Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our Journey To Parenthood-Part 3

Wow.  I'm overwhelmed with your comments.  Thank you for your support and encouragement.  If our story can touch one life and be an encouragement to one other person then it is all worth it. 

After many prayers and talks with my doctor, we decided it was time to try In Vitro Fertilization.  My official diagnosis was "un-explained infertility."  That diagnosis brought mixed feelings. On one hand I was relieved that it wasn't something untreatable but on the other hand I was frustrated because I wanted a reason.  To this day we still don't have a reason but that is okay.  I could never have imagined we would be two and half years in our journey or that IVF would even be a possibility!  I did not know much about IVF except that it was expensive.  After talking to my doctor and finding out she had had two successful pregnancies from IVF and that it didn't seem as far fetched as I once thought, I was excited!  My Dr.'s clinic is a satellite clinic of Little Rock Fertility Clinic so that was an extra blessing and made it very convenient too.  I only had to come to the LR clinic twice.   

Cody and I in Florida

Side note-At this point in our journey I decided to keep a journal.  I wish I had done it at the beginning but like I said, I never thought it would be a "journey."  I would encourage you to start writing down your feelings, concerns, comments, and even all the information you are given at each appointment.  I was given a LOT of information at every IVF appointment and I was relaying all that information to all my prayer warriors too so it helped to keep it all straight.  :)

So now we are to June 3, 2009.  We were in Florida but it was time for me to give myself that first shot that would start my IVF process.  That was the first of 20 Lupron shots I would give myself.  I am so thankful that none of the shots ever really hurt.  It really was not as bad as I was expecting.  I watched a lot of You-Tube videos of people giving themselves these same shots and got some good tips.

June 11, 2009-Bad news.  In my ultrasound they found a large cyst.  The Dr. (not my regular doctor) said we would probably be stopping IVF and starting again in a couple of months.  I was devastated.  (You have to take birth control the month before you start any of your shots and apparently the birth control gave me a cyst.)  I called Cody on the way and I'm not sure he could understand me through my tears but I just didn't want anymore delays. 

However, that evening the LR clinic called and said I could have that cyst aspirated the next day if I didn't want to stop my IVF cycle.  I drove to LR that night.  I had my cyst aspirated and all I can say is that if I ever have to do that again then I will be put under.  To this day that was the worst pain of my life.  Way worse than recovering from a C-section. 

June 15, 2009-  This was the day I started my "stimulation" shots.  So now I am giving myself two shots a day for the next 8 days.  This drug will make me produce a lot of eggs.

Thursday, June 25, 2009- Retrieval Day!  This was the day I would come to LR, be put under and have all my eggs taken out.  They were able to get 16 eggs.


On our way to the clinic.

Before retrieval

Friday, June 26, 2009-The nurse called and 8 out of the 16 eggs fertilized.  She said they hope that half will fertilize so we were looking good.

Saturday, June 27, 2009- We were at the lake with my mom, Jason, Katie and Zach when the Dr. called with my embryo update.  (They call every day to update you on how your babies are growing.)  Ideally they want the embryos to grow for 5 days before they put them back in.  Sometimes they only let them grown for 3 days though if they think they could take a turn for the worse.  My mom, Katie and I came back to LR just in case we had to go to the clinic the next day.   

Sunday, June 28, 2009- The Dr. said he wants to do a 3 day transfer so we went in that day at 10am.  Dr. B put two of our embryos back in while we watched on the ultrasound screen.  My mom and Katie were able to be in the room.  Talk about an emotional moment watching two of your babies being put into your womb.  When he was finished, he said, "in God we trust."  Couldn't have said it better myself.  They were able to freeze 3 embryos for future use. 


Before transfer

Fun side note-Technically those 3 embryos are Westin's fraternal twins since they all were conceived the same day during the same cycle.  I think that is neat.    

After the procedure I was on bed rest for 48 hours.  

Now the waiting begins.  My blood pregnancy test was scheduled for July 9th.  The day after my birthday.  I'm sure you can guess what my wish was when I blew out my candles!  :)  

Thursday, July 9, 2009- I was up very early because I couldn't sleep.  It is amazing all the emotions you can feel and even convince yourself. I had completely convinced myself I wasn't pregnant so if it was negative I wouldn't have been surprised.  I took my blood test at 11:30 (Elizabeth went with me!) and I was told I would have my results by 1:30.  I spent all day with Katie and Zach and every time my phone rang our hearts stopped beating for a second.  Would you believe they did not call with the results until 4:30!!!  Talk about the longest day of my life.

From my journal: Praise the LORD!  I'm pregnant!  I was completely shocked and Katie and I started crying and screaming.  It was so surreal.  After getting a negative every month for almost three years, it is hard to actually believe you could get a positive!!  She called all the prayer warriors she had praying for me and I called my prayer warriors.      


The dish Westin grew in for 3 days.

Cody was out of town for work but when I called and told him he said he knew all along.  ;)  My mom couldn't talk because she was crying and my dad was getting his oil changed and was crying in the waiting room.  I had dreamed about what it would be like to make those phone calls and it was so fun!  Everybody I called just started crying and would get me crying all over again.  HERE is the post where I announced it on my blog. 


Family celebration party

So that is our story.  I know it was not nearly as hard or as long as some of your journeys.  Some of you have shared your success stories with me and some are still waiting.  When you are waiting for a baby, either a few months or 10+ years, the wait is agonizing.  I will always pray for those who are still waiting.  If you ever need to talk, please email me!  I would love to become your prayer warrior.  

Thank you for letting me share our story. 


Flowers sent from Christina and Trey.

41 comments:

Katie said...

I will never ever forget that day as long as live! My stomach has never dropped so much! Ahhh! ; )

I LOVED being able to be in the room with you on transfer day. I didn't know the doctor said that. That is incredible.

I love the last family picture in this post. Reese was in my tummy!

You have walked this journey to get Westin here (and any future brothers or sisters) with grace, faith, and beauty. I can't believe this all happened and Westin is now over a year old!

Love you.

Andrea Worley said...

So glad you shared your story. I too struggled w/ infertility and was on Clomid. I'm so glad to see more and more women speaking out and sharing their journeys. It really does help, and makes you feel like you're not a lone. In reality infertility is more common than we know. Blessings to you and your family. xoxo

Erica said...

Oh my heavens! I cried happy tears for you just thinking about telling your family you were pregnant after all that time! I am still waiting for that joyous time myself and praying that it will be coming soon!:)

marie said...

wow. i can count on one finger when a blog post made me cry...YOURS! what a beautiful story you shared. :o)

Kari Beth said...

and i'm crying reading your journey! so glad that you finally have your sweet baby in your arms!

Lena Medina said...

I tried to comment on Part 1 of your journey, but it was lost. I wanted to let you know how much these past three blog posts have meant to me. As most women said already, infertility can be a very lonesome road with not a lot of understanding. Your honesty about your own struggles has really made me understand that I am not alone and that anything is possible with God!!! Thank you for the verses you posted yesterday. I wrote all five in my journal to look at whenever I open it up to write down another appointment, blood draw, etc.
God bless you and your beautiful family! I have been a follower for a long time, but I want you to know I am blessed to have you as a prayer warrior and mentor in this process.
-Lena

JuJu and Family said...

Just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I think it's so easy to forget what a miracle it is to have a child and your story reminds us of that. I used to follow your blog often and got away from it for a couple of years. So, I may have missed this, but...we're you at a MOPS meeting that Michelle Duggar went to? I saw an episode where she was speaking in the camera panned around the room and there was a girl who looked identical to you at the MOPS meeting. Just curious. Again, thanks for your honesty!

Mallorie said...

I have loved reading your stories about your journey. Thank you so much for sharing! :-)

Jessie said...

Thank you sooo much for sharing your story. I remember feeling all those feelings that you have described over your last three posts. I am currently 29 weeks pregnant after 2 years of waiting. God is good!!!!

P.S. I love reading your blog with all your fun ideas!! :0)

Amy said...

wow. just wow. this post is filled with grace, beauty and the love of God, family, and friends. how perfect! thank you for sharing. i had no idea all you went through - what an amazing story. westin is so blessed!

Whitney said...

Love it! Such a sweet story! I had 3.5 years of heartache and 4 IVFs before we got our triplets. They are now 5 and I had our surprise baby boy in March. It is amazing what God can do! Congratulations on Westin - he is so cute! Thanks for sharing your story.

Sara said...

Thank you soooo much for sharing your story. I remember those feelings with the negative tests and the elation of the positive one after so many negatives.

It is wonderful that you are reaching out to those going through this to help them:) I could not imagine going through it alone.

Stuart and Sarah Creamer said...

God's timing is so perfect. We went through 4 IVF cycles and then on our 5th cycle, which happened to be a frozen cycle...our miracle Ayla Faith was conceived and she was born June 30, 2010. We tried for 3 years to get pregnant and it is all in His timing. I believe I know whom your doctor was...Dr. Batres? :-)

Dana said...

Again I have to say thank you for sharing your story!!! We had a long journey as well and did IVF! It is such a rollercoaster of emotions! I am so thankful for my journey b/c it of course gave us Noah and allowed me to finally give everything over to God!!! And how cool that you got to keep the dish Westin grew in!! That is really neat :D As Sarah said God's timing is perfect..that was another great thing from our IF journey was all the amazing ppl we met along the way!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story and testimony of God's faithfulness. After going thru infertiltiy and heartache we adopted our first son and 2 years later our second son. We thought our family was complete and then I became pregnant! We now have a 6 month old baby girl. God continually reminds me that His plan is better than my own.

Laura

Brooke said...

Thanks for sharing, Shannon. God is good! This gave me chill bumps!

brie. said...

What a fantastic story of God's mercy and grace and his provision. He makes all things good in HIS time. Amen.

Abby said...

Tears. What an amazing story. I can relate on a small level. We ended up TTC for 2 years but after clomid didn't work we added progesterone with it and on my last month of that before the fertility specialist I got pregnant. I'm nursing my sweet baby right now and still amazed that she is here. My heart goes out to those still trying and waiting.

Holt said...

Thanks for sharing your story!! I can say I know exactly what you went through as I faced the same struggles as you did. I now have a beautiful three year old daughter Hadlee thanks to Invetro Fertilization and we just celebrated the birth of our second Daughter Bentlee through Inter Uteran Insemenation - never give up on Hope, anything is possible!!

Cari said...

Shannon, I had no idea you'd been through so much to have Westin!

So amazing!

P.S. I started a blog :)

Cari

Emily Richardson said...

Pretty sure I just started crying like I didn't even know you had Westin:)! So AWESOME how God works and the various journeys He takes us on! Thanks for sharing!

Jessica@The Southern Belle Baby said...

Thank you for sharing this story! Infertility is such a hard road to walk, but one thing I know for sure is that we'll always appreciate and never take for granted the gift of parenthood. I have PCOS and my husband has low morphology- we were told IVF was our only shot. However, God had other plans for us! Before our first IUI, we found out we were pregnant. I'm so glad you have your sweet Westin. :)

Erin said...

I am in tears reading your story. Wow, thank you thank you, thank you for the hope that is behind your story. God is good all the time.

waiting and wishing said...

Thanks for sharing your story... and perfect timing:) I just had my suppression check today, and start stims on Saturday! It is always great to hear a success story right before you start something new!!

Vanessa said...

Thank you SO much for sharing your story! My husband and I are approaching year three of trying to become parents. I don't personally know anyone that struggles with infertility and it can be such a lonely place. We have begun our adoption journey and can't wait to become parents. Thank you again for sharing this. It was very encouraging and touching.

A Hint of Home said...

I've enjoyed reading your journey to parenthood, Shannon. God is so good and faithful!

Tracy Purdy said...

Can I just say that I had no idea that this is how God blessed you with your precious little boy. I am in the EXACT same boat you were in with the "unexplained fertility" and it can be devastating. I am so happy when I hear stories of success. We are going to try our first round of IUI this next month, praying that it works before we move on toIn Vitro. I really enjoyed getting to read your journey! Thanks for sharing!

Lisa said...

Wow, all I can say. God is so good, even when his path doesn't look like what we thought it would. Glory be to God! Thanks for sharing your story, what a powerful testimony. Blessings to your family :)

Lindsey said...

Oh this made me cry all over again. I remember exactly where I was on that July 9, 2009 when I got your text. We were at Zaxby's having dinner and I had been a nervous wreck all day. I think people in there thought I was crazy when I started crying & squealing to Jon. Praise Jesus!

Suzy said...

Hi,Shannon. I have followed your blog for about a year and love everything about your posts. You are so creative...you inspire me. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story about your journey to parenthood. I know it will be such a blessing to so many who read it. God has blessed my husband and me with three children--all in HIS perfect timing. Our first was a surprise after we had been married for three years. Then, we had what I guess is called secondary infertility. We tried for a long time....and eventually six years after our oldest son was born-- after much prayer, heartache, and hope in wanting to have another baby--He then gave us Ansley Grace...and then 18 months later her little brother Benjamin Brooks arrived. HIS timing is perfect even when we don't see it in that moment. He has all the details worked out for us before we even realize it. May God continue to bless you and your family.:) Offering to help/pray for/be a support for others going through infertility says so much about the wonderful person you must be.

Anonymous said...

So wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Reading your blog, no one would ever know that you have infertility struggles. It's great that you shared so that other women, going through the same trials, can take heart.

If you plan to have a sibling for Westin, will you use one of the embryos that you froze?

I'm just amazed at what medical science can accomplish.

AND, even as great as medicine is, nothing compares to GOD!!!! Nothing!

Anonymous said...

After three years of infertiltiy I gave up and adopted. Best thing I ever did. Glad it all worked out for you.

Emily said...

You just had to make me cry this morning didn't you?!?! :)

Beautiful story! God sure is amazing and all things are wonderful and perfect in his time.

I can completely relate to infertility problems. I was married in May 2002 and could not get pregnant until March 2008.... We started trying just a year after we were married with years of unsuccessful results. I didn't want to do any fertility drugs, because I knew God would allow me to have a baby soon enough. It worked out "perfect" for me seeing how I worked before my children and right now I am able to stay home with them. God is good... so happy your story turned out a happy one!

All Things Cherish said...

I'm so glad your story ended happily! Thank you for sharing! Your story will be such an inspiration to so many women! Happy 4th!

Alex and Jill said...

I loved reading this...made me cry all over again!

Meredith said...

What a wonderful story! It gives us all hope. Thanks again for sharing!

The Photo Goo said...

Thanks for sharing :)

sarah @ life {sweet} life said...

Wow, what an amazing story! It brought tears to my eyes as well, and made me emotional thinking of our story. After 3 years of trying we decided to adopt. However, after a month of being listed with our agency we had a surprise miracle pregnancy of our own! I couldn't agree more with the excitement of sharing with family and the people who've been praying...I will NEVER forget it. :) My son is just a couple months younger than yours (he was born in May) and I just love your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your story! :)

Stephanie Johnson said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm in my third Clomid cycle. I find myself, once again, praying desperately that this will be the month. I have no idea how long this journey may be for us, but I'm so thankful that we have our God guiding us through.

To The Moon and Back said...

Hi Shannon, thank you for sharing your story. It is near and dear to my heart. We consider ourselves very lucky, and we think our Emme is a miracle baby. We got pregnant on our first try.

However, when we wanted to have another, things didn't work out that way. I have had 4 miscarriages after the birth of our daughter. Four years ago we started the process of adopting a baby girl from China. Sadly, we have given up on that dream as the wait continues to increase astronomically, and well, we are not getting younger. Our daughter is now 9 years old, and is the light of our lives.

Thank you for sharing your story.....(((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story! It is crazy how similar our stories are1 We were married in July 2004 and went through the exact same things as you...Pills, IUIs and eventually IVF. We now have a healthy 2 year old from our second IVF! I am so glad for you that you had friends around you that you could confide in. My husband and I kept it to ourselves and are just now starting to share about our journey!
Soo happy for you!