Monthly Archives: July 2012

The numbers game…God always wins!

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When we started out down the IVF path some weeks back, we were told to think about the number of eggs we wanted implanted.  The most a doctor in Sout Africa can implant is 3 eggs,we could, however, choose to implant less. 

My initial reaction was to implant the max (three) as that would mean a greater chance of one (or two) to imbed and result in a positive pregnancy.  However, as always, I also prayed about this.  I remember very clearly in my prayers, when asking the Lord about the number to implant, he asked me how many babies we wanted out of this procedure.  I answered that we wanted two babies (twins).  He said quite simply then that this is the number we are to implant.  I of course was doubtful, I mean surely we go with the max, just to be sure?!  Pig-headedly I was sticking with the three option in my own mind (I also knew that God would probably decide this for us and leave us little choice in the end, but hey, at least I had made-up MY OWN mind).

God has a wonderful way of correcting our foolishness.  The harvesting of my eggs yielded three eggs – GREAT!  No need for Gary and me to decide how many to implant or how many to freeze (if there are more than three then this is an option) there are only three so we can go with those, woohoo!  This is where God starts chuckling.  Within minutes, the Embryologist advised us that one of the eggs had not been properly formed and was not a viable option.  Only two were going to be fertilised for implanting. 

God ALWAYS wins.

I am relieved though, as this indicates to me so clearly that our Lord’s hand is in this process.  Despite my occasional attempts to do things my way, He steers the course back to his plan.

There is a FANTASTIC saying: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him YOUR plans”.  God must think me a comedian 🙂

Coping with the waiting…

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I had a colleague pop into my office yesterday to ask how I was coping with the big wait till Monday – the day when we go into the doc for the blood pregnancy-test.  I surprised her by telling her I was doing great – whaaaat?! 

Even I am surprised.  I was a “pee-on-a-stick” kinda gal.  Yip, the type that bought pregnancy-test sticks in bulk.   Almost every other month I was doing a test, hoping and praying…only to be so disappointed.  When chatting to my dear colleague about it, it suddenly dawned on me why I was so cool and calm…I have hope!  Previously, I didn’t know whether or not an embryo had made it up my fallopian tubes into my uterus, I didn’t know if we’d even made an embryo.  So I would test – anxious for some sign of hope. 

But today, I have that hope.  I know for a FACT that there are two little embryos inside my uterus – we saw the doc place them there.  We know this to be true.  What a glorious victory that is in itself.  I am relishing the feeling of knowing that, in essence, I AM PREGNANT.  Whether or not the babas make it is not up to me but God, and Monday we will know.

So for now, I dance in the knowledge that my babas are there and all is well.  I am not in any pain or discomfort so all that remains is to smile and wait.

Hello from the 3 of me…

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Helloooo!  What a whirlwind the past week has been.  It’s crazy to think that it was a week ago that I signed-off from the blog in order to go to the doc on Friday for the big harvest.  A lot has happened.

Firstly – the harvest:  The doc harvested 3 eggs from me which was at the time disappointing.  I had hoped they would get 4 or 5.  But the Lord knows best and 3 seemed like a Godly number.  1 of the 3 had not developed properly so only 2 healthy eggs remained.  The embryologist added Gary’s sample to the eggs and we waited with bated breath to see if they both fertilised.  This is NOT guaranteed.  Sometimes, when the sperm are added to the dish housing the eggs, they all just stand around looking at each other and nobody making a move.  It’s a bit like teenagers at a school dance, where the boys just stand around and watch the girls dance.  God be praised though, Gary’s fellas had more guts than teenage boys and marched right up to my little lady eggs and jumped on in there for a tango.  We had two healthy, fertilised embryos!  The embryologist, Kinnon, was wonderful, he kept us updated on Saturday and Sunday on our embryos’ developments.  Kinnon’s such an eccentric, he’d say things like “I told your babies that Mummy and Daddy phoned and send lots of love” or “I’ve washed and fed your babies and they miss their Mummy and Daddy”.  SERIOUSLY.  This guy is passionate about his work and we felt so assured of his best intentions.  He openly admitted that he will do his best but it is up to God to do the rest – our kinda embryologist 🙂

Secondly – the implanting:  By Saturday the little embryos were giving that tango such a wind that the embryologist called for my implanting to be done on Monday (the doc had originally thought to implant Tuesday or Wednesday).  Eeek!  So we quickly called our bosses to call for Monday off work and headed over there like eager parents to welcome our babas into my womb.  Gary was allowed to pull on some scrubs and head into theatre with me!  Here he is, looking all doctorish and handsome:

My knight in medical scrubs

The process was an experience we’ll never forget.  They showed us our two little embryos (now blastocysts in development stages) on a big screen and they were too precious – like two little brown bugs, wiggling and squiggling and just being busy bodies.  They then inserted them via a catheter and we watched the whole process on another screen.  Once they were in the womb we were given an ultrasound pic of them in their little bubble of liquid (looking mostly like a grain of rice).  Sadly I forgot the pic at home so will load it tomorrow.  We were told that the embryos were on day 5 of development and had reached blastocyst stage, even though technically they were only on day 3 – WOW!  Both the doc and the embryologist were excited and optimistic about their chance of making it – to God be the glory.

I was then ordered to rest for 48 hours to ensure the little fellas burrow into my uterus lining.  They actually have to hatch from their outer shell and then latch onto the lining – so we termed it “hatch and latch”.  We trust this has happened already and are praying both are hooked up to Mama.

So, I am back at work today and trying to take it easy (ha!).  We now hold out for 6th August 2012 when we go to the doc for the pregnancy test.  I’m also back on a daily injection, a large one in the butt (VERY painful) and a lot of pills to keep my hormone levels elevated.

THANK you all for your sms-es, thoughts and prayers.  God is AMAZING and we have so felt his presence in the past few days.  I’ll have to blog in a separate post on some of the amazing ways our Lord has worked in us.  This is a miracle in the making and WE ARE BLESSED.

We’re off to see the wizard…doctor

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It’s time for me to shut down my computer for the day and hold down the butterflies that are mounting for tomorrow’s procedure – the big harvesting of my eggs.

We are so excited that we have reached this point and that all is looking and feeling great.  It feels a bit like something out of the Wizard of Oz, going to see the wonderful doc who will perform a small wonder in retrieving my eggs for fertilisation.  Gary will have to submit a sample at the same time but luckily for him he has no anaesthetic involved.  We then hold our breath all weekend praying the little fertilized eggs will divide and multiply and grow into healthy blastocysts for implanting.

I won’t lie, I am nervous, and I am praying fervently for strength and a positive approach to the whole going-into-theatre-and-under-general-anaesthetic thing.  I don’t have ruby slippers but I will be clicking my heals three times, snappy-like, to get home after the procedure.

I’ll update you all on Monday when I get back to my computer on how it all goes down.  God bless.

A reality check…

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Good news – the harvesting procedure is BOOKED for this Friday, 20 July 2012, at 7am. Yeeeeeehaaaaah!  We are so excited. 

Yesterday saw my final consult with the doc before harvesting.  The doc was happy and we saw at least 4 good follicles.  The doc gave me my final script of drugs to see me through these last couple of days – MORE injections.  As for implanting, the doc will monitor the fused eggs and their development over 3-5 days post harvesting and advise closer to the time, he has indicated that it will be either Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

All has gone so smoothly that I guess in some way I relaxed and wondered what I had been so worried about.  But then we had a reality check hit us last night.  A dear lass I have been in touch with, who is at a similar stage to me on this IVF journey, had her check up late yesterday and was not given the go-ahead for harvesting.  Her follicles have not responded well enough to the drugs and are not stimulated sufficiently.  The doc has told her to take 2 months off and they will try again in September.  September?!  Whaaaat?!  That’s MONTHS away?!  My heart bled for her…

I looked at Gary, after reading him the news she had sms-ed me, and said (more as a statement of praise than relief) “We are just so blessed!”  Lord, thank you!  It was a stark reminder that IVF is a complicated and emotional journey where success is NEVER guaranteed.  We are so blessed to be at a point in our journey where I am feeling healthy and happy and we are in a good place emotionally, spiritually and physically and my body is responding positively to the drugs.  A miracle in itself.

I hold this dear lady in prayer.  There is NOTHING I can say to ease her pain and immense frustration.  To think that she will have to go through all these injections and drugs and appointments again in a couple of months time…

I am thankful and so humbled that God has placed his hand of protection on me in this regard.  I am nervous about Friday’s procedure (it involves general anaesthetic which my body is notoriously bad at recovering from) but I am more convinced than ever that God has brought me to this and he will get me through it.

We’re getting hotter…

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When I was a child, my parents used to help us find our Easter Eggs hidden in the garden by telling us whether we were getting hotter or colder, i.e. closer to or further away from the chocolate surprise.  It might not be chocolate eggs we are after this week but we are seeking eggs nonetheless.  And if our IVF journey were to be guided in a similar way, we would be getting pretty hot right now.

THIS IS THE WEEK IT ALL HAPPENS! 

We saw the doc again on Saturday morning and my body is being amazingly cooperative.  All is going well and the doc was happy which continues to boost my happiness – considering all the hormone inducing drugs I am on it is a marvel that I am so chipper.  The doc is still keeping a beady eye on my one follicle which is larger than the others and this follicle will determine the harvesting date.  It appears we have about 4 or 5 now (including the big one).  Harvesting and implanting were estimated to take place on 21 and 23 July respectively, however the doc has now indicated that harvesting is likely to be this Thursday, 19 July or Friday, 20 July at the latest.  Yippee!  If they harvest Thursday, then implanting will be Saturday.  If they harvest Friday, then they will implant on Monday (they don’t really work Sundays and there needs to be a two-day gap at least from harvest to implanting).  So kinda praying it will be Thursday as then I can get back to work on Monday after a nice rest on the Sabbath.

I am still feeling great!  And speaking of getting hotter I am still not feeling any major side effects apart from getting very hot when I sleep.  This is so not normal for me, I usually get colder in my sleep.  Hot is good though, I need to be a good incubator for my eggs.  As my previous fertility doc used to say “only hot chicks get pregnant”.

I’ve also managed to chat to a couple of girls at the clinic who are at the same stage as me in this IVF journey.  These are gorgeous women who are also being so brave and trusting in God.  I keep them in prayer and will keep in touch with one of these ladies as she and her hubby live not far from us and she and I shared a recovery room about 8 weeks ago when we first saw the doctor and had to undergo an exploratory procedure in hospital.  It is a great comfort to share experiences with those in the same boat and then learn together that we can walk on the water of this journey, so long as we keep our eyes on Jesus.

I see the doc again tomorrow – he will then confirm exactly when harvesting will be!  We are just so excited 🙂