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.

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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)

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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!

friday favorites – august 29.

Friday Favorites after 2 of the busiest and funnest weeks of the summer? Nearly impossible. Instead of the normal format, I am going to share some of my favorite moments through photos and captions. Then next week I will be back with some regular posts and more of the usual! Enjoy!

Favorite Movie-Watching Experience: In San Diego, Josh and I got to watch Disney’s Planes on top of the historic aircraft carrier USS Midway. Being on the ocean with the breeze and a firework show in the background was truly spectacular!

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Favorite experience with ocean animals: Yes, this one is a stretch. But we had a BLAST at SeaWorld!! I got to pet dolphins, I cried at a few of the shows (I am way overly emotional when I am excited), we laughed, I rode a ride – all in all, it was so much fun.

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Favorite Sunset shot: Sunsetting over the ocean as we took the ferry back from Coronado. Gorgeous.

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Favorite Historic Moment: Josh and I rode on the world’s oldest wooden roller coaster at Mission Beach. A little clanky, but so. much. fun.

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Favorite food on vacation: Ceviche and fish tacos. We ate our weight in them. Oh and Iced teas. YUM!

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Favorite Concert: Ahhhhh, you guys, seriously. The Jason Mraz concert was one of the top 10 favorite moments in my LIFE. The music, the theater, the energy, the songs …. I was a little nervous I would pass out before I could enjoy it all. Music speaks to me like no other creative force and great music (especially acoustic music for me) is such a raw, beautiful place. Love.

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my super excited face.

my super excited face.

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Favorite Challenge: Josh and I decided to take a 14-mile guided bike tour all around Coronado and I have to admit, I was a little (okay a lot) nervous going into it! We were the only two signed up for that time slot and had a great guide who we could pedal and chat with. It ended up being a breeze to accomplish and we got to see the island from all angles. Such a blast!

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Yes, we wore helmets. They are just not pictured here. :)

Favorite New Treat: Lemon Basil gelato for the win.

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Favorite Get-Together: The Minnesota State Fair of course! Check out some of my favorite pictures from the night.

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Me and my Mom :)

Me and my Mom :)

Me and my Sis

Me and my Sis

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Love my girlfriends!

Favorite Views: The beaches and cliffs in La Jolla were just gorgeous. None of these pictures will do them any justice!

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Favorite Summer Finale: Pretty Little Liars anyone? Oh my goodness! Anyone with a good theory, let me know immediately.

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One of the only clues I caught - totally not the right hair!

One of the only clues I caught – totally not the right hair!

Me the last 3 minutes.

Me the last 3 minutes.

Favorite Back to School Photo: Why it’s Cali of course! Who remembers always wearing the wrong type of clothing the first day? I swear I always wanted to wear my new fall clothes and sweat my face off the first day. Cali is no exception with her GAP hoodie. :)

Waiting patiently for the school bus.

Waiting patiently for the school bus.

Favorite Birthday Celebrations: I had so much fun celebrating my birthday this year! Thanks to everyone who made it SO special. There are no words.

My adorable nieces made me painted birdhouses. So cute!

My adorable nieces made me painted birdhouses. So cute! Thanks to my mother-in-law for hosting a great dinner party for me!

Josh decorated my car for me - and my birthday selfie was bombed with Cali. Ah, real life.

Josh decorated my car for me hence the balloon – and my birthday selfie was bombed with Cali kisses. Ah, real life.

My mom handcrafted 3 of my favorite mini desserts in little shotglasses. These look so much bigger than they really were. :)

My mom handcrafted 3 of my favorite mini desserts in little shotglasses. These look so much bigger than they really were. :)

My girlfriends took me out for dinner and spoiled me rotten. I am so blessed.

My girlfriends took me out for dinner and spoiled me rotten. I am so blessed.

I got so many great gifts, but I especially love this necklace my cousin Brittany got me. The bar has the roman numerals on there for

I got so many great gifts, but I especially love this necklace my cousin Brittany got me. The bar has the roman numerals on there for Josh’s and my anniversary. Love!

No funnies this week (whomp whomp), but don’t worry, all will be back to normal next week. Thanks for reading and letting me document my life on here! XO!

Elevator selfie!

Elevator selfie!