Monday, December 27, 2010

26 weeks: Bigger than Ever

Well, we've hit 26 weeks today and I'm still feeling good! Yesterday I reached a new milestone with my first day of swollen ankles - I think I did a little too much walking around/standing, so I'll be trying to stay off my feet mostly for the rest of vacation. My hands are also starting to swell ever so slightly. Let's keep praying for no preeclampsia!

I felt "for sure" hiccups in each of the babies at separate times yesterday, which was fun. :)

I'm still not having too many contractions in a day, although I definitely get more when I walk around or do too much. But praise the Lord for no pre-term labor episodes yet - I'd love to keep off of bedrest for as long as possible!

Still no decision about names... although Jonathan and I do need to have a conversation about them while we are on break and he is rested and has time to do whatever he wants, rather than having to come home and cook for me and do chores after a long day of work!

We are so in love with these sweet boys and can't wait to meet them... in 9+ weeks' time (hopefully)!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

24 weeks: These babies could live outside of me! (Scary thought.)

I absolutely don't want my babies coming out for at least another 11 weeks, but I am so thankful for hitting the 24 week mark yesterday - my sweet babies could live outside of me!

Next goal: 3 lb. babies (about 27-28 weeks)!

We are pretty sure on one name and trying to toss around a few options for the second name in our heads. The problem is that Name #1 has a shorter version (nickname) that we will probably always call that baby by, and we want Name #2 to have the same thing... But we can't agree on any nicknames that we both love! Not sharing the names yet, but here's an example: if we were going to name Baby #1 Nicholas, and always call him Nick, I feel like we can't name the other one Carter unless we were to always call him Cart (not just in passing), which is unacceptable to me. (Like the BSB reference there? Heh.) I'm not going to sign a card "Love, Jonathan, Abbie, Nick and Cart." So that is my conundrum. Is this not a problem? If you think I am being crazy and it would be fine to have a Nicholas who we always called Nick and a Carter who we always called Carter, please feel free to let me know in the comments. I guess I would feel like this was not a big deal for siblings, but with twins, I feel like their names should at least sort of go together (even though we are not rhyming them or starting with the same letter).

Weight gain
31 lbs. down, 19+ to go! I have finally caught up with the chart from Dr. Luke's book for recommended weight gain for underweight twin moms. And I am right on schedule, since she likes to see a majority of weight gained toward the front end of pregnancy (I think she said by 24 weeks). Go me!

Pre-Term Labor
Well, I have finally hit a point where I absolutely cannot push myself too far. If I am dehydrated at all (and we're talking less than 8-sixteen ounce glasses of water every day!), haven't eaten enough, go up the stairs too quickly or too frequently, do too much during the course of a day, etc., I get a contraction. Up until this point, God has been gracious to me in my slow learning and I haven't actually had more than one an hour (four an hour for two hours straight is considered pre-term labor). They usually frighten me enough to get me to down a huge glass of water and lay down. At least I know what they feel like now (because before I was worried that I wouldn't recognize a contraction when it came) and can watch for them. But my goal is to not have any triggered contractions (of course pregnant women will always get Braxton Hicks ones that you just can't prevent, but these also shouldn't trigger PTL) over the next week (and, of course, until I'm full term - but I'm taking it one week at a time here). This week is particularly rough for me because we are MOVING and I want to DO things. But although yesterday was quite productive, yesterday night proved that I did WAAAAY too much. So I'm off my feet today and I will be glued to the couch the rest of this week!

Gestational Diabetes
I passed my Glucose Tolerance Test - woohoo! Sadly, they are going to make me retake it around 28-30 weeks, since apparently the results can change.

Fixed! Our friend gave us the name of his mechanic who fixed our $400 problem for only $60. HOORAY!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Olivia's first birthday

Happy first birthday to my precious Livie! She would have been one today.

I am thankful for my sweet girl in heaven who is praising Jesus right now. But I really wish I could have seen her first steps and if she liked chocolate cake as much as her mommy.

It hurts to know that we should be partying it up with a one year old, but I am so thankful for the two precious boys kicking in my womb right now. Lord, please preserve their lives!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

22 weeks: all is well!

Well, I guess I go on record as worst mommy blogger ever. :) Our lives are just so busy right now, though!

What's going on lately:
-Jonathan's name list was at 295 names the other day and has been cut down to 211 thus far. We're making some good progess, folks.
-I have been doing a great job of gaining weight (except this week; I was 114 on Monday and dropped to 113 by today... I guess those 2 cups of ice cream every night really were helping!)
-My new doctor is AMAZING. So lovely. She asked me if anyone had spoken to me about vaginal birth and told me as long as Baby A is head down and not too much smaller than Baby B, we're good to go. She is not repeating ultrasounds on days that I have just had one at the peri's office, which is nice and saves my babes from some radiation exposure, and sits down at a table with me to have conversations, where I am treated like an adult. She actually cares about the things I say - like when I told her I am having some back and hip pain, she gave me a referral to a physical therapist (who healed my hip pain the first day and is going to work with me on my back).
-I just barely failed the one hour glucose test and have to go back for the three hour one on Friday. I am pretty sure I will pass it.
-And on a funny and totally unrelated note, we ran over something on the way home from Thanksgiving break and broke off a plastic bracket that was tying a plate on the bottom of the car to the frame. It is making an awful racket, but seemed to be driving without a problem. When I brought it to the Toyota dealership to have them check it out, they wanted to charge us $400 (four! hundred! dollars!) to fix it... but get this: it is just an annoying noise, nothing is actually going to fall off or break further. So yeah, we're living with a very loud car. If you hear that deafening rattling sound, it's probably just the Burnhams driving to church. :-P

From our 20 week ultrasound:

Sweet baby tootsies!

Cutest lips and nose!

Monday, November 1, 2010

18w, 0d: Boys! (and food questions)

Who thought that I would be carrying twin boys in my womb? I certainly did not think so. I am almost halfway done! (And really, about halfway to full term with twins!)

My constant companion through this pregnancy is worry over my wee ones being too little when they are born. I am so little to be carrying twins and I did not have extra body fat anywhere on me before I was pregnant for them to eat off of later when I can't fit enough into my stomach. My doctors (who are useless and talk down to me and are being fired this week!) are on the opposite end of the scale from my worry and don't even comment on my weight gain ever. I asked for a recommendation of a dietician and they scoffed at me. "Just eat a lot. Around 3000 calories a day." But I don't know how one does that when one is trying not to make all her calories empty ones!

Any recommendations for meals that can be made in bulk and reheated throughout the week, are high in calories, protein, and preferably vitamins/minerals? Currently I have Jonathan make a large batch of chili once a week and that becomes at least one meal every day. I already drink about four glasses of whole milk every day. Ensure is too heavy for my stomach and makes me either 1) throw up or 2) not hungry for the next few hours, so it is not worth the 350 calories. I don't eat nuts, so that is out, and I'm not huge on cheese, but I will eat it if there are other tastes mixed in (such as in quesadillas or tacos). Any ideas?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

16w, 3d: Can you guess the genders?

Baby A

Baby B

For full disclosure, we had a guess of two boys at 12 weeks (but they can often be wrong on those earlier ultrasounds). Now we are at 16 weeks and we are sure this time!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

13w, 5d: Never had a baby this big before!

I'm alive and so are the babes-in-womb. Being pregnant with twins is a lot of work - not complaining, just making an excuse for not updating. :)

My little darlings at 12w, 2d:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Prayers Needed

Please pray for my dear friend, Kiley, who found out yesterday that her baby, Levi, passed away in her womb. She lost a daughter, Avery, in February, so this is a compounded loss, so soon after the first.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

9w, 3d and the munchkins are great!

I had my first appointment at my actual Ob/Gyn's office today! I am seeing a midwife, but she is extremely knowledgeable and kind. They surprised me with an ultrasound today, which was a wonderful surprise. Sadly, Jonathan wasn't there because I was sure that they weren't going to do one! Apparently, since twins' heartbeats are hard to tell apart on Doppler, I will get an ultrasound at every appointment I have.

Our babies are both growing perfectly and are both measuring a couple days ahead of schedule now. One of the babies was perfectly facing the ultrasound probe and the other was a bit reluctant to have his/her photo taken, but we got great shots of both.

It was so sweet to see them wiggling around and to hear some very strong heartbeats. Thank you for your prayers! How good is God for giving us these sweet babies?

New look!

It's about time, huh?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So sick....

....and so happy!

Jonathan and I are expecting (fraternal) twins on April 4, 2011 (really, we're expecting them before then, but that would be my 40 week mark).

I am 7 weeks, 2 days today and sick as all get out. But as I throw up each and every day, what a joy to know that my babies are growing!

We had an ultrasound one week ago and saw two little fluttering heartbeats. One of the babies was measuring smaller than its dates, but he/she is surrounded with prayer and we are hopeful that he/she will keep growing appropriate to his/her own body! The other baby was measuring perfectly on time.

Five more days until our next ultrasound and our release from our RE's office!

Thank you for your prayers. I know that you have been faithful to pray for us because this is amazing beyond our wildest dreams.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I know there are two!

Dear Twinkles,

Yes, I know this early that there are two of you! Not only was my hCG through the roof at only 17 DPO (880! that's almost 6 times what it was with your big sis Olivia on the same day!), but you have made your presence known very early, very strongly.

- I am only 4.5 weeks and I already threw up this morning.
- My uterus feels like pizza dough being stretched out extremely quickly - so much that I thought I was cramping for the past week, wondering when my next cycle was going to start, and that stretching is so strong that it is making my lower back hurt! Ouch!
-I also know that there were two eggs. I saw you both before you were alive!

You are so darling to me, my loves. I hope that we have the next 60-80 years together, but whatever time we have is precious to me!

Your daddy is bursting with love for you already. He has already tried to find the "What to Expect" book so that he can make me eat right, he called me several times yesterday to remind me of things I was not allowed to do any more (lift anything, run around, fall down the stairs, clean the bathroom or anything else). He is already calling you "the babies" and prays for you frequently.

We love you and can't wait to see you for the first time! Only two weeks, and yet it seems like it will be such a long time before then!

Love and hugs and kisses from your smitten mommy,

Friday, July 2, 2010

Waiting for the Morning...

"Good theology is essential if we are going to suffer well. It will help us persevere during our trials, and it will give us hope. We believe that 'Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning' (Ps. 30:5). It is faith in our good and sovereign God that enables us to wait until the morning. But we must never forget that often the night is long and the weeping uncontrollable.

"No amount of good theology is able to take the pain out of suffering. Too often we allow ourselves to believe that a robust view of God's sovereignity in all things means that when suffering comes it won't hurt. God's sovereignity doesn't take away the pain and evil that confront us in our lives; it works them for our good.

"...After all, it isn't suffering if it doesn't hurt."

-Dustin Shramek, "Waiting for the Morning during the Long Night of Weeping" (taken from Suffering and the Sovereignity of God, edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I don't WANT to envy...

...but some days I just want to SCREAM. Mostly at God. (Yeah, how awful is that?)

Can you tell that I'm having a problem with bitter envy today?

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."
Proverbs 14:30

"For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'"
Mark 7:21-23

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."
-I Corinthians 13:4

"But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice."
James 3:14-16

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I would have had a one year old today!

Happy would-have-been earthly birthday to my Max, who would have been one year old today. How quickly time flies.

I bet that you are having a much more rocking birthday party in heaven than I ever could have given you here, but I wish I could be there to see it! Glad to know that you are having a perfect day. :)


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy third anniversary, darling!

Happy third anniversary to my darling Jonathan, the sweetest husband ever! I am so thankful for him and I wanted to list the ways:
1. You make me smile just by being in the room, and make me laugh with everything you say!
2. You know me better than anyone else (except God), and you still like me!
3. You are so considerate of me, and always thinking about what will make my life easier. You gave me your nice, new car for my old, dented van when you realized that I needed a reliable air conditioner!
4. You watch my shows with me (ahem, Bachelorette and Kate Plus Eight) and don't complain. In fact, for my sake, you pretend that you care! You go... See More shopping with me and carry my bags and my purse and try to give me opinions on things that you don't care about.
5. You would never forget our anniversary or my birthday. You make them both so special for me.
6. You always see the cup as half full and remind me of my blessings when I need it the most.
7. You clean the kitchen for me every night without me asking you to and without any complaining, even though you had a long day at work.
8. You keep our home at peace; even when I am upset, you never fight back.
9. You work hard every day to take care of our family, but you never come home with a bad attitude, even though I know there are hard days.
10. You are constantly overlooking what you want for what I want. You are generous to me with everything you have.

Forgot to post on Friday :)

I guess my follicle just needed a day off because Friday it had grown to 18.0 mm and we triggered that evening.... so all done with shots for this month! (And hopefully for a long time, if I conceived!)

It seems like the conditions were perfect for conception, so it is up to God to decide whether I am going to conceive this month or not. Isn't it wonderful that although we don't know our future, we can trust in the One who does? Whether I am pregnant or not, praise to Him for an easy month of fertility treatments.

"For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men."
-Lamentations 3:31-33

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Taking a break?

Today I needed to sleep post-appointment so that I could get back to myself...

...but here's the update: my uterine lining looked perfect - "triple stripes," which apparently is what you want a baby to implant into.

Oddly, neither follicle had grown since yesterday - still 15.8 and 12.4mm. So, I'm praying that that just meant the eggs inside were maturing rather than wasting energy on simply growing. Or maybe they just took a break because of the yucky weather yesterday and didn't want to work so much.

I appreciate all of your prayers. I know God is hearing them and letting us give this whole pregnancy thing the best chance it's got!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happy 18 months in heaven, Max!

One more post today, since I happened to notice that today is the 18 month anniversary of Max's heavenly birthday! What a journey the past 18 months have been, and how privileged am I to have a son who is in front of the King worshipping Him forever. I can't wait to sing this song with you to our Father's face!

The Revelation Song by Phillips, Craig and Dean
Worthy is the
Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy is He
I sing a new song, to Him who sits on
Heaven's Mercy Seat

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I will adore You!

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the Only Wise King,

Filled with wonder,
Awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name
Jesus, Your Name is Power
Breath, and Living Water
Such a marvelous mystery

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come,
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I will adore you!

And again!

Everything looked great today - oddly (for me), I am very close to ovulating, and only on CD8! I have one egg that is 15.8mm and one that is 12.4mm. (18mm or greater will usually ovulate...) I may be ready to ovulate tomorrow, so they are probably going to want me back in again then. If I'm not ready tomorrow, then I will most certainly be ready by Friday. I think I would prefer not being ready until Friday because I want those eggs to have another day to mature! (Just because a follicle is large enough to ovulate doesn't necessarily mean that the egg inside is mature.) Plus, I'd love to have two eggs ovulating and not just one... increase my chances of pregnancy and maybe twins. Which would be great since we don't know where my fertility will be a year from now!

I'm feeling very upbeat today - I am so thankful for your prayers and for knowing that my joy is not based on a happy report (although that is always a nice blessing!), but on the salvation that I have in Jesus Christ.

I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say, "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Monday, June 7, 2010

Perfect? Moi?

I heard a word from my RE today that I have never heard him say before: perfect. As in, "Everything looks perfect."


I haven't heard back from the nurse yet about my E2 (estradiol) levels, but I currently have two or three follicles that are growing (I guess the two were a little more advanced than the third, but it might catch up) and my lining is already at 5.6 mm on day 6 (compared to two months ago when it was only 5 mm on day 9!).


Three self-administered shots down, two more before my next appointment.

"When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other." Ecclesiastes 7:10

(I wanted to end this post the same way as the last because, well, it just fits.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Good and Bad

So, there's good news and bad news. (I am really forcing myself to look on the bright side. Right now, it just seems like bad news to me. I have to keep telling myself that it could be worse.)

Good news: I had 4 follicles on my right ovary and 2 on my left today. I am starting Bravelle this evening.
Bad news: with so few follicles, I am very unlikely to respond well to the drugs that I am taking (and paying $50 per dose for).

More good news: at least we are only aiming for 1-2 mature follicles (unlike IVF, where you really want a lot). I seem to still be getting one every month.
More bad news: We won't be doing IVF ever (with my eggs), it looks like. If I am a bad candidate now, I can't imagine what I would be a year from now, once we were actually able to save up our money!

"When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other." Ecclesiastes 7:10

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

May it be said of me...

"Lord, I am willing to-
Receive what you give,
Lack what you withhold,
Relinquish what you take."

Am I willing to receive suffering and grief?
Am I willing to lack living children?
Am I willing to relinquish another child to Him?

Would I be more willing if I could make my heart understand that He alone is the giver of good things (Luke 11:9-13, James 1:17) and that my trials are joy, because they are creating perseverance in me (James 1:2-4)?

These and many more questions on my heart today as I start on the first round of injectible treatments.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy first heavenly birthday, Olivia!

It is hard to think that my baby, my Olivia, has already been in heaven for a year! But it is true... Every day I think to myself, one day closer to my babies... But today, I can actually say one year closer to my babies! What a joyful thought!

Olivia, I love that I don't have to wish for you to have many more happy years; I know you will! I am so happy that you are happy and actively spending your days bringing glory to the name of God! I can't wait for the day that I get to join you praising His name for eternity. To me, it seems like it is so far away, but it is getting closer every day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exalting in the LORD

I survived Mother's Day - actually, I would say I more than survived. I smiled some, I cried some, and I was so thankful for sweet friends and my kind husband who all helped me get through it. And the sweet thought that maybe next year I will have a baby.

Now I have to get through next Monday... Olivia's first heavenly birthday! What a joyful and yet sad day.

"Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exalt in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength
And He has made my feet like hinds' feet,
And makes me walk on my high places."
-Habakkuk 3:17-19

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day

I can never say it better than Stacy and Shaina.

My heart is hurting in anticipation of Mother's Day. Give a little love to those who don't have their children with them this Mother's Day. Give your children a little extra love for those of us who can't.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Back on the (Infertility) Treadmill

After one very short month off, I'm back on the infertility treadmill. Had my conversation with my doctor today about the plan for the next few treatment cycles. We're going with injectibles but no IUI (thankfully, he was totally with me on that not being necessary). Even though we won't be starting until my next cycle begins, we have lots to do to even prepare for that day, so we have to start now!

Next up, injectible classes and ordering our first round of medications. Wouldn't it be awesome if this worked the first time around? (Wow, okay, that was a little too optimistic for me. Back to reality.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What IF?

April 24-May 1 is National Infertility Awareness Week. As a 25 year old IF patient who may not have many years left with my own fertility, I wanted to share about my infertility journey and to connect you all to others who are going through similar circumstances.

What IF every state passed a law that would require insurance companies to cover fertility treatments and A.R.T. so that people like me and my husband wouldn’t have to choose between their mortgage or having a family?

My husband and I have had a multitude of conversations about having children. They started out simple (are we ready to have kids? yep.) and have become increasingly complicated (is he willing to consider having children that are not biologically related to either me or both of us? not yet.). Let me share some background for those of you who may not have read my story before.

I was married at age 22, and pregnant at age 23 1/2 after only two months of trying. Before I started trying to conceive there was always a nagging thought of, what IF there is something wrong with one of us? It was a tremendous relief to get pregnant so quickly.

But as quickly as it started, it ended. I was diagnosed at 12 weeks with a blighted ovum (a pregnancy where, most likely due to genetic reasons, a fetus does not form, only a sac is present). I was stunned. I had to medicinally abort my baby. Everyone told me, "you're young! You will have another one in no time at all."

And they were right. I got pregnant three months after losing my first and was elated... for three days, until the fever and bleeding at 4 weeks pregnant meant that all was not right. They followed my HCG closely and we were able to see our baby three times with a beating heart, although she was measuring smaller than I thought she should be. We saw her alive and measuring 9 weeks and they told us all would be well. And then I lost her three days later.

I refused to go through another miscarriage without testing. The Ob/Gyns who I saw all sounded a bit ticked that a 25 year old with ONLY two miscarriages would bother having all of this testing done, but I was convinced there was something wrong.

Thankfully, I didn't listen to those Ob/Gyns and eventually found my way to an RE who diagnosed me with poor ovarian reserve, a heterozygous compound MTHFR mutation and a septate uterus. Strikes 1, 2 and 3. Thankfully this isn't baseball, and I'm not out yet.

As of May 17, it will have been one year since I was last pregnant. Thankfully we did not waste that year trying solely on our own before seeking help; we have already tried Clomid for three cycles (let's just say that Clomid and my uterus didn't get along) and are now moving onto Injectibles (daily injections of HCG) to improve the quality of my eggs (without IUI or IVF, since my "piping" obviously works).

And now I get to my what IF. My husband and I have always tried to be fiscally responsible. We currently owe nothing to anyone and are planning on keeping it that way (except possibly a house one day). Our insurance, the best we could find from the government, covers exactly zero dollars for any infertility medication and zero dollars for even doctor's appointments, if they are related to a treatment cycle (which thankfully does not include "timed intercourse cycles," which is what we are currently doing). Although we are racing against a clock that no one can see, we will hold off on IUI or IVF (probably our best chances of conceiving) until we have exhausted the other options and until it is possibly too late.

Can you imagine what it would be like to never be able to conceive a baby of your own? Can you put a number on how much you would be willing to spend to be a parent? Infertility is a disease. Perhaps not a life threatening one, but it certainly affects your entire life. People get health care coverage for diseases that they gave to themselves (i.e. lung cancer from smoking, heart disease from eating poorly and not exercising). Why shouldn't infertility that we didn't give to ourselves be covered? Should we have to choose between fiscal responsibility or never being parents?

What IF you, yes, even those of you who get pregnant from one round of unprotected sex, wrote a letter to your senator asking them to pass a law to require insurance companies to cover fertility treatments? What IF they listened?

Please visit these links for more information on infertility:
RESOLVE: What is Infertility?
RESOLVE: National Infertility Awareness Week
Bloggers Unite: Project IF (Part 1)
Bloggers Unite: Project IF (Part 2)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why God Created Women

I love my husband, but sometimes it is painfully obvious why God created women.

Got into San Jose last night safely and proceeded to have the following conversation with my hubby on the phone:
Jonathan: Where are you? Terminal A or C?
Me: Terminal C. I just walked outside. Are you at Terminal C?
Jonathan: Yeah, turn left, I'm at the far end.
Me: Okay, coming, but it might be a few minutes, because that's the other end of the terminal. (Pause for a few minutes, finally get down to the other end.) Ummm... where are you?
Jonathan: I'm at the end of the terminal. Are you sure you're at Terminal C?
Me: Yes, I see several signs that say Terminal C.
Jonathan: Okay, try the other end. I'm near Door 5.
Me: Oh, I'm at Door 1. (Walk all the way back to the other end of terminal.) Uhhh, there's no Door 5.
Jonathan: Yes, I'm parked by it.
Me: Well, the sidewalk ends and I'm at Door 3. There is construction and I can't go past it.
Jonathan: Wait, what terminal are you at?
Me: Terminal C.
Jonathan: Oooh. (Pause) I'm at Terminal A.
Me: (Sigh.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sunshine Blog Award!

I'd like to thank the academy... which I suppose is Bethany from Confessions of a Chosen One. You should all check out her blog for another inspiring, positive blog from a neat Christian gal.

This award is given to blogs that inspire others, and show positivity and creativity. I think my husband would laugh if he heard that because I can be such a pessimist at times!

Some suggestions for the award:
1) Put the logo within your blog or on your post
2) Pass the award onto 10 fellow bloggers
3) Link the nominees within your post
4) Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5) Share the love and link to the person whom you received this award from.

My nominees:
1. Mimi at Mochamama
2. Charity at Considering It All Joy
3. Ali at The Feldman Family
4. Laura at Blessed

Guys, I won't be offended if you don't do this! I just wanted to let you all know that I find you positive and inspiring. :) I'm sure that there are people I'm forgetting here, but I have things to do and places to be, so gotta run!

Monday, April 19, 2010

What I am learning from counseling

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil. 1:6

"He who is carrying it on is not one who can be baffled and forced to give up his design. He is able to carry it out in the unlikeliest circumstances and against the most resolute resistance. Everything must give way before Him. This thought is, I confess, to me one of the most comforting connected with the discipline. If it could fail! If God could be frustrated in His designs after we have suffered so much, it would be awful!" -Horatius Bonar

"Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you... He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna... to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." -Deuteronomy 8:2-3

I don't think I can say it any better than these verses have said it. Thank you, Laura, for walking through this time with me!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New spring look!

I realized that I NEVER update my blog look any more, so I'm going to switch to a new look for every season instead of every month... :)

Ode to Spring and the Green, Green Trees:

Monday, April 5, 2010

God has not promised me a child!

But he has promised so much more...

*peace - "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." John 14:27; "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus..." Philippians 4:7
*good - "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
*joy - "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy." Psalm 126:5
*endurance - "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4; "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." I Corinthians 10:13
*redemption! forgiveness! - "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us." Ephesians 1:7 "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
*perseverance in my faith - "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:31-39
*a better future - "And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." Revelation 21:3-4

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Financial update

A really quick update: we got 20% off of our future treatments that are not covered by insurance (so IVF and IUI). Praise God!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

No more Clomid headaches!

Sadly, it looks like the Clomid this month was too much for my body. I have one follicle that is ready to ovulate, but my lining is only 5 mm this time (as opposed to 7.5 mm last month, which was already thin). We are going to try estrogen still, but it is likely that I will ovulate on my own very soon and the lining probably won't thicken after I ovulate. The doctor said he has only seen a few pregnancies acheived with a lining that thin in his 40 or so years as an RE... So the good news is that I shouldn't be too disappointed at the end of this month, since I'm pretty sure I won't be pregnant. The other good news is that I won't have any more Clomid headaches, since I won't be taking Clomid any more! Woohoo!

Thanks for your prayers. We're most likely going to take a few months off to let my body rest and recuperate, so we probably won't have any updates for a while. Unless I actually start blogging again. :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Prayer request

I have a very specific prayer request for the next week: please pray that the Clomid does not block the estrogen receptors in my uterus.

(If you're interested in the medical facts: Clomid's job is to block the estrogen receptors in the brain, which it is doing, but it is also blocking them in my uterus, which prevents my endometrium (lining) from getting thick enough to support a pregnancy and also prevents me from having fertile quality cervical mucus. This is why we will have to switch from this medicine to a much more expensive, injectable medicine the next cycle we try.... so we'd rather this cycle work!)

I will be taking extra estrogen after I finish the Clomid to hopefully counteract this, but it may not help if the Clomid is blocking the receptors!

My praise is that I have not had a single headache from the Clomid this cycle!!! That is amazing. :) :) :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Infertile people have a lot to remember. Good thing we're not pregnant.

It's a good thing I'm not pregnant now, because there is just too much to keep track of. (I don't mean to complain; just thought I'd share a bit of my daily confusion and why I might be a bit off.)

What I am taking, when I am supposed to start and stop, how many per day, how I take them (orally, injected or, ahem, another method), what strength. And it all changes from month to month. For example, I took Clomid on days 5-9 for the last two months (100 mg the first month, 50 mg the second month), am taking it days 3-7 this month so that I can start Estrace earlier in an attempt to improve my cervical mucus quality (the doctor doubted it would help, though, since my Estrogen is already fairly high and Clomid is an estrogen blocker - greeeeat). And since the Prometrium from last month gave me joint pain, I'm switching to another form of Progesterone with a name I don't remember currently. Good thing I'm not taking it yet. Oh, and I have to remember to pick them up from the pharmacy in the first place!

When you are going to see the doctor at least once per week, on different days each week, it's hard to remember which day you are supposed to be scheduling your next appointment for. Last month I went for my second checkup on day 12, but this month it's day 9, which is.... what day, since my period started Monday? Who knows.

It's a good thing I pay my bills the instant they come through the door because if I didn't, they would never get paid. I can no longer keep track of how much I owe each different place (Shady Grove, Lab Corp, UMMC) and if I've paid them or not. It doesn't help that they don't bill right away; I just got a bill from November. It's March, people! How am I supposed to keep track of four months worth of bills? Do you know how many times I have been to the doctor's office since then? I don't even know!

Keeping a Record for Taxes
Trying to keep a record of all of my medical expenses for taxes is also a pain. How many times have I gone to the doctor's office in Baltimore so far this year? 8? 10? How many times have I gone to the doctor's office in Annapolis? How much was the parking this time? What about last time?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Update: not pregnant

It wasn't good news on my pregnancy test yesterday (negative); in fact, it was even worse news than we thought: the doctor says I am not responding to the Clomid as well as we thought initially and now we are going to need to try stronger treatments (that cost much more). Basically, we are working against a clock that no one can see and he doesn't know how much time we will have and wasting time on Clomid when it is not working that well is not a good idea in the world of infertility.

We're trying one more month of Clomid with some injectibles after the Clomid to try to encourage my body a little more. It would be great financially, emotionally, and in the hopes of having more than one pregnancy (and thus, more than one child) if we could get pregnant this next month. But we'll see. God has opened up the barren woman's womb before; maybe he wants to show his glory by me getting pregnant after the doctors have given up.

Please pray for our marriage especially, we're very stressed about all of this and I'm an emotional mess with my hormones being all over the place from the various medications. Also, the stillbirth of a baby at church has ripped open old wounds that were healing, so that is making things worse, my struggling with depression and grief. Jonathan is such a great guy; he can take my bad (and quickly changing) moods to a certain point, but anyone would break after being pushed too much. :(

Financially, we are going to apply to Shady Grove's Shared Help program, which means for procedures that our insurance doesn't cover, they will waive a certain percentage of fees (from 10 to 50% based on income). Please pray that they will be generous with us and give us the best percentage that they can. Also, please pray that we will find a good solution for the fertility drugs, because we have zero coverage for those and they can get expensive.

Also, this new news has given the devil a chance to put it into my mind that we are somehow working against God in all of this. I don't think that is the case, as we have been blessed in so many ways throughout this, financially in having coverage for so many more things than we should have had, medically, for getting us into Shady Grove Fertility with zero waiting time because my RE was joining their practice. In any case. I think I listen to the deceiver more than I should, so please pray that God will give me the strength to fight him.

I'll leave you with my favorite verses:

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!
-Psalm 27:13-14

Please pray that I can keep seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I am having a hard time waiting especially when I feel as if I am running out of time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I'm just going to throw this out there and let you all know how my crazy mind works. There is a robot that has been following me around my mind lately. His name is Ovutron, and he says, "Ovulate! Ovulate!" over and over again in his creepy robot voice. He also carries around a syringe to stab me with on cycle day 12. If I could draw, Ovutron would have his picture featured on this blog. :)

I got great news today! There is one egg that is ready to ovulate and two more that are still growing (yeah, I'm feeling that) and will possibly ovulate. So maybe one, two or three babies, but probably no more than that... which is perfect. So tonight I get to inject myself with Ovidrel (an ovulation stimulating drug), which will help the egg(s) finishing growing and make me ovulate sometime on Thursday morning.

The medications for this cycle haven't been too bad cost-wise (especially since our insurance doesn't cover them at all); I think we've spent around $120 for those. We don't know what the monitoring will cost us yet... Our insurance may cover it (except 10%), but if not, it is $590 per monitoring (with us having two days of monitoring) for a grand total of $1300 per cycle... So please pray for us that the insurance will cover the blood tests and ultrasounds! Or that we get pregnant right away!

Speaking of pregnant, I get a blood pregnancy test two weeks from Thursday... so March 4th might be my new favorite day. :) (Although since it brought one of my favorite cousins into the world, it's already an awesome day. Love you, Emily!) Don't you all go calling me on March 4th now!

I don't know the results of my husband's tests... Apparently patient confidentiality prevents them from telling his wife. I'm hoping the doctor will call him today and let him know - and that they will be all clear! Oh, but the great news is that we didn't have to pay for his karyotyping!!! We were very grateful for that, because it could have been several hundred dollars.

Another prayer request is for my headaches... Clomid has been giving me pretty constant bad headaches... and sometimes they make me grumpy. :(

Update at 10:27 PM, approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes post shot:
Yikes, that is a fierce headache. Also, I would be okay NOT feeling my eggs maturing. Really.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Would you do it?

This past Monday I was so sure that I was pregnant. If I had had a million dollars to bet on it, I would have done it. My temperatures in my LP always drop by 10 DPO, 11 at the latest, and at 12 DPO they were continuing to be in the range that has only ever meant pregnancy for me. I also went from being hungry for one or two meals a day to eating three plus snacks in between. My breasts were sore, and I was nauseous and bloated in the evenings. I was feeling dizzy after standing at work for 3-4 hours.

But then I tested on Tuesday (13 DPO) and got a negative. Say what?!?

Well, guess what my (not so) beloved nurse told me later that day... Clomid can change your LP! Thank you for letting me know that when I started taking it, so that I wouldn't get my hopes up! Why wouldn't you tell me that before?

I actually made it to 14 DPO with high temperatures and then my temp finally fell below my coverline on day 15 - yesterday. AF showed up today.

I called my nurse yesterday to start setting up this month's treatment cycle, after I was sure that AF was on her way. Well, really, I just called to ask when I could come in for my Clomid prescription because I wasn't supposed to be coming in for any appointments.... But wait, there's more! They actually want to full on monitor me for these treatment cycles... Which would be fine if my insurance covered it at all. But it doesn't. Therefore, if we go through with this treatment, it will cost us $900 per month for a 25 freaking percent chance (per month) of getting pregnant. And forget my chances of actually carrying that baby to term... I mean, they're slightly improved over my chances without the Clomid, but still.

I was convinced that we were done with medical expenses and our mostly drained savings account hasn't had a chance to be replenished yet. We currently have enough money to do one cycle at that price and probably two more after that with what is coming back from the government in refunds, but I don't like to live life without an emergency fund.

So my question is, would you do it? And what are my chances of finding a doctor who will do an unmonitored Clomid cycle? Is that a reasonable request?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wow! Look at me go!

A new blog look on the first day of the month. Well, I'll be darned.