So I started my Saturday morning out differently than usual. Today started with prayer, Bible reading and then a fun trip to the lab for blood work. Who would have thought I would start my Saturday out with a trip to the hospital for blood work?
Surprisingly it went really fast and didn’t hurt hardly at all. Today is the day I will find out how my estradiol levels are looking and how many rounds of menopur I will start this evening. Shot count is currently 1 per day and will be increasing to 2 per day when I start Menopur. I made it through 3 days of injections and I’m feeling great minus the slight headaches, dizziness and tiredness I have been feeling.
As a treat to celebrate a successful 3 days of injections and my progress on this IVF journey so far I went out for breakfast at I Hop. My favorite place for pancakes on a Saturday morning. So thankful to know God is with me on this journey. My encouraging scripture for today is “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Matthew 6:33 (NLT)
I know he is with me and will give me everything I need! Choosing to trust him today.
The best way I can describe this round of IVF is that it feels like climbing a mountain. We have prepared and have all of our gear ready, we are dressed and we are mentally ready to climb this mountain called IVF.
Today is our second appointment in this IVF journey. We woke up and decided to go and eat lunch and relax a little prior to our appointment. We ate lunch at Cheddar’s which was delicious. I had a Monte Cristo sandwich and enjoyed a cup of tortilla soup. After lunch we headed to the hospital for our ultrasound and injection teaching.
I was called back by the nurse for my ultrasound. While I was in my ultrasound the technician was looking over the lining of my uterus and saw what looked like polyps. She told me she would have the doctor come in and take a look. The doctor came in and decided a hysterosonography was necessary in order to determine if what he was seeing were polyps and to determine the number. This procedure involves having salt water (saline) injected into your uterus through a small tube threaded through your vagina and cervix. The saline expands your uterine cavity, which gives the doctor a clearer view of the inside of your uterus.
With the hysterosonography the doctor was able to determine that I had 10+ polyps in my uterine lining. With that piece of news my hopes and dreams came screeching to a halt.
Doctors determined that it would be necessary to have the polyps surgically removed prior to my IVF cycle. For the surgery it was determined I would see my home OBGYN doctor and have a hystreroscopy and D&C. After the surgery and healing time I would be able to go back to start up my IVF cycle again.
Needless to say it was time for us to take a little detour on our path up the IVF mountain. God has a way of letting us know that his timing and plan is not always what and how we expected, but that he is working everything together for our good.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Our first appointment day has arrived! We decided to get a hotel last night to make things easier this morning and to be well rested for our appointment.
We woke up this morning, got dressed and prayed very hard together before driving to the hospital for our appointment. When we arrived a the hospital we had a little trouble finding the right parking garage due to the construction, but we found it!
We made our way through the maze of the hospital and elevators and arrived a the registration desk. We registered and then were directed to the waiting room. When we were called back the nurse took us to our own private consultation room. We received a packet of information about the IVF process.
The doctor came in and talked to us about the procedures and the initial ultrasound and uterine sounding that they would do today. As I walked back for the ultrasound I was a bit nervous and excited at the same time. The doctor placed the speculum in my vagina and had to push very hard. It was extremely painful!
She concluded that my uterine lining was very full and thick. The overall conclusion was that my uterus looked good. There was a slight concern about the thickness and possibility of some polyps on the lining, but it was hard to tell due to where I am in my cycle.
When we were finished with my portion of the appointment my husband was taken to give a sperm sample. I was also taken for blood work to be used with genetic testing prior to our cycle beginning. As we left the hospital and headed home after a very long 4 hour appointment and medical work up we were feeling very confident and trusting God on this journey. We know that he is faithful to his promises
The Lord is faithful to all his promises Psalm 145:13 (NIV)
Today I went outside to check the mail and found a little glimmer of hope that I held in my heart is now a reality. In the mail I found an envelope that holds the notice for my first IVF appointment. I am feeling excited and happy. As I opened the envelope and read the notice tears started to stream down my face. Tears of joy flowed down my face for a door that has been opened. A door I never thought God would allow to be open again after my first failed IVF. I am hopeful that we will experience success this time. We are planning and getting reading in preparation for our first appointment. I am continuing to try to eat better, walking and taking vitamins daily. I have been stressed and worried about the BMI requirement as I know I have a lot to lose. I went to the doctor and they prescribed weight loss pills to help with this. I called the IVF nurse to check if this medication was a good idea for me prior to my cycle. She informed me that I shouldn’t take the medication and just try to work on losing weight naturally. So I am continuing exercising and trying to watch what I am eating by tracking on the MyFitnessPal app. I am also working on identifying the root causes for my worries that give me a desire to overeat. The main feeling I can identify right now is fear, more specifically fear of failure.
I have chosen to refuse to be bound by worry and fear. I will continue to trust God and surrender all to him! I have chosen the word Trust as my phrase for this IVF journey. I even bought a special pen to keep in my IVF binder when I go to appointments. I want to keep that word in my mind and heart simply trusting God.
So I will rely on the words of my favorite scripture:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 NIV
A few months ago I received the best piece of news I could ever hope for. A door was opened that I thought had been forever closed. While checking my insurance records about my recent physical therapy visits I decided to look a little further and see what else was covered. This year several changes have occurred in my health insurance plan. To my dismay and disbelief I discovered that IVF was covered.
Lets start at the beginning. In 2008 when I was studying at the University of Northern Iowa I noticed a very sharp pain in my stomach. A knife stabbing pain that would double me over in pain. I had always had horrible periods with prolonged bleeding and lots of pain since the time my period started at the age of 12. I had always used hot pads and Pamperin to help with the intense pain. Doctors had recommended me trying birth control in my teenage years, but I refused due to the stigmas associated with taking it. None of the pain that I had experienced was as painful as this. I scheduled an appointment with a gynecologist as soon as possible. When I went in for my appointment they told me it might be an ovarian cyst and gave me medication to see if things would get any better. Things continued to get worse. When I went back in to the gynecologist they did some ultrasounds and discovered I had a cyst the size of a golf ball on my left ovary. The doctor informed me that it would require surgery. I went in for the surgery expecting it to be minimally invasive. While the doctor was in surgery he had to perform a complete laparotomy and cut completely across my lower abdomen in order to remove the cyst. What he found was severe endometriosis stage 4. Since it was so advanced the cyst could not be safely removed through laparoscopy surgery. Following the surgery I was put on Lupron for 6 months to try and prevent the endometriosis from growing any further. Over the next few years I experienced multiple ovarian cysts and the largest again required surgery. After changing to another doctor and having the cyst removed and endometriosis lesions burned off it was found that my fallopian tubes were blocked. According to the doctors report they gave me a less than 1% chance of ever conceiving naturally and recommended IVF as my only option to conceive. Devastated, afraid and without hope that IVF would ever be possible due to the overwhelming cost and not being covered under my current health insurance I went home depressed and not knowing what to do next. I decided to wait and pray and hope that God would allow the impossible to happen for me and allow us to have a family. I started to research IVF in other countries and the cost associated with doing IVF in Mexico specifically. I found that the cost was significantly less to travel to another country and attempt IVF. A difference between $6,000 compared to $25,000 in the U.S. We went to our bank to see if financing would be possible. At first the bank was hesitant since it was an unsecured loan that would be used for a medical procedure. We waited, prayed and asked God to open the door if it was his will. Then the day came and we received the phone call that we had been accepted for the loan. We were elated, excited, confused and worried all at the same time.
We traveled to Guadalajara Mexico to start our IVF cycle. After approximately 2 months of tests, injections and traveling we found out our IVF cycle was not successful. I was not pregnant. From there we just decided to take some time off and decided that God would direct us in our next steps on the path towards parenthood.
I started this blog as a way to write about the struggles, challenges, pain and triumphs of our infertility journey. I pray that this blog will be a place to find encouragement, inspiration and comfort for those traveling the same path. May this blog be a place of encouragement for you.