Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Second time's a charm??

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you. - Psalm 33:22

I started my daily Lupron injections on September 29, 2009, and our donor was set to start taking her stimulation injections on October 17th. At this point, Jason and I had to refinance our house in order to afford a second round of IVF. Donor eggs don't come cheap people! Some people will pay upwards of $20,000 to a single donor! We didn't care if our donor was a Harvard supermodel with ties to the Kennedy's or the Royal family, so we settled for a very lovely young woman, with a great medical history, and who only wanted $5000 (the average going rate at the time).

Before starting our first round of IVF with my cousin, Jason and I took a "Last Hurrah" cruise, since we thought it would be the last trip we would take together as a family of two. Well, we all know how that worked out. So we decided to have a "Last Hurrah" Take 2, and hit up New Orleans for Jason's birthday. We really needed this time to unwind and reconnect before jumping back on board the crazy train when we got back. The mini vacay was awesome! I had actually never been to New Orleans before, so I was beyond excited! We had such an amazing time! I had asked my physical therapist (oh sheesh, I guess I forgot to mention that whole mess! I'll get to it in a minute) for advice on places to go since she was from there. We hit up all the usual spots, as well as some lesser known gems! Like this one. Can I just say... wow it was amazeballs (for all my mama laughlin readers)!
The Pecan Waffle was the bomb!
This was our first stop - and Jason got totally hammered after 2 grenades! We had to go back to the B&B and take a nap.

The town was BANANAS! LSU was playing Florida and crazy college co-eds were EVERYWHERE - you'ld think we went during Mardi-Gras - It was awesome!

OK, so a quick side note about the whole physical therapy business. Some details of what you are about to read may be slightly fictionalized - should certain people, ahem my parents, read this one day. I'll let you decide which part that might be. So, shortly after getting married and having relations for the first time ever, I discovered that it hurt like hell pretty much every.single.time. And I would inevitably bleed afterwards every.single.time. While I'm sure it did wonders for my husband's ego, I was not having it. You hear all this talk about how great sex is, and yet here I was YET AGAIN, different from everyone else. Can I just catch a break here? If I can't get pregnant from sex, can I at least ENJOY it?! Well, this went on for YEARS. I'm not saying I never enjoyed sex, in fact after the initial pain of insertion went away, it was quite enjoyable, but then when it was over, the pain came back, lasted a few days, and then the cycle repeated itself all over again. I had told my doctor, and she suggested lube (really doc? No shit!), then she prescribed some estrogen suppositories. Um yeah, that was gross. I think I'll take the pain over having damp, dripping, creamy, panties all the time, uhthankyouverymuch. Lovely description, huh. If only I were making this stuff up people. This crap really happened. Feeling better about your own life yet? No, well just wait, it gets better! So, when we had made the decision to start trying for a family, I decided to switch to a new doctor (ob/gyn) that was closer to our house. Upon several recommendations of friends, I chose Dr. G. Can I just tell you that he is THE best doctor on the face of the planet! On my very first appointment (my annual), within maybe 2 minutes of being all up in my business, he peeked up from behind the sheet and asked me if it hurt when I had sex. Um, yeah, only always, how did you know? Long story, short... I have vaginismus along with everything else - yay me! If you don't know what it is, you can read all about it here. So there are many possible causes for how/why a woman develops vaginismus, but I think mine is directly related to the events that occurred when I was 15. Regardless, it's not as easy as here take this pill, or perform this surgery to fix it, no no, it's much more involved than that. I went to a physical therapist that specialized in pelvic floor disorders - who knew this even existed?! I went every week for several months, where she would essential torture me, or at least that's how it felt, and I was ordered to do dilator therapy at home, and in time, I would be able to control my muscles and reverse the tightening reactions of my pelvic floor. Why not, right? We're made of money! Naturally, insurance covered pretty much none of these therapies. So yeah, that's the story behind the physical therapy. Jealous?
Now, where were we? Oh yes, so while we were in Nawlins, I began my Lupron injections (in my belly). On the 26th, we got a call from our RE's office letting us know that, unfortunately, the ultrasound was only showing 5 follicles with our donor. All we could do was hope and pray that each follicle would produce an egg, and that one, just one of them would become our baby. They proceeded with the egg retrieval on the 28th, and Jason went up to clinic to do his part. Again. I'm pretty sure when Jason asked him mom where babies came from, she forgot to mention the part about beating off into a plastic cup in a small room at a clinic. How weird would that be, walking in, everyone knowing exactly what you're doing behind that door - ugh I shudder. All 5 follicles did indeed produce eggs, however they did not seem to be developing properly once fertilized, and by day 2, our RE wanted to go ahead and do the transfer. If you recall, we had 10 eggs with the first round and transferred 3 embryos on day 5 -so this was all kinds of different for us. On the day of the transfer, only one little embryo was viable.
There will come a time when you can't make it on your own
And in your hour of desperation
Know you're not the only one
Prayin', "lord above, I need a miracle
I need a miracle"
-Third Day "I Need A Miracle"
The RE even questioned whether it was even worth it to us to go through with the procedure. Needless to say, he did not have high hopes for this little embryo. But, we had come this far, and I  went back to my mantra, "all you need is one", and we went for it. I have never prayed so hard in my life. I was in constant prayer every single second of the day. For 9 whole days. I went in for my beta (blood test) on 11/11, hoping that it would be our lucky day. I had plans of cute ways to surprise Jason with the news. There are so very few surprises in the world of IVF. I remember this day so clearly. It was an awful day. For some reason I wasn't working, maybe it was a Saturday? I was at the mall returning something, my head was in a fog all day, I couldn't focus on anything, including driving apparently. When I was pulling out of the parking lot, I straight up slammed my car into another lady who was also backing out. Great. Luckily, there was no damage, so we didn't even exchange info. I got in my car and started crying, like I already knew how this day was going to end. I was supposed to meet up with my friend who was in town at a different mall across town, so I started heading that way. I pulled into the parking lot and was about to get out when my phone rang. It was my RE's office. I thought they were going to wait until later to call, and for a split second I thought to myself that maybe they were just so excited with good news that they just couldn't wait. Yeah, I was wrong. The beta was negative. Again. My heart sunk. It was as if all the blood in my body drained down to the floorboard of my car. I was alone. After several minutes of punching my steering wheel and mascara running down my face, I put my big girl panties on and resolved to not lose it until I got home. Just focus long enough to get home. Then you can crawl into a ball and cry until you have no more tears left. And that is exactly what I did.    
I hope to have part 4 up today. 

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