Ok folks, I have to admit…I had to go back and read my last post because I knew I left you all hanging, but wasn’t really sure where. So much has happened, and changed, and changed again from my last update that it has left my head spinning.
The last week of our lives has been powerful, and dramatic, and beautiful, and at some points ugly. You know when you look back in time, and you realize how you changed slowly through a difficult situation, but you didn’t really know it was happening in the moment? I have seen that over the course of this journey in Aaron and I. But this week, change hit home, and it hit hard and fast. We are not the same people we were a week ago, and no matter how this ends, this has been one of the most beautiful rides of my life because it has changed me, and it has changed us.
Buckle up friends, I am taking you for a ride.
I left you all last asking for some support, and some prayer. Boy, how I didn’t know how big that was going to be! Last Friday, we went in for our second appointment. From what I could tell of the ultrasound, we had not made much progress from before. The nurse didn’t seem optimistic and we left doing all we could to remain hopeful. I received the phone call as we were at a tree farm to cut down our Christmas tree. My blood counts were low, had barely increased from the last, my eggs were few and small.
They cancelled our IVF cycle.
From my last post, maybe you know that we have been gearing up for this for MONTHS now. Working on our minds, our bodies, our relationship, figuring out finances. To say this was a blow to the gut is a complete understatement. I don’t know if it’s the extra hormones I am shooting myself up with multiple times a day for this, but I took this news pretty hard. To do everything you possibly can, and realize at the end of the day that you have no control over any of it is a really tough reality check. I spent most of the day in and out of tears, trying to do anything but think about how I was supposed to pick up the pieces yet again and start over. Some sort of strength came over me, however, and I pleaded my case with the Fertility Clinic. I convinced them to continue with the medications and at least shoot for an IUI out of this cycle as I did have a couple of follicles growing and I felt like it was a waste to just let them go. They seemed somewhat reluctant but decided we would give it a try. They cancelled all of my appointments for the weekend and scheduled me for Monday.
Here is where all of you wonderful people so beautifully intercede into my story. I asked for prayers to get my ovaries working like I needed them to. I had many of you reach out, and tell me that you did so. I know there’s even more that probably did and didn’t say anything. Aaron and I, in our grief, decided to get up on Saturday, pray and go to church. We had folks who laid hands on us at church and pray over us as we cried. I am not the kind of person that likes to make myself the center of attention, and I definitely am not usually the person up front getting prayed over. But desperate times I suppose call for desperate measures. My prayer at that point was really not even about having a baby. More so, I just wanted some relief from this process, and for Aaron and I to find some peace in the pain.
Sunday, I got up and went to work. I had done my grieving and needed to get back to normal life. I did my best to keep my mind off of the situation, and get through the day.
Then Monday morning rolled around and we went back in for another appointment. At this point we have completely accepted our fate and were just going to do the best we could to get through another IUI (albeit this one a little different than before as I continued to do injections instead of just monitoring for ovulation). Low and behold, the ultrasound got going and there were follicles! And what looked like a few. In the afternoon, I received a phone call and my estrogen levels had finally made a bump! Not anything drastic, but it was enough for everyone to finally feel somewhat optimistic that IUI was a real possibility. For the first time since Friday, I got a little bit excited about what the big man upstairs has going on up his sleeve. Maybe this was how it was supposed to be all along.
Wednesday was our next check in. Wednesday was the day on my IVF calendar that was one of my possible “retrieval days”. So I woke up full well knowing that my body was far behind from where they wanted me to be. But I saddled up into those stirrups I now know so well 😂 and almost overnight I had more follicles pop up that were good size. 2 good ones on the right and 3-4 good ones on the left! My blood work phone call that afternoon kind of blew me away. My estrogen levels had jumped from 200 to almost 700!! (1000 is goal for IVF). All of a sudden, the question came up of can we possibly salvage this back into an IVF cycle? The answer we got….maybe!
Thursday was my next ultrasound/blood work and once again, we had another good rise in estrogen, and my eggs were just borderline for size. We asked the question again…IVF vs IUI? We got the same answer. Let’s check again tomorrow. Hurry up and wait. Keep poking yourself, we will see.
So, we have made it to today. A week of finding ourselves in the midst of grief, of waiting, of frantic praying, and in the outpouring of love from people all around us.
As of today, I have 6 eggs that are big enough to “harvest” through an egg retrieval. My estrogen levels have made it to 1160. In one short week, miracles happened. And I really believe all of that is owed to the prayer and support you all have given us. I was asked by the medical team today whether I wanted to continue down the IVF or IUI road, knowing that 6 is a low number for an egg retrieval and that may leave us with little or no eggs that survive the next phase if we chose IVF.
Aaron called while I was shopping from work to discuss the choice we were facing. It was while I was on the phone with him that God gave me the sign… I stopped in the aisle to talk, and I looked over and saw this.
Pineapples have somehow made it into the infertility culture as a symbol of hope. There is an old wives tale that if you eat the core of the pineapple after an embryo transfer, it will help with implantation. Whether that is true, I don’t know…but it has been a symbol I have seen countless times through this journey on internet searches, forums and so on.
To turn around and see a pineapple in the very minute I am deciding on IVF/no IVF, really just kind of made me giggle. You may not believe in God, you may not believe in divine intervention, but after this week, I do! And he slapped me right in the face with our next move today ❤️
So, after we thought all was lost just a week ago, we find ourselves now preparing for an IVF retrieval on Monday morning. We know that the odds are still not in our favor, but life really slapped us upside the head this week and I know no matter what, we have strength to get through whatever is next for us. If you so choose, we ask for you to pray for our next steps. Specifically, for Aaron and I to find some peace and moments of rest this weekend as we are stressing about the retrieval. For our eggs to continue to grow through the weekend, and for them to survive the extraction, insemination, and growth period.
We love you all, and every ounce of support has been truly a blessing for us in this strange place we find ourselves. Stay tuned…