update + celebrations.

7

Ladies and gentlemen, hold on tight … Here’s the post you’ve all been patiently waiting for!!!

OUR UPDATE!

So, last we talked, we shared that our embryo fertilization report came back that had 19 fertilized embryos. AMAZING NEWS! But how many continued to develop? How many would we have to freeze to add to our future family? Well, it all came down to one phone call, one voicemail from our doctor.

And, then we decided to wait to listen to the voicemail. Hear me out!! We had a mini vacation planned at the end of last month and as crazy as it sounds, wanted to venture into those few days without the weight and reality of the news that might be shared. We have felt such peace about this cycle, but there was a chance the voicemail would share we had no embryos and with that, our journey to starting a family would end. It was a loaded voicemail with potentially big effects … and so we saved it until we got back. I had such peace the entire time and wasn’t distracted by the wondering. It gave us a chance to enjoy our time together without distraction.

snorkeling

Snorkeling and enjoying precious time together!

So, imagine our utter delight and surprise when we listened and learned we have 7 embryos waiting to be welcomed into our home!

Thank you Jesus!

I feel incredibly humbled and moved sharing this outcome with you right now. While nothing is guarantee, we have babies! Teeny, tiny frozen babies that may grow our earthly family in incredible ways.

I have to admit – when I first heard “Fantastic news … 7 embryos!”, my eyes widened. Whoa, babies. If all goes to plan and these embryos result in pregnancies and live births, we may have a REALLY large family. And as I starred as Josh with big eyes, envisioning what this might look like, he sweetly reassured me that God has known this number and these babies all along. And so we continue to trust Him for that! And also, keep our eyes open at van potentials. HA!

No part of this cycle has been without Him. Not only has this cycle been SO significantly different (in a great way!) from cycles past, but the peace He has provided us has been unspeakably reassuring.

So, friends, our family is waiting for us in cryopreserved vials and we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds. No matter God has planned for us, today we celebrate, rejoice, and THANK HIM for all He has done thus far.

Okay, let’s get a few FAQ’s out of the way!

How many are you going to transfer?

We plan to, in time, transfer all of them, because these precious babies deserve a family! However, we will begin by only transferring 2 of them. If it’s a success, yes, there’s a chance we could have twins. If it’s not successful, then we will transfer 2 more, so on and so forth. If and when we are successful, the others will remain frozen until we are ready to grow our family again. It looks like we have many more embryo transfers in our future. :)

When are you transferring them?

We are planning on a mid-September transfer. Yes, that’s later than we originally planned! There’s two main reasons for that decision:

1) Josh has a trip planned with his father later this summer and if the cycle were to work, he would be gone during some important ultrasound appointments. I know I will be a worried mess when I am pregnant (a huge test of faith!) and having him out of reach anytime during 8-12 weeks makes me uncomfortable.

2) I want to get back into shape! The last year has been a rough one for me in regards to health and fitness – I kind of crumbled after our March 2015 miscarriage and it’s taken me a while to get back into a good routine. This will give me time over the summer to get my butt into a pre-pregnancy health I would be comfortable with.

What did you do differently this cycle? (non-IVF’ers, feel free to zone out on this question)

First of all, we had a new doctor, who is AMAZING and I can’t recommend enough. I strongly believe Dr. Batcheller’s wisdom, care, and dedication to our success has impacted this cycle immensely.

Secondly, in the past we have done a birth control + Lupron suppression protocol. She shared concerns that it may not had been the right protocol for me and over-suppressed me. This time, after just a few short 15 days of birth control to regulate my cycle, we jumped right into stims.

Past: 150-200 IU’s of Follistim, 1 vial of Menopur, daily lupron injections, 10,000 hCg trigger shot, 8 days of stimming, natural fertilization, moderate caffeine intake.

This cycle: 300 IU’s of Follistim, 2 vials of Menopur, 2 spaced out Lupron trigger shots + 2,500 hCg trigger shot, Ganirelix injections starting day 6 of stims, 9 days of stimming, ICSI fertilization, vitamin cocktail, no caffeine for Chelsea, 1 8-oz half-caff cup of coffee for Josh a day, Chelsea gluten free.

What’s the vitamin cocktail?

Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine – Minneapolis gave us this handout and Josh and I both took each of these vitamins as recommended. There was SUCH a significant different in outcomes (see below) that I strongly believe these vitamins had something to do with it.

I am unsure copyright details, but will attach the handout here for you to review until I hear differently! :)

Vitamin Cocktail Handout – provided by CCRM-Minneapolis

Female Cocktail: 2016_01_12_12_30_05

Male Cocktail: 2016_01_12_12_30_48

Summary:

Cycle 1: 11 eggs, 9 fertilized, resulted in 1 day-5 blastocyst, 1 day-6 blastocyst (frozen), and 1 morula for transfer.

Cycle 2: 14 eggs, 11 fertilized, resulted in 2 day-6 blastocysts.

CCRM Cycle: 27 eggs, 19 fertilized, resulted in 7 day-5/6 blastocysts.

How’s the puzzle going?

YOU GUYS! We’re still working on assembling it! This intricate puzzle is a perfect depiction of our journey thus far, haha! We can’t wait to share the final product with you when it’s all assembled and your names have been written! SWOON!

Now, join us in thanking God for His glorious provision for our precious little babies and if you could, continue to pray for their homecoming in September. (Well, 2 of them at least!). Also, if you could pray for my strength and dedication to get my butt back in shape, that would be incredibly helpful. I will certainly share more about that journey throughout the summer.

Alright, now your fertility update has officially concluded! If your eyes are crossed and you have NO idea what I am talking about up there, that’s okay! I share for those who do. And now let’s get back to our regular scheduled blogging updates going forward! I will keep you posted as our Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) plans start to kick in (mid-August) and we will keep rallying with you! HOORAY!

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

IMG_0631

PS: My reunion with caffeine was previous. Did you know that our budget includes $0 for Starbucks? Since 2011 when our infertility treatments started, it became a no brainer that coffee splurges were not a priority. And so, I began asking for Starbucks cards for birthdays and holidays, using them when there was a balance and skipping it when there wasn’t. And as silly as it sounds, I’m always amazed at God’s simple provision over something SO MINOR. Random giftcards are sent to me for no reason but thoughtfulness, always when, unknown to a friend, my balance is getting low. Or, I’m almost out and my free reward cup is earned and ready to be used. I know it’s silly how much a cup of coffee means to me, but it’s a highlight in my day when I’m running around or provides a cozy spot to write or work. As so, every sip of Starbucks reminds me God cares about the little joys in our lives. Love that!

27 thoughts on “update + celebrations.

  1. Karen Barnes says:

    That’s such exciting news! And wow, what control you had not to listen to that VM. :) Congrats on your current wonderful news and prayers, peace & blessings for the months ahead!

  2. Caroline harries says:

    So excited for you friend. I admire your patience and desire to point everything back to Him! I am expectant that you WILL have a large family. Such a sweet time. I hope you find rest and peace in these next few months and I just know that your transfer will be here so soon. <3

  3. the OCD infertile says:

    You have been such an inspiration for me. We are using a donor but I actually was swayed to use her after seeing your Egg Retrieval. She is 29 and I guess it was always engraved in my brain that we needed a 21 or younger donor to get a lot of eggs. When I saw how many you got (it came on a day that I really needed to read it) it reminded me that God already knows how many eggs we need, and how many babies we will have from those eggs. So I just need to quit stressing so much about her being “older” (so sad how 29 is considered old in the world of IF).

    I continue to wish you the very best on your journey and transfer. We keep thinking August will be our month and although when we started in January it seemed like forever away, now that we are half way through may and our donor isn’t approved yet we are guessing that is a realistic timeline.

    Thanks for taking time to share your journey and your life with us. (HUGS)

  4. Lauren says:

    Such a great update, Chelsea! I am so excited for you! And girl, you are so patient to be able to wait for that embryo report until after vacation- that right there is a miracle itself! 😉

  5. Marissa says:

    Amazing!!! Just about to start a similar protocol.. Finishing up OCP and starting stims on Sunday. When did you start those vitamins? My MD didn’t recommend any supplements, so I might be behind the curve ball, but I might just give it a try anyways!

  6. ourgreatestdesire says:

    What a beautiful update!!! I am so excited for you and Josh and can’t wait to see the ways that God continues to work in your lives. Sending you lots of love and prayers and I’m right here with you getting my butt back into shape before my surgery July 11th. :)

  7. Sharon Peterson says:

    Rejoicing with you, Chelsea and praying for those little babies to enter this life! Love, Sharon

    Starbucks, Peace, and the Pursuit of a Baby wrote: > chels819 posted: ” Ladies and gentlemen, hold on tight … Here’s the > post you’ve all been patiently waiting for!!! OUR UPDATE! So, last we > talked, we shared that our embryo fertilization report came back that > had 19 fertilized embryos. AMAZING NEWS! But how many continue” >

  8. Tales of a Twin Mombie says:

    I’m so thrilled to hear this news! We became pregnant with our twin boys through a frozen embryo transfer and it was successful. I have been looking for this update and am SO happy for you both! Excited to continue to follow your beautiful journey. God is so good.

  9. cromarlife says:

    This s awesome!!!! I cant remember but did you do PGS/D testing on the embies? Congrats on your faithful journey and this amazing outcome! God is so good!

  10. Lisa says:

    This is so exciting! I continue to pray for you and your husband. You have been such and inspiration to me and many others. Out of curiosity did you take a prenatal vitamin in addition to the vitamin cocktail your MD recommended you taking? Again, so excited and can’t wait to read more about your journey! :-)

    • chels819 says:

      Great question! Yes! I totally forgot to mention I am on a prenatal vitamin, calcium with vitamin D and metformin as well. I’ll need to make a note of that – thanks for asking! :) And thanks for the prayers!!!

  11. Jen says:

    Keeping you in my prayers on this journey! When I looked up the significance of 7 I was not so surprised by what I found.
    “Seven is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). It derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God’s creation of all things.” http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/7.html
    You have an amazing faith and strength and I’m so excited to see what is going to happen next.

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