Saturday, December 22, 2012

No Christmas Miracle Here

Not that I was really expecting a Christmas miracle, but then again Mary was either, AF showed up bright and early on Friday morning. It was by far the worst cramps in years, to the point of actually getting sick!  DP, so sweetly pointed out that maybe my body needed one more really bad month to get ready for a year of peace! Ok not peace but you know what I mean. Let's hope that is the case.  I start back on birth control tomorrow.  Does it seem weird to anyone else that in order to try and get pregnant we go back on birth control! Yes I know the science behind it but still weird to my mind.  Talked to Walgreens yesterday and they are working on the final price for the first round of meds which should be in next week.  We go back to the doctor on Jan. 8, until then we just have some large checks to write and enjoy Christmas with family. 

"You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it" -Matthew 21:22

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

If everything goes as planned...

My first beta will be 2 months from today!!! I know the chances of things going as planned now are very slim but hey a girl can dream!  My nurse gave me all of my dates the other day and I noticed last night that February 19 is suppose to be the first beta. As much I love to plan ahead no one should be able to plan their pregnancy test 2 months in advanced!  That is just insane to me.  All of my meds have been ordered by my nurse and they should be here by Friday!  Oh man that's crazy.

I was inspired yesterday by Kara and Catching Our Rainbow and their inspirational quotes.  In high school and undergrad I kept a quotes books.  It was a journal where I wrote down any quote that I read and related to.  It had silly ones, romantic ones, serious one, and everything in between.  When my little sister started college I gave her my book.  I thought it would be a great thing for her to have while she is away at school.  She is a junior now and she has been adding her own quotes to it for the past two years.  After yesterday I realized that I miss having a quotes book.  So I have started a new one! This one is going to be full of inspirational thoughts, scriptures, and anything else that will help  me get through the IVF process.  I am really looking forward to working on this and keeping it with me.  Thank you ladies for the inspiration!

"God has a reason for allowing things to happen.  We may never understand His wisdom, but we simply have to trust His will." - Psalms 37:5

Monday, December 17, 2012

A great read

I love to read! I am so busy most of the year with school reading that I rarely get to read something I enjoy. However, I try my best.  When we started struggling TTC I immediately searched for a book to read on the topic.  I wanted a Christian book but one that was realistic as well. I did not want one that said pray about it and God will take care of it! We have done plenty of praying trust me!

I found a book that I absolutely love! I have read it and taken notes on it and have since passed it along to a friend who says she loves it as well!  The title is Dear God Why Can't I Have a Baby?

This book takes you step by step the process you will probably go through (deciding to try, just seeing what will happen, charting, OPK, why aren't we getting pregnant, doctor's etc).  The author and her daughters all three struggled getting pregnant and all three provide excerpts from their journals during that time.  In addition there are a lot of stories from other women that really helped me to realize the emotions I was/am having are completely normal and to be expected.  Different chapters will hit home for different women depending on their situation (secondary fertility for one does not hit home with me but does with my friend).  If you are looking for a good book I strongly recommend this one! If anyone else has read it I would love to hear what you thought about it. 

The title is perfect to me! Isn't that the question we ask over and over.  God I feel like I am doing everything right, I am trying to follow your plan so why is it not happening? While the book does not give an exact answer as to why (who could really do that over than God himself) it really helps to show that God has a plan and everything is happening according to HIS will not ours.  The book really made me realize that there is a reason we are going through this.  DP and I have talked about it so much, including again last night. We don't know why we were choosen by God to go through this, but we are really starting to believe that we were choosen by God to go through this.  The purpose maybe so we will adopt children, as we have always been very open to this idea.  Maybe the purpose is for us to minster to other young couples who are going through it.  Maybe it is for me to focus my career not only on women's health but on fertility issues and educating women and the general public. Whatever the reason is, we believe there is a reason and we trust that God will never give us more than we can handle! 

"Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bottom line

We got the bottom line price for our IVF.  I had debated posting the final price, since I do have some IRL friends who follow me, but then I remembered my purpose in blogging: 1) to help any other women or men for that matter out there who are struggling getting pregnant 2) so I can remember what we went through and how great God was through it all.  With that being said here is the bottom line: $23,725.81 (including ICSI for one cycle) without medications!!!

We are using Advanced Reproductive Care (ARC) out of California which partners with RE's offices to provide packages to patients.  Lucky for us our RE joined ARC about 6 months ago.  Through ARC we have selected the 2-Plus package with refund guarantee.  What this package consists of is 2 fresh cycles and 2 frozen cycles.  If we do not achieve a live birth we get 70% of the above amount back.  For us we really felt this was the best option.  The price is actually really good, better than our RE's office, and the refund was something we could not pass up.  Granted if we have a baby the first try we are out some money, but not as much as I thought we would be.  If we have a baby the first time out of the gate we will not care about the money! 

Regardless how great we feel about using ARC and the 2 plus plan, when I got the final price yesterday I though oh my goodness this is real!  I know I probably should have had this moment last week when we signed the consent forms, but for some reason the money did it!  DP and I talked for a while last night about how we felt about writing a check for $23,000!  He said he has absolutely no apprehensions about it! Wow talk about a relief!  I had this fear in the back of my mind that when he saw the bottom line he would freak.  But I should know my husband better than that!  Anytime he says he is going to do something you might as well consider it done.  He NEVER goes back on his word to  me, to others, to the youth at church, if he says he is going to do something he is period.  I love this man so much!

In the next few days we will be emptying our savings account basically, but I have complete faith in God that is what we are suppose to be doing and that He is in complete control over the outcome.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another pregnant friend....

We have a wonderfully close group of friends that we went to undergrad with.  There are literally 30 something of us and we are unusually close friends, we say we are more like a family then friends. We were all members of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) at UF and we went to church together for the most part.  We love to have fun at Gator football games and all have so much in common mainly that we place God first in our lives (Gators are pretty high on the list as well!).  I could never ask for a better group of friends. 

However, since we have been TTC 3 friends have now become pregnant.  One friend got pregnant the first month they were trying.  Sadly they were pregnant with twins and she miscarried one of the twins very early on when we were actually all together. She delivered a healthy beautiful baby boy last week. The next friends to get pregnant got pregnant month 3.  We saw her about a month and half ago and she is doing great and is due in January. This morning we got an email from another friend that she is pregnant and due in May.  She and her husband have only been married about a year and I was forewarned that she wanted to get pregnant asap (her husband is in his mid-40's she is 28) so of course I am happy for her that it worked the way she planned. 

I have always been the "mom" in the group.  I plan most of our get togethers, I host a lot of them during football season. I am even the one to organize us buying presents for each other (including baby presents recently). I have always wanted to be the first or one of the first to get pregnant in our group.  That is just not in the plans.  Very few of our friends know what is going on.  We just haven't been very open with them all since when we are all together it is rare and we keep the conversation fun and not focused on hard things in life.  DP has talked to one of the guys and his wife and I have talked but other than that no one really knows.  Some know we were talking about trying but have not really followed up to see if we really are.  I love our friends like family and want the best for them.  I really am thrilled that there will be little ones in the group soon.  I just want them to all be excited for us when it is our turn.  I want them to know how hard this really was for us and that we did not get pregnant the first or third month.  We took years and we had to use IVF!!!! Happy for them all but feeling left behind....

Signed our lives away and final exams

Last week was insane for us. 

I finished my second to last semester of classes ever (not going to count dissertation hours at this point!)!!!!  Talk about a relief this semester has been an emotional roller coaster and I was so relieved to be done with it.  Now just waiting for the grades.

We signed our lives away on Wednesday or at least it feels that way.  We signed all of the forms needed to complete IVF!  It was a really surreal experience. We spent Tuesday night reading the over 30 pages (front and back mind you) of consent forms.  Then of course we had to make some decisions that you never really expect to have to make (what happens to the frozen embryos in case of death, divorce???).  DP wanted to actually sleep on some of the decisions before we signed them, great since I wasn't already anxious enough just add some more anxiety why don't you!  In the end we agreed pretty easily on all the decisions. 

Wednesday morning we made it to the doctor's appointment and signed all the forms with no problem, since we had read them the night before.  Then we met with one of the nurses who is in charge of a clinical trial I am involved in.  About 6 months ago my friend AG, found out about a study going on at UF for women who are trying to convince both naturally and with IVF, they run some tests before conception, and then several times during pregnancy and give you $1800!  I of course signed up immediately for the natural conception group and had all of the pre-test done and was just waiting to get pregnant.  Since that obviously was not the plan I have been moved into the IVF group.  I signed the forms on Wednesday and the nurse says I have good news for you "the IVF groups gets an extra $200!"  Hey we will take anything we can get!

After signing those forms, we met with our IVF nurse/coordinator, let's call her JG.  I love her to death!  I actually work with her husband and have met her several times throughout the years so it great to already have a relationship with her.  She gave us all of the dates for our cycle!! I will post the details later but for now we are waiting for my next cycle due around Christmas.  I will start BC then.  Right now I am shopping around for the best prices on meds.  JG recommended Walgreen's Fertility Program and said they typically have the best prices, but I have to do the research myself just because I am type-A like that!

Next we got to meet with the psychologist.  DP had never been to any kind of counseling and I really didn't know how he would do.  He is really quite and doesn't talk about feeling (says he doesn't have them actually, another story).  The appointment went great though! She said she thought we were really well prepared for what was coming and saw no reason we would  not be great! DP even did a good job of expressing himself and was very much himself (very few concerns and whatever happens is what God has planned etc).

Now we just wait for Christmas!!!! Oh how I love the countdown to Christmas because it means I can start BC and we can keep moving forward!