Wherever You Go…

Be Strong

I want to apologize for not posting for so long.  As some of you know, over the last seven months not only have we been walking through our family journey, but we’ve also been building a house.  We started building at the end of December before we had any idea what lay ahead for us. It is finally complete and three weeks ago tomorrow we closed on our “for a long time” home. We are in love!

House

On move in day.

Unfortunately, because we are the first house in the new subdivision internet has been a challenge. Our wonderful builder loaned us his hotspot for me to use for work (since I work from home), but I didn’t want to use it for personal use and take advantage of his generosity.  I had to make an exception to my rule though, since yesterday was our appointment with the Fertility Specialist, Dr. Bates.

Since my levels have finally gone back to normal (!!!!!!) the doctor was able to talk to us about the next step. We had so many questions and he did a great job of trying to answer them as honestly as possible while being considerate of our emotions. He told us that it really boils down to two options; IVF or trying naturally one more time. He explained to us that we are wonderful candidates for IVF and he truly thinks it is our best option. However, he also talked to us about trying again naturally. While this was our desire, my concern was that if we had another ectopic pregnancy I wanted my remaining tube to be removed. He assured me that would in fact be the plan as he didn’t think I was a candidate for any further Methotrexate shots

I am fully aware of the fact that when i mention wanting them to remove my remaining tube it sounds harsh. And it is harsh! But I don’t apologize for feeling this way. The last seven months have been exhausting; physically, emotionally, just plain exhausting. The idea that we would have a third ectopic and they would not remove my remaining tube and we could face that risk in the future again is where I draw the line. Others faced with the same situation may choose differently and that’s okay.

We went ahead and discussed iVF with Dr. Bates. He said given our fertility this far he sees no reason why we wouldn’t have fantastic success.  Our risk of another ectopic while higher for the general population is lower for us. Basically my odds of having another ectopic trying naturally at this point are between 1 in 3 up to a 50% chance. However, with IVF we drop to a 1 in 20 chance. We had researched the option of having them remove my remaining fallopian tube before starting IVF. Unfortunately if we jump straight to IVF insurance will not cover the removal of my fallopian tube. But also at the end of the day IVF is expensive. We are on the lower cost end of the scale and he told us to expect between $10-12,000 in costs for the first cycle.  The good news is that he thinks he would be able to harvest enough eggs for at least one (if not more) frozen cycles and those only cost between $2-3,000. Having just signed mortgage papers though both of those figures seem pretty scary right now!

So, Daniel and I have decided to give it another go naturally. We know it is risky, but at this point we don’t feel like we have much to lose. Hopefully, we will succeed in having a healthy uterine pregnancy. If that fails and we do in fact have another ectopic then at least they’ll remove my fallopian tube and we are back to IVF with not much other than time lost. Dr. Bates was supportive of this decision and they will monitor me very closely looking for signs of an ectopic the second we find out we’re pregnant.

These are big decisions. Life changing decisions. But God continues to provide reassurance and comfort. He continues to show us the path forward and give us the confidence we need to get through the journey. And Dr. Bates is on board. He ended the appointment saying “Leave here knowing it’s not if you will get pregnant, but when and how.” Only God knows the answer to that question, but we can’t wait to find out!

Patience is a virtue, and I don’t have it.

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Patience is something I struggle with, daily.  I want to see where I am heading, know how I’m getting there, and take the quickest path there. However, I am constantly reminded that my timing may not be God’s timing. So I wait.

The last week has been calm and wonderful.  After the great news that I didn’t need a third Methotrexate shot last week we slowly got back into our normal routine. Most notable was that I could finally enjoy a meal that consisted of more than bagels and rice. Woohoo! While I am still on some restrictions (no alcohol, exercise, etc.) we are basically back to normal.

So we headed to Birmingham for the long weekend and spent some long needed time with friends. Let me tell you how nice it was to just relax and enjoy ourselves after the last few weeks. It was also a great reminder of the amazing friends God has surrounded us with who are continuing to pray and support us through this process.

And PROCESS is the key word. Yesterday’s blood work results came back and while they showed progress they weren’t at the ZERO that I wanted to see. They went from 69 last week to 8 today. I know, it’s so close and I should be ecstatic about that, but all I could think about was how it wasn’t at zero and I had prayed so hard for it to be zero. Then I stopped and reminded myself once again that my timing is not HIS timing. And so I wait. Patience.

Thursday Daniel and I will go to a follow-up with my doctor and hopefully get a clearer picture about what the coming weeks will look like. I will then go back next Monday for more blood work to confirm that hopefully my HCG level is finally at a zero.

Patience.

Wonderful Joy Ahead!

Yesterdays blood work came back and the last round of Methotrexate shots seems to be working!  My levels haven’t gone back to normal (0) quit yet, but they are definitely on their way.  We are so thankful for this, since the shots gave me some pretty bad side effects.  The only foods I was really able to tolerate were bagels and rice. Yum. Yum.

I will go back for more blood work next Monday and then a follow up appointment with my doctor next week.

God is good!

Wonderful Things

Someday You Will… (Ectopic Pregnancy Saga, Part 2)

You Do Not Understand

God has a much bigger plan for us than we could ever imagine. It’s this truth that has kept me grounded during the last few weeks. The first ectopic pregnancy was tragic, but I thought it was just a stepping stone on the way to our forever family. I remember all of the people who told me about their ectopic pregnancy, or their friends, or cousins who went on to have healthy pregnancies. This comforted me at the time, but in the back of my mind I wondered if that too would be our story.

I felt relieved when the dye test they performed at the end of March showed no issues or blockages with my remaining Fallopian Tube and we were cleared. My doctor sent us on our way, “Hopefully the next time I see you in a few months you’ll be pregnant!”

We knew it might take longer to conceive this time around since I only had one Fallopian Tube left and while hoping to conceive quickly we were prepared for a longer wait. So a few weeks later when I tested and it came back negative I was not surprised and shortly thereafter my period started right on time. Two days after my period was over I started spotting and immediately thought something was not right. Of course I did what everyone shouldn’t do and Googled possible causes, one of which was an ectopic pregnancy. We decided I would take another pregnancy test just to clear my mind. I took the test fully expecting it to be negative, so what a surprise when it came up positive. I immediately panicked. It’s that moment when all of your fears start coming true and while you want to trust that everything will be okay all you can do is panic.

I went to the doctor’s office that morning for them to draw blood and was told not to worry that they were sure everything would be fine and to wait for them to call with the results. The next morning when they called they said my HCG levels (the level that indicates if you are pregnant) was low, but that it could still be very early and they wanted me to come back in two days for them to recheck things. It came back lower and I was told I was most likely having an early miscarriage.

Now, let me stop here and say that miscarriages are horrible and sad and I don’t wish them on myself or others. And the idea of having one was sad, but in the back of my mind I was just so thankful that it wasn’t another ectopic pregnancy.

The roller coaster of blood work continued for two weeks and then everything changed. This time my HCG levels came back higher, which is a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. An ultrasound and more blood work later, it was confirmed. My doctor wants to do anything possible to save my remaining Fallopian Tube. They started me on Methotrexate shots, which is a chemo drug used to attack/kill off the failed pregnancy tissue. They can give me up to three rounds of shots and unfortunately we are finishing up our second round of shots today. We are waiting for the test results to come back now, which will determine if a third round of shots are needed or not.  I am really hoping that this last round of shots worked, as the medicine has not made me feel good at all! I’ll post later tonight or tomorrow with an update.

It’s hard to see how things will work out when you are in the thick of a bad situation, but Daniel and I just have to keep holding on to the hope He has put in our hearts. We know we are meant to have children and so we will journey on and let Him figure out how we get from here to there.

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I am doing now, but someday you will.” John 13:7