IVF UPDATE: HEARTBREAK

the-broken-heart-questions-why

A lot has happened over the last few months, and we are finally ready to share what has been brewing. In October we officially started IVF, we had a calendar timeline, everything. We had started the process as we thought we had enough funds raised, but of course there are a million different expenses that add up quick, and we were still $8000 short of what we needed. Of course with IVF you cannot stop once you’ve started or you lose everything. Thankfully we were able take out a loan for the amount (ouch), but we were willing to do anything we had to to have more children.

We had our egg retrieval in November and we had 14(!!) eggs retrieved from my right ovary. Apparently my left one is pretty much a dud because of a cyst I had when I was younger. Luckily, my right one is a power house. Unfortunately, because of so many eggs from one ovary, after the egg retrieval I developed a rare condition called ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome. I actually ended up admitted to Community North Hospital in Indianapolis and had to have my stomach drained because my ovary was pumping blood and fluid into my abdomen. As you can imagine this was incredibly painful, and super hard to keep a secret! We just weren’t ready to have people asking a bunch of questions (especially the big one: are you pregnant???).

Between fertilization, and waiting for the embryos to grow for 5 days into blastocysts for biopsy and testing, we ended up with 6 that we had tested for chromosomal abnormalities  and Leigh’s Disease. Out of the 6, test results showed 3 healthy, Leigh’s Disease free, embryos that were viable for transfer. So on January 12th we had an FET (frozen embryo transfer) and had 2 of the 3 healthy embryos placed in my uterus. Then the crazy, time standing still, two week wait began until we were able to have our pregnancy blood test.

It is so hard to write this, but yesterday we got our results… and they were negative: the embryos did not implant. We are so incredibly heartbroken over this news, it’s hard to even put it into words. We were so excited to have a glimmer of hope, to know the embryos were inside me and possibly attaching and growing was scary, and awesome, and wonderful, and so exciting. But now to find out that they are gone… it’s so hard. It’s just more heaped on to the loss and sorrow we’ve already experienced, and carry with us everyday.

We now have only 1 embryo left. It will be awhile before we will be able to do another FET because it’s $3500, and we are out of money. If the embryo does not implant will have to start all over from square one: meds, egg retrieval, embryo testing, everything… all to the tune of another $20,000. We are feeling very overwhelmed right now. We were hoping to have a baby before the year was over, now we just have to continue our journey of waiting. I was so sure that this was going to work for us the first time around. Especially after everything we’ve been through, surely God wouldn’t let this FET cycle be a failure? I just don’t understand.

I spent all day crying yesterday, and felt terrible with a fever, sore throat, the works. I think the stress, emotional trauma, the hormone meds, everything just finally caught up with me. Please keep us in your prayers as we are in a serious time of sorrow for this loss, and we are questioning WHY after everything we’ve been through, does this keep happening to us? If God made a way for the finances, why didn’t He follow through with a successful pregnancy? My heart is full of uncertainty about what comes next for us. This journey is endlessly exhausting. I pray and hope disappointment and sorrow aren’t our life story.

This song… it’s what’s in my heart.

Even when my strength is lost
I’ll praise You
Even when I have no song
I’ll praise You
Even when it’s hard to find the words
Louder then I’ll sing Your praise

Even when the fight seems lost
I’ll praise You
Even when it hurts like hell
I’ll praise You
Even when it makes no sense to sing
Louder then I’ll sing Your praise

I will only sing Your praise

(Even When It Hurts, Empires by Hillsong)

2nd Mother’s Day, IVF Update, and more…

This Mother’s Day was definitely different than my first without Lincoln. It was also better. I missed him terribly, as I do every day but was able to make it to church this year, and sang in the worship team. I was so blessed by my friends at church who wished me a Happy Mother’s Day. I know it’s hard for people to know what to say to me sometimes, especially when how can I have a happy day when my baby isn’t with me? I was actually surprised how comforting it was to be included. I still felt uncomfortable wishing others a happy mother’s day, as strange as that may sound.

When I was at work throughout the week at Afena there were folks who wished me a happy mother’s day, and it was nice just to enjoy the well-wishing without having to explain anything or get upset. It was nice to pretend, even if it was just for a second, that everything is normal.

We stopped after church at a local market to buy some flowers, and this sweet humming bird kept flying around me. Now, I love humming birds, but I can never get a good look at them! As this one kept flying all around me I couldn’t help but feel that this was my Mother’s Day gift from Lincoln. 

I wanted to take a moment to give everyone an update on our progress with our IVF journey. With our fundraiser in April we we’re able to raise just over $4000. With those funds we were able to pay the upfront cost of $3850 to the Genesis Genetics lab, who is creating from scratch our family’s personal Leigh’s Disease test, which is just mind boggling that they can even do something like that. We had a genetic counseling session with one of their genetic counselors who walked us through the process of how they create the test, which will take about 2-4 weeks to create. Once the test is complete, Genesis Genetics will notify us and our fertility doctor in Indy that we can proceed with the IVF process.

The next amount we will be raising funds for will be the upfront cost of the actual IVF procedure which includes the medications, egg retrieval, fertilization, implantation, and ultrasounds plus an additional final installment of $1000 to Genesis Genetics. This amount will be just over $8500.

We are planning a large rummage to raise funds about the end of June/July sometime. If anyone would like to donate items to sell we are currently accepting donations now, through the time of the rummage, which we will shortly be announcing the date.

SNEAK PEAK – We are also planning a scrapbook party fundraiser sometime this summer as well TBA.

We want to say an enormous thank you to everyone who has made a contribution towards making our dreams of growing a healthy family closer to a reality. I really can’t express how humbling this all has been. We are forever grateful as we keep plugging away at making this happen.

I hope everyone had a lovely memorial weekend last week. We spent the weekend relaxing with family, and were able to plant flowers around Lincoln’s memory tree. It was so beautiful!