, I won't give up

I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily

I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you're still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got, and what I'm not
And who I am

I won't give up on us

Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up
Still looking up.

I won't give up on us (no I'm not giving up)

God knows I'm tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We've got a lot to learn (we're alive, we are loved)
God knows we're worth it (and we're worth it)

I won't give up on us

Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up 

If you take the lyrics really literally, it is more of a song about a boy and girl - yada, yada, yada. But to us - what we hear, what sticks out is....We aren't giving up on this. We will keep trying, even if this doesn't work. This journey has taught us so much. It has been a hard 3 years, a hard past 3 months - but it has been worth it. Every shot, pill, appointment has been worth it knowing that it might bring us closer to being parents. We will continue to pray and "look up" and hope that we are tough enough and that we are worth this blessing. I think we are. I know we are. 

So, tomorrow is the day. I can't believe it's here. I feel like I have been waiting forever, and now, here it is. So many feelings right now. Relief, anxious, nervous, exhausted, excitement, fearful, hopeful, faithful, positive, optimistic - the list goes on. I am all over the map right now. I will probably be that way for the next few days or weeks. 

As for tomorrow - one step at a time.

6am - ONE MORE YOGA CLASS - I need it.
1015am - check-in, blood draw (progesterone and estrogen) and acupuncture
12pm - transfer (guided by an ultrasound - we will try to get video or pics)
1215pm (ish) - more acupuncture
1pm - Home

Bed rest all Monday and Tuesday (with legs elevated). Wednesday is VERY LIGHT (aka, in bed as much as I can be). Thursday, back to normal. 

My dear friend Erica took Penny up to her house tonight to play with her pups until Thursday. Penny was so excited. She loves it up there. I miss her though. It's a bit lonely without her, but she is much happier and will get lots of exercise. Thanks Erica and Spencer.

Well, that's all for tonight my friends! I will be back tomorrow as soon as I come out of the haze of that Valium they are giving me. We will take pics and hopefully some video, so check back tomorrow.

Good Night!