Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

To test? Or not to test?

That is the question. Tomorrow is 5dp6dt and the time that I got a bfp last time and when I will begin testing this time. If you had asked me yesterday if I was pregnant I would have said that I was confidant that I was. Before my trip I had purchased two bags of Cadbury Mini Eggs. I ate one on the way (they were individual ones so don't judge) and they were delish. I lurve those candies. Yesterday I ate the second bag and I didn't like them. When I was pregnant with Maddie I didn't like chocolate either. But today I don't feel pregnant. I know, I know, it is too soon to "feel" anything. But I can't help but doubt. And maybe even worry a bit.

I plan on testing tomorrow morning. I have had several people tell me that I am brave for testing. I was kind of surprised that more people don't test. I can't help it, I have to test. I am compulsive about it. So do you test? And when do you start if you do?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The actual transfer

I know that there are several people considering or are using FIRM and have wondered on how the actual procedure goes so I will post that here instead of sending it to people individually.

My transfer was on a Sunday so I did not see the RE that I had had the consult with nor did I see the donor embryo coordinator. My appointment was for 9:15am and I was told to go to the bathroom at 8:15 and begin drinking fluids until my bladder was full (I forget how many ounces I was supposed to drink). Once I signed in they called me back pretty quickly. I met with Dr. McCoy in his office and he gave me the report of the embryos. From there I went back to the waiting room briefly. The nurse called me back to the procedure room and I had to go alone. This was different for me as last time (different clinic) my hubby was able to go. I had a friend with me but she could not go along. They bring you to a room with 2 curtained areas and have you undress from the waist down and put on a gown, slipper socks and a hair net thingy. If there is someone ahead of you, you will wait there on a hospital bed. If not you go right back and get on the bed. There were no stirrups which was a pain. You have to scoot to the end of the bed but on a pillow so that you are elevated. You then just put your knees up and your feet rest on the metal part on the end of the bed. The RE will insert the speculum and catheter while the nurse does an abdominal u/s of your bladder. Mine was not full but he could see well enough to proceed.

Once everything is in place he lets the embryologist know that he is ready. She brings the embryos out and he inserts them and gives the catheter back to the embryologist. Once she determines that embryos are no longer in the tube he removes everything and covers you up. You are then wheeled out to the curtained area to wait 15 minutes. At that time you can empty your bladder then you lay down for another 15 minutes. Then you are finished!!

The whole process was painless though clinical. I did not see my RE and maybe it would have been a bit different, but the basic process would be the same. I did not get to see a pic of the embryos though that is not uncommon. I was happy with my experience and would return if needed. I did like my previous clinic better (more personal, less clinical) but all in all things went fine.

I am home!!!!

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I am finally home from my transfer! I am soooo happy to be home. This will be long but for those that don't want to read about the crazy, insane trip I will give a quick update first:

On Sunday they transferred two grade 2 blasts. My beta is on the 6th and I will most likely POAS on Friday. In another post I will detail the actual transfer at FIRM for those that are interested. Now onto the craziness!

Last week my hubby and I debated whether to have me drive or fly. I was not keen on flying for several reasons: high ticket price since I only had about 4 days notice, had to rent a car, long flight with layover and possible plane change and a super late flight. But driving was not even an option unless I had someone go with me. Even then my hubby was hesitant because I battle with anxiety when driving in mountains (terrified I will drive off the side). Bad anxiety! So I found a route that avoided most of the mountains (though sadly not all which I found out the hard way) and found a buddy to help drive and away we went. My buddy was a college student from church that was home this semester. She is 21 and did not have a lot of driving experience but this route was easy so she thought it would be fine.

We left at 6am on Friday morning and we planned to drive straight through with both of us taking turns. The problem came when the girl with me got scared and almost hit a car and I was too scared to let her drive  This meant that yours truly had to drive the whole trip. The whole 15 hour trip that we crammed into 18 hours. I drove from 6 am to 12:30 am. We only stopped for potty breaks, gas and drive thru meals. It was so not fun!! The first 11 hours went by very quickly and with caffeine I did pretty well. But the last part went a whole lost slower as I was getting tired and there was traffic. Then we got on 10 east in Florida and while it is an easy highway to drive it is not well lit. At all. And I do not do well without a lot of light at night. So I drove 55 mph and made the trip even longer. I was so concerned with watching the road I missed that my gas light was on, and I have no idea how long it had been on. The problem? We were in a national freaking forest with miles and miles and miles between gas stations. Miles! And some of the exits that advertised a station ended up being closed. So we prayed. And we prayed. And we prayed some more. We had no cell service and would have had to walk to a call box. There was little traffic and it was a serial killers dream scenario. Two women stranded on the side of the road without a cell phone or witnesses. I even heard the scary music that told you to run and keep looking behind yourself. Hubby called but my friend told him that I couldn't talk but to pray that we found a station. We went over 30 miles before we finally found one and barely coasted in to the station. I called hubby and I was shaking so badly I could barely hold the phone.

Once we refueled we finished the last hour of the trip and got into Jacksonville. Did I mention that I hate cities and bridges too? (bridges only at night though) Since it was night time and no traffic I thought for sure that the city driving would be fine. It wasn't. I could see several very long, scary bridges and I began to shake. My legs were warm and my body tingly and I began talking 100 mph. I think that I was on the verge of a panic attack. But we were so close so I pushed through and we found the hotel. I went right to bed but flopped like a fish out of water I was so shaky. The next morning I talked to friends and family and was still talking fast and nonstop. I was dreading leaving our hotel room. I now understand how a person develops agoraphobia. I never wanted to drive again and even walking outside made my feel ill. I wanted to fly my brother out to drive me home right then and there. But I forced myself to leave and go to the beach. It was amazing!!! I have been once before but never got the chance to feel the water and just walk along the beach. It was just what I needed! I finally began to relax and feel human again. I even drove over a bridge and was perfectly fine. We ate lunch at Joe's Crab shack right on the beach. Mmmmm....crab legs! The day was amazing!

We were supposed to leave on Monday and drive straight through again. There was NO WAY that was going to happen! We were able to work it out to do it in two days and that was so much better! Still a super long trip but better. As we were leaving we drove over a very long bridge and I mentioned that I was glad that I didn't have to drive over it the night we got there and my friend told me that I did. I have no memory of it at all! I was that panicky.

 We made sure we had plenty of gas through the forest this time. Though we did stop for a potty break and right in front were 2 posters of missing women (one of 2, one of 3). I did not read the details but wonder if they ran out of gas on their way to Florida and met foul play. It was kind of creepy!!!

I drove as far as I could (till it got dark) and we got a room for the night. I tried to leave at 5:30 am on Tuesday to finish up the trip but it was still too dark so we pulled over and waited for sunrise. From there it was smooth sailing and we got home around noon. I was so very, very happy to get home! And I pray that this cycle works because the thoughts of doing this again totally freaks me out! Though next time I will fly, get a shuttle to the hotel and a cab to the clinic. No more stress for me!!!!

It ended up being a good trip and I really enjoyed myself. I am sure that one day I will laugh about it, but for now I am contemplating never leaving my house again!! :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ready, set, GO!

I leave on Friday and am working on getting ready for my trip.  A friend is going with me and we will be driving. My mom is letting me use her car. She has a newer Toyota Corolla that gets much better gas mileage then my van. Hotel will be booked today. I am now working on packing for Maddie's stay with her grandma. I still need to pack my stuff. I do have a bag of snacks packed. That counts for something, right?? I need to get my babysitting schedule written out for the lady coming over to watch the kids for me. For the most part it is just the last minute details that need attention. I am getting really excited! I can't wait to meet my embies. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ICLW welcome!

This week is ICLW. Not sure what that is? You can read about it here: ICLW. For those visiting from ICLW, welcome to my little, tiny corner of the world. Let me tell you a bit about me and my blog.

*My name is Jess and I am 35 years old. I have been married for 14 years and began ttc right away.

*We have a plethora of fertility issues. I have endo, mild PCOS and a blocked tube. Hubby has azoospermia, possibly from Sertoli-cell only. So basically nothing works! :)

*We have had 2 failed adoptions, four unsuccessful rounds of IUI with donor sperm and finally had a baby girl through embryo donation. She is 2 years old and we are trying for baby number two.....and maybe three.

I look forward to meeting new peeps this week! And maybe a few new blogs to follow. Hope to see you around!

Monday, January 21, 2013


Back in October I was scheduled for my transfer but it was canceled because my lining was 16mm. My RE wants it between 7-12 and anything outside of that he will not proceed. This month they lowered my estrogen in hopes of it helping my lining to be within that range. I had my u/s today and the first reading was 17! Higher than last month. I told him to keep looking (local RE) and the thinnest he could find was 15mm. I was heartbroken. He gave me a printout of my thick, empty uterus and cried while crumbling it. I just could not believe that this was happening again. I knew from the cycle that the RE was strict about this and my chances were one in a million to proceed this month. I called the nurse immediately to plead my case, begging them to consider letting me have the transfer on Sunday. Then I sat in my car and cried, begging God to change the RE's mind. Then I told Him I wanted His will, but to please, please, please allow this to be His will. I drove home, crying the whole way, wondering why. I went back to that scary place that I had lived for so long. The place of despair and hopelessness. Everything had lined up perfectly this month for me to travel. So many details have worked out, so why not this month?

I arrived home to wait for "the call". It didn't take long. The nurse said "How are you?" and I replied "I don't know yet. I am waiting for you to tell me.". She said that the RE was okay with proceeding. I almost dropped the phone!!!! She told me that she could hear the sadness in my voice when I left the message and she didn't want me to have to wait to hear so she talked to him right away. I cried again, but this time for joy! I was so happy to hear that we can do the transfer. This was a total God thing!!! I am so excited!!! Now just to finalize the details and pack for Friday morning. It looks like a friend can go with me so we will be driving and leaving super early. I am happy to not have to go alone. And super happy for answered prayers!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Prayer for fellow EA momma and baby

A fellow EA momma needs our prayers. She will be 24 weeks tomorrow and her water broke a few days ago. So far little Liam is hanging on and staying put and each day that he does so is better for him. Please pray for Kate and baby Liam.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I am (fill in the blank)

When dealing with infertility it is easy to focus on the negative. I know that I do. And really, just how much positive is there about infertility? But while infertility itself is not a very positive experience there is a lot of positive that we can learn from it. I have been on this path for over 14 years and I can now look back and see a lot of things that it has taught me. The biggest lesson is compassion. I am more compassionate now. Much more. I grew up attending a church that was horribly judgemental. I was critical of everyone and had little sympathy for those that had heartaches. I am ashamed to even type that out. Meeting and marrying my hubby helped me to grow and change in this area. He is incredibly kind and has rubbed off on me. Infertility helped with the rest. I have learned that we all struggle and while your struggle may differ from mine your pain does not. I still struggle from time to time with having compassion for someone that makes bad decisions that causes their pain, but I am still kind. While I hate the negatives of infertility I am thankful for the lessons that it has taught me.

I am more compassionate.

How about you? What is your answer? I am more________________.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What a blessing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So today we got a call from the church that had a prophets chamber and it is unavailable the dates that we need it. Hubby called at around 11 this morning to tell me. I won't lie, I was disappointed. But not worried. We were just going to have to bite the bullet and pay for a hotel. I came home and got online, ready to research. But first I had to check my email, visit a couple of forums and putz around a bit. While on BabyCenter.com (I am active on their EA board) and I had a few messages. I get about 4-5 a week with questions about EA so I was not surprised, but one was a name I did not recognize. The name said EA in it but it also had anonymous in it. I thought that maybe they wanted to know more about anonymous embryo donation and so I prepared to answer some questions. Imagine my surprise when I read the following message:

This is a hotel in Jacksonville that should be relatively near your clinic. My husband and I would like to reserve a room here for you from Jan 25-28th for your transfer. (I am assuming all goes as planned.) We really like Hampton Inns b/c they are consistent, comfortable and they have a good breakfast. God has always blessed us when we were in need (or want, sometimes) - often in unexpected ways and so we seek to pass those blessings along. We would be so happy to take away this one stressor leading up to your transfer so you can relax and praise God for His work in you. I'll wait until I read that you're a "go" before booking it. Could you tell me your last name so I know what name to put it under? (Or, if you prefer not - just make up a name. I'll never know the difference. lol) Best wishes in these last few weeks on preparation! 

 I have had people do something kind before, but nothing of this magnitude. And especially not from a total stranger. Since I have not shared a lot of what is going on on Baby Center it must be one of my blog readers that has decided to be a blessing to my and my hubby. And I am humbled. Beyond humbled. I am still in shock that a total stranger would do this for us.

So whoever you are, wherever you are I hope that you read this and know how thankful that I am for this gift. I pray that one day we can pay it forward and be a blessing to someone else in need.

What a difference a day makes.

Two days I wrote about how I was a bit stressed over the travel arrangements and money for this cycle. The actual procedure working or not is not a concern (yet) but getting there and having the money needed for everything is enough to give me a migraine. I have always struggled with having enough faith when it comes to infertility and even more so with finances for it. Then last night God answered some prayers and I must share it!

The first is that I think that I have a place to say. There is a church in Jacksonville that has a prophet's chamber (apartment/room for missionaries and evangelists to stay in when visiting the church or passing through) that is checking to see if it is available that weekend. If it is, I can stay there. This would be a big blessing!! If it doesn't work out there are a few more for hubby to call. He is an evangelist so he has some connections.

The other is money. We have the money for the FET in our savings, but not a lot more. We really do not want to deplete our savings completely. So my first goal was $256 for Monday's ultrasound. We have some roof shingles leftover from recent repairs that needs to be returned and that is about $100. I have a change jar that I always toss change in and use it mad money. I took that to one of those change counter things and had $50 there, so just $100 more We could cover that with ourselves but wanted to try to raise it.

We love the show storage wars and they are always finding jewelry and saying they could get a few hundred for just a handful of things. So I thought hey, why not! I rarely wear jewelry (I like chunky costume pieces more than dainty gold chains) so I went through my jewelry box. I was surprised at the stuff I had held onto over the years, most of which I had not worn in 10+ years. I gathered it up along with a ring to return to my mom. My mom had a ring that had been a friend of hers but had passed away. Her friend, Jerry, was a great guy. He was like a dad to her and also a best friend. She met him after his wife of 30 years had passed away and he had all but given up on life. My mom was a newly single mom, struggling with the day to day yet always positive. She took him under her wing and helped him move on with his life. They remained friends for about 15 years when he died of cancer. Through the years Jerry had given her furniture and things that he and his wife had purchased but he thought she could use. After he passed she got a ring of his. It was gold and black onyx. My hubby is the only man in the family to wear a ring so she let him have it. It was heavy and bulky and hubby never wore it much and we forgot about it. When I found it I thought she would like to have it so I went to drop it off. She asked what I was doing and I told her and she offered me the ring. There was no way I was taking that ring in!! Not Jerry's ring! I insisted she keep it and she cried, missing Jerry. She loved that guy! She had another ring that was broken and gave me that for our baby fund but as I was leaving she turned and handed me the ring and refused to take it back. She said "IF Jerry were here he would give you the money for a baby. Family was everything to him. Things were just things." It took awhile for me to accept it but I finally did, calling her 3 times before I went through with it. And with his ring, her ring and several other pieces of broken jewelry I walked out of there with over $800! I was shocked! I could not believe how much it was worth. This is enough for everything over the cost of the transfer. I am humbled!

I could have shared all of this without the part of Jerry's ring, but I felt that I needed to honor him. I wanted to honor him. His ring was accounted for about a third of what I received but it meant more than the rest. To know that he played a part makes it feel like he is still here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What do you hate most about IF?

There are just so many things about infertility that are unpleasant that I think it can be difficult to say that any one thing is the worst. And what I hate most varies depending on where I am at in the journey. For many years I hated the pain. I think that the emptiness and loneliness it caused was awful. But more than the pain, the procedures, the costs, the years of waiting the worst part for me has been uncertainty. I could handle all of the above if I knew for sure what the destination would be. If all of the money would, with certainty, produce a child it would be less stressful. If all of the procedures and years of testing brought me a child then okay, let's move forward. But I had no such guarantee as none of us do. And for me, the first round did produce a child and for that I am thankful But now we are facing round number two and again we have certainty.  We have spent a few grand already and a lining scan on Monday could cancel it all. We could get past that part and go as far as getting to the clinic and then have no embryos survive the thaw. Or maybe they do and we transfer 2 perfect little embryos and still nothing. No take home baby. No guarantee. And no money left to try again. This is it for us. I doubt we will try again. The finances of this as well as the travel is causing me anxiety and it hard for me to focus on the positive of it all, the possibility of another child.

During all of this I can't help but think "Am I taking the right path?'. Am I? You can't answer that for me, but neither can I. When we were trying to adopt it all seemed so simple. A young woman needed a family for her baby and we needed a baby for our family. When that did not work out we moved to fertility treatments. That seemed simple enough except we needed third party help. We needed sperm and all of the simplistic views I had went out the window. Was this right? Would a child resent the path we chose? Would people judge us? Once we decided it was right for us it became "was this the right donor?". Then it failed. Four times. There is that uncertainty again. And we were left with "what next?". Was I supposed to continue moving up at my job and focus on that? Were we to be a family of two and put all of our money towards a house and getting completely out of debt? We decided that we could do those things later, but a baby was a limited time deal so we chose that route which brought us Maddie. Now here we are again, but this time I am not working and money is tight. We still don't have a house and while most of the debt is gone some is still there. Do we stop trying for a baby and put Maddie in preschool while I return to work? Focus on getting that house? Or do we spend every last dime we have in savings for a baby. Scratch that, it is a chance at a baby. No guarantees.

For now we will move forward. We will continue until that door is completely closed and we have no regrets. But I will tell you, regardless of where this path takes us, I will be glad when it is over. When I no longer have to worry about the next treatment, the next appointment. Infertility has dominated almost 15 years of my life and I want my life back! I want to be able to make a decision on anything other than infertility. Whether we buy a house, go on vacation, if I return to work, whatever it is it will be because we do or don't want to and not because we need the money of treatments or we want to try for a baby. But until then infertility is my master and I am at her mercy for a little bit longer.

What do you hate most about infertility?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Holy Hormones, Batman!

This is my third go round of taking meds for a cycle but the first time I am a psycho nut case from them. I am only on Vivelle (estrogen patches) but sheesh, it is making me crazy. One minute I am fine, the next irritated at everything, the next all chill singing kumbaya. My poor hubby and daughter never know what to expect. And I can't stand being around myself half the time either. Unfortunately I can't get away from myself.

If all goes well I will be leaving a week from Friday. Most things are in place but there are still some things that I need to figure out. One is my mode of transportation. Because I have been planning on going alone I was going to fly but there may be a young lady from church that can go with me. We will drive and that will save me about $200-$300 which would be nice. The other big thing is the place to stay. I was going to stay at a place that a church has near the clinic but they have someone staying there now. I will have to be there 3 nights total and don't want to have that expense as well. Especially if I have to fly. So if you think about it please say a prayer that everything falls into place. I am getting anxious about this and my lining being thin enough. If it is canceled again I am not sure if we will try again.

Monday, January 14, 2013

An Award!

I love awards! They make me feel special. ;) A bloggy friend, Ashley at Expecting Miracles nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thanks a bunch, Ashley!!!!


This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers...the award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another.

If you receive the award, there are a few rules to follow...

1) Each blogger nominated must post 11 things about themselves

2) Then answer the 11 questions the tagger has asked

3)Blogger must then create 11 questions of their own to ask the bloggers they decide to nominate

4) They must choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and link them on their blog post

5)Bloggers must be notified of their award!

6) No tag backs!

Okay, first up: 11 things about me!

1. I hate reality TV. It is a waste of time. All but Duck Dynasty. I can laugh at it but I never turn it on, but hubby loves it. Don't tell him I like it.

2. I am incredibly OCD about things.....at work. When I worked anyway. But at home I am messy. My house is clean, but it gets cluttered. I hate it but I also hate trying to organize it.

3. I graduated in a class of one. Yes, uno, one, 1. It was a super tiny Christian school and I was the only graduate.

4. I have weird phobias. I hate balloons, chalk and light bulbs. I am a freak, I know.

5. I love doing DIY projects. Hubby hates it as I usually screw it up and have to hire someone to fix it. But it was fun trying.

6. My hubby cracks me up. We are actually quite hilarious together. Imagine two jolly chubby people ripping on each other. We are sarcastic and mean to each other and think that we should have our reality show. That I wouldn't watch cause I hate reality shows. 

7. I can drive a stick shift. Not well though. When my niece was 6 she asked if we could take her uncles care because it didn't go back and forth like my car. 

8. I have never tried deer meat nor will I ever. Or rabbit. Or squirrel. Or crab legs. If the local grocery store doesn't sell it I won't eat it. Nor will I kiss hubby after he eats it. 

9. I am a creative type. I love to make things and do projects. I imagine myself you would pin on Pinterest though I know it is not the case. But a girl can dream!

10. Growing up I wanted to be a teacher or a lawyer. As I got older I really wanted to be a lawyer and was considering pursuing it but decided to get married and be a SAHM. Yeah, should have gotten that law degree! LOL

11. I want to write a book about infertility and my journey. I don't know if anyone would read it, but I would still like to give it a go.

Ashley's 5 questions:

1. If you had to choose one of your 5 senses to give up, which would you choose? taste....maybe I would finally lose weight ;)
2. What is one thing on your Christmas wish list this year? a massage...and I got it! WOOT!
3. What was your favorite subject in high school? Least favorite? Fave: English, least fave: Science
4. If you were a crayon, which color would you be? black...it is slimming
5. What is your favorite home cooked meal? salisbury steak and mashed potatoes
6. What is your favorite movie of all time? American President
7. Do you have any tattoos? nope
8. Have you ever traveled out of the country? nope...unless Canada counts
9. What is your dream vacation? Hawaii or Ireland
10. What scripture or quote has been the most encouraging/inspiring to you in life? hmmmm....can't think of anything off the top of my head
11. What is one of your goals for 2013? get organized

My questions for the nominees:

1. Do you have any siblings?
2. Which season do you love best?
3. What is your favorite genre of television shows?
4. What is your fave activity?
5. Desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone...which do you prefer?
6. If you could meet any person, dead or alive, who would it be?
7. If you owned a private jet where would you go tonight for dinner?
8. Are you musically inclined?
9. If you could change your career choice would you? And to what?
10. Do you shave your legs int he winter?
11. Real or fake Christmas tree?

And the nominees are......drum roll please...............

1. Tanya at Our Life Journey
4. Shannon at Room for More
5. Lara at Living Our Miracle
8. Kimberly at No Good Eggs
9. Jennifer at Aaron and Jennifer

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The right way to build your family

Anyone that has dealt with infertility any length of time knows that people are chock full of advice. Some advice comes from ignorance: 'Just adopt", "Why do fertility treatments when there are so many kids in foster care?", "Oh, you should do IVF. I hear it works.". Other advice comes from passion. When you have success adopting, with IVF, or foster adoption it is easy to get caught up in it and think that everyone should choose that route. The problem with this thinking is that there is no one size fits all wen it comes to family building. Two families with the exact same diagnosis and financial situation may choose two different routes entirely. Each of us have a path to take and it is up to us to determine which path that is. Whether you choose international adoption, IVF several times, EA or choose not to pursue anything and allow God to choose are all right choices, just different. I see on forums from time to time people questioning another person's choice to build their family and it saddens me. I am passionate about embryo donation. Very passionate about it. It is the right way for us to complete our family. For me personally I cannot fathom spending $15k+ for IVF. It makes no sense. To me. It is not right for me. I have strong feelings about adoption based on my past experiences. Will we ever adopt? I have no plans to, but I won't count it out completely. It is the wrong choice for us at this time though. But for those that it is the right choice, I support it fully. I have a preference of anonymous donation versus known embryo adoption. I also disagree with agencies requiring a home study. But that is where I stand. I support those that choose that route.

When it comes to infertility we already have to defend and explain ourselves to those around us, the least we can do is stand together and support each other regardless if our paths are the same or not. There is no right..... or wrong..... way to build a family.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I still miss her....(losing Abbie)

For those that have followed for awhile they may have read that we had a failed adoption. We have had 2 in fact. Each was difficult in its own way. The first one was a baby boy that was only every ours in our hearts. We were chosen to be his forever family until his mother was 5 months along. At that time she chose to go through an agency instead of a private adoption. I have only ever seen photos of this little one and never got to hold him. Though my heart broke when she changed her mind it was nothing like the second situation. Abbie was different. Abbie I held. Abbie I fed. Abbie I sat up with on several sleepless night. Abbie I kissed. Abbie I hugged. Abbie I loved.  Today is Abbie's 8th birthday and my heart still longs for her. She was my firstborn, my first loved.

The story of Abbie is a very long one but I will give you the short version. In 2004 we were contacted about situation. There was a woman in prison for statutory rape (she was in mid 30's and her 'boyfriend' was 14) and she was pregnant. This was her 8th child. The first 6 were her husband's and the last 2 were from this boy. The boy took custody of their first child but he denied paternity of the last one. She had no family to take the baby that she was carrying and the state was going to take her and most likely put her up for adoption. She wanted someone to take her and care for her until she was released in 7 years. Yes, 7 years of 'foster' care. We told her no, that there is no way we could even consider it. Shortly after she asked us to adopt instead. There was nothing to consider, we were certain that we would. We met with a lawyer, filled out the paperwork for the home study, gathered documents, and scheduled a meeting between the social worker and the mother. Then things started to unravel.

The mother was told that she was up for parole in late January, just weeks after Abbie's due date. In late November she 'needed more time' and 'wasn't sure' is she should go through with the adoption. We knew that this was mainly due to her hoping to be released and we understood that, but knew that she would not be out that soon. She waited until a week before the baby was born to finally make a decision and asked us to take her until she was released. We knew she was thinking it would be in just  few weeks and that if she was, okay, we could keep her for a few weeks. And if she was not released that she would reconsider adoption. It was a risk. A big risk. But we took it. What other option did we have? If we said no and some other family adopted her I would be devastated. To be so close and then walk away? No, I couldn't do it.

To sum it up she was not released then (and not until Abbie was 2 1/2 years old) and she would not allow us to adopt. She wanted to play games with us and we were not going to allow it. In April of 2005 she found another family to take her. They did foster care through their church for the prisoners as did many families, but no one wanted that kind of a commitment.  But one family did and we set the date to let her go, April 16th. We had 2 weeks left with her. I don't remember a lot about that time. We got family photos taken. We took video of her. I cut a lock of her hair. And I cried. A lot. I would lay next to her crib and weep. My hubby finally told me that I had to stop. I needed to enjoy this time, that there was time to cry when she was gone. He was right and I tried, but it was hard. Then came the day we had to say goodbye.

We had to drive 2 hours away to meet the family. While we were gone I had someone from church come to take down the nursery and get rid of everything in it. I had another person come to take the clothes and things that we were not sending with her (the family was strict Mennonite and would not use the clothes) and some of the other furniture to give to a needy family. We met at a McDs and they had a separate party room and we sat in there. I held that baby like my life depended on it! But I had to let go. I had to say goodbye. I let the man and hubby gather her stuff and then at the last possible moment I kissed her and handed her over and walked away. I just..........walked away. How do you walk away from a baby that you love like your own? How to survive that? I don't know, but you do. In all honesty I was better once it was over. The weeks leading up to it were killing me. I aged during that time. My hair started to turn gray at that time. It was awful. But to have it over was cleansing in a way.

About 4 months later the foster family was gracious enough to allow us to see Abbie when they traveled through our area. It was wonderful! She came to me immediately! She hugged me and kissed me and laughed and clapped. It did my heart good to see her. I emailed them about 3-4 months after that and they asked that I not contact them again. Abbie's mother did not want me to contact them anymore. Now, about once a year, I check on the sex offender registry to see where they live and I take time to pray for her. I may never know why things went the way they did. But i no longer need those answers. I do know that regardless of the reasons I am to pray for her. That is my role in her life. And maybe one day God will allow me to meet her, if not here then in heaven. Until then, I pray.

**I have a blog with the full story. It is too raw and painful for me to read but it is there if anyone would like to read it: Losing Abbie.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Appointments scheduled....now we wait

I called to get my lining scan scheduled. It is for Monday, the 21st. I will get my blood drawn first then head across the street for u/s. Then I wait for "the call". The call that will tell me if all is fine and if we can proceed. This time I won't be blindsided though as I will know to ask the RE what my lining is before I leave. And if it is over 12 but close I am going to ask that he remeasure. From what I understand (from the 'expert' Dr. Google) is that you can get different measurements in different places of the uterus. If one area says 13 but one says 12, let's go with 12. Also, I found my records from my last FET and an trying to decipher it to determine what my lining was back then. The only thing that I have from that date is the pic from the u/s and I have no idea how to figure out what or if my lining is even listed on there. I am sure that it must be, but I don't have the code to break it. So I am going to ask my RE. If my lining was thick then and is thick now I am planning on doing some begging.

Once I know for sure we are a go I will buy my tickets. I need to fly out on Friday the 25th, transfer on Sunday, home on Monday. That means that Saturday will be mine. All mine. Just me!!! And the beach! So Florida, please be kind and have nice weather. My Nook and I would like to come and visit. I won't bother you, I just want to watch you while I read a good book. Now if I only had someone to fan me with leaves and feed me grapes. ;)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Today is CD1

So today is the day we begin this roller coaster ride yet again. I slapped on a Vivelle patch this morning, will call my local clinic to schedule my u/s, and call the FL clinic to have the order faxed to the local clinic. I should be on a plane is just over 2 weeks. And I am so much to do before then!!! It is crazy! I start watching 2 more kids on Monday. This means I need someone to come over while I am gone and care for the 3 that I watch. Which means a lot of preparations. A lot! But it is doable. Well, it is if I get working on it now. FL will be a nice vacation after all of this work!

Monday, January 7, 2013

How do you prepare?

Before my first FET back in 2009 made sure to get myself as prepared as possible to give the embryos the best chance I could. I started walking every day (I was already going to the gym 2x a week), I cut out caffeine completely, I tool prenatal vitamins and an additional 4 folic acid as well, I was careful to take my thyroid meds every day (I am bad about this one) and changed my eating habits. I continued all but the exercise throughout my pregnancy (had bleeding and was restricted from too much activity) and I lost weight to boot.

Fast forward to this past year when we attempted our last FET. I was taking my thyroid meds 4 out of 7 days a week, I was guzzling soda, my eating was not good at all (but it was the holidays so it doesn't count, right??), no exercise, and just all around unhealthy. I knew that I needed to do better but I was so crazy busy I never got around to it. Now that the first cycle was canceled and we are gearing up to try again this month I am getting my butt in gear!

My biggest issue is caffeine consumption. I am a couponer and couponers cannot pass up a good deal. I'm sorry, but it's in my DNA do snatch up a good deal. And CVS has some good deal on soda. Really good deals! It didn't take long for me to start drinking several cans of Pepsi a day. Mmmmm, Pepsi! So delish! It got to the point that I was barely drinking any water. So I am on a mission to reduce my caffeine to one serving a day. The problem is not so much that I love Pepsi but that I get horrible migraines. And caffeine withdrawal migraines make you wish for death. Seriously, the first time I went through we went to the ER, certain I was dying from a brain tumor exploding inside my skull. So I have to do this gradually. I am cutting out soda and drinking either a coffee or tea instead. I will still have a small soda when out but never buy it for home now. Once I am passed the soda withdrawals I will try to cut out even the one cup of coffee as well, but I will have to use Excedrin for the first few days.

I have been doing this for about a week and so far, so good. Hubby even got a 2 liter of Pepsi yesterday (he rarely drinks soda so this was a surprise) and I had one 4 oz glass with my pizza. That was all. **pats self on back** And the majority of the bottle is sitting there and it is not even bothering me. And my water consumption is up to about 6 glasses a day! Go me!!!

My next goal is to take my vitamins and thyroid meds every day. Last week I took it 3 times and this week I am shooting for all 7 days. I don't know why I am bad about this, but I must do better!!! I want to give our little embies the best chance at sticking and in order for that to happen I have to do better. And I will!

So how do you/will you prepare? Anything you do different? Or are you just one of those already healthy people that always make me feel guilty? ;)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Our Christmas

Here are a few pics of Maddie this Christmas. It was her first year to understand gift opening so it was fun to watch her get excited.

Here she was told to wait until daddy came out of the bedroom. She was not happy about that!

I told her she had to wait a minute for daddy. She was not pleased. LOL




Her "baby".

Excuse the mess!!!


Friday, January 4, 2013

ouch! that one stung a little

I am 35 and have been married 14 years. My hubby and I have worked with youth our entire married life. During this time we have seen teens grow up, get married and start families. Some have had 4-5 kids, one just had number six!! This teens was an older teen so it was not too bad. But now, the younger teens are having their 2nd and 3rd babies. This week a young woman that was 11 years old when we got married just announced baby number 2 is on the way. For some reason this one really hurt. To add insult to injury she posted a pic of herself and two other barely 20 year olds showing off their baby bumps. It made me feel so...old. Is 35 old now?? The 20 year old kid that just called me ma'am sure thinks so. Pimply faced geek.

Now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't wish infertility on anyone. Okay, that's not entirely true. Crack whores should be infertile. Pedophiles and child abusers should be too. Democrats too. I kid! I kid!!! But I truly do not wish for them to be infertile. But do they all have to be so gosh darn fertile?

While it stings to watch other people move forward so effortlessly, I am ready to dust out the cobwebs in my uterus and try again. Hope they don't find any spiders in there!