Wednesday, October 27, 2010

baby making round 2

{our blog acts as our family's journal so bare with me as i share personal, emotional and spiritual experiences in this post}

i documented this experience here on our blog day by day as each experience happened. as a for warning, this a very long post about our second invitro journey. thank you to all of you who knew what we were going through, and who prayed and fasted for us. all of your support means the world to us!

ivf september 9 : ovulation kit- positive reading today
taking the ovulation tests is always exciting. i feel like i'm taking a pregnancy test so when it's positive i get a big grin on my face. i'll start lupron a week from today.

ivf september 16: lupron shots begin {lupron cuts all the estrogen from your body}
my first lupron shot is tonight. brett has to give them to me because i don't have the guts to give myself a shot. i always have to close my eyes. i'll be on lupron for a while. i'll start my stimulation drugs along with the lupron once i start my period. should be about september 24 or 25.

ivf septemeber 19: lupron shots continue
the lupron doesn't allow my body to produce estrogen so it makes me feel like i'm going through menopause. i don't remember the side effects being this awful. last time i remember having really bad night sweats and hot flashes. this time i have been extremely dizzy, nauseous and oh my goodness SO TIRED! i can't keep my eyes open most days.

ivf september 20: menstrual cycle starts
my heart is beating out of my chest. i started my period today. that's 5 days earlier that expected and i don't know what this means. i am waiting to hear back from my nurse who is at lunch. i need to get in for an immediate ultrasound to see what is going on. this never happened last time. just goes to show you that each round can be entirely different. hopefully i hear from my nurse jennifer soon.

ivf september 21: first ultrasound and blood draw
today was prayer after prayer. this has really been an emotional roller coaster. my period stopped last night and still hasn't started again. i called my nurse first thing this morning to see what i should do {i'm supposed to have an ultrasound the day after i start my period}. she says i could potentially have a cyst and that could be the cause for my bleeding. NO. not another cyst. this happened to me last time.

i went to utah valley hospital and had my blood drawn at 11. my sister jennifer came with me so she could hold steele and be with me for emotional support. brett couldn't get away from work so i was really grateful to have her there. we then went to my ultra sound. at the ultrasound the tech tells me everything looks good but she can definitely see my pollycystic ovarian disease. WHAT!? i don't have that. she asks "isn't that the reason you're doing ivf?" uh NO. i have never been told i have this. she tells me not to worry, but that doesn't stop me from getting extremely nervous.

4 hours later my nurse from california calls me and tells me the best news! i DON'T have PCOD and she doesn't know why the ultrasound tech told me that. then even better..... i have NO cyst. she says my blood work looks perfect and i am ready to start my stimulation {steroids} drugs tomorrow. what a relief. she also tells me we need to re-book our hotel because we need to be there 5 days earlier than we planned. that's what comes with ivf. totally unpredictability. our first ultra sound in cali is on wednesday, september 29!

the most exciting news is how many folicles i have. folicles are in your ovaries and are what house your eggs. each follicle doesn't necessarily have an egg but the more the better. last round of ivf i had 5 follicles in one ovary and 6 in the other, so they got 10 eggs total from my ovary's last round. this time i have 11 in one ovary and 15 in the other. i could not be more thrilled. what a blessing.

{this is our daily concoction of drugs, yes only one day's worth}

ivf september 22: stimulation drugs begin
i now i have two shots daily. one is still lupron and the other is a combination of bravell and menopur {steroids}. stim drugs help the eggs to grow and mature so they can be extracted during the egg retrieval. the stim drugs sting in a pinching way but it is bearable. did i mention that i hate needles!

ivf september 27: last ultrasound and blood draw in utah
my mom went with me today to get my blood drawn and ultrasound. everything still looks great and i have 25 viable follicles. keep the good news coming! we leave tomorrow of LA. wish us luck!

{california fertility partners}
 {the great dr. marrs and us}

ivf september 29: first appointment with dr marrs
we had our first appointment with marrs today. the news was not so good. my eyes immediately filled with tears as he told me i now have 8 viable follicles. my left ovary just is not keeping up and is only producing one large enough follicle. my right has about 7. he wants to give me an extra day and adjust my stimulation drugs to help my give my left ovary a boost.

dr marrs left the room. i sat on the exam table as my heart sank. i immediately said a prayer. i pleaded with heavenly father for this to work. for my body to do as it was supposed to. i then felt the most overwhelming feeling of comfort and the specific words came to my mind of "it will be ok". i found comfort in this and knew i could cary on.

ivf september 30: second ultrasound
still the same. marrs says if the other follicles haven't caught up by now they aren't going to. he wants to proceed with hcg tomorrow night and egg retrieval on sunday. all we can do now is pray.

ivf october 1: hcg shot
took my hcg tonight. we went to dinner with some friends and went to the hollywood walk of fame, chinese theatre and kodak theatre. we stopped on the side of the road to give me my hcg shot. it has to bee exactly 36 hours before the egg retrieval. if it is not taken exactly at 9:30 then the entire process goes down the drain. good thing we remembered. egg retrieval on sunday!!

ivf october 2: special arrival
after we heard the bad news of how many follicles we had, brett and i felt really down. we were really missing our little steeley and couldn't bare thinking of not seeing him for another week. i told my sister jennifer how badly i wanted him to come see us but knew there was no way that could happen.

then my mom called. she said she found a flight and was coming out to see us and bringing steele! we would miss his very first plane ride but we were so overly excited that my mom would offer to do this!

their flight came in on saturday after noon. we waited at the bagage claim we knew they would be at. as soon as i saw them i ran to get steele. tears filled my eyes as i held him! it was just what we needed.
{daddy and steele at LAX}

 {we headed to the beach straight from the air port}

ivf october 2: priesthood blessing
brett and my uncle marion give me a blessing of comfort and health as i prepare for the egg retrieval tomorrow. my nerves are running high but i am calmed by my husbands blessing.

{egg retrieval, 7:00 am}

ivf october 3: egg retrieval
today i had to be to california fertility partners at 7am. good thing it was sunday because traffic would have been horrible and we would have had to leave at 5. i got to the office, changed into my gown, got into the nice warm heated bed, and the nurse attempted to start my iv. she tried twice then go the anesthesiologist and he then tried twice before getting a successful vein. i just had to close my eyes and try not to think about what was happening. that next hour seems like three! the wait was so long. they finally gave me the "happy drugs" and wheeled me back. he told me to think of a nice beach and before i could i was a goner.

i woke up from surgery and the first thing i ask is how many eggs they got. dr marrs tells the amazing news of 16 eggs! i am more than thrilled and start sobbing uncontrollably. the side effect from anesthesia does this to me. for some reason every time i go under i wake up sobbing.

{waking up from surgery}
brett finally gets to come see me. i tell him the good news and we are both so relieved. now the next step. brett's sperm meet up with my eggs via ICSI. it's a special procedure that allows his sperm to be microscopically injected into my eggs.

ivf october 4: call from the dr
dr stone, our embryologist calls with the news of how many survived. out of the 16 embryos retrieved, 3 died right off the bat. 13 were fertilized and 10 of those were successful and growing the best they can. he said he could give me a better idea of what was to come tomorrow.

we figure we should have some fun while steele was here so where did we go? the happiest place on earth!

{steele's first disneyland adventure}
i have to say that steele was still a little young for disneyland but it absolutely
was such a fun time! i was surprised how many rides he could go on.
the weather was a tad unfortunate but it made for sort lines.
it rained/misted the entire day. we still loved every minute and so did steele.
this will be one of many disneyland trips as a family!

 {ok, so mickey is a little scary in person...}

steele and my mom made the flight home on tuesday. we loved having them there with us and i enjoyed having my mom there to take care of me while i was on bed rest after my egg retrieval. thank you so much mom!!

ivf october 5: dr delivers the news
stone calls back and tells us that we have 8 embryos growing. they judge the embryos by cell count. we had 3, 4 cell; 2, 3 cell; 2, 2 cell; 1,1 cell. the best option for us is to do a 3 day transfer {meaning 3 days after the retrieval} and tomorrow would be the lucky day.

ivf october 6: egg transfer
to allow for the dr marrs to see my uterus clearly i have to drink as much fluids as possible and hold it so i have a full bladder. let me tell you how painful this is! and it's not any easier when you have had a baby and your bladder is less that adequate.

dr marrs brings us three photos of possible embryo transfers. 2 are 8 cell perfect embryos and 1 is a 6 cell perfect embryo. he says the 6 cell would become an 8 cell within the next few hours. we are left with the decision of what to do. i automatically revert to our last cycle and we put 3 embryos back; an 8,7 and 6 cell embryos. they think steele was the 8 cell. they give us a moment alone to make our decision. we pray and i feel nothing. brett fells strongly that the 2 are best. i am on valium and am not quite in the right mental state to make a decision. i said 3 just because it scared me to put 2 in.

marrs tells us if we put 3 embryos in our chance of pregnancy stays about the same but our multiple rate goes up. 40% chance of twins and 8% chance of triplets. if we put 2 in we have a 12% chance of twins. he tells us the risk is too high for triplets with 3. for my health he advises to do 2 embryos.

they transfer the 2 little embryos back into the lining of my uterus. he looks for the thickest area by ultrasound. we head back to our cottage after resting at the office.

{just after the little guys were transferred}

i have been on bed rest for 24 hrs now and we'll head home.

ivf october 7: we make the drive back to utah
let the waiting begin. i feel good at this point and know it is out of my hands.

ivf october 8: out to dinner
we went out to happy sumo with shane, truly, chels and tj. i am enjoying my food when i feel this gut wrenching pain shooting down my lower abdomen. i knew something was wrong immediately. i hurried to the restroom and prayed with all my heart there would be no blood. to my relief there was no blood but the pain becomes worse and worse. all of our hard work was flashing before me and i start to think we are going to loose the embryos. brett and i leave in a hurry and i call the dr on call in cali. he says the pain sounds strange and advises me to take a darvacet from my previous procedure. he thinks it might be a ruptured cyst or my ovaries twisting. he says if the pain doesn't ease up with the medication then we need to go to the ER. we rush to brett's parents and i load up on tylenol. the pain is unbearable at this point and we debate the ER or home. the tylenol started to take the edge off so we head home. i can hardly walk at this point but i make it up our three flights of stairs. i get into a hot bath {only 6 inch deep so not to raise my body temp too much}. the pain slowly diminishes. and i can finally lay in bed and fall asleep.

ivf october 9: the pain returns
i wake up feeling good. swollen and sore but good. brett puts me on strict bed rest even though i am feeling better. i lay around all day and then it hits me again. around 5pm this time and it is back worse than ever. can't catch my breathe. called the dr again and he doesn't think my ovaries are twisted because the pain subsided with medication. he thinks it could be a cyst leaking blood into my ovaries. he reassures me that none of this would effect my uterus and the embryos should be fine. he advises me to take darvacet and get into the bath again. the darvacet doesn't touch the pain so i call back and he says to take another. i do and the pain subsides. my dad comes over and brett and him give me a blessing.

ivf october 11: ultrasound to check ovaries and cyst/ blood draw
blood work looks good but they can't tell if i'm pregnant yet by the hormones they tested. ultrasound shows that i possibly had 2 cysts rupture and have some blood/fluid in my ovaries. i told my sonographer that i didn't want to know anything yet. i just didn't want to hear her say "it doesn't look good" or "i'm not seeing anything". so i just asked her to look at my ovaries.

ivf october 18: THE RESULTS
this last week has honestly been the hardest of my life. talking to brett i think i've realized why this round has been so straining on me. because i am a mother and i know how much being a mother means to me, i think i know what is at stake. i know the precious life that may or may not be growing within me. i know the joy that comes from carrying a baby and bringing them into the world for the fist time. all of these things bring such remarkable blessings into my life. on saturday i wrote a poem about patience. it came from deep within the anxiety that i was feeling. day after day of this week i struggled with my faith and what faith even means. going through an experience like this really tests your faith. i now know why heavenly father gives us trials. i can say i am closer to him than i ever have been. he gives me the strength i need and comfort that is needed now more than ever.

last night, sunday, i started spotting. i tried to stay calm. i knew i needed a good night's rest and had to look past it and not read into the blood too much. they told me spotting was common. i went and got in the bath hoping to prevent cramping. i once again felt those soft comforting words "it will be ok". i went to bed early trying to make the time pass faster. i had nightmare after nightmare about bleeding, answering the phone and hearing bad news...and on and on. i hardly slept and when i did it wasn't pleasant. i woke up this morning feeling some dull cramping. i again tried not to read into it.

steele helped me make an omelet and then we had a bath. as i went to do another progesterone suppository, to my horror i saw bright pink blood. i have never felt so alone. brett couldn't be with me today because it was important for him to be at work. i couldn't get a hold of my nurse and i panicked. i knew what was happening and i couldn't bare the emotional burden that i felt creeping into my life. the blood followed by more cramping. i called brett and he didn't answer. i am a wreck and don't know where to turn. i know there are so many people that love and care about me but i was sobbing and couldn't even talk. embarrassed i didn't know who to call. so i called my mom and i didn't need to say anything. she was at my front door sweating from leaving straight from her work out.

i knew i still needed to get my blood drawn even though i felt a small part of me didn't think it was even necessary. my mom and i drove to utah valley were i went and got my blood drawn. i sat in the waiting room alone because steele was grumpy and sick and i didn't want to bring him in. i felt alone sitting there waiting. still feeling the cramping i felt empty. i honestly just felt numb. almost emotionless for a few minutes. i then once again felt a comforting feeling of "it will be ok". i still didn't know what those words meant but for now that's all needed. of course then the tears came. i know the lady next to me probably wanted to put her arm around me. i would have. my name was called and i walked back. they drew two tubes of blood and i was free to go.

the waiting began at 11:00. i wanted to stay busy so i went to lunch with my sister jennifer. we went to los hermonos and i let all my feelings out. all the "why's". but not bitter why's. sincere, concerned why's. why did i feel prompted to do invitro if it wasn't going to be successful? why did i feel that comforting feeling of "it will be ok" several times? why was Heavenly Father saying those specific words to me? i started to feel that comforting feeling again and knew i just needed to get through the day and wait for the phone call. to not make assumption that didn't help me feel better, but much worse.

brett then called me and asked me where i was. i told him out to lunch. he says he is waiting for me at my mom's. a huge wave of relief came over me and i immediately didn't feel alone anymore. he had called his boss and told him the situation and that he was needed at home. i really appreciated him doing this because i know how dedicated brett is to his job. it made me feel more important that anything else. i went home and he just held me for a while. i then asked for a blessing. he blessed my body to do what was necessary to keep this pregnancy. i wasn't sure if those words would become a reality but i hoped with all my heart.

we then went to an eye appointment that i had scheduled for today. don't ask me why i did this to myself. i'm sure the dr wondered why my eyes looks so blood shot. i had been crying the majority of the day. we finished the appointment and it was now 4:30 and still no phone call. we started the drive home and my phone rang. anxiety over came me as i saw it was dr marrs calling. i shook as i said hello.

my nurse has one of those voices that you can't tell if she is about to say something good or bad. she asked how the bleeding and cramping was. without even acknowledging her question i asked if she had my test results. she said "i do looks like good news". i don't even think i smiled. i'm sure my eyes double in size. i didn't believe what she was saying. i asked what "good" meant. she said my hcg levels were 136. an hcg level of 1 means your pregnant but they look for a number over 50 and preferably over 70. mine was 136 and i am pregnant. it still didn't sink in and really still hasn't. i was surprised by my reaction. i honestly have never been in shock and i think i was. we arrived back at my mom's before we had told anyone. i walked through the front door with a huge smile on my face. i stopped at the front entry way with my arms outstretched. i saw my mom and started to say the words "i'm pregnant" and just lost it. my mom came and hugged my as it hit me. i couldn't even speak. i cried and cried. then i hugged brett and steele. i just couldn't control my emotions. i was so overwhelmed with relief. the only word that described how i felt was relief. still sobbing i sent a text to over 50 close friends and family who all knew today was the day.

i'm still crying as i write this. i'm so grateful for everything that i've been through. and i'm even more grateful for the outcome of this process. i'm grateful to be able to carry another child and experience motherhood all over again. i'm grateful for all our family and friends who supported, fasted and prayer for us. i'm grateful for brett. i'm grateful for steele. i'm grateful for baby number two safe and warm inside me. i'm grateful for my Heavenly Father and Savior who knows how i felt today.

thanks for listening to my dramatic roller coaster of how the brady's make a baby. i wanted to document this process for my future and my little miracle baby #2.

as for the cramping and bleeding, i am supposed to lay down as soon as i feel cramping. she said today and tomorrow i need to stay off my feet and try not to pick up steele very often. my nurse called back with the results from my progesterone and estrogen reading. my progesterone needs to be above a 10 and mine was 17 and estrogen needs to be above 100 and mine was 104. to be safe i am starting 2 patches of estrogen instead of one. i'm willing to do what ever it takes to keep this baby healthy. wish me luck!

{we have an ultrasound the first week of november to find out how many little heart beats we see....stay tuned for that!}

Friday, October 22, 2010

falling in love

i truly am falling in love with fall more and more each year. in the past it hasn't been my favorite but now it might just be coming close. as always we are out and about doing so much all the time. here are a few of events and activities we have been up to.

{steele's 18 months check-up}
i adore this first picture. he looks like he is reciting the pledge of allegiance.
look at those eyes. so innocent.  
 we take pictures to stay entertained while waiting for the doctor.
 steeley wheeley's stats
33 inches- 90%
27 lbs- 50%

{picking our pumpkins}

{raking leaves with cousins}
 don't mind his girly pose. and yes this is how steele smiles every time i pull out the camera.....

{amy & adam simmon's sealing}
this was a beautiful experience! not only were amy and adam sealed but little
ruby got to join them and be sealed to them too. amy is also pregnant so the
experience was so special and gave me a more eternal perspective.

this picture was taken before amy and adam came out of the temple
and we forgot to take another once they did...oops

{zach's endowment}
the very next day we were able to attend zach's endowment session.
i have really learned to love and adore zach. he is so easy going
and a great kid. he is going to the leon, mexico mission in january. he will be missed!

it was an amazing experience because brett's entire family was able to be
there all together. what an accomplishment for brett's parents right?!
all of their children and spouses have made it to the temple.

{the original brady family}
left to right
shane, brett, chelsey, hayley, carrie, zach, brittany, lynn, bill
and yes, brett and shane are holding hands.
 when the "siblings only" picture was taken, all the in-laws said
fine, we're taking an "in-laws only" picture. ha ha.
{best family anyone could marry into}
 left to right
josh{carrie's}, brandon{brittany's}, me, truly{shane's},tj{chels'},eric{hayley's}

{all of us} 
and zach laying across all the ladies

{a little mini}
we went to cascade last week end and it was cold! steele didn't mind a bit though.
he loves golfing! and fortunately mini golf putters are ambidextrous because
steele is left handed. try finding a golf set for a left handed 18 month old.....
 the other golfers. they both did awesome. hallie was profesh!
 with a little help from dad, steele learned good form.

{first fort building}
this brought back such fun memories for me. i sent my dad a text reminding him
of all the awesome forts we build over the years. brett being a structural
engineer had to make sure it was perfectly sound. i wanted to leave it up for
my young women's presidency meeting we were having the next morning so all
the kids could play in it and be entertained. brett wouldn't leave it up
because he didn't get to spend enough time to make it perfect. haha.

video won't load. stuppid blogger.

{the little gym}
steele loves his new class at the little gym.
he learns social and motor skills and loves being with mommy.
he also loves playing with his cousins ashton and linny
who are also in his class. they run and around go crazy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

lesson of learning


Before life in this world
I await in heaven
For my life of learning to begin
Through trials heavy laden

For I know life will be harsh
Although not knowing in full
Of the lessons life will teach
For sacrifice is the toll

My moment has come
I’m anxious yet strong
I leap into my new world with faith
In my mother’s arms I now belong

Through trials and grief
I learn honor and understanding
But through all I have not learned
One virtue most demanding

And so begins the era of
“I don’t want to wait”
Blessings are expected
Appreciation I negate

My father sees I must learn
Of patience in this world
I see it as a burden
As my faith begins to whirl

I slowly learn of patience
A virtue vested in us all
The gateway must be found
With faith I must stand tall

Faith is the key to patience
To believe in Him above
That he knows my needs and yearnings
I begin to believe in his love

I now know of Faith
Through patience I have learned
“Edureth all things” I must
And never be deterred

My Heavenly Father loves me
He wants me to be the best
This I know without a doubt
Because I am surely blessed

//Emily Brady 2010

"Everywhere in nature, we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we want them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come."
//Joseph F. Smith

Sunday, October 10, 2010

you and me

brett and i treated ourselves to a much needed get away
where did we escape to?
a warm beach, shopping malls, thrifting, movie {finally saw inception}
& really just some much need rest and relaxation

my great aunt dorris and uncle marion {my grandpa's brother and wife}
were so kind to let us stay in their little cottage
behind their home in glendale, ca

it was the perfect little haven that we needed
it was so nice to be together and strengthen our relationship

what did we do?
{lunch outing to the santa monica pier}
{lots of beach time}

{out on the town with friends}
ryan and jenny redford live out in la. it was fun hittin the
hollywood hot spots with them. they were great tour guides.
 my camera was being lame and wouldn't focus as you can tell.

 {hollywood walk of fame, chinese theatre, kodak theatre}
i had to include this picture for my sister jenn. she and i love house and when i saw this awesome enormous billboard i had to snap a pic!

 {clark gable}
only brett's family will get this but we found our favorite movie star's hand prints. brett found
clark gable's and i had to snap a pic. i thought it was hilarious!
{julie andrews}
i've always loved julie andrews. i had to take one with her hands which by the way are so tiny!

at my aunt and uncles they have the most delightful fruit trees. we made a large pitcher of fresh lemonade but my absolute favorite was the fresh orange juice! we squeezed oranges numerous times because they were in season. i love lots of pulp in my orange juice and the juicer we used left much to my liking. superbly succulent!

there was much much more that we did in cali but that will have to wait for now.
we even had a few surprise visitors while we were there.

more later.....