Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Erratic temperature and lack of ovulation

For the past few days I have NOT known what to write about.  I had written previously that ovulation occurred, but was indeed wrong. Today is CD 28 and Fertility Friend has been unclear of any ovulation.

For those of you who don't obsessively take your temperature each day... my above chart describes that my BBT has been erratic.  It means that I have not ovulated; therefore, my period will not occur unless it is medically stimulated. Blah!  I've also had some pain (crampy) in my left side.  I called ART yesterday and talked with one of my favorite nurses.  She has me scheduled to come in tomorrow for bloodwork (and beta) along with an injection of Progesterone-in-oil.  Once I mentioned the bouts of pain in my belly, she suggested an ultrasound as well.
My appointment is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9am.  Brandon's travelling to Huntsville for the day so I'll be going alone.  Blah!  At least it should be a quick appointment, but it's always difficult entering the building and riding the elevator with all of the pregnant women.

I will update tomorrow after my appointment.  Hoping for an easy in and out appointment tomorrow!!
*UPDATE* Laura is going with me to my appointment tomorrow!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Random pictures

"A picture is worth a thousand words."


I know, I'm crazy

These are on Jenna's phone.  I hijacked it. 

Jenna and myself
My boss 

Date night watching Hunter Lawley

We hijacked Joy's phone
My boss is pretty awesome

Sarah Hope

Hannah Grace

The kiddos wrapping their gift for their Mom's birthday

B's welcome home note
My Journal of Daily Blessings 2.0
Writing on loose leaf notebook paper wasn't working anymore

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ovulation... CHECK!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with BBT charting, the above is my chart for this current break cycle.  Those beautiful red lines indicate that I ovulated on my own with no help from stimulation drugs!  Now, there is a myth/wive's tale that some women retain the follicle stimulating drugs in their system after an IVF cycle.  All that matters to me is that I ovulated on my own, and am now 3 dpo.  

By my usual pattern, I should have about 11 more days until my new cycle begins and we start moving forward with our FET!  I will call ART on DAY 1 of my next cycle and begin taking estrace on CD3.  I'm still unsure about protocol and such with a FET cycle.  It will be a learning process.

  • Please continue to pray for our precious frozen embryos.  
  • Please pray for Brandon and me that we will continue to move forward hopeful and with a joyful heart.

For a better description of the acronyms used in this post, visit my Lingo page.  I have them all listed on my page, along with a description and link with more useful information when necessary.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Making a GOOD day

Tuesday was a pretty great day. Praise the LORD!

I easily could have let myself lay in bed and cry, and thought about it hard! I slept in until 8am, and didn't get up out of bed until 10am.  I put up countless loads of laundry, did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed the house, and swept the floors in the kitchen and guest bathroom.  Dad and I went to WalMart, grabbed some lunch, and also went to the Calera Farmer's Market. We had On Fire practice at church last night so that distracted me from missing Brandon (He's in Mississippi working and comes home today!)

It was a good day to have a GREAT day.  God continues to give me more things to write about in my DAILY JOURNAL OF BLESSINGS.  Right now I'm just jotting down fragments onto notebook paper, but I may have to find something else!  You might think it strange, but I love tangible evidence of all of the good things happening to not only me, but those around me.

We received the medical bill for my hospital stay.  It was only $500.  We both thought it would be much more and are extremely happy.  Again, I cannot reiterate how good God is.  There is no doubt in my mind that our medical bills will mostly likely total $25,000 for this year alone.  Our medical expenses are adding up to my paycheck.  BUT we are not going without anything.  We're giving out tithe first and moving along from there.
If you don't believe me about the tithe thing, look HERE at my COST page.  Then just try to tell me that God doesn't take care of it. =)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Second Anniversary of our Fertility Struggle

As of today, we have been trying to conceive for two years.  I love numbers, so here are a few random statistics about our journey thus far:
  • 22 cycles to date of trying to conceive a child
  • 730 prenatal vitamins consumed by me
  • BBT (basal body temperature) taken approximately 700 times
  • 50+ injections given at home & work
  • 32 pregnancy tests taken at home & work
  • 20 opk (ovulation predictor kit) taken at home & work
  • 20 vaginal ultrasounds 
  • 3 HSGs (dye test)
  • 2 surgeries (Hysteroscopy & Laparoscopy)
  • 1 SIS (saline infusion sonogram)
  • 1 IUI (intrauterine insemination)
  • 1 Chemical Pregnancy - 1 Angel Baby - Peyton Lane
  • 1 IVF cycle with a severe case of OHSS
  • Countless tears spilled

I could keep on listing statistics, but that would be boring for y'all to read.  
I am in a completely different place than I was when we first began this journey.  Never did I think that it would take so long for us to conceive a child.  We have been blessed beyond measure in the past two years.    I never thought that I'd be able to look at this day without being devastated.  It's still difficult to be here on this day, but I have hope that God will provide in His timing.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekend Recap

Y'all heard about out fun evening on Friday here.
Brandon and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises on Saturday night.  It was amazing!  We're superhero fanatics, and I promise to post pictures of the infamous superhero room soon.

On Sundays, we get to church around 7:30am.  I've been singing on Sundays, and we have to get there early before the first service. Blah.  I don't mind getting up early, but I will definitely be sleeping in tomorrow (on my off day.)  I did not take my usual Sunday afternoon nap yesterday and think I'll make up for it tomorrow.

We went to have lunch with the family for Grandaddy's birthday.  We got to see and love on Bryson, and then came home and rested.

In fertility news, I'm CD20 today with no sight of ovulation. =/  My temperature is all over the place.  I will most likely wait until next week to call ART and mention my lack of ovulation.

But back to Sunday at church...

     In the Methodist church they do infant baptisms.  This is still a fairly new concept to me, and I think it's amazing.  BUT it's an extremely emotional experience for me with out current fertility situation.  Of course I was on stage blubbering away as this family baptized their teeny, tiny, precious baby.
     Our associate pastor, Larry, saw me crying.  Once we were dismissed from the stage, I spotted Brandon and told him that I would not be sitting through the second service (we did sit through the first service and sunday school already).  I raced as quickly as possible to the bathroom so that I could have the "loud cries".  Erica saw me going in and came in to comfort me.  Brandon said that he had no idea where I was, but Larry had come out of the service to find us.
     Larry saw me start crying on stage.  He said that in that moment he began praying for us and asking God what to do or say to help us.  Larry has been amazing with Brandon and me.  He has such a way with words and often asks us some difficult questions.  He often helps us see the "big picture."  He said that in that moment God told him that Brandon and I would be holding our child this time next year.  This is our second prophecy that Larry has delivered to us (I've received one as well, but am not quite ready to reveal that here until I have shared it with more of my family).

I am so thankful for our amazing faith family.  They have made this struggle less painful merely by their presence and consistent prayer. My emotions have continue to run wild, but I know that there are so many people praying for us to have a child.
I hate to just end my post here, but I do have more renewed hope.  (there's that word again)
I also have so many prayer requests for my friends and family.

  • I have a friend who I will refer to as "N."   She is in the midst of her own fertility struggle and is approaching IVF.  I pray that this last insemination attempt works for her and her husband so they don't have to move forward with in vitro.
  • My Granny is still recovering from her surgery last week.  She's at home, but she's becoming disoriented often (most likely from the pain medications).  
  • There are many unspoken requests within my faith family at church.  I pray that God blesses each and every one of them this week. 
Thank you for staying with me this long.  I pray that you are blessed!  Have a GREAT week and Happy Monday! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

We went out last night...

Let me start off by saying that 

The Hunter Lawley Band 


We went out with some friends to Gabriel's last night to listen to some live music.  It was so nice to do something on a Friday night.  I was good and only drank 3.5 beers; spaced out evenly with about 5 glasses of water.  There was much dancing too (my favorite)!  Brandon and I slow danced on one of the slower songs and it was romantic.
*Ladies, if you husband doesn't dance with you, YOU NEED TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.  *
We didn't get home until around 1:45am, but it was worth it.
During the day yesterday, my stomach was aching.  I've been having sharp; fleeting pains all over my belly.  At this point, I've lost track of how long my stomach has been bothering me.  Honestly, it hasn't felt the same since we started the Follistim and Menopur during the "stim" phase of IVF.  My weight isn't fluctuating as much anymore, but my belly starts looking big (bloat) by the end of each day.  I called my GI (Dr. Newman) and talked to one of the nurses who is trying to get me an appointment sooner than August (since we'll be moving forward with the FET.)
Before we started our fertility journey, I always made sure to have at least one appointment with Dr. Newman per year.  As far as I can recall, I've always had stomach problems.  It took talking to my Grandad one day to realize that I needed to see a specialist.  I thought that everyone had issues like me! That was when I was 17.  Since then, I've had two sigmoidoscopies as well as one colonoscopy.  On my father's side of the family, there is a history of Colitis, Diverticulitis, IBS, and Crohn's Disease.  =/  My doctor has been proactive with me always screening for any other issues other than just having a spastic colon.

ICLW:  July
I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Also, a big HELLO to everyone joining from ICLW.  
If you're new to my blog, please check out my pages!  
We're on a rest cycle gearing up for our first FET

Just a few of my pages:

Our Story
IVF #1 + OHSS+Hospital stay

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hope Renewal??

"It can take a lot of courage to be real and honest with others.  Be brave and let your truth shine."- via text message from Attain Fertility

I never want my blog to be one that brings others down.  I hope (there's that awesome word)  to be positive and optimistic about each step in our journey.  That isn't always going to be the case.  It is impossible to be upbeat, excited, and happy ALL of the time no matter what type of situation Life has thrown at you.

I have made a Resolution to be "Surprisingly Satisfied."
"I do solemnly resolve to embrace my current season of life and will maximize my time in it.  I will resist the urge to hurry through or circumvent any portion of my journey but will live with a spirit of contentment."  The Resolution for Women p30 (spoken aloud and signed 7-17-12)

Yesterday was a bad day.  There's no other way to explain it, but that was yesterday.  Today is a new day and it's a great day to have a good day!

Let me also say that my husband is amazing.  He was truly meant to be my better half.  Only he can calm me down, make me laugh, and make me feel loved all at the same time.  He is my rock and I am glad that God chose him to be my sneakers (inside joke y'all should all know by now).

I'm continuing to read The Resolution for Women and it is amazing.  Brandon has already read The Resolution for Men, signed The Resolution, and completed a bible study with the other men at church, but we are now having our own study.  We had said that we would "talk" once a week, but that has turned into about two to three times a week!  God is using this book to help us through our current season of life.  I will continue to post more as I sign each resolution.
source:  Google

Please visit Ali at Not All Dreams Are Free.  She just completed IVF #1 and had her beta(pregnancy test)-->it was low at 13.  They told her to stop crinone and wait for miscarriage.  Please show her some love.  I know she needs it right now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wow ...

The outpouring of love we received yesterday was amazing.  

I had to go back to ART for repeat labs.  Everything was NORMAL!  (They were worried about my BUN levels being low due to OHSS) I still am feeling awful each day battling tummy issues, headaches, sleeplessness, and emotions everywhere.  From what I can gather, being emotional right now is just par for the course.
Right now I'm living on peppermints for nausea, Zofran (nausea) , Lomotil (spastic colon), Tylenol (sinus headaches?), Ambien (sleep issues), and Valium (panic/nerves).  I'm not ashamed of what I'm going through right now.
I cried this morning when I thought Brandon was going to have to travel overnight.  (He's not travelling until next week thankfully!)  

I've said this to only a few people, but here goes. . . . . . . . . . . .

I've never felt so alone at any other point in this journey.   

I feel like I have to guard each word I say.write.post,etc., hoping that I don't offend someone.  My thoughts are constantly reflecting on what might have been, as well as the future (mostly the future).
 The only time I find peace is when I'm in prayer or listening to music. ** I know that the Enemy is trying to attack me at my weakest.  **

*Also, my Granny had surgery on her left shoulder yesterday and isn't doing well.  She received a blood transfusion last night and has just been taken off of her pain pump.  She's older and has Pulmonary Fibrosis, Crohn's Disease, and Fibromyalgia (along with other issues).  Her lung doctor was afraid that she wouldn't wake up from the anesthesia.  Please remember her.

My Pages:
IVF #1 (OHSS + 6 frozen Embryos)
The Cost (God ALWAYS provides)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Peyton Lane Boyington

On our first Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), we got pregnant but I endured a chemical pregnancy

Our insemination occurred on October 25, 2011, and I miscarried early on November 5, 2011.  Those dates will forever be written in our memory.  (see posts here and here)


July 17, 2012, 

would be the due date for our angel baby

Peyton Lane Boyington  

Recently, it struck me that we should provide a name for this child.  Because this pregnancy was so short, I have no idea of the gender of the child that I was carrying.  We chose the first name Peyton, because we both felt that it was gender appropriate for either a boy or a girl.  

The middle name chosen, Lane, has much significance (triple fold).  
(1)Lane is the maiden name of Lisa, a close family friend.  It is also the name of her son.  (2)Lane is also the middle name of my Great-Aunt Penny, who survived the April 27th tornado in Pleasant Grove, Al.  Her strength is amazing and every child deserves a strong name; whether they be here on earth or in Heaven.  (3)Additionally, my blog is titled Our Pathway to Parenthood.  Lane is a step in our pathway to becoming parents; as well as our spiritual growth in Christ.  He has been with us each step of the way during our journey.  Our marriage has been tested, and none of this has been easy.  BUT we have been surrounded by God's love and His faithful followers and believers.  

Peyton Lane, 
Mom and Dad love you and cannot wait until we meet you.  
You were just too precious for this world.  

Happy Birthday, Peyton.
estimated due date 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tummy Issues

I love Friday the 13th; always have...today has NOT been a good one for me thus far.

This morning I finally went to the doctor about my tummy issues.  Without being too graphic... I've been going to the bathroom a LOT since Sunday (July8).  I've always had issues with this, but never this severe.  This morning I began battling nausea along with visiting the potty frequently.

I went to American Family Care and they are trying to fix me up.  They gave me two different medications to help with my spastic colon and nausea.  I'm now drinking a Gatorade and am feeling NO NAUSEA at all; PRAISE THE LORD!

That's all I know right now.  It's already been a long day and it's only 11:30am in Alabama right now.  I hope everyone enjoys the weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Rachel spent the night last night since Brandon was in Mississippi on business.  We hung out and I went to bed early (as usual).  Dr. A prescribed me Ambien because I've been struggling with sleep.  It's hard to shut off my brain.  I slept soundly and still woke up feeling alright this morning.

This is a video of Fiona Apple singing "Every Single Night."  She is one of Jenna's FAVORITE musicians.  This song represents how I struggle with sleep each night.  Enjoy!

Work has been ok today.  Pretty boring around here, but we got a lot of month-end organizing done for the past three or four months!  Jen and I ate Moe's and I got sick after eating half of my kid's meal (MooMoo Mr. Cow burrito).  
Welcome to Moe's

We walked in next door at the hair place and I got two hair feathers!  One is purple and the other is turquoise.  I had been thinking about getting a purple streak dyed in, but thought that may be a bit drastic.  At least my feathers are not too overwhelming!  
See...it's not too overwhelming! 

I saw this on Facebook today and LOVED it.
I had to share it with y'all!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Update to Tuesday Post

On the way to Dad's house, the nurses called.  My BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)  is elevated.  Dr. Allemand believes this is still due in part to my OHSS. I have been trying to stay hydrated due to my tummy issues.  They mentioned having more blood work run next week.  I will call tomorrow and see if that's what they want to do.  From what I've read and asked my Mom, it has something to do with my kidney function.  I'm trusting God and Dr. Allemand that they've got this all under control.
I led Bible Study last night.  It was a small group, but we had great conversation.  I was able to talk openly about how God has blessed us in our fertility struggle. Brandon also asked me questions during the study and it was great for us to open up in front of our faith family.  I look forward to sharing more with more people within the church as time moves on.  God will open up more opportunities for me to share how He has blessed us.
Brandon is leaving for Jackson, MS today.  I'm not sure if he's coming back on Thursday or Friday.  Rach is spending the night with me tomorrow evening.  =)  I'm still a weenie, and don't like staying at home by myself!

Follow Up Tuesday

We had our follow up appointment with Dr. Allemand this morning.  Brandon had been scheduled to travel to Troy, AL for the day, so Joy had planned on going with me.  At the last minute, B didn't have to travel, but Joy still went with us (She's my person).  I had no idea how I would feel returning to the hospital (since I was admitted last time I was there.)

On the drive there, my tummy started hurting.  I've been having issues since Sunday!  We had to pull over once so I could go to the bathroom.  Please pray that I will begin healing as far as my GI issues are concerned!  This is miserable!  I couldn't stay at work all day yesterday, and am having trouble eating anything at all.  I'm in a constant battle with Dehydration right now.

We were barely seated in the waiting room five minutes when they called my name.  Dr. Allemand walked into the exam room and checked out my tummy (as well as my new ink) and said that I looked great.  We talked at length about my emotional issues, GI problems, sleeplessness, and the FET process.  
I am currently CD7 of this cycle of healing.  I will call on CD1 of my next cycle and we will move forward with the FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) from there.  People usually have a 30% chance of pregnancy with FET, but he said that my rates should be higher due to the quality of my embryos.  We will TRANSFER 2 EMBRYOS on the day of our FET.  There is an 80% chance of survival for each embryo during the thawing process.  (We will ask for prayer for the embryos when the thawing process begins). 
My funky socks waiting for my pap and ultrasound
His work is NEVER done. =)  

From my notes, I knew that they would want a pap smear in the month of July if I was not pregnant.  It was AWFUL!  My nurse couldn't find my cervix and Brandon was about to make her stop.  I was crying, but began praying the Benediction aloud and she found it.  The ultrasound (vaginal) was much easier.  She did still see residual fluid, but nothing that looked problematic.  Also there were residual cysts on my ovaries (which is also considered normal right now.)

We did have a copay of $35 today for my visit.  We have an unpaid balance of $460.80 from the IVF/Cryopreservation.  Thankfully, the did not make us pay that part today, but it must be paid in full before we begin the FET process.

Our nurse gave us much paperwork in preparation for the FET:

We stopped by the 2nd floor on our way out.  I had some goodie bags made for three particular nurses who took such great care of me while I was in the hospital.  =)  I only got to see one of them and she recognized me immediately and hugged me.

Janet called and asked to be sure that we wish to thaw and transfer 2 embryos at our transfer.

I came home, popped some popcorn and napped.  I'm exhausted!  Also, I'm leading Bible Study this evening; talking about how God has blessed our fertility struggle.

Sorry this was a LONG post, but I had a lot to say.  =)

FET page


Monday, July 9, 2012

Worship Sunday

I did it. I sang on stage with the praise band during both services. During the week, I had struggled with if I had bitten off more than I could chew (so to speak). Once I woke up this morning I knew that everything would be alright.  It was amazing.  The sermon was about child discipline, and I had a hard time listening.  BUT at the end of the service, Clay asked all of the parents to reach to their children and pray.  The two beautiful ladies next to me on stage heard me start bawling.  My one baby is in Heaven and my 6 embryos are chillin at the Fertility Clinic.  They held me and comforted me.  God is good.

I had posted more, but the computer ate it before it saved...

We hung out with Joy & Tim yesterday.  It was a GREAT day.  We didn't get home until late (for my standards), but we had a lovely day out on the farm.  

I'm speaking to our Bible Study tomorrow night about our fertility struggle.  I pray that God gives me all of the wisdom and courage needed to tell our story.  

  • Here is what I posted in our FB's SS Class page:

Tuesday Night Bible Study will be held at my Dad's (Michael Duke)house tomorrow due to VBS decorations.

I will be leading Bible Study (along with Brandon) in discussing how God has blessed our fertility struggle. This will be my first time speaking the entire story (in HOPEful chronological order). I HOPE that all of you are able to attend. I HOPE that this will be the first of many opportunities in that I am able to share Our Pathway to Parenthood.

I will post more tomorrow after my appointment with Dr. Allemand; as well as after my talk.  Please continue to keep me in your prayers.  I was able to eat a little bit yesterday without getting sick, but am not feeling well this morning.   

Saturday, July 7, 2012


The title says it all.  It happened last night.  I fell apart.  Overwhelmed is the only way to express how I feel.

After work, we went to dinner with Rachel & Clint.  It was a good distraction from my emotions.  We had a great meal at Olive Garden, and we talked about all kinds of things.  B and I enjoy our time with them!  Once we got home, it hit me how tired I had been feeling all day.  I realized that I have not slowed down since I got out of the hospital.  I've felt so busy at home and work.  My boss reiterated that I'm in a marathon that cannot be won in a day.  Brandon and I talked for a while last night and he prayed over me before we went to sleep.  I cried so much last night that I still have bags under my eyes even now.


Today I woke up trying to make it a good day.  I called Brookwood asking more about the nurses who took care of me.  The girl who I spoke with is also a patient of Dr. Allemand.  She has Stage III Endometriosis and needs another surgery (to remove the endo) before they can attempt an IUI.  She will need injectable medications for her IUI and I hope that it will work out that I can help her by donating my unused Follistim.  It's amazing how God works!

Sarah and I went shopping today and I was able to go ahead and get some shopping done for Christmas.  If I don't get started now, there's no way that we'll be able to afford buying for our family and friends.
Sarah with one of the shirts on sale!
I purchased 16 Christmas gifts today; some were got multiple gifts for the same person.  
I also bought some things for myself!

Here is a shot of the Christmas gift items I purchased!

Also, we all have a love affair with Lilly Pulitzer at work!  
My calendar just arrived!  I was super excited.  
Here is a picture of me with mine and then one of Jenna and myself posing.

And Rachel had to mess around with the camera, so here's a picture of her goofing around.  =)

It may not look like I'm having a hard time in these pictures, but retail therapy and prayer does wonders.  I am surrounded by such great people.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Funday Friday

This was a picture of my first day back at work.7-3-12
I liked my outfit today

Full Shot (today)

Sending a present to a fellow fertility buddy today!

This is on our "wedding wall."  We hung B's Resolution this morning!
I thought I would start with some pictures today.

I went to church last night after work to practice with the band and it was exhausting!  I'm excited to be singing on Sunday, but I'm nervous at the same time.  At the Mother/Daughter Banquet, my mother and I sang together.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to continue practicing and singing at church. If it's what God wants me to do, I'll do it!  

On a fertility note, I'm still losing weight each day.  My tummy has been bothering me yesterday and today, and it's been hard to eat.  I'm hoping that it will stop soon.  I was only able to eat half of a kid's meal at lunch.  Also, I had been going strong on limiting my caffeine intake and was just too tired today.  Each day I'm feeling more and more like myself. =)
We have spent $17,308.36  just this year on our fertility journey.  All I can say is GOD PROVIDES!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pictures of the Tattoo

Here is the link to the blog post I wrote yesterday about the tattoo!


As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more.

Psalm 71:14

Alley Krista was my tattoo artist.  
Here is her website
She is on Facebook
She drew the words onto my skin

She free hand drew the tattoo onto my skin

Listening to a song while she was tattooing

Laura (one of my surrogate daughters) held my hand.  I love this picture

Erica- one of my bffs


B waiting

Another finished shot- It's a little puffy here

Happy to share the moment with friends

Sweet Laura- Isn't she beautiful!?!

Another finished

Seeing the tattoo for the first time

I'm now wearing my hope

He is such a great support to me

Our love grows stronger each day because of our love for the Father

Bandaging the new ink up

Hydrating- It's still pretty hot here in Bama

With Alley.  She did a GREAT job!

Love her- Erica

and LOVE her too!

My better half and the leader of the Boyington house

Pulling up my hair

Adjusting hair and making sure I'm ready

I'm as happy as a clam. =D  

All of these pictures belong to me!  BUT feel free to share them!