Landon’s spending the night with my mother in law.
Tomorrow at 9am we go for our blood draw that will tell us if we are pregnant or not. Results should be back around 2pm.
Send all the good vibes, if you have any to spare.
Landon’s spending the night with my mother in law.
Tomorrow at 9am we go for our blood draw that will tell us if we are pregnant or not. Results should be back around 2pm.
Send all the good vibes, if you have any to spare.
This morning the embryologist called at 9:53.
He explained to me that on the third day they like to see the embryos dividing into 7-9 cells, with 8 cells being “perfect”. He said that our embryos have little to no fragmentation which is a very good thing as well.
We have 6 embryos that are in the 7-9 cell range, and we have 1 embryo that is a little behind at 6 cells. The embryologist did tell me that there is a very good chance that 6 cell embryo could catch up though. He even said “I could go check on it after we get off the phone and it could be in the 7-9 cell range”.
Hell yes. I just cannot believe it!
I truly credit some of this success to the book “It starts with the egg” by Rebecca Fett. She discusses specific studies that have been done for Diminished Ovarian Reserve women; She then gives you a suggested list of supplements and vitamins to take (all with the approval of your doctor, obviously). I seriously think that all of those have made a huge impact on my embryo quality (also, the fact that we have no Male factor infertility issues what so ever helps a lot).
I started taking the following supplements 4 months before our cycle:
In the book the author states that DHEA is supposed to do wonders for women with DOR. I spoke with my RE and he had never really read any studies about it, but agreed to let me take it as long as I kept him updated on if I stopped or whatever. I’m pretty sure if this cycle yields ALL good quality embryos, I’m going to buy him the book as a gift 🙂
Now, there is a chance that the eggs all fertilized because we chose to do ICSI instead of regular IVF fertilization. ICSI is a process where one single good quality sperm is injected into the egg (see below). This is always done for people choosing to do PGS testing (click the link to learn more about PGS testing), and often used when you have Male Factor Infertility as well.
From here, we wait until they call me on Tuesday morning. The embryologist said he would call me before 9 am, just incase we needed to come in for a transfer later that afternoon.
He told me that he recommends that we push to day 5 even if we decided to do a fresh transfer instead of freezing them and transferring in July. I’m really happy that he seems to think they are all good quality; What a great feeling for us! I guess we will see what happens on Tuesday when he calls. If we are looking at only 1-3 being good quality and growing normally, I think we may look at transferring fresh, but if they look good we are going forward with the day 5+6 biopsies. The PGS testing results should take about a week to get back.
There is a saying that goes ” You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”. I kind of hate it a little bit; It always struck me as insensitive in a way? I don’t know if that is even the right word, and let me explain why.
These people didn’t want to have to be “this strong“. They literally were dealt a shitty hand and had to deal with it. When someone dies, majority of the time the person who loses said loved one has no other choice than to go on. Sure, you could lock yourself in your house, become a hermit, take drugs, drink yourself to death etc etc, but sometimes you know that’s not possible even though every fiber of your being wants it to be. It applies to anything, really. But it always comes back to the fact that this person is being put into a shitty situation then the worst thing happens. You didn’t ask for the worst thing to happen – it just does. So that’s why you have to be strong. No one asked you for your fucking opinion, life just decided it wanted to fuck you.
Today at Therapy we were discussing moving forward with IVF and all things involved. My therapist is constantly amazed at the information that Shane and I have regarding all things TTC. She tells us that she knows we have done our homework on the subject, and that she’s happy Dr.J listens to us when we have a concern/suggestion about a protocol. She also always makes it a point to tell us that we are “so strong”, or “brave” for moving forward with IVF. I appreciate her sentiment obviously, but I am secretly rolling my eyes at it.
I didn’t have a choice. My daughter was stolen from me, without any warning, and what else am I supposed to do? I don’t feel strong. I don’t feel brave.
How do I feel? Angry. Sad. Like I was failed by modern medicine and doctors.
I definitely don’t feel strong or brave when I think about doing IVF. I feel pissed. I am so beyond frustrated that this is where my life has led me. I’m obviously thankful that we can afford to do this, and that my husband is on board, but sometimes I just step back and think “really?“. It does not make me brave to do IVF after the loss of my child; if I want to continue to grow my family what other choice do I have? The answer is none, because I was never given one. I’m not strong because I give myself shots every night, and go through countless doctors appointments and labs. I’m determined.
I will not let this define me. I am forever changed by my daughters death, but that’s not the end of my story (or ultimately hers). I am a damn good mother, and I know that I will have more children. I will love them with every single piece of my soul just like I love Landon and Kenley.
The IVF stuff is not what makes me strong and brave. Loving Kenley, even though she is not here physically, that’s what makes me strong and brave. Waking up every morning and functioning after the loss of my daughter is what makes me strong and brave.
Living every day since I heard she didn’t have a heartbeat is the strongest and most brave thing I have ever done and will ever do.
Today I had my third monitoring appointment; things looked A LOT better in there!
Saturday I had 4 follicles on each ovary; today I have 5 measurable ones on each ovary! Dr.J said I really “rallied” here at the end. I’ll take that.
The plan is for me to continue my Follistim (425) and Menopur (150) tonight like normal. Take my Ganirelix in the morning (to stop my body from ovulating by itself). I will take my left over Follistim and Menopur to my appointment tomorrow at 9 a.m.; I will have an Ultrasound and Blood work while I’m there. After we see how things look tomorrow morning, they will (more than likely) give me another dose of Follistim and Menopur, then draw my blood. After that I will go home, and Shane will give me my trigger shot (hcg) in the evening at the time the RE tells us. We will then do our Egg Retrieval on Thursday morning!
I can’t believe that things are actually looking good for us. It has been an extremely emotional last week for us, and I am S T R E S S E D. It’s so hard to not know what is happening with the cycle. I mean, you’re given this calendar at the beginning of the cycle so you have an “idea” of what to expect, but things can change at the drop of a hat.
I’m so so thrilled that things are looking ok for us. I mean, we’re not out of the woods yet obviously, and we know just because we get pregnant doesn’t mean we will have a take home baby – Unfortunately.
Speaking of Kenley, tomorrow will be 24 weeks . It has almost been six months. I can’t. I can’t even begin to believe it. It makes me so incredibly sad; I don’t think my brain can make sense of it. I mean, I know she’s gone but it just hurts so much to think about it. When I start to think about it, I feel dizzy; I’m pretty sure it’s a defense mechanism, but still. I get hot, and feel the room spinning when I let my brain go to the dark places. I want to do something special for her tomorrow, but I’m sure I will just let myself down so I better not set any expectations. Maybe I will light a candle for her tomorrow evening? If you light one tomorrow, think of Kenley.
I know she’s gone and she will never be here with us. I wish I could just hold her again. See her beautiful face again. Run my hands over her face, and through her auburn hair. Oh baby girl, I miss you so incredibly much.
You’ve changed my life, and I will never be complete until we are together again.
Well, today looked better than Thursday.
My left ovary has been an over-achiever, and had the two lead follicles on Thursday. So, a recap of what we had on Thursdays’s scan was:
Right Ovary- 12, 10, 9 and the Left Ovary- 18, 17, 10
That shows the RE that my left ovary was being an asshole and hogged all the meds and those two follicles grew too fast. It wasn’t looking good on Thursdays scan.
Today, however, I had :
Right Ovary-15, 15, 13, 10 and Left Ovary- 22, 22, 12, 9
We had two smaller follies pop up into the good “range”. What Dr.J decided is that we are going to let the two 22mm follies “go”. We are going to focus on the other six and hope that they all get to where he is comfortable with them. I am going to continue my meds tonight, and Sunday night. I will go back on Monday @ 10:45am for another scan and blood work. I’m also still taking the shots to keep my body from ovulating on its own. I will take that shot tomorrow morning, and Monday morning as well. I had to call and have 2 more Ganirelix overnighted from Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy.
Also, my uterine lining is 8.3 which is good. I’m starting to feel a little…hopeful? Cautiously optimistic? I’m not sure what it is yet.
Come on Ovaries…you can do it.
So, I guess we will see what things look like on Monday at my scan. There’s nothing I can do to change anything that is happening. It’s out of my hands now – Fuck yeah Science!
Also, because I know you’re wondering what an ovary with follicles on it looks like:
(No, this is not my ovary)
Last year at this time I was just a few weeks pregnant. My front flower beds always grew up with pricker bushes; mutant ones who don’t die when you spray them. I remember my mom busted her ass pulling them all out for me while I was in the bathroom puking. I let them all grow back because I was too sick the entire pregnancy to get out there and do anything to them. I had landscapers come in and quote me on redoing the front, and they ranged from 3-6k. Nope.
This summer, I spent almost every day outside in the early spring. I kept looking at my flower beds thinking that I needed to do something with them. So, one day, I did. I was just so sick of them looking like shit, and feeling bad about them. I weeded, laid landscaping fabric, sprayed the other weeds, etc. I went to the store and bought a ton of flowers and planned where they would go. After that was all done, Landon and I went to buy mulch with Shane’s truck. I mulched the entire flower bed, around the trees, and in front of the windows. I did 98% of this by myself.
Not trying to throw Shane under the bus or anything, I just did it myself. I had to. In some weird way it was like I had control over something, finally. It was a lot of freakin hard work, and I pretty much wanted to quit every second. I remember starting and was clearing out in front of the windows, Kenley’s windows. I stood up and could see through the blinds to her closet. I saw her bright pink curtain, and the exersaucer my friend Caroline bought for her. It was like slow motion; I saw the stuff but didn’t really realize I saw it? It hurt – A lot.
I think part of me wanted to continue the landscaping every day so that I could be near her window; So I could have an excuse to look in if I felt like it. I love her room so much. Both windows in the front of the house are her windows. I go out every single morning and water my flowers, and look through her blinds. I hate how different my life is this June, in comparison to last June. It is so incredibly unfair.
I’m sitting here tonight, completely alone, watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Completely alone, no sweet baby inside of me like last June. Instead, just a bunch of follicles trying to help me achieve another child.
Landon is with my Mother in law tonight, and tomorrow morning is more IVF monitoring. I’m hoping for some sort of miracle at the scan, but I just don’t have any hope. I don’t know what will happen to this cycle, and I just need to know. I need to plan things out.
It’s so weird to think that my life is so much different then last year at this time, yet it’s almost completely the same. Looking in, everything is the same. Shane, Landon and I are all still here; Everything is the same. We just have a nursery that our dead child will never use. It’s a huge smack in the face.
It is like nothing has changed, but every single thing has.
Last night, Landon stayed with my mother in law. Shane and I had our first monitoring appointment for this IVF cycle @ 9:15; our office is 40ish minutes from the house so it was easier that way for everyone.
When we got there, it was shit news from the get go.
Let me refresh everyone on what we were working with-
13 follicles at my baseline AFC (meaning, potentially, 13 of those could be growing evenly and possibly be retrieved) and everything else looked good. I have stimmed (taken shots) for 4 days. The hope was that everything would be growing evenly and just going to town in there.
My right ovary had 3 follicles (12mm, 10mm ,9mm) and my left had 3 as well (18mm , 17mm, 10mm). They need to be 15mm to be able to be retrieved and mature properly. So what happened was two of my follicles hogged all the freakin medicine. My RE almost canceled me. I don’t know what to expect on Saturday when we go in again for monitoring.
The plan is to start medicine to stop my body from ovulating on its own (took my first dose this morning at like 10am), increase my follistim to 425, and my menopur to 2 vials, and hope against all odds that the two lead follicles slow the hell down, and let the other ones catch up in size. My E2 came back at 408 which they said was good and felt comfortable continuing.
I don’t know what happened to my 13 in there. Six follicles- Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me? All this money were spending, all the time, all the shots, all the trips to the RE…and I have 6 growing. It’s not good. The hope is to get as many good quality eggs as possible, but well…I guess we will have to wait and see what happens.
If things still look this way on Saturday, we will probably trigger that night, and do an egg retrieval on Monday morning. I really want to believe that my eggs are good quality because I’ve never had that issue, I’m young, and I’ve been taking a shit ton of vitamins for a really long time now.
The plan (I use this word VERY loosely) is to retrieve the eggs on Monday, and go for a 3 day transfer of TWO embryos, which I won’t lie, scares the hell out of me. Implanting two good quality embryos in me, a healthy 30 year old with no issues except low egg count, will more than likely result in twins. I’m just feeling defeated.
I just want to cry. Today hasn’t been good, and to have this IVF cycle go to shit really just takes the wind out of my sails. Come on life, I barely have any as it is.
I remember falling in “love” for the first time in 6th grade. I thought that was it; I would love this person for the rest of my life! He was the one who made me happy (whatever that was in 6th grade- pretty sure it was holding my hand haha), and made me laugh. I remember the feeling of complete happiness I felt when I would get to school and sit next to him in class; how happy I was to go home and talk to him on the phone after school. Such a strong feeling for 6th grade. Oh 6th grade self, if you only knew.
As time went on, I realized that the 6th grade love wasn’t going to last, and I “loved” other people. When I met Shane my senior year in High School, it was so different. I loved him so incredibly much, and felt so strongly about him. He made me laugh, smile, loved the same music as I did, and we just had a lot in common. He was the one; I knew it. I fell hard for Shane. I withdrew from college, and moved to Columbus to be closer to him after we had only known each other for 4 months.
Six years, and a lot of moving around later, we were engaged. I never doubted that I wanted to spend forever with Shane, not one time. I still don’t. 12 years later we still love each other like we did the first day we met, just differently. He’s going to be such an amazing dad to Landon as he grows up, and to our future living children. He was an amazing father to Kenley – He still is, and always will be. I know how much he loves her, and it warms my heart.
When I found out I was pregnant with Landon, I was so happy. I thought I didn’t want children, until I met Shane’s family and saw how they got along so well. I knew I wanted that. When I had Landon, I felt a love so strong that it’s impossible to describe. It was a different type of love. I was so concerned with how I was going to love a child more than I loved Shane. When Landon was born, I realized it wasn’t more or less that I loved him, it was differently. I loved Landon so much differently than I loved Shane.
When we found out we were pregnant with our second baby (first miscarriage), we were so happy. I felt that surge of love again. I knew I had a lot of feelings about a new baby. I was nervous, and scared. How would I love this baby as much as I loved Landon? How do you split your love between two children? We eventually miscarried this baby, and we were heart broken. That was a new level of pain that I had hoped to never experience in the first place, let alone 2 more times. We lost another baby to a chemical pregnancy. Another knife in my heart.
When we got pregnant with Kenley, it was different. Things progressed well. She had a normal heartbeat, and all her ultrasounds were normal. There was no reason for us to be concerned past my loss milestone dates. When we found out she was perfect genetically speaking, we were thrilled. We knew she was it. She was our Rainbow. I was worried again about giving her as much love as Landon. How was it possible? I came to peace with that fear, and I knew that I would once again love them differently, but just as fiercely as the other. When I found out Kenley died, I cannot describe the pain I felt. It will forever be the worst thing that happened to me. When I held her lifeless body, I was so in love. She is my daughter and she would never know pain from the outside world. I loved her so incredibly much. I will love her forever with the same intensity as the first time I saw her beautiful face.
Now I can say that I love them both the same, but differently. I love Landon as my living child, and Kenley as the child who lives in my heart (along with her 2 siblings). I will never get to physically mother Kenley like I get to with Landon, but that doesn’t change the fact that I love her just as intensely. I am forced to love her in unconventional ways, which isn’t fair what so ever. I will always love her differently, and that makes me very sad. I wish she was here to let me love her in the traditional sense. I want to kiss her sweet face, and tell her how much I love her while rocking her to sleep at night. I want to tickle her belly and hear her laugh. I want the sloppy open mouth kisses from her. I will forever long for her to be here in my arms.
I’m so thankful that I know this love, though. True Love.
I love my children with every fiber of my being. All four of them.
The title of this post has many meanings; let me explain what I mean.
I was sitting here trying to think of a way to title this post, and I was coming up blank. I knew the things I wanted to write about and I just couldn’t figure it out. Then it came to me – STEPS.
Taking steps moving forward in my life.
Never getting to see Kenley take steps.
Taking steps by walking in a 5k for a woman who lost her daughter, Lydie, to stillbirth.
If you write it out enough, it just doesn’t even look like a word. You know how if you say a word too much it starts to sound weird, or not like a word? Same for when you spell it out over and over, it just looks weird eventually. I feel that way about repeating that my daughter is dead over and over. Kenley is dead. She died. I will never have her here with me on this earth again. It just doesn’t make fucking sense.
On October 1st, the woman who lost her daughter that I mentioned above has set up a 5k/1mile/kids dash in Columbus. All proceeds benefit the Star Legacy Foundation for stillbirth research and education. I want to participate in this so incredibly much. I want to start a team for Kenley. I feel a special connection to this woman, Heather, for many reasons.
She is from our area, she has also lost her beautiful daughter, and the most fucked up reason of all? She and her Husband were the people who raised the money to donate Cuddle Cots to the hospital system where we had Kenley. Kenley used a cuddle cot, which lengthened her stay with us in the room.We spent approximately 2 days with Kenley. Heather and her Husband only spent 6 hours with their daughter. Six Hours. For her entire life, she will only have those 6 hours with her daughter. It breaks my heart that she did not have this item and was not able to spend more time with her daughter, but I am beyond thankful that I was given that opportunity because of them.
If you’re interested in walking in this 5k/1mile walk here is the information:
I’ve been seeing a lot of babies around Kenley’s age lately. There seems to be an abundance of them at T-ball games. It crushes my soul each time I see a cute little girl, in a cute little sundress and headband being carried lovingly by their mother. It should be me. I should be carrying Kenley around, enjoying every single second of it. Instead I’m envious of the other mothers. It pains me to look at them, and be near them. I’m not a mean person, and I’m not mad that they have their children; I don’t wish what happened to us on my worst enemy. It’s just the worst pain there is, I’m almost 100% sure of it. I look away, I look at the ground, any thing to avoid the happy family with the daughter that I should have. The families who never had an issue having their sweet daughter, who never had to hear the worst words in the world – ” Unfortunately, there is no heartbeat”.
Yeah, good choice of words doctor. Unfortunately. I want to punch that doctor in her stupid face. I will forever hold this against her as a person. Have a little fucking compassion. There needs to be a change in medical care in regard to dealing with these issues because they are real, and they happen. Don’t tell me my daughter died in the middle of triage, where the rooms are separated by curtains. Don’t let me sit there and hear the other ladies being monitored with their beautiful children hearts beating on the monitors.
Some times I literally cannot believe these things have happened to me. To my family. To my husband and my son. To my daughter.
I can’t believe that we have to do IVF in hopes that we someday get to complete our family. I can’t believe that we have NO fertility coverage for IVF and we have to pay every single cent out of pocket. It just seems so unfair after what we’ve gone through. There should be someone with an actual heart who reviews your case and that is how your coverage is decided. You will cover my child’s autopsy report, but you will not cover a single thing related to having a child with infertility issues? It’s sickening, really.
The worst part of all of this is how incredibly fucked up my “Mom” mind is from all of this.
Everything has a direct link to my pregnancy with Kenley, or the fact that she is no longer here with us. Thinking about getting pregnant again is exciting because we will be bringing another child into the world. I’m sure we will feel more joy than we can even imagine right now. But…those thoughts come with thoughts of panic about her nursery, her things, this happening again, or something else happening.
I’m pretty sure that my life is always going to be an ever changing puzzle that I’m never going to figure out – think the Gryffindor stair case that constantly changes in Harry Potter…that’s what I’m sure my life will be forever.
Somedays I don’t have it in me to keep climbing, I won’t lie. I’m hoping as IVF moves along, I will feel more hopeful, more positive.
I just need to work on not letting my guilt pull me under.
Landon stayed with my mother in law last night for a sleepover with his cousin, Madison. They are a year apart, and get along so well. I’m so thankful that Landon has her to play with. I don’t know what I would do if not. It also give me less anxiety when I leave him there while she’s there as well. It makes me feel like he is going to play with her, and stay out of MIL’s way. I know she enjoys having them both there, but still. I just worry.
We went to the movies yesterday afternoon. We saw X-men: Apocalypse; to anyone who said it was bad, you’re dumb. It was really, really good! Since being with Shane, my movie taste has changed; I’m a super nerd in the movie world now. I guess I like to think of it as he’s shown me what good movies truly are 😉 We had popcorn, and pretzel bites; It was probably the worst we’ve eaten in like 4 months. So worth it! After the movie, we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. I enjoy spending time with Shane anywhere we are, but the movies and dinner are my favorite places. We have to drive in the car together to go to those places and I enjoy that as well 🙂
After that we came home and just relaxed. We watched the Cavs suck it up big time, and went to bed.
This morning we were up at 7, and out the door at 8 for my RE appointment. After waiting about an hour to be seen, we were taken back to the room. I always fear that they’re going to put me in Kenley’s room; the room where we had our IUI and got pregnant. Thankfully they didn’t put us there this time. Although I’ve been in there since, so I guess it doesn’t really matter; just another one of those “things” that happens to your brain after a loss.
We waited for Dr. J, and when he came in we started the scan. 8 follicles on my right ovary, and 5 on my left. I will take that – AFC was 13 total. My lining was 4.4 which they said was fine. I had blood work drawn, which came back ok and was cleared to start shots on Sunday night! I had the IVF nurse show me how to mix my Follistim and Menopur to make one shot, and we were on our way.
I feel better.
I was anticipating a terrible AFC count or something being wrong that would stop us from starting IVF; I was dreaming up this awful scenario in my mind of what was going to go wrong. Can you blame me? I didn’t think so.
So, things look well. We set up all of my monitoring appointments for the next two weeks .( 3 trips to the RE in 5 days. 40 minutes each way. All appointments during rush hour….) So now I have to give my MIL a new copy of the calendar and set up with her to keep Landon during these appointments as Shane wants to be with me for them if at all possible.
I feel K with me today. I feel her telling me it’s ok to move forward. I know she would want me happy, but I can’t help but always think of my desire for her.
I really wish I didn’t have to give her back. I would have been the best mother to her.
I miss her so incredibly much.