Our In Vitro Journey began on May 5 last year when my new cycle started. From there I took BCP, added Lupron Injections, began another cycle, added stimulation drugs (Follistim and Menopur) and made it to our Egg Retrieval date on June 20. When we arrived at the clinic on June 25 for our tentative transfer, it was evident that I had severe Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) and needed to be admitted to drain the excess fluid from my abdomen. Talk about disappointment, but I was in so much pain that I never cried over our cancelled embryo transfer. I laid in a hospital bed for five days and looked to God for the answers. He had never stopped seeking me and I finally allowed myself to rely on Him instead of taking the situation into my own hands.
We let my body heal over a rest cycle and began our first Frozen Embryo Transfer on August 12. If you're keeping track of your pregnancy from your last menstrual period (LMP), our pregnancy with Elliana started on August 12. That makes this one super duper long pregnancy! We failed our first lining check, but took one extra week to thicken the lining of my uterus and were able transfer two beautiful embryos on September 6, 2012.
On September 10, 2012 I took a HPT and it was positive. All blood tests confirmed pregnancy and here we are today one month away from the estimated arrival of our daughter.
God answered our prayers to have a child and Brandon and I will forever be thankful.
We would not have endured our journey without some very special people in our lives. God sent us some special people at different times throughout our journey to help us along the way.
- Sheri, my amazing sister-in-law. She too endured her own battle with infertility and provided me with support from the first day that I threw out my birth control. She told me everything that she knew and always helped me find answers when she didn't happen. I called her first from leaving all of my appointments. I couldn't have gotten through all of this without her. She stood by my side through our infertility and pregnancy, and she will stand by my side as I deliver Elliana.
- Dad. There's not enough space here to tell all that he did for Brandon and me. I will be writing about my father's love and support in another blog post before Elliana arrives. What he did for us must be shared.
- Joy, my daughter's (middle) namesake. She covered us in prayer from the moment she met us. She allowed me to love on her own miracle child when times were hard. She went to appointments when Brandon could not and even accompanied both us us when we needed another set of ears to hear. She showed up to the hospital with goodies when I was admitted. During our embryo transfer she held Brandon's hand and prayed over me during the procedure. She was always a positive voice to me and just knew that the transfer would work and give us a child.
- Tonisha, my long-distance friend from Oklahoma. Her love for us has been written in the blog more than once. She donated much needed medication to us and sewed Elliana's first baby quilt. She showed me God's love and how He can use anyone to catch your attention. She and I share different views about religion, but she showed me what it is to love your neighbor better than anyone else could.
- Liz, my college friend turned best friend. We never seemed to lose touch like most people do when they graduate. She too had her fair share of trouble when it came to getting pregnant, and was always there to lend a supportive ear. There were many dinner and drinks nights when we had received unsettling news. She was here with dinner when I had surgeries and even showed up to the hospital with a baby to just sit with me once before they wheeled me back. She brought me good food in the hospital, presents when we confirmed our pregnancy, pretty pink cupcakes to celebrate Elliana's gender, and is hosting my baby shower. She's such the perfect Southern woman and I'm trying to take some tips from her. She's not your traditional Proverbs 31 woman, but she's pretty dang close in her own way.
- Jennifer, my former coworker and friend. God bless her heart, she had to hear me cry and complain so much through our infertility and pregnancy, BUT she never got upset by it and let me vent. She always reminded me to find the positive and "silver lining" in every situation. She researched stones for fertile properties and gave me a rose quartz to wear. She somehow survived all of my crazy hormonal days and hot flashes and still likes me. There's a special place in Heaven for her.
- Paul, my former boss. Not many men understand the desire of a woman to have a child, but he did. He knew upon hiring me that my greatest desire was to start a family. He knew more about my follicles, endometrial lining, and hot flashes than any man other than my husband and fertility doctor ever wanted to know. He always told me that my family came first and supported our journey. Asking for time off for fertility procedures was never a problem, and I can remember him calling to check on me before surgeries and while I was in the hospital. I was lucky to work in a loving environment that supported me.
- Tiffany. My pregnancy would have felt different without her. After we announced that we were expecting, so many other women in the church also said that they too were pregnant all around our due date. Tiffany told me in person after her first test. I think she knew that it would be easier for me to hear it from her. Our due dates are two days apart and she has given me so much support. Because it took us so much to achieve our pregnancy, I still found myself jealous of other women who were expecting, but never her. I completely ignored other pregnant women except for her. I just know that our daughters are going to be best friends.
- Rachel, my former coworker and surrogate daughter. How many 17 year old girls know how to administer fertility drugs? I didn't keep up with how many injections Rach gave me, but it was a LOT. She was nervous on the first few but then it just came as second nature. She attended "mom functions" with me at church, gave me a mother's day gift, and spent the night with me when Brandon traveled. She's well beyond her years already and has such a big heart for such a young girl.
- Nicole, a lost connection from college. In her own infertility journey, Nicole found me and we started talking. It's always nice to be able to talk to someone in person who is also battling infertility. I'm so happy that she's 10 weeks behind me in her pregnancy with their son, Isaac.
- Our family. They were all so excited when we called saying that we were pregnant and even more excited when we found out her gender. Elliana is the FIRST granddaughter (and great-granddaughter) on Brandon's side of the family and the FIRST grandchild (and great-grandchild) on my side.
- Our faith family. Calera First United Methodist Church has never stopped covering us in prayer. Terry and Carolyn prayed over us many times and annointed us with oil. Terry made hospital appearances when I wasn't even sure he knew I was there! I'm not sure how many women saw my hiney when I'd search people to help with progesterone injections, but they were all there to hold my hand and laugh at the joys of our pregnancy. The previous church we attended never provided us with much support so I was astonished at the outpouring of love we received when we opened up about our infertility. Elliana will have the biggest family because of the faith family that God gave us.