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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our 100th Post

I was hoping that our 100th post would be something really exciting and special to announce. And, it is...Just not in the way we had planned...

Our babies are now in Heaven with Jesus!!! We are obviously sad and grieving their loss, but are humbled and grateful that the Lord used us to get them out of the freezer and into His arms! How awesome is that?!

We have cried today and are continuing to grieve their loss. But, overall, God has given us more grace and peace than we could've imagined. We plan to go back to the NEDC in September. The NEDC nurse told me to stop my current meds to begin a new cycle. As soon as my new cycle begins, I will start the BCPs, followed by Lupron in August, to hopefully rescue more frozen babies in September.

God's grace truly is sufficient. And we love our Savior and are so comforted to know that they are in His arms! :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

1 Week Post-Transfer

A week ago, our babies were placed in my womb. Today, they've either implanted in my womb or are now in Heaven. The wait of not knowing where they are today is driving us crazy! I almost bought a HPT, but I restrained myself. 2 more days until my beta - Thursday can't come soon enough!

Did I mention that this wait is absolute torture?!

Trusting in God's perfect plan for them and for us no matter what that may be...

Jennifer :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

More Big News!

We're moving to Gastonia, NC next weekend! The night before our embryo transfer, we found out that Aaron is being promoted to the Gastonia LifeWay Store with a start date of August 2nd. This wasn't a surprise to us - Aaron had applied to manage this store when it became available in June. Everything was sounding promising, but we had not been given an official offer until the night before our transfer. We were so thankful to God for finding out this news before the transfer. We were really dreading the possibility of awaiting this news and my beta at the same time. So, we have A LOT going on right now - But, we're so excited! We will be breaking our lease here and looking to buy our first house (and Lord willing, start decorating a nursery)! For the immediate future, though, Aaron will be staying in temporary housing (such as an extended stay hotel) and I will be staying with his mom in Columbia, SC until we can find permanent housing. Lord willing, our beta will be positive on Thursday and we have decided that living in a house rather than a hotel room would be more restful during the beginning of pregnancy (we also have a dog and would prefer not to pay a hotel pet fee). Plus, he will probably be working some longer hours as he adjusts to his new store and staff. But, I will miss him so much - hopefully, we will be able to find a house very soon. And since, we aren't trying to sale a house here, it seems reasonable that we should be able to buy something soon.

So, to all of our SC friends - We will be living close again! Gastonia is right outside of Charlotte, NC. We hope to visit soon. We will miss our Greensboro/Danville friends, but we're not too far away to visit you too. And for our blogger friends - nothing will change for us (lol) - we will still be right here for visits. :)

We wanted to wait a few days before posting this news because 1) we wanted our babies to have all the attention for a few days and 2) LifeWay didn't officially announce it to the chain until yesterday.

Praying our babies will be moving with us and that God has a great new chapter in store for our family! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back from the NEDC w/Our Babies!

First off, let me say that God was so gracious to us in every way! We had originally reserved a hotel room for $95/night, but on Monday 2 hours before we left for Knoxville, our future-sister-law (who is a hotel employee) was able to book us a different hotel in the Knoxville area for only $35/night! We had beautiful weather driving down, I-40 was now back open (it was closed off due to the rock slides when we traveled in March). Ashley & Dusty met up with Aaron and me for ice cream the night before our transfers, so we were able to meet in person which was awesome! So, in just these things alone, God richly blessed our trip.

Arriving at the NEDC at 9:30am on Tuesday morning! (The sun was definitely in our eyes.)

Now, for the babies' transfer details...

First off (again for this section) - The NEDC staff is wonderful! They took such good care of us and our babies. I know you Snowflake families are biased to the Snowflake program, but the NEDC totally outdid themselves for our embryo adoption - they, I say again, were just fantastic! :)

God answered our prayers in that our first two babies survived the thaw. Not only did they survive the thaw, they looked really healthy. We had one expanded blastocyst graded a 5AB and one hatched blastocyst graded a 6AA! We don't take "grading" to mean too much, because we know that God chooses which lives to continue growing on earth and which He decides to usher into Heaven. All embryos equally need a chance at birth no matter what their "grading" may be. However, what parents wouldn't want to hear from the doctor that their babies looked healthy!? - We were obviously very thankful. Our hatched blast had actually already hatched prior to freezing and in Dr. K's words "this one is wanting to attach" followed by him saying "but, there are no guarantees, it's out of my hands." To which Aaron replied, "But, we know Whose hands they are in!" Indeed we do. Beta is on July 29th - Praying for strong numbers! :)

Our expanded blast is on the left and our hatched blast is on the right. The darker areas are the actual babies and the lighter areas are what will (Lord willing) become their placentas. As you can see from our picture, the hatched blast baby had completely broken through his/her shell. :)

Ashley & Me

A rainbow across the shopping center where we enjoyed ice cream - Ashley and I decided to take that as a good sign! (Haha - I'm not really superstitious) But, it was a gorgeous rainbow.

Friday, July 16, 2010

One PIO Down (and many more to go-I hope!)

Well, my ultrasound and labs were great on Wednesday - they wanted my lining at least 8mm and I was at 9.7mm. So, I was given clearance to begin my PIO injections this morning. We were blessed in having a friend locally who has done IVF herself come over and show Aaron how to inject me. Even though we're not actually going through an IVF cycle ourselves, these shots are used in both fresh IVF cycles and frozen embryo cycles. I think having her show him in person how to do it will really help us a lot. She did reiterate what so many others have also told me - these shots hurt a lot, especially by the end of it. I'm already a little sore from this morning's shot, but it's mind over matter, I guess. Ashley did tell me about EMLA cream which is supposed to numb the area prior to injection. I asked the NEDC nurse to call in the prescription for it at my local pharmacy. However, I wasn't aware that you had to put it on your skin at least an hour prior to injection, so I didn't use it this morning. It will be hard to fit that into my schedule before work in the morning, but I plan on using it for my evening shots.

All is well - Our babies will be getting out of the freezer and Lord willing, in my belly on Tuesday morning at 10:15am! Please pray that they will both survive the thaw and transfer well - to hopefully implant sometime mid-next week (I read that an embryo at the blastocyst stage should attach to the uterus 24-48 hours after an embryo transfer).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

9 Days Until Transfer!

I took my last Lupron shot tonight (Yay!) and have now increased my Estrace tablets from 2/day to 3/day. I have my final ultrasound and lab this Wednesday at 8:30am and if all looks good, then the NEDC nurses will give me the "green light" to start my dreaded Progesterone in Oil (PIO) shots on Friday - Oh how I've been dreading these shots since the beginning. But, after over a year of waiting, I'm so glad that it's finally time to start them. I will take the PIO twice a day 4 days prior to transfer, during my wait before my BETA blood test, and if positive, then I'll continue them throughout the 1st trimester! - So, like I keep saying, I hope the "yuckiness" gets worse from a continued pregnancy. :)

The NEDC nurse confirmed that my BETA would be scheduled with a local doctor on July 29th - only 9 days after my transfer! I don't think that I'll be taking any HPTs - I think I can wait for my BETA. Ashley and Christina have already told me that they will be taking HPTs, but I don't think I'm going to (but since my BETA is first, we'll probably all find out around the same time anyway). Also, if I can make it the next 9 days until transfer without going insane, then I can also most likely make it 9 days after transfer for my BETA. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2 Weeks from Transfer!

Today officially marks 2 weeks before my embryo transfer. After over a year of waiting, I can't believe that it's almost here! Actually, it still doesn't feel "real." Of course, now that we have been given a date, been matched with embryos, started my meds, had my 1st ultrasound and estradiol check, and received a phone call from the NEDC billing office today regarding our final fees, it feels "more real" but still very surreal!!! We did receive some additional information last week about our babies' genetic family and healthy history and from what I estimated, I think they've been frozen for about 3.5 years (although I don't know for sure because we don't yet have the exact dates of when they were conceived and frozen). That is surreal in and of itself - it is even more surreal that Lord willing, they'll thaw perfectly and then be transferred to my womb in 2 weeks. As I write this post at 6:28pm EST, two weeks from now at this very minute, Lord willing, I will be carrying 2 precious babies in my womb. Amazing!

Please keep Aaron, me, and our babies in your prayers - Please pray for their continued survival and that the Lord would grant birth to them next spring! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ultrasound and Lab Results

My ultrasound and estradiol bloodwork came back within the acceptable ranges yesterday, so I now have the NEDC's approval to begin my Estrace tomorrow. I haven't felt well at all today...I really think the Lupron is causing some side effects...headaches, stomach aches, just a general yucky feeling. And, I'm sure the other meds I'll be starting over the next couple of weeks won't help either. Anyhow, I'm not complaining at all - I love the fact that I'm doing something to make my body a warm and hospitable environment for our two precious babies on July 20th. I will even most gladly welcome pregnancy sickness, if it means that they're growing the way they should be. So, yes, I'm praying that the "yucky" feeling continues to get worse. :)