Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Friends & The New Park

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I’m thankful for good friends and family. Ronnie and I needed extra help this last week when Ronnie, who was supposed to be on Mckenna duty after my retrieval, got sick unexpectedly. My parents were out of town the last week and a half, and they are usually who we call on. Instead we called upon friends and other family. My brother watched Mckenna one night when our sitter canceled and we had to go to our foster care class; our friend took Mckenna for a playdate; our cousins took Mckenna for a playdate; and Ronnie’s mom and brothers watched Mckenna during our transfer. It was a bit of a rough week, but I continually felt overjoyed and so blessed as I watched our friends and families shower us with love and assistance.

I’m thankful for the CF community. We have been gifted a community that is so genuine, caring and always rallies around one another. We have felt so blessed by all the prayers over the last couple of weeks surrounding our IVF cycle. It is just another way we are blessed by CF.

I’m thankful to be waiting again. While the waiting process after a transfer and before a pregnancy test is the most brutal time, I am trying to just remember how thankful I am that we are here. I’m so thankful that for right now, two little babies are inside of me. I’m so thankful that we had the opportunity to try again. And I’m so thankful we have the family we currently have, to wait it out with!!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for a sacrificial wife. Mandi is constantly putting my needs and time in front of her own and I couldn't be more thankful. This week, I've had to work quite a bit, and even though Mandi should be relieved of Mckenna duty more than normal, it seems that she's stepped it up and picked up my slack. She doesn't complain, doesn't make snarky comments, she just supports me. I am so lucky.

I'm thankful for the new park. A new city park was just completed and opened this week about .2 miles from our house. We've been there every day this week and Mckenna absolutely loves it. There is a lot of green space, swings, two playground areas, a basketball court and a sand volleyball court. Mckenna has already met and played with a bunch of new friends!

I'm thankful for friends. I've had two lean on friends this week for advice and help with work stuff that I wasn't familiar with. They were quick to restructure their day and make time for me. Both meetings went well and I was able to complete the task at hand because of them.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, September 29, 2014

IVF Update: A Man's Small Contribution (TESA)

(I've been meaning to get this story down on virtual paper since last week, but things got away from me. I'm here now though, so here we go!)

As many of you can see, when it comes to IVF cycles, the man does very little in terms of bodily sacrifice or contribution. Mandi seemed to have a needle in some part of her body multiple times a day for the last handful of weeks. She looks like a drug addict with tracks up and down her legs, stomach and booty. To say that I married one tough cookie would be a gigantic understatement.

I will say though that my contribution, although small (literally and figuratively), comes with some big pain and trepidation at just the thought of it.

That my friends, is a TESA - Testicular Sperm Aspiration.

So, how does this look? Well, I won't get all science-y on you. They take a large needle to "numb" my testicles and then take a large claw that latches on to testicular tissue and rips it out. They hope that the tissue contains some sperm. And just for those that are wondering - nope, the testicles can never feel truly numb. I'm still looking for the horse that kicked me repeatedly.

How does it feel? (This is from my original one back in 2011)

That's how it feels.

I posted my TESA from 2011 because it was already on YouTube and it gives you a good sense of how it feels. I've had 2 since then (including) last week, and believe me, they do not get any easier.

Recovery has been different for all 3 procedures. For some reason, the one last week was the worse. I wasn't able to drive the car home (a first) and was unable to get into a comfortable position for hours and hours after the aspiration. I put my boys on ice and did my best to stay completely still. One wrong move and it felt like I was on the table all over again.

Want to know the good news however?? They said that last week provided them with the best sample that they've ever had from me. My little swimmers were actually swimming (that has not always been the case) and many of them looked normal (again, not always the case). The embryologist also said that he set aside 8 hours to find sperm from my sample, based on my past history, but it only took him 4 hours to find 30+ usable sperm! Way to go Sharpe baby batter!!!!

So there you have it, my small contribution.

FYI: I'm walking normally now and will attempt to work out today. Still painful to the touch, but nothing that I can't handle.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

IVF Update: Transfer Day!

Today is the day! We are so excited to be here and so thankful that we have made it to this point. We spent our morning in church, and I spent most of the service praying that God was guiding our embryologist to the two babies God has for us this transfer. The last song to close out the service was the one below. I walked into church this morning praying God would bring me peace and trust today, and I was so thankful that He spoke to my heart so intensely through the last song of the day. I cried through it, but I felt so at peace.

And then I got home and looked at Mckenna's craft from Sunday School. I couldn't help but smile at this clear message: