Monday, January 18, 2016

How to Make a Baby


The old saying is "It takes a village to raise a child". I say it takes a village to make one. 

Ingredients:

one snowflake frozen embryo
33 oral birth control pills
24 subcutaneous Lupron injections
180 oral estrogen pills
10 oral doxycycline pills
5 oral methylprednisone pills
2 oral valium pills



Prep Time: 4 months (after 3 years of trying)
Bake Time: 40 weeks

Instructions:

Following normal hysterosonogram take birth control pills to begin suppression of your ovaries and uterine lining.

Proceed with saline ultrasound and mock transfer - continue birth control pills.

Undergo baseline ultrasound and begin daily lupron injections to decrease the chances of accidentally ovulating

Start menses approximately 5 days after birth control pills are completed

Start estrogen supplements to grow a thick, healthy uterine lining. 

Once lining is approximately 8 mm thick, discontinue lupron and begin progesterone suppositories vaginally to sustain implantation and (hopefully) pregnancy.

Transfer one snowflake embryo around 5 days after progesterone is started and PRAY!

Try to wait until beta-HCG approximately 2 weeks after transfer (yeah right!)
Cook and enjoy!!


Update
We are finally done with birth control pills as of Saturday (Jan 17th). We are a week into the lupron injections. My next (and hopefully last) menses should start this week then we will start our estrogen protocol. Nothing much will change until February 1st. That will be the date of our next ultrasound to check the lining. Until then the meds will be unchanged. Praying things stay on track! 

 Brennan is recently obsessed with babies!!  She has 2 baby dolls that she constantly asks me to swaddle so she can rock them, feed them and put them to bed. One is named Ari (a name I truly love for a girl) and the other is Little Debbie (thanks Daddy). We pray every night for a baby brother or baby sister for Brennan.

When Brennan has her 2 year old moments we pray that we know what we are doing and that God trusts us to handle another one! 

Happy Birthday to our little miracle. Brennan turns 2 on the 23rd. If you ask her how old she is she will tell you with complete confidence.... 6. Maybe 2 going on 6. Sweet girl has been "tinkling" on the potty like crazy this week. A potty trained toddler in a big girl bed and a new baby? Sounds perfect to me. 

Prayer request: that God grant's our hearts desires - He got it right the first time, we are praying He will bless us with another miracle. 





Thursday, January 14, 2016

One Embryo or Two

When we first started down this path I was certain I was going to have twins. I sort of assumed that the success rates of implanting two embryos over one must be higher. I figured that if we are going to go through all of this to have a baby we may as well implant two. 

The term elective single embryo transfer (eSET) first came up when talking to the family with whom our donor also shared their embryos.I hadn't even really considered transferring only one until that point. My husband kept saying he didn't want twins but I just sort of brushed him off. Once I started to really consider the implications we decided to transfer 1 embryo at a time. And this is why:

1 - Gestational Diabetes - the chance of getting gestational diabetes with ART (artificial reproductive technology) doubles when compared to the rates with a natural pregnancy

2 - Preeclampsia - the chance of getting preeclampsia is 1.5 times higher with ART

3 - Premature Birth - twins are more that 4 times more likely to be born premature

4 - Quality Snuggles  - When Brennan was born my favorite times were spent with her resting peacefully on my chest. While I know things will most certainly be different with a three year old running around I know that the best chance of getting to enjoy those moments again is to only have one baby at a time. Brennan's first year absolutely flew by and I feel like I didn't have a chance to soak it all in. I can only imagine that same feeling with two babies.

5 - Being Out-Numbered - We have always talked about having 2 children. Being out numbered sounds pretty scary. If we were to get pregnant with twins right now we would (prayerfully) have 3 little ones running around. If we ever consider having a 3rd I'd much rather it be a second pregnancy (because first births suck LOL!). But two children sounds perfect.

6 - Financial Stress - The financial stresses of having twins makes me really nervous - preterm labor, bedrest, medical leave, not to mention the costs after the birth. We will be able to provide better for our children by only having 2. If God decides to give us twins, that will be up to Him. We won't be doing anything to increase the chances. 

7 - Cesarean Section - A cesarean section birth is 2-3 times more likely with a twin pregnancy over a singleton pregnancy. While a vaginal birth is no guarantee for any woman I would love to increase my chances by carrying one baby at a time. 

8 - Individually Frozen - Our embryos were frozen individually. Many embryos are frozen in straws of two. This decision would have been much more difficult to make if they were frozen together. The embryos being frozen individually was more reassurance that we are making the right decision for us. 


Interesting fact - Identical twins can split from a single embryo on days 1-3,. days 4-6 or days 7-9. Our embryos are day 5 and day 6. So there is still a chance of our embryos splitting naturally. That means we will have the same chance of twins as any natural pregnancy (around 2%). When 2 embryos are implanted the chance of twins is around 30%. 




Monday, January 4, 2016

Getting Real Now

 We had our final test before the transfer. It's called a sonohysterogram or SHG. Some people call it a saline infusion sonogram. Basically it is a speculum exam with a little tube placed through the cervix to inject saline during a vaginal ultrasound. It is done to look at issues with with uterine lining such as polyps or fibroids. Fortunately ours was totally normal! 

The downside of the SHG: perfecting the art of urine holding and pint sized peeing. When I arrived for the ultrasound they had told me not to pee. They didn't tell me how much to drink only that I shouldn't empty my bladder. A grande latte and 2 hour car ride later my bladder felt pretty full. They asked me to give a tiny urine sample, just enough to do a pregnancy test, and to hold the rest. Talk about pressure! I succeeded and went back to the waiting room.

A little while later they called me back to scan my bladder. After way too long and a lot of pressure on my bladder they told me it wasn't full enough. I downed 2 bottles of water and waited for them to scan again. After the second scan my bladder was too full (and holy cow it hurt!). They had me get dressed again, go back to bathroom and only let 50 cc out. Man that's tough!! Finally my bladder was just the right size to lay my uterus flat for the mock transfer. The rest was a breeze! The mock transfer was easy and promising. 

I finally got to empty my bladder completely. What a relief! I signed a consent to only transfer one embryo and hit the road. Not 3 miles down the road my bladder was completely full again. Guess this is a good test for kidney function as well. My next post will be why we decided to only transfer one. 

Now here is the part where I ask for prayer. Please continue to pray for our cycle and transfer. Here is the prospective calendar of events:

Jan 12 - baseline ultrasound before starting lupron 

(Lupron prohibits ovulation and allows the physician more control over the uterine lining)

Lupron injections: starting January 12th

Last day of birth control pills: January 16th (will have taken 33 active birth control pills)

Estrogen start: January 21st

Lining check and bloodwork: February 1st

Prospective transfer date: February 8th