twenty four hours

Tomorrow at 11am, just about 24 hours from now, we will be in the procedure room transferring our blastocyst. I honestly cannot believe it’s here and I’m feeling very good about it. I have been envisioning being pregnant and even holding our beautiful child in the delivery room and in our home. I have been trying to keep things very light and positive lately as to not overwhelm my thoughts with negative energy. God is going to provide and perform a miracle.

There are no dietary restrictions leading up to tomorrow, but nearly all the medications I’m on have some sort of restriction to them. No dairy or antacids within two hours of  the doxy pills, no food at all within the hour of taking the synthroid pill, medrol needs to be taken at bedtime but with food… Pretzels and animal crackers have become my friends at this point. Tomorrow morning, an hour after my synthroid medication, I’ll introduce pineapple into my diet – core included – to help with implantation. I am also slated to have an acupuncture appointment tomorrow, but waiting to hear on the time as I needed to move it up a bit in order to have ample time to make it to the other side of town.

I had a dream last night about our transfer. The doctor was in the lab and watching each blast thaw. The first two they thawed were no good, but the third was so strong and the doctor and embryologists were very excited about it. I’m trying to not read much into it, because I know God is going to give us our miracle during this time. And the dream was very positive once we got to that third blast. I also don’t have any anxieties about the after. I am only anxious to get to the hospital and be reunited with my little babes.

Tonight I have big plans to pick up my grocery order, clean my house, and pick up the edible arrangements I’ve ordered for the fertility clinics. I may even pick up some flowers to “treat myself”. I want to be sure we will have a relaxing weekend once we complete the transfer tomorrow and other than a wedding rehearsal tomorrow evening, I think this weekend is going to be pretty low key. Even the rehearsal shouldn’t be too bad – my clients and the planner this weekend are super sweet.

Prayers, sticky baby vibes, positivity, and well wishes would be great as we enter into this next phase and the tww!


a little rant, and moving on

Guys, I had a weekend, and not in a good way.

I won’t go into details – but between being emotionally drained, people complaining, and a very negative conversation someone tried to have with me about having children, I was totally over it as of yesterday afternoon.

So then we finally made it to the end of the weekend, our small group had left the house, we cleaned up a bit, and headed upstairs to administer the progesterone in oil shot. I have literally been dreading this since the day the nurse told me I’d be on it back in December. Irwin pulled the needle out and I almost fainted/threw up. He grabbed the instructions out of my hands and told me to lay down and relax. I had originally thought these went in your bum, but it actually goes up higher, in your hip area. The problem with this is I have wide set hip bones and I couldn’t differentiate muscle and bone. Fortunately, Irwin was able to tell the difference. He washed off the lidocaine, swabbed the area, and it was go time. Because of where these are administered, I was laying on my belly with a heating pad under my belly to keep me warm and not tense so I didn’t see anything happening. Irwin paused for a bit before actually doing the injecting and my whole upper body was tense to draw attention away from that area – I really just wanted to get it over with at this point. That’s when I felt the prick and then – to my complete surprise – nothing.

The ganirelix shot I was on towards the end of my fresh cycle hurt way more than this did, and that was a puny 1/2″ needle. It has been two months of me dreading these injections and it was over before I knew it. After the shot is administered we were told to apply a heating pad and then Irwin massaged the area for a bit to distribute the medication. I have to say, that was kind of the upswing to my weekend, and I felt a little more confident going into this week. And these shots, if that’s what it’s going to be like, I can totally handle them. I am consistently amazing myself at how strong God made me and cannot really believe I’ve been so scared of these things. It really isn’t the worst thing ever and I know what the end result is, which makes all of this totally worth it.

So for those of you that are going through this and need to be on the Progesterone in Oil shots – they aren’t all that terrible. I would recommend asking for the lidocaine prescription and don’t do the injections yourself. But they really could be way worse – and when the end result is the baby you have been praying for, all of this will just be a small blip in your memory. We can do this.


think thick!

I hope y’all aren’t sick of the Friends references yet, because I have no plans to stop.

I had my lining check this morning and all. looks. fabulous. Praise Jesus!

We are scheduled for our transfer on February 23rd, and the embryology lab will call on Thursday with time we need to be at the hospital. Guys, I have so much love for these little snowbabies. They are going to be some seriously amazing human beings someday.


IMG_5497Last night I was feeling really anxious about this appointment. You go through a fresh ivf cycle and towards the end I was being monitored daily and could see exactly what was going on. When you are type A, like myself, this is a dream. I also did a ton of research last cycle and learned so much about this whole process. With a frozen embryo transfer, things are a little more out of your hands, no monitoring except for a lining check, snowbabies have to thaw correctly, and lots of other things that are out of my control and having to relinquish that is challenging for me. So I was sitting in the parking lot trying to kill some time before going into the clinic {forever early to everything} and my favorite worship song was playing and I opened up Instagram, which is when I saw this. It was literally the first picture I saw on my feed and I was reduced to a puddle of tears almost instantly. Sometimes no matter how many people tell me everything is going to be okay, I need that signal from God and he has never, ever failed me with this.

Irwin and I are seriously so excited and so in love with our little babies. We cannot wait for transfer day, and everything after that. We are putting all our faith in God that this will indeed work and will we have our miracles. I want to thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes up until this point – we truly feel each and every one of them and know that our baby is so, so loved.


valentine’s day

Ah, love. L O V E love. {please tell me someone got this Friends reference}. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day! Irwin and I have never been huge V-Day people, but something about all the red and pink really gets me.

I only work until 2pm each day, which gave me lots of time to prep for our nighttime festivities. I ran over to target first to pick up a brand new nice pillow for Irwin. I love pillows – but for looks only, so I tend to buy the cheapest ones stores have. I don’t sleep with a pillow, so Irwin kind of suffers at the cost of a cheap pillow. He started hinting at wanting a new pillow a few weeks ago, and this was a good excuse to go spend the money. After my Target run, I headed home to clean up around the house a bit and get everything ready for that evening. We managed to keep things pretty low key, and played a board game and had some snacks via candlelight and I cooked up a fancy dinner complete with lobster. Irwin even got me flowers – but not the cut ones that die in a few days. He actually bought me a planted tulip plant, which is so fun because I’ll be able to plant it outside in the spring.

We are back to the grind this morning, but tomorrow is my lining check for our frozen transfer. I am actually feeling a little bit of nervousness and hoping everything is where it needs to be to move forward. It’s super odd going from a cycle where you are so closely monitored and then just nothing for like 3 weeks. Tomorrow is almost going to be a comfortable thing for me, just because I like to know how things are working. We are tentatively scheduled for a transfer on the 23rd, and I already let my boss know I’ll be working from home that day, or whatever day the transfer ends up happening on. They typically do these procedures in the afternoon, so I figured I could clean around the house and set up an acupuncture appointment before heading to the hospital. I’ll be there for about 2 hours between the prep and relaxing afterwards, and then I just want to be able to head home to let that little baby burrow into my uterus. I think we’ll have a beta like 10 days after that, but you all already know I’m going to be testing like a mad woman. I’m going to try and keep it to one box of tests, so I may start testing around day 8. Eeee… we are SO close.

It’s the final countdown

Anyone else singing this? No? Just me? Maybe I’m just letting the Super Bowl Justin Timberlake hype get to me.

It has become kind of a tradition to host a super bowl party every year. Irwin likes football, and I like parties, so it works nicely. In the past few years, we’ve had a totally packed house, but this year we had a larger guest list and more space. I love having a bigger home. The mortgage payments aren’t my favorite, but entertaining and hosting is my calling and it’s hard to do that when you don’t have space to put friends. Obviously I was really only paying attention during the half time show, but it warms my heart having a home filled with friends and family. I’m also really just here for This Is Us afterwards.

In other news, I started my frozen embryo transfer cycle today! It’s still surreal that we have eight little snow babies waiting for us at the lab. This cycle already feels like it’s going to last forever, but in about a month we’ll know if we are going to be parents! I am currently on an oral estrogen pill and I’ll have to give the fertility clinic a call tomorrow. They will schedule me for my lining check and tentative transfer date at that time *grins uncontrollably*. I’m back off of coffee for the time being and will be scheduling another acupuncture appointment for the morning on my transfer. I really kind of like this new lifestyle I was somewhat forced into, I’ve even contemplated not drinking coffee even after having our baby. I guess we’ll have to see.

I suppose it’s time to let everyone get back to their super bowl parties, and I’m logging off so I can go cry through watch This is Us. That may just be what tomorrow’s blog post is about. Good night, and go eagles!

the one with the blastocysts

Anyone else just love the show Friends? I remember watching the final episode live with my mom, and she was crying when it was all over. Some shows, even if they are comedies, will do that to you. Friends is probably my “most watched” show on Netflix {but really, I don’t want to know how many times I’ve watched the series} and to think, Irwin didn’t even like this show when we first started dating. Now it’s become this bedtime ritual for us to watch a few episodes before we head off to dreamland.

Why is this important?

Because today, we got the email from the IVF lab that we have EIGHT little blastocysts frozen in the lab. This doesn’t sound like much because they typically have two per vile so we may be down to six after our first transfer, but I know God is in control and I know that soon we will be holding our baby in our arms.

Where do we go from here?

I have my medications ready to go for our frozen cycle so I am now just waiting on good ole aunt flow. Fortunately, it’s just a couple oral medications at first, and the intramuscular injections don’t begin until closer to the actual transfer date. And then it’s just one a day until 11 weeks. It is seriously insane to think how close we are to a pregnancy. The little blastobabies are just in vials right now, but I already have such an attachment to them. I cannot wait to carry them and be a mom, and I know Irwin is so excited to be a daddy too. For those who went through a frozen transfer, any advice? I’ve read lots of avocados are good, and an order of McDonalds fries right after transfer works like a charm.

big news guys

… my jeans fit again!

I know you all were probably hoping for an update on our little embabies, but alas, nothing yet. Nothing except myself totally having anxious thoughts. If you hear beating, I can assure you that is my heart.

Fortunately, we are getting to that point where my work is picking up again and since we’re still in engagement season, my calendar has been full of tours. Last year, I accepted a new position at a new building literally the day after I spoke to my old employer about long-term plans for the company and my role in them. This time last year, I thought I would’ve worked there for the rest of my life. As much as I loved my role there, my mental health is so much better than it was last year and I give a lot of credit for that to my current employer. 26731010_1842215272469541_5567366478738464901_n

Last year was weird for me, not only personally, but in my work life as well. When I first started my current job, I was new person on the totem pole and learning the ropes, but there was really no direction given as I was the first full-time employee they had in this position. I felt like the staff that I was responsible for didn’t care for me and the structure I brought to the company. We’ve now lost a few employees and gained some new ones who I care for deeply. I’ve also been able to strengthen my relationships with those employees who have stuck it out through the transition. Now that I feel like my head has been screwed on properly again, I’m excited to see what 2018 has in store. I’m hoping we see more color this year, and more flowers. I know eucalyptus is gorgeous, but if one more person tells me how original they are being with their gold and eucalyptus decor, I may lose it.


a list

We finally made it to day 5 post egg retrieval and I am finally feeling like my normal self again. Today I wanted to write a small list of what helped Irwin and I get through our first IVF round and why I felt each of them was so beneficial.

  1. Prayer. Lots and LOTS of prayer. Even still it is a rarity to catch myself not thinking about God and our little miracles in the lab. Before Irwin gave me my first injection two weeks ago we prayed. I prayed each morning, each night, at every appointment, every time I was in line at Starbucks after my appointment. Before, during, and after each injection. I was able to remain pretty calm through the whole process and my only explanation I have for that is God. If not for Him, I would’ve been a nervous wreck.
  2. No Coffee. At the beginning of January I started a fast that required no caffeine and for the first time since I was probably eight years old, I wasn’t drinking coffee. Once I got past a couple of days of caffeine withdrawal headaches, I felt so good. Like I would’ve never thought I could function without coffee but here I was, dare I say it – thriving.
  3. Acupuncture. {I know, I know. Typical “my body is a temple” stuff}. I swore I’d never do this when we first settled on IVF. I wasn’t buying into the hype. THEN as we inched closer I find myself researching acupuncturists in the Cleveland area. I reached out to a few, found one that made me rage angry and stopped looking for a bit. Then I found my perfect match. I’ve only done two sessions, and my next one won’t be until the morning of our transfer but I really feel like this helped me to relax. She also acted as a counselor which I really appreciated.
  4. Not being so hard on myself. Guys, I have forever struggled with self-worth and body image. Even when I used to be thin I saw myself as someone who wasn’t good enough. But when I saw those follicles growing and my levels rising, I felt something I had never felt before – I was proud of my body and all it could do. I decided from that moment if my body was craving something (like a Dairy Queen twist cone with crunch coat) I would allow myself to have it. I wouldn’t overindulge, but just enough to satisfy that want. It was one thing I allowed myself to not stress about and being easier on myself made it easy on everyone around me too.

I could go on and list every single one of my family members and friends who knew exactly what we were going through, and everyone who has been praying with us along the way, but I don’t want to keep you here forever. When we first started dealing with infertility I think we thought nobody cared and this was our burden to bare. This is a topic that is never spoken about but there was never a better feeling then when I was able to share my story with others who are going through infertility as well, to be able to pray with them and for them, to have those prayers sent back our way. We are fervently praying for our little miracles, and that healthy happy babies are what results from this, but to know we have such an amazing team of support is so comforting in the event this doesn’t work in our favor.


seventeen and counting

Phew, what a weekend!

My egg retrieval procedure was Thursday morning bright and early on the other side of town. I was definitely tired {thank goodness I’m a morning person} but even more so thirsty since you can’t drink or eat anything for twelve hours prior to surgery. Once we met with the financial counselor and paid for all of this, it was time to go back to the OR. We did have a couple of nurses I’d never met, a doctor I never met, and an anesthesiologist team I never met either and to say I was a bit nervous was an understatement. However, I’ve said this a few times and I’ll say it again, the Fertility Center at University Hospitals employs the best hospital staff I have ever worked with. It also helped me that both nurses said they had needle phobias and everyone was seriously SO EXCITED for us. It totally calmed me down. I changed into my gown, Irwin got a cup of coffee and snacks {lucky bastard} and the nurses came into the room to go over my medical chart and prep us for the procedure. One of our mentors and great friends called us to pray with us at this point in time and I was so happy the nurses allowed him to finish before they started with all their info.

It was finally time for the iv and my arm is still a little sore because I’m a bit of a baby so I’m not going to talk much about this. But for anyone going through this, or anything where you need an iv, listen to the nurse. They know where is best to start it and it will save you needle pokes if you aren’t stubborn like me.

I walked into the procedure room and they got me all settled up on the bed. I literally remember them asking me to put my arms and legs in the stirrups and that’s it. I’m pretty sure I confirmed my date of birth and name for like the 300th time that morning, but after that I was out. I woke up about an hour later to the sound of fixer upper which was on the TV in the recovery room. It was at this moment that Irwin told me for the first time how many eggs they were able to retrieve: a whopping 30!!! And that morning I was concerned we’d only have like 5. I proceeded to ask him and the nurse a few dozen more times how many eggs we got because anesthesia and shock got the best of me. It was at this point I was able to drink something and have a snack {I had a sip of ginger ale, water, and goldfish crackers for those wondering} and about an hour and a half after I woke up, we were given the okay to leave.

When they triggered me, it was a mix of HCG and Lupron to ward off any severe OHSS, but they told me there was still a chance I would develop it which is why the transfer was pushed back. I’m pretty sure I ended up with a mild case of it, as today is the first day since Wednesday I am not in pain from bloating. It wasn’t anything severe and I never vomited or caught a fever so we self treated. I do know OHSS can be a yo-yo though so I’m going to continue to be careful. Fortunately once my next cycle starts this will disappear.

Now to the good part, numbers:

30 eggs retrieved on Thursday

22 of those were mature

17 fertilized

AND… drum roll please…

ALL 17 embabies had divided and continued to grow as of yesterday. We will get an email on Wednesday with how many they were able to freeze! This is truly an incredible number and way more than Irwin and I were expecting. God is so amazing, am I right?

We are currently planning to move forward with a frozen embryo transfer next cycle, so I’ll keep you all posted on how that progresses and, of course, with the final number of babies we have frozen. This whole month seems to be a little bit of a blur, but I am so in awe with how amazing this turned out and I am so excited to see what else is in store.


Guys, I officially had my first hormone driven breakdown of this whole cycle. I went in for another scan today and yet another round of bloodwork and it was just kind of a mess from the beginning. I was running late because we got a bunch of rain last night and Buster was boycotting potty time, and when I got there my chart wasn’t ready because the 24th was written for my next appointment instead of today {the 23rd}. Naturally, I leaped at the possibility of just coming back tomorrow but the receptionist laughed and told me she needs to check with the nurse before letting me go. I was correct and the paper was wrong and they ended up seeing me. It took a solid half hour to measure all the follicles. Last scan, I had 21 follicles that were all above 10mm, and today there were additional follicles that were under 10mm in addition to the growing ones. The caveat to all this was I thought the ones I already had as of Sunday had stopped growing and that sent me into a tailspin.

I head back into the lobby and wait on the nurse to draw blood, but because of the number of follicles charting took some additional time and I just started crying. Once the nurse brought me back, she asked how I was doing and I lost it. I literally didn’t even have a reason other than my non-knowledge of all this and Dr. Google was leading me to fret about OHSS and possible cancellation. Daine just looked at me and laughed a bit and was like “honey, with all the hormones going through you right now, you are totally okay for feeling the way you do”. We then talked about my risk level for OHSS which I had a gut feeling was pretty possible but nobody had said anything to me prior, most likely to prevent over obsessive research {jokes on them, I researched all this months ago anyways} and how we will probably be doing an alternative trigger to radically reduce the possibility of overstimulation. The issue with the alternative trigger is now instead of a fresh transfer 5 days post-op, we will be waiting until my next cycle to do a frozen transfer. They got blood, which has gotten way easier over this last week, and Diane gave me a big hug and I was on my way.

I have officially made the switch over to leggings for daily wear. I am having trouble falling asleep at night because of the growing follicles and the fullness I feel and when I thought about putting on jeans this morning I silently laughed to myself and pulled my leggings out of the drawer. I bought these Lululemon leggings awhile ago when I started going to yoga, but justified the price by telling myself these are the perfect pregnancy leggings. Same is true for IVF leggings because I feel a few months pregnant at this point.

Today I am thankful for serving such an amazing God. I know there are plenty of non-religious people out there, but I could not have even made it this far without feeling like God is right by my side through all this. Every night while I’m trying to get comfortable and drift off to sleep I’ve been silently singing worship songs and praying for peace and comfort. I’m also that person with their car radio up super loud and singing at the top of my lungs to worship at 6:40 in the morning. This is a rough process emotionally, physically, and mentally and I am so thankful for having a God that I know is looking out for me and keeping me safe. I know this is the route He wanted us to take, and maybe someday we will get to use our experience for His glory. Until then, we will keep singing and praying and hoping for the best.


Our three injections last night {Follistim, Low Dose HCG, Ganirelix)