It’s Happening!!!

I just have to use exclamation marks for my blog post titles lately!!!

Second beta is 464!!!  Doubling time about 40 hours.  Progesterone is 43.

We literally waited all day long for the results.  I was more nervous than on Tuesday.  I guess this time there is more to lose because we had never gotten such high beta number.  Annie finished her blood draw at 9:30.  I initially calmly waited.  The more I waited, the more nervous I was.  My mind just went wild!  I imagined all sorts of case scenarios….

Five o’clock rolled around and there was no phone call.  I left work at 5:30 having my earbuds on just in case Dr. E would call.  Nothing.  When I arrived home, I wrote her an email.  I was so anxious that I couldn’t cook or do my yoga.  It was pure torture.

Dr. E wrote me back at 6:20.  She said she hadn’t heard anything but told me not to worry about a thing.  She would call the lab now.  And she said next time call her before 4pm so she could contact the lab earlier. She said there was no need to torture ourselves.  HA!  I really should’ve contacted her.  I was being too polite.

Ten minutes later, Dr. E emailed me and Annie at the same time with the results.  When I saw it, I was so relieved!  She wrote:

“Doesn’t get any better than this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

She said I could choose to do another beta on Monday, or I could go straight to ultrasound.  I asked her what she recommends.  She said she’d go straight to ultrasound but she also understands how having a period of time with no reassurances can be anxiety provoking.

I thought about it, and I think most likely we’ll wait for the ultrasound.  Gotta have some faith in this process, yeah?

Thanks for all the love on Tuesday!  It has been very surreal and I am still processing my emotions.  But as of right now, we are expecting, Annie is truly pregnant, and it’s a great reason to celebrate!

Praise the Lord for sustaining this/these baby/babies!  May he/she/they continue to thrive so we will see a heartbeat(s) in 2.5 weeks.

I have real hope that we will finally meet our baby/babies in September!

The Post I’ve Been Waiting to Write!!!

I am overjoyed to let you all know that we are indeed expecting and the magic beta on 8dp5dt is 204!!!!!!

I just can’t tell you how and why but I had been the most calm out of all the previous beta days.  From yesterday to today, there were a few moments when I was a little bit nervous.  But I checked myself and found that my shoulders were relaxed and my heart wasn’t pounding.  I was just calmly waiting most of the time.

Last night Annie told me that she felt queasy.  I was wondering if it was because of any hCG in her system.  But it could also be because of progesterone so I didn’t say much.

Annie texted me at 9:10am telling me that the blood draw was done.  From past experience, I knew that getting results from Annie’s hometown would take forever.  So I didn’t even anticipate a phone call until 4 something or even 5.  All day long my friends were checking in.  I would have told them if I got the results, yeah?  But it is also so very heartwarming to know that so many of you are rooting for us.

Dr. E called at 5:04pm.  I didn’t even think much and just picked up anticipating good news.  She didn’t wait and immediately yelled out “204!!!”  I was so overcome with emotions that I started screaming and yelling… then tears started streaming down my cheeks.  She was crying and I was crying.  It is so crazy to receive good news after so many years of bad news and heartaches.  She said that this number this early could mean both of the embryos might have taken.  It is a very strong number.  I said I hope it isn’t three.  She said that the embryos would have split by now if it were 3.  And the number would have been much higher.  I feel a bit better about that.  Thursday is beta two.  If the number is good, we will fly to Annie’s town for an ultrasound.  Dr. E said 6 weeks, but I may until  7 weeks or so to make sure we will have a heartbeat or heartbeats.  She said we should fly Annie to California for the appointment because it’s too cold in Annie’s state.  But I think we are due for a visit there.

Dr. E asked if I wanted to call Annie or let her call Annie.  I told her to call so I could call Bob.  Bob sounded a little dazed on the phone when he heard the news because I was crying.  He thought it was something bad.  I know that it’d take him a little bit of time to take everything in, and I know that he doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself.  But he is very happy that we got great news.  The first thing he said was “Praise the Lord!!!”  Indeed.  Praise the Lord.  🙂

Annie and I connected on the phone.  She said that Dr. E asked her if she felt like she was knocked up.  She said yes, and Dr. E said, because you are knocked up!  Annie told me that all day today she was feeling like crap on top of feeling queasy yesterday.  Maybe the hCG is strong for her to feel symptoms.  Annie said she had been praying for a number over 200 and she got it!

Later on, I messaged her saying “Maybe I’ll have you pee on a stick”.  And after a few silent moments, she sent me a picture of a dollar store cheap pee stick with a light second line!  She said she couldn’t resist so she did it yesterday morning at 7dp5dt.  She didn’t tell me.  And now she was afraid that I was mad at her.  I told her that I wasn’t, but did tell her to go get a FRER tomorrow so she can pee on something that shows a darker line.

All my friends are so sweet.  They are so happy for us.  I just feel so loved.

Bob and I got together for dinner before he headed off to teach bible study.  When I walked across the street to meet him, we locked eyes and both were grinning to each other from ear to ear.  It was such a sweet moment to share with my life partner who has been there through thick and thin.

I pray that our good news will continue to come!  I will soak in the joy tonight.

MicroblogMondays: Here We Are Again

Microblog_Mondays

Tomorrow is the day we find out if any of the embryos have implanted.

I have examined my heart, and interestingly, I haven’t felt too anxious, yet.  Tomorrow it will be different.  But as of today, I am feeling as guarded and distant as I was on transfer day last week.  I would like to be full of excitement and anticipation but I am not.  We are hopeful; the embryos looked fantastic.  We have been talking about having twins and how that may change our lives, but I am still taking things one day at a time without getting so far ahead of myself.

Remember that sper.m test that assesses the epigenetic information of the sper.m?  We sent in the sample end of November and were promised the results in three weeks.  When we checked in three weeks, we were told that the company needed two extra weeks.  Two weeks rolled around and nobody had contacted us.  Bob and I decided to transfer our embryos regardless of what the test shows.  Finally last Thursday, three days after transfer, Dr. E received the results and consulted with the CEO of the company of them.

The test is called “Seed” which is run by this company called Episo.na.  (You can google the name without the period in the middle of the word.)  It tests the sper.m sample and yields two measures.  The first one measures the risk of male factor infertility by identifying the number of epigenetic abnormalities presented by the sper.m sample.  The second one measures the risk of poor embryo development by identifying the number of epigenetic abnormalities.  The first measure shows that our sper.m sample shows significantly elevated risk for male factor infertility.  It means that the chances of us conceiving naturally or through IUI are significantly reduced.  So IVF is indicated in our case.  Although this is not news to us, I am still very surprised that the underlying problems with Bob’s sper.m do not match his usually stellar semenalysis results.  Fortunately, we have been pursuing IVF for a few years now so we are not crushed by the results.  However, it means that the chances of us having an “oops” pregnancy are slim to none.  I am realistic and not hoping for one, but I sometimes still dream that I’d be surprised one day.

I care a lot more about the second part that indicates the embryo development.  Our results show that our epigenetic profile suggests no increased risk for developing poor quality embryos.  I was so very relieved when I learned this.  Our tested embryos are most likely going to be good quality.  It is so rare to receive good news so both of us rejoiced in learning about it.  It’s a huge weight off our shoulders.  It means that even if this round doesn’t work, it is most likely that our last frozen embryo is good quality.  Dr. E has another patient that also has significant risk of male factor infertility.  The difference is, his results also showed significant risk of poor quality embryo development.  That means that he may not be able to make any embryos, or his embryos may be very poor quality.  I don’t take our good results for granted as it is not a given.

There is one catch about the results.  There was one gene that was detected that indicates that perhaps Annie should be on a blood thinner like Loven.ox.  Dr. E said that this isn’t something that she can say is based on too much science but as the CEO of the company put it, a blood thinner may help with the situation.  I guess that particular gene may be associated with a higher risk of blood clotting problems presented by the embryo made with the sper.m?  Don’t know.  Annie was already on aspirin, but Loven.ox may be stronger for this case.  I made sure to ask Dr. E that the injection is not going to harm Annie in any way if she doesn’t really need it.  Dr. E reassured me that it is not going to do her any harm.  Based on all the information we got, we decided to do it just so that we have all of our bases covered.  Who knows what it all means, right?  We are willing to pay for the extra cost for anything that may help.

The last few days were not without drama.  Annie was told that she should have enough progesterone until the first beta.  She and I checked her vial before she left and it seemed like she should have enough.  Fast forward to Friday night, Annie sent me a frantic text asking if I had ordered the PIO already.  I was shocked because I thought she had enough.  It turned out she had sent me a text Wednesday but it somehow never showed up on my phone.  I did not know about the shortage of her PIO.  She only had enough for Saturday and Sunday.  She would need new ones today.  My first thought was, what if Fed.ex doesn’t deliver on MLK day?  Then do we have to contact the local specialty pharmacies so that Annie could pick up some?  I knew that the online pharmacy was going to be open on Saturday so I was going to call and place a refill.  Annie checked online and found out that Fed.ex does deliver on MLK day.  I also notified Dr. E.  She said that if somehow the meds don’t reach Annie on Monday, her office would figure out something.  I told Annie that next time if I don’t respond to her about something this important, ask me again.

I was still feeling very stressed out about the situation although I knew that it would be all sorted out.  Bob was telling me that everything would be sorted out and urged me to give it to God.  I couldn’t even pray so he prayed with me and for me so that I could sleep well and not be stressed about it.

On Saturday, I tried to call the online pharmacy at the time it opened.  For the life of me I couldn’t get a hold of a live person on the phone.  After trying a few times, I emailed Dr. E who immediately got on it.  I guess there is a special physician’s line.  While I waited, I also called Free.dom and asked if they’d send meds for a Monday delivery.  They would, but it wasn’t needed.  Within 15 minutes, Dr. E told me that our online pharmacy was open, and her nurse actually already ordered a new script.  The pharmacy called me within the next ten minutes and we were good to go for a Monday delivery.  I originally wanted to just order one vial to last her for about ten days thinking, what if she is not pregnant then I’d be spending too much money on something that we don’t need.  But I eventually ordered all three vials by faith as I still believe that this will be our cycle for success.  I hope that she will be able to use it all for this cycle.

 Annie has not been feeling much.  She said that one of her fellow surrogates is feeling a lot of symptoms after her day 3 transfer.  I told her that anything she may feel right now could be due to the effect of progesterone, not anything pregnancy related.  Plus she is somebody who never felt any symptoms for any of her pregnancies.  I told her that it’s always hard to compare herself to others on the same journey.  It will happen if it is in God’s plan, pregnancy symptoms or not.

So here we are at this very familiar juncture of our journey.  Tomorrow could make all the difference in the world for our future.  We’ll see what God has in store for us.

Max Is Not Meant to Be

Tuesday was a very difficult day.

I don’t write about politics.  All I can say is that having a super low beta with a GC and DE was enough of a hard day.  The election was making it super nerve-wracking for me.

Both Bob and I had prior engagements on Tuesday night.  But both of us just wanted to be with each other so we canceled what we had for the night.  We went to this local Indian restaurant for dinner.  All I wanted was peace and quiet.  Unfortunately, four TV screens were on with the election coverage.  I tried to avoid looking at the screens, but a few glimpses of them just stressed me out even more.  When I got home, I decided to go to bed and leave my phone out of the bedroom.

I did not sleep well at all.  I kept waking up in the middle of the night.  You know you feel the weakest when you are in and out of sleep.  And I just wanted to stay in bed all day the next day.  My husband has been the pillar of my strength.  He encouraged me that if I could muster enough energy, work actually could serve as a great distraction.

We prayed that night and Wednesday morning for God’s will to be done.  We prayed for Annie.  And we prayed for God’s peace and strength to be with us.  God answered our prayers.

Once I was at work, I was feeling much better.  I was amazed that somehow God renewed my strength despite having a horrible Tuesday.  I emailed my therapist that morning with the news of the low beta and a request for a time slot on that day for therapy if there was one.  What a miracle that she happened to have a cancellation on that day.  The Lord was taking care of my needs.

In the session, I cried several times.  It was tremendously helpful to speak with a person who has seen many different scenarios of triumphs and failures in the infertility world.  I wondered out loud whether or not God is telling me that I shouldn’t have a child.  She reminded me that most people would know when they should stop.  And it is still amazing that my husband and I still have strong desires to bring home a child.  So that speaks volume as usually one person would want to stop while the other would want to continue on.  She also reminded me that we still have chances and options.  So we are far from the doom and gloom that I was feeling on that day.  When I felt a certain way, ask myself if that thought is helpful.  Take it one day at a time.  And let myself process the feelings.  I knew all of this, but it was helpful to hear it again.

One interesting thing that my therapist told me was that her three-year-old niece had a beta of 12 on 8dp5dt as an embryo.  She said that her niece is perfect in every way.  So it IS possible to have a positive outcome from a low beta.  But, I am a realistic person and I knew that our chances of that would be low.

Our prayers continued to be, no matter what the outcome, we wanted it to be aligned with God’s will.  It is difficult, but if we believe that God is sovereign and has a perfect plan, then we have to trust Him even though we don’t like the outcome.

I was at complete peace yesterday, the day of second beta results.  I still had a glimmer of hope that the beta might have risen.  I  left the event “heartbeat appointment” on my calendar for November 30 and I hadn’t contacted a potential client’s parent about an opening on November 29 thinking that maybe we still needed to go to Annie’s state.  I wasn’t feeling nervous or anxious.  This was what I was staring at all day long reminding myself of God’s character.  “Delay doesn’t mean denial” is what I have to remember.

And guess what?  I had to give a presentation in the afternoon.  This is the second time I had to give a presentation on second beta day.  And I thought that I would be safe from pregnant women this time because the topic was for parents with young children.  Somehow the recruitment was done with expectant moms as well and so I ended up with six or seven ladies with bumps.  God really carried me through because I was feeling no bitterness, jealousy, or uneasiness, even when the ladies chatted about pregnancy symptoms and the babies’ kicks right before the presentation started.  God protected me from falling apart.  In fact, it was a great presentation despite my special circumstances.  It also helped that I hadn’t received the beta results prior to the presentation so I could just focus on the parents or parents-to-be rather than on the outcome of Max.

I didn’t hear from Dr. E until after 5.  Annie’s blood draw was done at 10:30am.  I guess in Annie’s state “STAT” means six hours of wait.  So the beta came back at 11, which means that the embryo has barely grown if at all.  I am thankful for early beta so we don’t agonize over the next week waiting for it to come.  And I am also very grateful for it to be a clear cut “No” rather than it rising some but not much.  Annie was to stop all meds except for the prenatal and thyroid meds.

Dr. E and I immediately went into action mode.  There is a brand new test on the market that just came out two weeks ago.  It tests the epigenetic information of the sperm.  It wasn’t available when we were doing the DNA fragmentation test.  It may shed some light on some subtle genetic problems on the sperm that are not picked up on PGS as PGS only tests the chromosomal structure of the embryos.  So the theory is that, even PGS tested normal embryos may have these subtle genetic problems contributed by the sperm that could not be detected.  The test is pricey, but it may tell us more information about how any genetic problems may affect the embryos in whatever way.  We are still planning on a transfer two embryos in 5 weeks.  Dr. E is going to prepare Annie’s lining differently this time, adding Lu.pron in the mix.  Her staff is going to order the kit for the test for us and we should get the results within two to three weeks.

I have to say how thankful I am for my husband.  I love him more than anything.  Every single time we have a setback, he has been there for me.  I know that he has his own way of processing bad news and his emotions.  I know his pattern and I reminded myself on beta day that he would start to feel angry in a couple of days.  He did yesterday but he recovered really well.  Yesterday he said this to me, “I admire and love you so much.  You get punched by all of these things.  You pick yourself up and move on.”  I can say the same thing about him.  God is working and stretching our faith.  He  has put the two of us together for a very particular purpose.  And we have to remember to hold on to God and to each other in difficult times so that our marriage continues to be strong.

As we put away Max’s photo and mourn its loss, we have to remember that there is still hope and there are still options for us.  Despite this delay, we still have strong desires to be parents.  Like I was meditating yesterday, God is sovereign and in control of everything.  He has a plan for us.  I pray that this plan includes babies in our future.

Thank you for all the love, thoughts, and prayers from you.

I Hate To Be Writing This Post

I really thought that I would be writing a happy post.

But beta only came back at 9.

I honestly do not understand.

We transferred the best embryo.  We had the best lining.  Annie’s progesterone level was out of this world.

And yet, beta is only 9.

And we had drama too.  Annie did her blood draw at one lab, but it doesn’t do STAT.  So she had to go to another lab for a second draw.   Dr. E didn’t get the results until 4pm.

When I heard her voice on the phone, I knew.  She said the results were bittersweet.  She didn’t even tell me what the number was until later.  She just asked what time Annie went to get her blood draw done.  She had hoped that it was at the crack of dawn when it was done.  It was at 10 something.

I was calm.  We discussed what to do with the meds.  I decided to continue with the meds and see what happens on Thursday.  I know the chances are very low. But Max is still a life.  And I want to give this life the best chance before we stop.

My mind went really far.  Is it a sperm problem?  Sperm seems to be the common denominator of all the embryos and the transfers.  If so, what does it mean?  After we transfer all the embryos and they don’t work, is this it for us?  Am I not going to be a mom who will hold a live baby?

Probably not the best time to think about these things.  But the fears do creep in.

We spoke about the possibility of transferring two embryos next time.  We talked about which ones to transfer.  Since I don’t want to know the sex, Dr. E was wondering if I wanted to transfer the same sex or two different ones.  I could make a choice, or I could let her choose.

At this point, I don’t care.  Just give me a baby.

She also may prepare Annie’s lining differently next time.  So instead of transferring the next cycle, we may do a transfer in five weeks.

We hung up.  Bob and I spoke on the phone.  We were both calm.  Probably just numb.

Annie and I also chatted after she and Dr. E got off the phone.  She was feeling so sorry.  I told her to remember it has nothing to do with what she did or didn’t do.

If it is not God’s timing, then it is not God’s timing.  His plan is perfect, but it is very hard to swallow failure.

Annie is wonderful.  If the results aren’t good on Thursday, she is willing to do whatever I ask her to do.  She will transfer whenever and she will transfer two if we would like.

I was calm and numb until I was driving home.  I started praying and telling God how difficult it is for me to praise Him in this situation, but I will still do so.  I started crying and asking him how much more I will have to surrender to Him and how much more faith and courage we will have to have before we are given this precious gift of a baby.  I cried and I cried.  This is such a familiar feeling of failing something that you have absolutely no control over.

I asked God to give us a miracle on Thursday because only He can do it.  But if this is not meant to be, I asked Him not to make the beta rise.

If this is not a viable pregnancy, this would be our fifth failed transfer.  How much more can we take?

A friend’s friend who used a surrogate also had two chemical pregnancies with her tested embryos before she got her baby.  I know it happens.  I just didn’t think that we again fall on the wrong side of statistics.

Dr. E said that it is heartbreaking, unfair, and hard to understand.  But even strong normal embryos don’t implant or don’t implant well.

*sigh*

How much longer before we will hold our baby?

Only God has an answer.

MicroblogMondays: The Eve of Beta, The GC Version

Microblog_Mondays

This is a whole new territory.   Today is the day before our beta.  But I won’t be going to the lab first thing in the morning for a blood draw.  I have not been talking to Max the embryo since it isn’t inside my womb.  I have not been trying to speculate symptoms or to deliberately try not to speculate symptoms.  This is our fifth transfer, and I don’t get to do the usual.  It has been easier to wait for this beta because we don’t have to wait 12 to 14 days like when we were with UC.SF, my previous clinic.  Dr. E is nice and only asks us to wait 8 days.  She said, “If it implants then it implants.  There is no need to make you wait.”  So we blink, and beta day is just around the corner.

How do I feel about it?  I haven’t felt a lot of nervousness, mostly because it has not been a long time since our transfer.  Honestly, I sometimes forget that a transfer has taken place simply because it wasn’t my body that received the embryo.  And when I do think about it, I am excited, but at the same time a bit ambivalent about it.  Like I said, most of the time I don’t feel a lot of nervousness, but sometimes my mind does go to the negative territory.  There is every reason to believe that we will get a good beta result.  Our embryo is a normal embryo with good grade and great implantation potentials.  Our gestational carrier has a great uterus with a great lining.  There is no reason to believe that this won’t work.  However, I also remember that it doesn’t really matter the odds that are calculated by human beings.  It is all in God’s hand.  If it is not in God’s timing, then it is not in God’s timing.  There is nothing anyone can do.  BUT, I also have to remember that my human mind does not know if this is God’s timing.  This may well be the time that God says that yes this is your time and you are going to have a baby out of this.  So basically we need to trust in God’s timing and not to think too much about it.

Yesterday I went to my bible study training and wrote in my prayer request to pray for the embryo to grow well in my surrogate.  Many people came and congratulated me afterwards, but the further I chatted with them, I realized that they totally didn’t catch the part about the surrogate and thought that the transfer was to me.  I found a lot of them looking surprised with this new piece of information.  I guess it is not easy for people to digest the news that is so out of the ordinary for most people.

Annie has not felt any symptoms.  Plus I told her that if she feels anything, it is most likely the effect of progesterone.  She didn’t have much morning sickness with her previous pregnancies so I doubt that she’d feel much.  Funny thing was, she texted me yesterday telling me that the progesterone sure was working because she was crying over an injury in a football game!

How about this for faith and optimism?  I have marked my calendar for the first beta, second beta, 7 week ultrasound, and have looked up the dates for the NT scan and anatomy scan to plan ahead.  I am even looking at websites of photographers in Annie’s area for a maternity photo shoot and possibly a birth photo session.

Election day and beta day on the same day is going to make one interesting and nerve-wracking/exciting Tuesday!

MicroblogMondays: Picking Up the Pieces

Microblog_Mondays

I can’t believe I am writing one of these posts again.  I really thought that this was going to be our time.

Two posts ago was supposed to be the 300th post of this blog.  Instead of celebrating it with a fantastic beta number (which would have been the best timing for the 300th post), I had the worst day possible and had to update you all on the longest timeframe I had to wait for any beta in my life.

It was the most peculiar thing that my OB who had ordered my previous HCG labs STAT actually didn’t order STAT this time.  I called the 24-hour line every single hour starting at 11am.  It was the most disconcerting thing ever, speaking to a stranger who did not know how important this phone call could have been for me.  Every time the answer was “Still processing”.  My OB finally returned my email denying that she ever ordered STAT for my previous beta, although I have her previous emails as my proof.  She wrote, “We cannot order them stat unless there is a medical reason as this would delay labs that were a true emergency. They were not ordered stat last time but I think they sent then stat in the lab for you. I totally understand that you want the results as fast as possible and we do not want to cause you extra anxiety but I have to practice according to hospital policy.”  To me, this is all BS.  All the the previous labs were ordered STAT.  But there is no point of arguing with her.

Little did I know that maybe the delay was the best thing for that day.  With the devastating results, I honestly don’t know how I could have survived without Bob being around me.  I would have been in my office with others or alone at home had the results come back any earlier.  Bob didn’t come home until 9pm.  The results were still not back at 8:40pm, a whole 12 hours after my blood draw.  When I called at 9:40, I still didn’t anticipate to hear the results.  But the stranger on the phone delivered the news.  I was in shock, but politely asked for a repeat of the number, then hung up.  Immediately, I started wailing loudly and could not control my tears.  The immediate heartache was too much to bear.  I was angry, devastated, feeling like this was the end of the world.  My head knowledge told me that this was not the end, but the devastation was still the same.  Can you imagine not having my husband’s warm embrace while I got the heart wrenching news?  I can’t imagine it.  So maybe the whole purpose of this delay in beta was for me to be well taken care of by my husband on that day.  I don’t know.  I could not stop my tears from coming.  It was utter disappointment, heart break, and anger.  I was so angry at God this time.  The unfairness of it all was really hard to swallow.  But haven’t we already learned?  Life is unfair, and we can’t control it when we are dealt the bad cards.  I was supposed to get up at 6am to go to my bible study training.  I was supposed to see a speech therapy client right after that.  That night, I couldn’t even breathe.  The thought of seeing someone other than my husband and acting normally was too much.  Canceling all these prior arrangements, I curled myself up in bed and just cried and cried and cried some more.  It really felt like the end of the world to me as the thought of starting all over again, looking for a donor, stressing over egg retrieval results, fertilization report, transfer, timing, and beta was just so overwhelming.  I just could not believe our luck.

My sentiment that night was I was so sick and tired of being resilient, having perseverance, and always being the bearer of bad news.  What else do we have to do to bring home a baby?  Haven’t we done enough?  I just couldn’t think anymore.

I am so grateful that I have a four-day weekend as we both took Tuesday off for Bob’s birthday.  We just let ourselves be.  We slept in the next morning.  My heart still hurt but was getting better little by little.  The thought of starting all over again was still very overwhelming.  So I put that thought aside.  I cried on and off during the day.  Tears flowed down my cheeks whenever I thought about the loss of Lucy.  Bob has been great.  He reminded me that we should still try to celebrate Valentine’s day and his birthday on Tuesday the best we can.  Yes.  We continue to live life to the fullest despite this huge set back.  We were being nice to ourselves so we could grieve and mourn, and begin the healing process.  I know I am loved because so many of you commented on my blog, and many of my friends checked on me repeatedly to make sure that I was doing okay.  I was still angry at God.  With His might and power, why couldn’t He make it better for us and let us fulfill our dreams of conceiving and growing a child?  My head knowledge told me to trust God’s perfect timing, my heart was just calling all of this BS.  When I couldn’t pray for myself, I know my prayer warriors are lifting me up.

Since I couldn’t talk to my nurse coordinator Friday night, I called the nurses station at my clinic on Saturday.  I knew that I had to do a second beta to confirm the results (which is the most meaningless thing ever), so I had to inquire if I should continue with my progesterone shot.  After a discussion, the on-call nurse said it would be better for me to stay on the injection until the second beta.  I lay there teary while Bob was jabbing that 1.5 inch needle on my behind, not understanding why history had to repeat itself.

On Sunday, we were both feeling better.  Believe it or not, we had church greeting duty.  On Saturday, I kept on thinking that there was no possible way for us to stand there, hand out bulletins, with a genuine smile on our face telling people that we were fine.  But I guess in God, everything is possible.  We were fine.  I genuinely felt hospitable, chatted with guests and friends, and sat through the whole sermon whole-heartedly.  During the quiet time right after sermon, I prayed to God, crying out to Him to comfort us, and not to allow us to steer away from Him.  It was the first heart-felt prayer I had for myself since the news.  Prior to service, I saw our friend’s pregnant wife got off in front of church.  I tried to escape her entry by excusing myself to get a cup of coffee.  After service, there was no escaping as they walked directly towards me.  We chatted about the weather while I avoided glancing down at her six-month pregnant belly.  Thank goodness for her extra long and large coat.

Serving at church did make us feel better.  Bob and I were originally going to have lunch at home.  But I wanted to cheer him up so we had an impromptu lunch at a South Indian restaurant close by.  Parking was a beast but we didn’t mind it.  We thoroughly enjoyed our food.  Afterwards, I decided to get my second beta done instead of waiting until Monday like we had originally planned.  If the results were to come back 12 hours later, I’d rather do it earlier so we could get it over with.  Because it was Valentine’s day, the lab was practically empty.  I asked the phlebotomist if I should get the results within 12 hours, I was shocked to learn that this lab was ordered STAT.  Why this was STAT and the previous one wasn’t, I don’t have a clue.  I just found it so ironic that for this second beta, I would find out the results within two hours.  Of course the results were negative.  I was relieved that my body did not have to endure another unnecessary needle and dose of progesterone when there was no life to support inside of me.

It’s amazing how much Bob and I have bounced back.  I didn’t cry at all yesterday.  We managed to make each other laugh most day. We actually started talking about our next plans.  We will definitely test his sperm for DNA fragmentation.  Since we didn’t test our embryos, we didn’t know if we should blame my uterus or the embryos for these failed cycles.  So for our next cycle, we are going to test the embryos even though the recommendation is that embryos from DE don’t need testing.  We will find a donor to do a fresh cycle.  And the most shocking one for myself is, I may switch clinic and go somewhere else.  I need a doctor who is friendlier with immune protocols and I don’t think Dr. No Nonsense is that doctor.  If something is wrong with my uterus, I want someone that can support that.  I have already looked at various donor databases, contacted a Southern California clinic that is famous for egg donation (many of our fellow bloggers and DE moms have gone there), and saw a few donors that have potentials.  It surprised me that looking through donor profiles did not cause me negative emotions or stress.  The most freaky thing was that the original agency that I used for the first donor that disappeared had not contacted me for six months.  The first email she sent me was the day after this failed cycle telling me that there was a brand new Korean donor for us to check out.  Anyhow, I don’t think we’ll work with that donor.  We’ll most likely ask for our money back from this agency and move onto somewhere else.  I will still have my WTF appointment with Dr. NN since I don’t have to pay extra.  Plus I really want to hear what he’d have to say.

Bob and I had a great chat.  We are now on the same page with our next steps.  He agreed to all the testing, and told me not to worry about the money part.  We have money saved up for more than one other fresh cycle.  If the next two transfers don’t work, we are in the position to save up more money, and we’ll start thinking about gestation carrier.  Speaking of which, I was both touched and surprised that one of my friends offered to carry our baby for us if we still don’t have a baby in 2.5 years.  She is currently pregnant and would like to breast feed her child.  I believe that I should be able to get pregnant and carry a child, but it is such a relief to know that someone would so selflessly offer to do this huge thing for me.  I also appreciated my husband telling me that I don’t have to worry about my age so I can just focus on the process itself. 

So this is where we are at, still sad about our failed cycle, still mourning the loss of Lucy, and still angry at God.  But we are also bouncing back and looking forward to the next chance for us to become parents. I do not regret maintaining a positive and hopeful attitude with Lucy. I’d do the same next time. I truly believe that one day we will be parents.  We need to take a deep breath, hold onto each other, and move forward.  I believe we can do it.