6.04.2011

Part 2. Our IVF Journey

When I decided we were moving on to IVF, I started researching clinics! I have a friend who had just gone to the St. Louis Fertility clinic and was pregnant, so I read all about the doctor and decided I wanted to meet with him!

My first consultation was supposed to happen on February 1st, but we were forced to cancel the appointment because a big snow storm was forecasted for that day.

We ended up getting another appointment on Feb. 4th, and almost ran into another roadblock. But this time, nothing would keep me from making it to St. Louis. I was unable to drive because of icy roads, so I hopped on a flight and met my mom in St. Louis. Matt couldn't go because he isn't allowed to miss work during ratings months.

In anticipation of the appointment, I started birth control in December because I knew I needed to be on it for 2 months to get rid of any cysts that I had on my ovaries. I also knew that if I didn’t get to see Dr. Silber that week, the whole process would be pushed back another month -- so I was desperate to get there and get this started!

My appointment was scheduled for 3:30 and I was supposed get an ultrasound done before showing up. So I went to St. Lukes hospital and got checked-in by Charles, who turned out to be the nicest man ever! He was so positive and made me feel so at ease. After explaining some stuff, he then told me congrats because he knew this was going to work! He said Dr. Silber is the best and I should just go ahead and paint the baby room! HA!

After all we had been through over the last two years, I wasn't feeling very positive -- but this felt really good to hear! So anyway, the ultrasound went great and the tech also told me that my ovaries were cyst-free and that everything looked great with my uterus and ovaries!

Then it was time to head over to meet the “famous” Dr. Silber! He had already looked over all of our medical records and history and verified that I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which meant the only way I would be able to get pregnant would be through IVF. I was relieved that he seemed so confident and I was ready to get started!

What's amazing, is that I had been extremely emotional, sad, angry, and very anxious for almost two years...but all of those feelings seem to disappear after meeting with Dr. Silber.

After discussing IVF with Dr. Silber, I met with my IVF coordinator, Joan. She went through payments, dates, medications and tons of other IVF protocol! I started birth control the same day as my appointment and was instructed to take 18 birth control pills, then stop, have a period and then begin taking shots.

On day 14 of my pill pack, I started Lupron (10 units). It was the first shot I had EVER given myself! Matt normally gives them to me because I hate shots so much. But he wasn’t going to be home on the 2nd night so I just had to do it myself. I seriously couldn’t believe that I did it, but once it was over, it really wasn’t that bad! I felt like I suddenly overcame my fear of needles! In fact, I continued giving my own shots the whole time when they were sub-q (in the belly fat) shots.

Before starting the stimulation shots, I went in for another baseline unltrasound & bloodwork to make sure we were ready to start the process. So on March 2nd, I started 150-ius of Follistim, 75-ius of Menopur and continued with Lupron... but reduced it to 5 units!

Five days after starting shots, I had to begin monitoring appointments in St. Louis. On the first day, I had to be at the hospital before 7:45 for blood-work and an ultrasound. The u/s was uncomfortable because my ovaries were so swollen from the shots. The tech let me see everything and said I had PLENTY of follicles. That afternoon, Joan called me and said I was responding almost too well to the shots!

I had 19 measurable follicles and 22 smaller ones. In response, they took me off the Follistim and Menopur and I took a small dose of HCG for the next 2 nights before going back on Wednesday morning for another monitoring appointment. They did this to try to mature the 19 measurable ones and not let the others grow anymore.

The ultrasound on Wednesday morning was really painful. I was getting so bloated and the internal probe just seemed to push everything around. When I called for the results that afternoon, the HCG had worked, which meant I had 25 measurable follicles and was finished with my monitoring appointments. 36 hours before my scheduled retrieval, I had to take the Novarel 10,000 unit trigger shot.

After getting off work, Matt and Romeo headed up to St. Louis on Friday afternoon. I was SO ready to see my special boys! Again, I had already been there for almost one week with my mom. We actually had a lot of fun in-between appointments, by shopping at two malls, seeing 3 movies and even checking out some of the local baby furniture stores! It was so fun looking at cribs and dreaming about getting to pick one out hopefully in the near future!

Once Matt and Romeo arrived, all three of us had our own room, while my mom stayed in a separate room. (Remember THIS post about Romeo's first hotel stay?) Mom didn’t want to leave until after the egg retrieval, which was scheduled for 9:15am on March 12th!

Matt and I had to check-in at the hospital at 7:15 the next morning and I don't think we slept at all that night. We were both so nervous! After lots of prayers and years of trying everything possible, it all came down to this morning! LOTS OF PRESSURE! I remember praying every time I woke up that night that God would calm my nerves and let me get some rest.

Once we got to the hospital, Matt and Mom got to stay with me the whole time. I changed into a gown and sat in a recliner with warm blankets. I wasn't scared to have the surgery, but I was nervous about being "put under". That feeling also caused a little bit of my anxiety to creep-up again! Luckily, I had two people I love the most sitting right next to me and they were so great about trying to keep me calm!

Shortly after the anesthesiologist started my IV, Dr. Silber and Dr. DeRosa came in to talk to us. They told us what to expect during the retrieval process and I think their words truly put all of us at ease. Both of these men are well-respected professionals and they're so sweet and caring!
Within a couple of minutes after our meeting with the doctors, I was walking back to the OR. Once there, they got me comfortably on the table and into the stirrups....and honestly -- that's the last thing I remember!

Next thing I know, I'm back in a room with Matt and mom -- and I'm in some serious pain! The best way to describe it is, the absolute worst menstrual cramps a woman could ever feel!

But despite the pain and agony, Matt and Mom tell me my first words were actually a question, "HOW MANY EGGS????"
Apparently, I was mumbling that same question over and over while the drugs were starting to wear off. Matt and Mom told me numerous times, and at some point it finally sunk in. They had successfully retrieved 12 eggs!
This smile is after the pain pill to help with the cramping! :)

We were forced to stay at the hospital for about one hour before being allowed to leave. Matt drove me to the hotel, while Mom ran to Panera Bread Company to get us some food. Still groggy and in pain, I managed to eat some soup. But after that, I totally passed out! Mom then left St. Louis and headed back to Arkansas, while Matt took care of me at the hotel room.

After sleeping quite a bit that day, Matt and I woke up and started our new routine of giving progesterone shots. These shots are intramuscular and given in the hip/butt area. Just so you know, they don't feel very good AT ALL! Along with being horribly bloated and constipated from the surgery and drugs, I also had the weirdest feeling in my stomach. So basically, from that point forward, I didn't wear anything in St. Louis other than my black yoga/sweat pants!

Sunday, I had enough strength, so Matt and I drove downtown and looked Busch stadium and The St. Louis Arch. We also had dinner at a steak restaurant that cost way too much! We didn’t realize what we had gotten ourselves into, until the bill was laid on the table! We just laughed it off, saying it was our "Celebration Dinner"!
We had to be at the hospital at 6:15 for the embryo transfer on Tuesday, March 15th. We were really excited and most of my anxiety was gone. I knew I had to be calm and relaxed for the transfer to go well. We undressed and got into our scrubs.
I remember thinking how happy I was that Matt was there with me...and that he would also be right next to me during the transfer! Obviously, this isn't a traditional way to conceive, but if it results in a baby -- we were all for it!

Dr. Silber came in to talk to us before the transfer. He said he had great news! We have 3 PERFECT embryos, and he thought it would be best to put 2 of the embryos in and freeze the other one for later use. We felt very encouraged and we fell in love with our little embryos and started praying they would "take" and become our babies!
These are the 2 embryos we put in 3 days after conception! Truly the miracle of life!

This is my favorite picture from the week! It makes me cry every time I look at it and think about how relieved we are at that moment!

We walked into the OR and I got all situated on the table. The whole procedure lasted maybe 10 minutes. They used a noodle-like catheter to insert the 2 perfect embryos into my uterus. I never felt anything and it happened so fast. In no time at all, we were back in our room waiting to be discharged.
We were so excited leaving the hospital for the last time, knowing it was all over!! We went straight to IHOP and stuffed ourselves, before going back to our hotel room and crashing for several hours. When we woke up, we packed up the car, left STL around 8 and got home around 1:30am. We were so happy to be home!!! But then started "The Dreaded Two Week Wait"!

I remember on Tuesday of week two, being sad because I had no symptoms and I was afraid that meant I wasn’t pregnant. But Thursday afternoon, I felt some changing of hormones, kind of like it was PMS coming on. I knew that could be a good sign but I tried not to think too much about it. And then Friday on my way to work, I always eat a cinnamon pop tart or breakfast bar and I could only eat 2 bites because I felt like I was going to puke. It tasted terrible to me all of the sudden! Then I was starving by lunch. I ate Flying Burrito and immediately had heartburn. I made it through the day, but later that evening I drove through Sonic and my normal cheese sticks didn’t taste good either. I remember thinking, this better be pregnancy! :)

Later that night, I felt some waves of nausea so I decided that on Saturday morning I was going to take a test! I didn’t tell anyone beforehand -- and when I woke up at 7:30am, I sat down and peed on a stick! I have peed on so many sticks and always watched for the 2nd line to show up, but it has never happened. But this would be different! All of the sudden, I see that infamous 2nd line!!!!
I jumped up, ran into the bedroom, flipped on the lights and started yelling for Matt to wake up and LOOK!!! I said “There have NEVER been two lines… THERE HAVE NEVER BEEN TWO LINES MATT!!!”


The Pregnancy. Part 3 will be next!

51 comments:

Stephanie Marie said...

My husband just came in to check on me because he could hear me crying through this whole post. It is so wonderful to read your story and know that it ends with such an incredible blessing! I can't say congratulations enough! I am absolutely thrilled for you and your family!

{Louisiana.Bride} said...

Omg I am happy crying over this. We aren't at a point that we are trying for babies yet, but my parents tried for 7 yrs before they had me. Y'all are going to be amazing parents!

Fran said...

I am in tears by the end of this post! So so happy for y'all Julee! You are precious to write about this.....what a blessing to everyone. I can't wait for the next post.

Hugs and blessings from TN!
Fran

Julie said...

So happy for you...thank you so much for sharing your story! Can't wait to follow along through your journey! Thank you so much for sharing! You both will be amazing parents!

Kirby and Anna said...

tears in my eyes as I read the last part! :) Can't wait to read the rest!

Superchikk said...

I held it together until the "two lines!" part. I remember that same feeling! I am so happy for you guys. I know that baby is already loved to pieces!

Jess said...

Such an incrediable journey so far! I have cried reading both parts! I have PCOS too...I concieved once on my own and now #2is not happening so far. I just know all your feelings, and I think that is why is it both tears of joy and sadness! I'm so excited for you. I've been reading your blog via Ashley's Avenue...hope you don't mind. Thank you for sharing your journey!

Southern Cinderella said...

Congrats again on your blessing! Thanks so much for sharing your story!

Erin said...

I am in tears reading your post. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your story- it means more than you know. I can't wait to read the rest...Congrats again!! What a wonderful story and blessing.

Walking With The Wheats said...

I have tears in my eyes for you! i am so happy for you and Matt. What a blessing. I pray for a smooth pregnancy for you.

Congrats.

Savannah said...

What an incredible story! I am in tears. You bring hope to so many and I am thankful for your ability and willingness to share your journey in detail. Congrats again!

Kim said...

I don't even know you but this brought tears to my eyes. I've never been in your situation but seeing that second line is one of the best things in life isn't it??? You are going to be the best mom!

Elizabeth said...

I seriously started crying when I read this!!! Congratulations to you both!! I am extremely happy for the both of you!!!

Kimberley said...

thanks for the tears!! i am rejoicing with you and matt!!!

The Mrs said...

Congratulations!! I have PCOS and we tried for about two years as well. I was just telling my husband how much your story reminds me of ours! I have been praying for you and am so happy for you and your miracle!!! Much love! And wishes for a.great pregnancy!

Cara Beth said...

Love this story, Julee! Couldn't be more excited. This is truly a miracle baby! You are blessed! I love hearing y'all's story! :)

Lauren said...

SOOO happy for you guys! I'm with everyone else -- I definitely teared up on the "two lines" excitement! What a blessing!!

Jen said...

So exciting!! :) Can't wait to read the rest.

Just curious...not trying to pry. What made you choose St. Louis over somewhere closer like Tulsa? I know you said you had a friend who was successful there, but I just wondered why there in particular. :)

lane, kelli and the boys said...

This makes me so happy reading this! You will be the best mommy!

Amy said...

I'm not sure how I came across your blog, but I am so thankful that I did. The tears are flowing! I know God will bless your growing family. Now go pick out that crib! :)

Cari said...

This is the best story Julee! I think if I ever see you and about in NWA I will feel the need to give you a big ole hug! I admire your determination. Baby Turner is going to have the best mommy and daddy! I can't wait for part three!!

All About the Armes' said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Julee! Congratulations, again! I'm excited to follow your journey! :o)

Jess :) said...

Sounds like I'm with some others when I say I'm happy crying! :) I feel like I'm right next to you as you are telling this story and I LOVE IT!! :) :) Brings such JOY to my heart for both you and Matt.

Looking forward to part 3!

Hugs

Todd and Courtney said...

oh bring me the tissues sweet friend!

Brooke said...

It touched my heart to read your journey.

I am with everyone else- the "two lines" part drew tears to my eyes. Ive been there- so much so that I laid the test down in the bathroom w/ out looking at it until the full 3 minutes were over. I was so sure it would be like all the others- but Praise God, i too saw "two lines"

Having to go through IF is hard, but sooo humbling at the same time.

Can't wait to read Part 3....and your pregnancy posts!

Leslie said...

Oh...brings back so many memories! You have documented everything so well. Wish I had done that... I need to come see you soon. I can't wait to give you a congrats hug!

The Branches said...

Just love reading your story and I'm just thrilled for you :) :) :)

Dana said...

congrats! I came across your blog and saw you saw dr silber. my sistersaw him also after several doctors and now has two beautiful twin boys! he was such a great doctor for her". helped calm her in such a roller coaster of a journey! so excited to hear another success story! what a true miracle and blessing!

Josh, Emily, and Adelle Blackwell said...

Sweet Julee...I'm all choked up :) God is so faithful and I'm ridiculously excited for y'all!!

rathi said...

I have been reading your blog thru Kelly's for a while and have not commented yet.. I have tears as well, since my hubby and I went thru the same journey for our daughter! I don't have pcos but endometriosis, and as hard as waiting and IVF were, i wouldn't change anything when I watch my daughter! She is 15 months old today and definitely worth the wait.. So happy for you guys and congratulations!

Nancy said...

Sooo excited for you! What an amazing story & journal. Thank you for sharing...I have never heard a story like this one ~ I'm AMAZED!

Megan said...

This makes my heart so happy and gives me great encouragement! Thank you for sharing your journey!

Stephanie Wood Smith said...

I'm crying too!!! Love it!

waiting and wishing said...

So happy for you, Julee. I'm about to start the same protocol for our first IVF cycle, and hearing your story give me more hope! Can't wait to read part 3!!!

Stephanie said...

Yes the tears are flowing for me too... it's so amazing how the internet can make such a large world seem so small.... God bless you, Julee, and may this be one of the happiest, most uneventful times of your life!!!

Jenna said...

Congratulations Julee! I am just seeing this! We almost went to Dr. S when we were considering IVF! He is AWESOME!

KatieB. said...

I am so happy for you and your last line on this post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your story. I wasn't aware of how IVF works so it's interesting to learn and of course it ends with a fantastic blessing! Congrats, congrats, congrats!!!

Diane said...

I've never left a comment before, but this post gave me chills. So excited for you all!

Krystal said...

YAY!!! Can't wait to read part 3!! You put tears in my eyes!! So excited for you all!!

Alyssa said...

Congratulations!!!!!!! I found your blog through Kelly's Korner and was so excited to hear your news! My SIL did IVF at the same clinic in STL and now has 19 month old twin girls. I'm so glad it worked for you, too!

Livvy's Mommy said...

I am a new commenter, been lurking for a while :) I too struggled with fertility but didn't have to go as far as you have. Congrats to you all! I remember when I found out that I was pregnant, I had to look in the mirror to see my face because I wanted to see that face...I knew I would never see that face again. All that hard work had finally paid off. congrats again I am so excited for you all :)

Elizabeth said...

I just love that you are sharing your story! I cannot wait to read about Part 3 and to to follow you along your journey! I am truly happy for you and your hubs!!!! God is great! Congrats again!!!

xoxo
Blogging Blondie

Brooke said...

Once again... in tears. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story...

The Jacobs Family said...

This post made me cry! Thank you for sharing!

Barbara said...

Oh no here I go again... crying happy tears for you... AT WORK... of course!

So happy for you both!

Sara said...

Thanks for sharing...I can't wait to hear part three:)

You and Matt are going to be the BEST parents to this little bundle of joy!

Congrats again!

theLovelyLisa said...

Congratulations, Julee!! Bailey & I are so excited for you & Matt! You guys are going to be such awesome parents. I'm so thankful your prayers were answered! Thank you for sharing such a personal story, too. I know so many people dealing with this right now. <3

Tracee said...

What a wonderful and inspiring story Julee. I can't wait to read the rest of it, as things progress. Congrats to you and Matt.

Lisa said...

I found your blog through Kellys Korner. I'm sitting at my desk crying with tears of happiness. God is truly wonderful. I hope you have a great pregnancy.

Ben and Emily said...

Congratulations Julee!! I'm beyond excited for y'all.

Danielle Bridgers Banks said...

I just want you to know that upon reading the end of the post I had a huge grin on my face. I can only imagine what that feeling must be like. I've never had those two lines, but God did send me a precious daughter through adoption. Congratulations on your pregnancy!!