Friday, April 19, 2013

Mckenna Beatboxing!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thankful Thursday: This One's a Doozy

We are switching things up...Thankful Thursday is coming from me instead of Ronnie today...

Alright y’all, grab a chair and a cup of coffee, this blog is going to be a doozy.

We have been holding out on you. We’ve been going through the process of trying for baby number two since November. Last time we went through IVF, we shared every intimate detail as they happened. This time we decided we wanted to spare our families the blow by blow and surprise everyone with our pregnancy like most people get to do. We figured switching it up would be fun for everyone, and assumed it’d be a quick process like last time (silly us).

Starting in November, we began an IVF cycle. We had an egg retrieval in December and because I was highly overstimulated (estrogen at 7900 for those of you who have done IVF) we were forced to not do a fresh. We decided that of the 25 eggs retrieved, we would only fertilize 10, to avoid having a ton of embryos, not knowing if our cycle with Mckenna (and only having 1 good embryo and one decent embryo) was a fluke or not. We found out 4 days after our retrieval, that none of our embryos continued to develop. It was a devastating blow, but we brushed ourselves off and moved forward with another cycle. The plan was to fertilize the remaining 15 eggs, this time, with fresh sperm since we had used frozen sperm before.

In February, about a week before transfer, we went in to make sure the meds I was on thickened my uterine lining as it should have, before Ronnie went in for his sperm retrieval. Much to our shock and disappointment, my lining, for the first time ever, didn’t get thick enough so the cycle was cancelled. Again, we dusted ourselves off and moved forward. Trusting that God would make our family grow in his timing.

The next step was to try another protocol to thicken my lining. This time, with a low dose of stim meds. We decided since we were already using some stim meds, that we would up the dose a smidgen and just take the eggs. So we did just that. We retrieved another 20 mature eggs. Confident this time that our embryo quality issue was not a fluke, we went ahead and fertilized all the eggs we had (fresh and frozen, totaling 35 eggs). After 5 days of development, we had 2 BEAUTIFUL embryos to transfer that day, and 4 great embryos to freeze. We were confident and relieved.

9 days later we got the exciting news that we were pregnant. Praise Jesus. Our beta numbers were average, high for one, low for twins, so we weren’t sure what we had brewing. We eagerly awaited our first ultrasound which was supposed to be today.

On Tuesday, the 16th, I had some bleeding in the morning. I panicked. We called the doctor. They got us in for an ultrasound and blood work within the hour. Unfortunately, the ultrasound and blood work confirmed our biggest fear. I had miscarried about a week prior and was no longer pregnant.

I won’t lie. It’s still raw. It still sucks. I feel like so much was changed and ripped away so fast. But with all that said, I am really thankful. This is the best case of the worst case scenario. It is so early, so we are thankful that we hadn’t yet seen our baby or babies on an ultrasound or heard heartbeats. We are thankful that we found out two days earlier than we maybe would have if I hadn’t had bleeding. We are thankful that we had the opportunity to carry those little loves for at least a few weeks. We are thankful we have 4 more embryos frozen, waiting for their mommy and daddy. We are thankful it happened now, and not weeks and weeks down the road, when we were even more attached. We are thankful all of these struggles are happening in trying for number two. While we so desperately want to add to our family, the sting is much less when we get to snuggle Mckenna through the trials. We are thankful we have a strong marriage, one that we can openly discuss feelings and in the end, I believe that will get us through anything we are going to face.

We have so much to be thankful for, even in these tough times. We know and trust that God has a plan for our family. We believe whole-heartedly that God will provide us with the children we are meant to have. So we will continue to move forward trusting that He will provide exactly what our family needs. We decided to finally share our story and our struggles because we know that many in the community are facing these similar issues with IVF. When we started out, we assumed it would be quick and we were excited that we could spring it on our families in a fun way. But that isn’t our reality anymore, and so we feel it’s important to share our current situation so others may find encouragement in our story.

With all that said, we haven’t decided what we will share going forward. We haven’t decided if we want to move forward with frozen transfers and surprise family with a possible pregnancy in the future or if we will drag them through the blow by blow. Regardless, I will continue to post how I’m doing with the process and how we are feeling. We appreciate everyone’s support, and please know that we are completely comfortable to discuss what has happened thus far, so if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. The miscarriage is a bit raw still, as it’s still fresh, but questions regarding any and all of our journey thus far is fair game!

Please just keep us and our quest for baby number 2 in your prayers! Please also join us in our complete peace and faith that our family will be exactly as is should be, whether that’s with just Mckenna, with more biological children, adopted children, or a combination thereof.

My anthem through all of this is this song. It brings me such peace and so much joy:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Like Riding a Bicycle.

About a month or so ago I got back into the Couch to 5k program after a running hiatus. I took the hiatus while doing various cardio programs that were working the heck out of my lungs and making me cough just as much as running. It was nice to give my feet a break (if you don't know I've dealt with foot issues since I started running), but it got to the point in which I felt like I had to run. Coming from me, even with the name of this blog, is a bit weird.

I hit certain points where I feel like I have to prove to myself that "I still got it". About a month ago I hit that point and wanted to prove to myself that I could run consistently, and based on history, I needed a program to do that. I picked the C25k because I've been successful with it before and it does a great job of easing the participant back into the grind that is running.

I started off great for the first couple of weeks, but then, I got bored. I couldn't stand to walk for as long as it called to walk and I didn't want to stop running when it called for me to stop. That's when I decided to take the plunge, and just run!!

For the past couple of weeks, I've been running every other day and it feels great. I usually let my feet rest on the weekends, so it actually works out to about 3 times a week. I'll start off with a 5, 10, 15 or 20 minute walk (whatever I'm feeling) and then I just go for it. Whether it's a mile run to my gym or a 30 minute run on the treadmill, I've been running until I physically have to stop. My stamina has definitely picked up in the last week, and I'm getting to the point where it's not torture the entire time...just most of the time :)

It just amazes me how quickly the body and lungs can "remember" to run. Like I said, it's like riding a bike...just a lot, and I mean a lot, harder!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tough Answer

This is definitely a common concern with many moms and dads in the CF community. I actually wanted to post this exchange, because as you'll see, I don't have a great answer. Maybe you do? Please share your experience and maybe a helpful tip or two to this mama. I'll make sure she reads it!!

Hope you won’t find this question too personal to answer. 
We have a toddler with CF. The one thing that still bothers me about his diagnosis is the likelihood that he is infertile/won’t be able to have children without assistance. Given all the other stuff CF does to one’s body it just seems so unfair! And kind of random too actually. 
Just wondering how old you were when you realized that possibility and how you dealt with it? Was there something your parents said to you then that you appreciate now? I know we have a LONG time before this conversation comes up in our house but it's been on my mind for the past two years. Thank you! 

There is nothing ever too personal with me mama.

To be honest, I can't really remember an exact conversation about this topic as a kid/young adult. I have a feeling that how my mom handled ever situation that came our way is how she taught me to handle the subject of infertility - We'll figure something out. She had faith that things work out as they should and ultimately, we're not in control. Through it all, she has believed the "God is good". He would have been good whether or not I had children.

I was 19 when I got tested to see if I had sperm present. I of course had none.

I also don't think it's all that random of a "side effect" of CF. The only sure way to stop a genetic illness from "spreading" is to not bear/produce children.

Sorry I don't have a great answer for you. It was just never made a big deal because God was in control.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Latest Obsession: A Morning Walk

Ronnie, Mckenna and I have a pretty routine life. Ronnie and I both work from home, so in order to both get our work in, we split the day. We get up around 6, have breakfast, and Ronnie's on a treatment from 7-8AM, and he does an hour of work during his treatment. While he's doing a treatment, I have Mckenna, and then from 8-12 I work while Ronnie hangs with Mckenna and then from 12-4 he works. At 4 we all go to the gym. Then it's dinner at 6, bath time, bed time for Mckenna at 7 and then Ronnie and I relax for an hour or two, I go to bed, and he does a treatment where he does another hour or two of work. Day after day, that's our general routine. It works for us and we all know just what to expect. Anyways, the point of my blog isn't to outline our days...although, there you have it! Ha!

Mckenna and I used to go for a bike ride or walk during Ronnie's first treatment, but she never lasted very long before being over it...and letting me know over and over..."all done..." "all done..."......."all done........." You get the point. But the last week or so she has been SO content. I've been able to get in a 2 mile walk (which isn't that far, but takes us about 40 minutes), and she is content the whole time. In fact, when she wakes up she starts to ask about it. I found the secret to success: pack some cheerios and narrate the whole time. We talk about what we are seeing the whole time. And every morning, since it's the same time every day, we see the same things. It feels a bit like The Truman show. I know where the bus will be. I know where the boy waiting for the bus will be. I know where the birds are the loudest. I know exactly where we will see the man riding his bike. So we just talk about what we are going to see, we talk about each of the cars, where they're probably going. We listen for the birds. We watch the trees blow in the wind. We thank God for the pretty flowers or the cool breeze. It is such a fun time for both of us.

Since we live in Arizona, our time is limited where we will be able to walk outside after 7. In the heat of summer it may just be too warm and sunny to be out then. So I am really just treasuring this time now, and trying to figure out how to change the morning routine to get our walk in earlier in the day. I don't think waking her at 5 is a good solution, HA! But maybe we can go for our walk before breakfast and bring milk and cereal along.

If you have time in the morning, sneak in a short walk if you can. I swear that somehow the world is more beautiful first thing in the morning!