Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Cat's Out of the Bag!

This has been a LONG couple of days. And this is going to be one of those "good news, bad news" kind of posts.

The bad news is that DH had a severe reaction to a medication last night that made him so violently ill that we finally decided that an Emergency Room visit was in order. They pumped his stomach to get the medication out but the tubes were also pulling up blood. They did a CT scan and an ultrasound to check for internal damages and when they couldn't find a cause, they decided to admit him. As of this afternoon they decided that the most likely cause of the continued bleeding was some tearing in his esophagus so when he was able to make it through a fluid breakfast and solid lunch without further incident, they released him. We got home around 4:00 this afternoon, with an appointment scheduled with our regular doctor tomorrow morning. He's very tired and sore, but otherwise seems to be ok. I wasn't completely satisfied with the hospital though so I'll be glad when we talk to our Primary Care Physician.

The good news is that I was unable to go with Todd to the emergency room or be at the hospital until this afternoon. My sweet brother came over and picked him up and took him last night and stayed all night with him. Attempts to cryptically (but honestly!) explain/excuse to family why I couldn't be at DH's side failed so we decided to tell and the cat is now out of the bag. We had our first Snowflakes Transfer yesterday morning. Doctor ordered bed rest for a minimum of 24 hours following the transfer (standard procedure) so when DH got sick at just shy of 12 hours into that 24 hours, there wasn't much I could do to help except lay on the bed and communicate with my brother by phone.

We thawed two embryos. Both survived the thaw and we transferred both. The Embryologist said the embryos looked good and so far as we could understand, everything went as planned. We're very excited, though DH's illness rather overshadowed things and our strongest feeling right now is just exhaustion!

Here is the babies' first picture. The one attachment shows two separate photos. Each photo shows one embryo. The part clustered in the middle is what will become the baby (God willing) and the ring around the outside is what will become the Placenta. The "bumpy" mass in the middle represents how these tiny little ones already have innumerable cells. In younger embryos you would be able to see each cell individually but these have grown so much with so many cells that they're all smushed together and inseparable. The photos were taken right after they were thawed so the inner cells were still shriveled up like raisins. They eventually did expand and fill up the whole "ring." These photos were taken with the Embryos under significant magnification. Right now they are still small enough to be all but invisible to the naked eye.

And since the cat is now out of the bag I can post about our last few days.

We spent most of last week and weekend relaxing. The doctor basically told me last week to rest as much as I could, eat right, and do whatever I could to get to a state of relaxation. So I enjoyed some pampering. I had a few chiropractor visits. I had my hair cut and colored (to get all the highlights out so they don't grow out and look weird by the end of pregnancy!), and took lots of naps! It was a nice, peaceful week. We did work on the house some but DH ended up getting sick (just a regular cold--before all this hospital stuff) and so things got put on hold on Saturday so we could both rest--hoping he would get better and praying I didn't get whatever it was (and so far I still haven't, thank God!)

Sunday afternoon I had a light massage. Sunday night we had dinner with my dad, who had just arrived to town to MOVE HERE =) and my brother and his girlfriend. Then we got gussied up and went to the Melting Pot for dessert-my favorite! We had a lovely, romantic evening.

Trying to take a picture with the Fondu pot

Better! Thank you waiter-dear (bonus points if you get the reference!)

Then we picked up the dogs and went to my brother's house (where my dad is staying) and hung out. We came home Sunday night and just snuggled and watched movies. We opened the Pregnancy Journal I'd purchased in hope and faith and each wrote letters to the babies. We prayed and then DH gave me another massage and we turned lights out at 2:00. Naturally, I couldn't sleep--I think I finally drifted off about 4:00am!

We woke up and had a breakfast date at our favorite breakfast restaurant. I couldn't hardly eat anything but I did get a few bites down. I was starting to get really excited and my stomach was doing cartwheels!

Then we were off to the clinic. I meant to bring a sign with the date for this photo but I forgot. We tried to get the sign on the window in the picture but try as we might we couldn't.

Once inside there was another couple there for an FET so we made friends. She was so sweet and helpful and talked me through a lot. To our surprise, we had a different doctor than our own and he was very unpleasant. He told us absolutely nothing before, during or after the transfer so the other lady was really sweet in filling in the gaps for us and giving us advice and letting us know what to expect. We've since learned from several other friends who used this doctor that he pretty much skipped Bedside Manner 101 (and 201 and 301 and 401...) but he IS very skilled and they all have successful transfers by him so we're trying to focus on that.

While we were waiting DH put his hand on my belly and prayed for the babies and me and the doctor. Then we just waited and did the potty dance with the same nice lady, now in the next bed.

So far as we know, the transfer went fine. Dr. Meanie didn't tell us anything despite our questions but I'm just trying not to think about him because like another friend who just had a transfer said said last week, I'm on a beach, I'm on the moon, I'm not stressing :D

We tried to get a picture after the transfer. This is my pathetic attempt to prop myself up from being upside down. I look drugged, hot and tired, but I never did feel any different from the Valium, which I was glad for. Here's our first "Family Picture"

All through the procedure I kept asking for the picture the embryologist had given us, asking for "our babies." I held on to that picture and only let go when DH wanted a glance. The doctor wasn't compliant with our request to let us see or know what was going on with the procedure so we didn't get to see the actual transfer itself but these pictures were wonderful to have to focus on :)

I lay there for a while and then we came home, ordered take out for lunch, ate, and then slept until dinner time (finally turning off the phone after the bajillionth political call!). I woke up and wanted more of the same take out (hey I can say I'm eating for 3 now right?) and for a lot of the night we just hung out and watched football.

Then late last night is when DH got so sick. So I think we really still have a lot to process but I'm hoping we can do more of that tomorrow after we've both slept. It's been a surreal couple of days, all over the spectrum of emotions and experiences.

We would still like to plan to tell the results of the transfer in our own way, at our own time, so please help us by resisting the temptation to ask for results =) We don't know them yet anyway (it's impossible to know this soon) but we'll certainly tell you all when we do, whether it's good news or bad.

Thank you all for hanging in there with us on this roller coaster! I hope you all are well and I'll try to catch up with my blog buddies over the next few days.

We covet your prayers that the babies would grab on and grow and that DH would continue to be on the mend!

Hugs to everyone!


  1. Praying for those sweet babies and for you and Todd. We love you!


  2. Okay, am I totally weird for thinking your embryos are cute? :)

    Yay! I'll be praying for your little ones.

    And I hope Todd feels better soon, too.

  3. Oh my goodness, I'm so so happy for you! The babies look beautiful already :)

  4. YAY!!! I'm so happy for you both!!

    All the best to Todd, he's in our prayers for a swift recovery.

  5. Definitely praying for you, for Todd and his esophagus, and for those sweet, precious babies. So very happy for the both of you.

  6. Sooooooooo exciting! I will be praying! Thanks for sharing this journey with us...even though you wanted to keep it a surprise!

    At least now we can pray more specifically!

  7. I kind of had a feeling. ;) But I am so excited for you and praying those babies settle in nice and snug.

    I'm so glad that you shared with us. I just said a prayer for you & the babies. Congratulations!

  9. Jen,

    What wonderful news! I am praying that your little snowflakes find a cozy spot to hang out for the next 9 months!

    My little snowflake is due next week, we can hardly wait to meet him! I pray that God with bless you with the same Joy and Happiness that we have experienced!

    Take it easy, pamper yourself and here's to a high HCG level!!!! I know the wait is excrutiating...


  10. I'm thrilled for you guys--may God bless your whole family.

    And how neat to be able to see pictures of your babies when they're so very (very!) small!

    Praying that those babies grab on, thrive, and settle in for a healthy pregnancy and birth.

  11. Whew! I'm happy for you guys!!! Will def. be praying for you and trying oh-so-hard not to ask for results. ;)

  12. Wow- thats so exciting! I hope this transfer results in the long awaited BFP!!!

  13. After a few years of not "seeing" you, what an exciting time to pop in on your life. I hope and pray for only the best for you and your family.

  14. The Winters are so excited for you! Grow, babies, grow!

  15. Gosh, what an update! How exciting you finally got to this place! God bless you both and may his favorable hand be on your body as you prepare for a long and healthy 9 months of pregnancy. :)

  16. Wow! I am really excited for you guys and praying all will go well.

  17. Wow! We just transferred 2 frozen embryos today (November 6th). I hope & pray that both are successful!! : )

  18. On Saturday, you mentioned your transfer in a comment on my livejournal - I've been praying for you, Todd, and your babies ever since!

    I will eventually email you with specific questions about the transfer, dealing with Nightlight, medications, and such. In the meanwhile, I'm just focusing on lifting you up to God in my prayers!

    Oh, I hope Todd has recuperated by this point in time too.

    - Andrea

  19. You and your babies are in my thoughts and prayers Jen!

  20. I am sooooo glad you found me.I was so hoping to find someone going through the same thing, what an answered prayer you are.I am new to all this blogging stuff and don't even know my way around here yet,Seriously no clue. Can you search for others with things in common with you? I would be delighted if you could fill me on some of what you had to go through.We haven't had our appt yet.I am very happy for you!!Congrats you will be in my prayers tonight, Megan

  21. I added you to my morning daily prayer. I suffered from infert. for seven years. So I am praying specifically that your babies attach beautifully to the lining of your uterus, that they have perfect blood supply to be nourished, that at each stage the babys are growing perfectly and that you have a happy, healthy pregnancy. -Amen

  22. YAY!
    Praying for you!
    Did you get my email about the sending you a copy of the magazine?

  23. Fingers and toes crossed for you, as well as loads and loads of prayers for those babies to stick good and tight!

  24. We actually are not going through any of those agencies.We are going through our RE.We looked into Bethany at first and I called my RE to ask if he thought I was a good candidate and when the nurse got back to me she said yes he thought I was a great candidate,but they encouraged me to consider them for our embryos as they too had a program.And it was cheaper since they do not charge the several thousand that bethany was going to charge for a home study.I am not sure what the laws are from state to state but a home study is not really required for receiving embryos from another couple as they are not recognized as people but property and the owners, so to speak,(not sure thats the best phrase but that was how it was explained to me on the phone), have the right to give their property to whomever they want.They cannot receive monetary compensation though only reasonable expenses.For example the blood tests that the bio parents have to have we have to pay for.They are state required.So these embryos are from my own RE's office they never leave the office.They are from couples who have used their services and have left over embryos.The whole procedure will cost about half of their traditional IVF.We had to put $800.00 down to hold our place on wait list.And it gets applied to our total.There are only two couples ahead of us.I know prices on all of this varies some from state to state.I have nothing against Bethany at all and would have loved to use them but the price quote I got was much higher.Like $7,500 higher.And we just can't do that.Their end of things is the $7,500 and on top of that was the meds, procedure, and doc visits etc.So I would have had to add another approx $5,000-$6,000 so it would have been like $12,000-$13,000 ouch.My RE only charges for the procedure,getting embryos ready,office visits,blood tests for donor couple etc.They quoted me about 5,500 total with meds.And I was glad I would get to use my own office who knew my history and that has such a wonderful birth record.He has a wonderful bedside manner too.Bethany told me I would have to use another doctor,one of theirs.All in all we felt that we could not beat the price or comfort of staying with our current RE.I have known him since 2000.I was wondering what drugs they use to get you ready? Will I have any use for this ovidrel shot that is sitting in my fridge? If not I will donate it to my RE office to help someone else as it is too expensive to waste.I have leftover clomid too.No insurance coverage UGH! I was delighted to hear from you again.sorry this so long but I cannot email through here as my computer won't let me through the blogger.oh and I tried that site but it says I have to wait until they aprrove my account or something, hope to see yo there soon.Still praying for you, Megan

  25. I'll be praying, and I promise not to pester you for results!

  26. I AM SO EXCITED! I AM PRAYING FOR YOU ALL! BIG BIG HUGS and extra hugs for Todd, poor guy! HANG IN THERE and keep us updated!!! WOO HOO!

  27. I'm praying your embryos turn out to be your one or two snowflake babies!!! Praying all goes well-please keep us posted!!!!!!


  28. I just want you to know....I'm trying REALLY hard not to ask!!! ;)

  29. It was absolutely amazing to hear your story Jen :) You know you guys are in our prayers, as are your little ones! :) ***HUGS***!! :)


  30. YAY!!! Congratulations to both of you! I was just looking on your blog and thinking to myself, when is this going to happen? Lo and behold, you've done it! We'll be praying for you during your pregnancy!

  31. Good luck to you both! I am praying for your babies :) Not sure if you remember me/us? We took a newly wed class at CCC several years ago. I found your blog through the Maple's blog..... I can't wait to see you as parents! God bless! Nancy

  32. I keep checking you blog daily just to remember to pray for you, your husband, and your little snowflakes. I found your blog though other blogs and was hooked while reading your story.

    I know that God will bless those who are faithful and seek Him.

    "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:" Psalm 37:4-5.

    "God is NOT a God that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not fulfill?" Deuteronomy 28:11

    I have no doubt that HE will fulfill His promises to you! I will keep checking in on your blog to hear of the blessings He bestows on you and your husband!

    KEEP Blogging! You do an awesome job and have a way with words that can reach so many! Thank you for your willingness to let God use you in such an awesome way!

    Excitingly awaiting your next post! :)