Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What a difference a week makes...

In the past week I have gone through a wide range of emotions. To name a few: grief, disappointment, rage, sadness, determination, relief, gratefulness, weakness, and on and on. I have wanted to vomit, scream, and just sleep so I don't have to think about anything. Tuesday & Wednesday last week were pretty much a blur of emotion and I did not go to work. I have always had a bad habit of biting my nails but they are disgusting right now. I think my body and brain are exhausted - not from 3 weeks but 3 years. I gave myself a few days to rest and mourn and then I let myself start thinking ahead. I let myself smile and laugh (remember, I live with Andy and that's what I love best).

My amazing friends did an epic ding dong ditch and left me this, which made me vow to be a better friend since everyone is always going through something in their life:

I made myself get up and go to work on Thursday, and even finished a PowerPoint deck and presented it to a prospective client. Then TGIF with my best friends at the office, and a weekend of balcony time.

It's so daunting to think about what to do next, but we will figure it out. All I know is that each day gets a little bit better, and each day I feel a little bit stronger.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Friday, I am going to enjoy the weekend, prepping for Monday

I know I have been quiet this week; it was nice to have a break from the anticipation of daily phone calls. I was feeling great and non-stressed since last Friday when the roller coaster stopped, and now I feel like I am crawling out of my skin now that Monday is approaching! We are going to Temecula to visit the fam this weekend – Andy's parents/grandparents/aunt, and my mom so it will be great to see & hug everyone and relax. It should be about 90° and my in laws' backyard is amazingly beautiful and peaceful so I plan on a little baking in the sun, and possibly visiting a few wineries. 

Thank you to everyone reaching out. I have had a lot of feedback on how strong we are and that it's amazing that we get through every day. I don't deny that I am strong, but I really want people to know that is most definitely not always the case and that it is perfectly okay to not be okay or positive all the time. There are many times I worry and cry, even during the work day I need to escape at times to the park and cry my eyes out or work from home if I can't manage communicating with people face to face. I actually haven't had those moments this week, but I think I am just in a window of being at peace until after Monday afternoon. Work is actually a nice distraction and I have some of my closest friends there to laugh with. Then I have the many amazing phone calls, texts and facebook messages that lift me up and keep me moving forward. We are feeling good that the news is coming on St. Patrick's Day – hopefully it will be a lucky day for us. Our appointment is at 3:15, which we pushed to the end of the day so we wouldn't have to return to work. I will say that we are at the point where we are ready for whatever the news may be. Andy has made a complete mental comeback and he is just READY and amazingly strong for us right now.

Here is what is really going through my head when I try to fall asleep at night thinking about every possible scenario in Monday's appointment:

If there are any viable embryos, we will figure out when the best time is to do the FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer), which will be amazing, but will spawn a whole new set of worries for me. I know that will be what we have wanted and will be our only chance of having a pregnancy with a biological child so I should be happy out of my mind. But, you can't help what you think and feel and thoughts and feelings are usually formed by previous experiences. So, I will be worrying about the chances of the embryo even implanting after transfer. Then if it implants, I will be worried about miscarrying – I have been pregnant five times and all resulted in losses. I could go on and on… so then I bring it back to that I hope we even have the chance to have these worries.

If there are no viable embryos, I will be pretty devastated but we have been preparing and as I mentioned we are just ready to move forward. We would need to take some time to figure out what the next steps would be, what is realistic financially, and start researching options! I am not going to lie, I am exhausted both mentally and physically but we need to make it happen somehow. A month ago, I wouldn't have thought I had the strength to keep going and somehow be happy in general at the same time, but Andy and our wide network of support has replenished what I thought was depleted for good.

I will post again on Monday night 3/17 after our appointment. xo

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Day 6 Report: Two embies made it

3/6: Your good vibes worked from yesterday's bad report - we have 2 embryos from this round that were able to be biopsied (1 bounced back from yesterday and 1 still not looking GREAT but good enough to biopsy) so we will be able to send a total of 3 for PGS testing. Those results won't be ready until 3/17 - another torturous waiting game! xoxo all

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Day 5 Report: No more good news.

The momentum has stopped. The phone call today did not keep up the best news possible trend. Not quite the worst news possible, but really bad news. We are extremely disappointed and sad, but I can't say we are shocked as we did know this might happen. I know you all are pulling for us and have kept up and seen the "ups." It's easy to keep the chances of the "downs" at bay, unless you are used to it like us. It sounds terrible, but I really have come to hate the feeling of hope and yet I still have it.

Here is where we stand:
The embryologist said there are 3 left, but 1 is developing slowly and 2 are developing abnormally. I am still holding out for the slow one since that happens, and even last round our 1 little blast needed until Day 6 and we still have that one on ice. And I suppose there is some chance of the other 2 behaving overnight or else she would have just dismissed them today, but it doesn't sound good.
Here is what happens next:

Tomorrow we will receive another phone call from our embryologist to let us know if any did in fact make it. At that point, if any from this round made it they will biopsy the embryo (take one or a couple cells) and send them for Preimplantation Genetic Testing along with the biopsy that was taken from our blastocyst embryo that was frozen in November. If none from this round make it, they will just send our 1. We will need to wait until March 17th for the results of that test to see if it or they are chromosomally viable. If yes, we will do the transfer in mid to late April and hope that it implants.

If not, that's the end of our options to have a biological child (or at least I won't - we will explore future options at that point, which could possibly include using donor eggs or adoption but we just aren't sure yet and aren't in a position to make any decisions right now).

Monday, March 3, 2014

Day 3 Report: 4 Embryos growing!

The Monday Call - brought to you by Andy

Finally… some good news!!  With the update on Saturday morning that ALL FOUR eggs were fertilized and matured, it was nice to be happy for once in this process.  And not an “I think we can be happy” feeling, but a true, hopeful feeling of happiness!!  In this long, exhaustive journey, I honestly can’t think of the last time we felt this way.  It had to be years (yes, years) ago.  And of course, we are guarded.  There is so much more to go through, and the odds are still against us.  But, something about hugging each other in happiness really felt good.

So with Pilar traveling for work this morning, the Monday morning phone call was coming to me.  Of course, that was all I could think about when I woke up.  I knew the call would be early, probably around 8am, so I was ready, looking for any signs.  My number at breakfast was 34, so I was thinking, from 4 to 3.  (That would be okay, yeah that would be good.)

The phone rang at 8:07a and I knew it was the clinic.  I picked up the call and said “hello.”  All she said was “Hi this is Kate from Dr. Shelly’s office.”  In those short seconds of time, I tried to read everything into what she just said.  “Does she sound happy?  Is she being serious?  Why is she pausing?  What does she mean by “Hi it’s Kate?”  (My brain can really get going sometimes.)  She said “I just wanted to tell you how many embryos there are.  I tried to call your wife and her phone wouldn’t pick up…. (ANXIETY! I couldn’t even understand.  I had one of those moments where I couldn’t hear and her words just sounded muffled.  All I was listening for was a number.)

“THERE ARE STILL FOUR AND THEY ARE ALL DOING GREAT!”  That’s what she said.  “They look really good and all four are grade A’s.”  (What?  I am I hearing this right? Oh gosh, I can’t wait to tell Pilar.)  I was so relieved and felt like throwing up at the same time.  The weight of these calls cannot be put into words.  Anything they tell you can change your life in a split second.  It’s scary, very scary.  And we’ve been there many times.   But for today, we are going to stay positive and enjoy this moment for now.  All of your support, prayers and good wishes have been tremendous source of strength for us… and we could never tell you enough or put into words what that really means to us.  We are so glad that you could share this little moment of joy with us.

So for now, we wait until Wednesday’s call and hope these little guys keep multiplying!!!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Day 1 Report: 4 Fertilized Eggs!

Friday & Saturday recap:

2/27: It was so nice, but kind of weird to have NO SHOTS on Thursday night. I laid out my outfit and tried to get a good sleep.

2/28: Yesterday was Egg Retrieval Day. It was the worst weather we have had in San Diego in a long time, and I had a fleeting thought that a tornado (we really did have a "watch") would land on the lab. Other than that, Andy & I were feeling pretty positive about things and we had our fight back after a tough week.

The nurses and embryologist are SO nice and they were the same ones from Round 1, so we just had some relaxed conversations with them as we did the pre-op paperwork and prep. I had a heated blanket and I was so comfortable.

Once wheeled into the operating room, I was only conscious for about five minutes before going under then woke up in the recovery room with Andy there. Dr. Shelly poked her head and and let us know we got 4 eggs, and she added a fist pump. I was a little disappointed - I was hoping for 6, but I also knew that was a slim chance. I was in minor pain, and just had some saltines and gatorade when I got home and went right back to sleep. I slept off and on all afternoon/night and we were able to just relax and not think about things.

3/1: Saturday morning, we got the call early at 8:30am. The embryologist sounded happy right when I answered the phone. I put it on speaker for Andy and she told us that ALL 4 were mature and ALL 4 FERTILIZED! This was literally the best possible news we could have received at this point in the process. We do still need to make it through Day 5 and PGS testing, but we have never once received a "best possible news" phone call in the past 3 years. Andy mentioned that he couldn't remember the last time we hugged each other because we were happy, as opposed to consoling each other about something. I know it sounds cliche, but Andy & danced around to Pharrell's "Happy" for the next half hour, then we went out to breakfast with smiles on our faces. For the first time in a month I didn't get over-easy/poached eggs and avocados (I think that worked though!). We are going to enjoy the rest of our weekend and stay positive waiting for Monday's call!