Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The life and times of Gracie and Me....

Hi everyone! Sorry it's been so long since I've blogged. I've been a bit overwhelmed lately. All is well with our littlest lovee. In fact, each time I've been to the doctor recently, both physicians have commented that "that's one happy camper" in there. Speaking of appointments, I have to tell you this story. Gracie went with me to my appointment this past Tuesday. As I was about to step onto the scale (she's not too keen on getting weighed at the dr's office), she patted me on the back and said, "It'll be alright, Mama." Then, after the nurse had finished taking my blood pressure, and we were waiting for the doctor to arrive, Gracie looked up at me and said, "Mommy, you're a brave girl!" Well, I may be brave, but I'm also worn out after working all day. Perhaps that would explain why we still had pumpkins on our stoop and a fall wreath on our front door, at noon on Christmas Eve!

I hope all of you had a fabulous Christmas celebration. We went to our former church for their Christmas Eve service. God's presence and love was definitely experienced. Plus, it was wonderful to hug the necks of old friends. Gracie tried her best to sing 'Joy to the World' and all the other songs sung that night. We loved seeing her 'enter in' to the service. They ended with a 5 year old, little boy singing, 'Happy Birthday Jesus.' It was absolutely precious!

Christmas morning was so much fun. Gracie is old enough now to open her own gifts. She was a little worried when she tore into the first package. She thought she had 'broken' the wrapping paper. She took more than an hour to open her gifts because she stopped to play after she opened each one. Overall, we think her favorite gift was a fake, plastic slinky. :) It doesn't take much to please our girl!

As most of you know, I'm a kindergarten teacher. Which means, I'm on Christmas Break this week! So far, I can't figure out how I ever get out the door by 8 AM each day, as Gracie and I have both been in our pj's until at least 11:00 each day! I really didn't feel well yesterday morning. So, by the time I was ready to run errands at the bright and early hour of 3:45 in the afternoon, my girl was needing some Monday afternoon loving. We tickled and kissed each other over and over again for about 45 minutes. It was a tremendous treat that neither of us get at that hour on a weekday.

Today, has been quite nice. I'm conquering loads of laundry and taking lots of kiss/hug breaks throughout the day. I put Gracie down for a nap around 1:00. I kept hearing her talking and singing, but then she got kind of quiet. I crept upstairs to prepare a bubble bath for myself. (I love bubble baths!) Just then, she started jumping up and down in her crib and broke into a rousing chorus of "Shoo Fly don't Bother Me!" I started to laugh! She remained in her room for the duration of her nap time, although she never napped. When I felt she had 'rested' long enough, I went into her room and found a funny sight. She had leaned outside of her crib, grabbed several stuffed animals out of a basket and wiggled them between the slats of her crib. She had also grabbed a little puppy dog backpack, somehow put it on her back the correct way, and buckled the thing. Wide-eyed, hair going everywhere, she was a sight to behold. I had to take a picture. The child cracks me up sometimes!

I love being mommy to this vivacious two year old! I can't wait to see what God has in store for us with this next little embie baby! BTW, I think I felt the baby move last night. Hmmmm....more on that later! Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Latest

On Monday, I had my 12 week ultrasound (even though I was actually 13 weeks this past Saturday). Once again, everything looked great! Our littlest lovie is measuring a few days ahead of schedule this time and had a strong, healthy heartrate. Apparently, the baby's spleen and bladder looked good too. My dr. did an additional, "freebie" peek and was describing these beautiful organs to me. I honestly had no idea what I was looking at! Our Creator is so amazing!!! We are fearfully and wonderfully made.... Ps. 139.
We showed Gracie the picture of the baby, Monday afternoon. She was so funny. She said, "I have a baby in my tummy too." We tried to correct that misconception, but she hung fast to it. She also grabbed the neck of my sweater, poked her head in my shirt because she wanted to see the baby! She's my silly girl. :)
As of yesterday, I have been shot free for two weeks. Awwww! Such a blessing! But I wasn't assured that I could stay off my medications until Monday. That was the 'cherry on top' of my good news day. Why did it take two weeks to make this determination? Let me just say, "Oh the drama of bloodwork being delivered STAT." Apparently, my results have a tendency to get lost in cyberspace!
I felt pretty good yesterday. I actually ate Italian food last night, with little consequence. The very thought of garlic has made me want to pass out for the past several weeks, and I love garlic! So- I'm hoping that I have turned a corner as I enter the 2nd Trimester!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sympathy Pains

Warning! It's the middle of the night, so I hope this makes sense!!!

I just wanted to write a little about my sweet husband and the sympathy pains he's been having for me since I've been pregnant. The other morning, I heard him in the bathroom just gagging and heaving away! He came out and said, "I sure will be glad when our morning sickness is over!" This has happened pretty regularly over the past two months. He even had to come home from work early one day because he was so nauseated- for no apparent reason other than he was feeling my pain!

Fortunately, Gracie hasn't had nausea, but she has also been very supportive of her mommy. A few weeks ago, when I was feeling really poorly, she brought a boatload of toys to my bed. Thanks baby! The other day, she wanted me to dance with her or something rather active, and I told her that I just didn't feel very well. We'd have to do it later. She looked at me and said, "You don't feel well mommy? I hold your hand." And she did! Awwww- that made me feel better! We really try to keep her otherwise occupied when we're doing the injections, but she has popped in on us a few times. So occasionally, when she can tell I don't feel well, she'll say, "Mommy, you don't feel well? Want daddy give you a sot?" That's what she calls shots. :)
When she hears me gagging in the morning, she'll stop what she's doing and ask, "Mommy? You ok?" Yesterday, she went with me to have blood drawn. After the needle was pulled out, she patted my arm gently. It was too sweet!
Thank you Lord, for the love and support of my dear family!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our Littlest Lovie

Hi Everyone! Sorry to have been so absent recently. It's been a rough 3 weeks or so. I've really felt cruddy, and have been quite drawn to my bed or comfy chair at the end of each day! I've felt better this past week, although this weekend has been yucky. (I'm referring to how I feel physically and not life in general.) But, I don't won't to talk about me. Look at our precious little lovie! I cried when the tech handed me this picture. It amazes me that less than 7 weeks ago, this little person was a mass of cells. We are fearfully and wonderfully made!!!

Check out the little arms and legs that are beginning to form. So amazing!!! When my doctor came in, we caught up on Gracie and talked about our new donor family. (This time around has been much less confusing doctor wise than our first pregnancy. With Gracie, the nurses and doctors seemed completely baffled by the idea of embryo adoption. Now, they're pros and act like they have people coming in all the time that have had FET with adopted embryos.) Anyway, once we chatted, she said, "Well, I have nothing brilliant to say!" Meaning, she thought everything looked great and that we were off to great start. Because of the busy holiday season coming up, we went ahead and scheduled my next two appointments and the BIG 18-20 week u/s. It will take place the second week of January. That's when she'll check out every facet of the baby's anatomy and hopefully tell us the sex. Yes- I want to find out!!!

On a whiny note- I am really ready for PIO shots to be over. Last night, my muscle spasmed while Byron was giving the injection. Tears were shed! Thankfully the past two shots have been nearly pain free. I'm glad~ for me and for Byron. He feels horrible when he inflicts pain on his rather fragile wife! However, this thing I know...God is the strength of my life. And with His strength, we will be able to do what we have to do!

With hopes of posting more frequently in the coming weeks.....I'm signing off for now!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The First Glimpse

Today we saw the first glimpse of our little one. Our technician wasn't too talkative, but he did say the sac was exactly where it should be, and said,"See that? That's the heart beating." It was so tiny, beautiful, and amazing.
I was tearful to see just one, and at the same time relieved. I hope you understand that statement. I don't know why I was worried about the possibility of multiples. Last week, I felt God was reminding me that He would be my strength. Simple, I know, but when you're almost 45, pregnant, work full time, and have a two year old....it comes as a wonderful comfort. This past weekend, in the midst of nausea and total exhaustion, I heard Him say, "Trust me. Just trust me." Again, so simple, but those words surrounded me like a cozy blanket. Our God is good, and I am thankful for His presence.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2nd Beta

My second Beta came back at 241!! We are relieved and in awe!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Once More...

I am humbled to tell you that we are pregnant! My hcg was 81 today! I found out at work, around 2:30. I'm exhausted from the waiting! I would have loved to have had the time to fall on my face and just cry- giving thanks to God for this amazing news. Instead, I took a secret phone call in my storage closet. This 44 year old mommy is going to be a mommy again! I am so thankful! Thank you all for your fervant prayers!

A Note to my NEDC EA mommies....Check your orders for bloodwork. Mine didn't have a diagnosis code checked. The person behind the desk closed his eyes and his ears so that I could take care of that. Your phlebotomist may not be so obliging. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In the Waiting...

This past Monday, I didn't think that I could possibly wait seven more days to find out the results of our FET. But, alas, the week was full, busy, and actually went by rather quickly. Now it's Saturday and I only have a few more days to go until our Beta results on Monday.
Just to let you know, I am pretty sure that I am pregnant! I really, really wish that I would have written down how I felt during the 2ww, three years ago, but I didn't. And, even though it wasn't that long ago, I can't remember any specific symptoms, other than feeling extremely tired. This time around, I've felt a tightness in my abdomen since last Friday, queasiness, pings in my abdomen, and starting Tuesday night, the heavy- heavy-heavy tiredness that I've only felt when I have taken a muscle relaxer OR during my first trimester with Gracie. So----I think it's going to be good news!
This may not make sense. I've alluded to it before, but it seems our challenges have always been in the days, weeks, months and years prior to our transfer. I've always believed that if I could get past all of the hindrances, obstacles, road blocks etc., etc., to receiving our embryos, that they would flourish once they were in me. It was during those pre-transfer days that I absolutely poured out my heart before God, and completely surrendered my deams of ever becoming a parent to Him.
I wasn't 100% confident after our first FET, but I was more expectant to be 'expecting' than not. In fact, it wasn't until after Gracie was born that the realization came to me that we could have very easily been in the group of clients that did not get pregnant. This 'eye opener' caused me to thank God again for the miracle of our daughter. In fact, for the first several months of her life, I would cry over her every Monday, out of gratitude to God for her life. (She was born on a Monday.) I still tear up when I look at the pictures from the day she was born. It was such an incredible, amazing experience. On that day, I was in the midst of a real life miracle, and it was awesome! I know I'm totally taking a "bunny trail" here, but I must say that Gracie did flourish inside of my womb. She weighed 10 pounds, 5 ounces, and our OB/GYN said that her placenta was the largest singleton placenta she'd ever seen!
I have have had worries this week. Most of them are goofy, like worrying if I should be worrying about NOT being pregnant. But, I've spent a lot of time thinking and praying about my fellow 2ww'ers/my EA blogging sisters. This morning I woke up with a song on my heart.
It's called, In the Waiting, by Shannon Wexelburg. Here's the chorus-
You are the waiting.
In that moment of my life, when my faith and hope collide.
While my heart's anticipating, just how and when You'll move, that's when You prove.
You are in the waiting too.

It's a beautiful song, written during Shannon's time of surrendering her will to the Father's plan. She and her husband have a moving story of how God walked them through their infertility. Here's a link to her adoption story.

My husband just asked what I was writing about, and in answer, I said, "I'm kind of rambling." Please forgive me! But I just wanted to talk! More than anything, I want to say that I have known God to be faithful in the Waiting~ My first waiting period was over 20 years, this one has been 3 years. I know that He will carry me through the next two days of waiting, and He will do the same for you! (No matter what you may be waiting for at this time in your life.!)

As always, I am so thankful for the friends that God has brought into my life- the ones I get to see on a fairly regular basis and those that I know through blogging. My life is blessed because of you! Krisa

Friday, September 17, 2010

Two Precious Embryos!

Yesterday was our day!!! Our appt. was at 12:45. We slept late. Well, I tried to sleep late. I actually awakened around 5, and slept off and on until 9:00! We "poked" around, and then had a lovely brunch around 11:30. Actually, just to add to my list of things forgotten, I will tell you this. I brought my ipod so that I would have some of my favorite music to listen to during the transfer. I even brought the charger, but failed to bring the cord that you connect to the charger! So, we did have to stop at Best Buy before our meal and make a small purchase!
On our way to the clinic, we had one more obstacle. The road we needed to take was closed!!! We had given ourselves 15 minutes to get there, which would have been plenty of time, but the police officer directing traffic detoured us! We ended up being a few minutes late!!! Who is late for their frozen embryo transfer???? Fortunately, I had already taken my valuum and it didn't phase me too much!
Once we finally got back to the back, we received happy, happy news! Carol(the embryologist) introduced us to our embryos. She thawed the two from our first choice donor and both survived! They are blastocysts and were graded 3AA, and 2AB. I found out later that at the time of transfer they had expanded even further and were 5AA, and 4AB! Carol said they looked wonderful. Then, we got the bill for the fees associated with the 4 donors we had chosen on Tuesday. If they had needed to use all of those embryos, the fee would have been over $1000. However, the fees for our first choice totalled $4.07! I was so happy, and felt so blessed by God!
I actually didn't go back for the transfer until about 2:00. They were really busy yesterday. I was their last patient for the day. The first part of the procedure was not pleasant at all, but the nurses were very comforting and kind to me. Once we got past that part, I was ok. Once Dr. Keenan stood up and I knew we were finished, the tears of joy began to flow! What a journey, but we made it. And now, we have two little ones inside my womb.
Thank you for all your heartfelt prayers on our behalf!

One more obstacle....we realized that since we were staying an additional day, we were going to run out of Progesterone in oil. We were asking the nurse if they could call in another prescription for it, but were told that there was only one pharmacy in Knoxville that might have it in stock, but that was unlikely. Thankfully, the patient next to us overheard our conversation. They live locally and offered to sell us one of their extra vials!
Soooooo.... here's my advise- Google your hotel (if you're unfamiliar with it and make sure it really is what Priceline says it is), Pack extra PIO, don't forget the syringes, look at your directions for embryo transfer right now and see if you have all of the prescribed medications that you'll need (like valuum), if you're taking your camera- bring the battery charger (I forgot that too!), and if you are bringing an ipod- make sure you have the charger and cord. Leave for the clinic 30 minutes early, even though it's 10 minutes away. And finally- TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART- LEAN NOT IN YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT!!!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We're in Knoxville

Hi Everyone! We're at the public library in Farragut, TN, getting caught up with all of you. I have some news, but first- I just have to say that I've been reading all of your blogs. They have made me laugh, and cry, and just generally feel so blessed to be a part of this EA family.
Here's the latest with us...We left yesterday, and hadn't gone far when the Nurse called with our time to arrive for our transfer. We had just gotten off the phone with her, when my husband's phone rang. It was Dr. Keenan. I immediately knew why he was calling, and my intuition was correct. Carol had just started thawing our embryos. Unfortunately, none of them survived the thaw. None. This rarely happens. Clydene said she thinks it may have happened one other time, but it was quite a while ago. Dr. Keenan gave us two options. #1- Start all over again and try to get in on the November transfer schedule. #2- Even though time is short, try to find an anonymous donor. We chose the second option.
Now, instead of having a transfer today, we are scheduled for tomorrow.

What can I tell you? I was disappointed and saddened, but somehow I just knew that this was going to happen. Not because I was pessimistic, but as I was awakening yesterday, I just had the thought...
Thanks to many of your stories, I had this perspective...our embryos were 14 years old. During those 14 years, they have been in limbo. But yesterday, they were set free. They are with Jesus. We prayed for the donor family, for I'm sure this news will be difficult for them as well. But, they can be confident that they did the best they could do to give these embryos a chance at life.
I have a lot of emotions going on, but this is my bottom line. The route we're taking is not one that we would have ever chosen. God knows everything. He knew what was going to happen to our embryos. So, I believe that He has used each detour to get us to these new embryos.

Yesterday was just a crazy sort of day. In addition to the disappointing news, the following events unfolded...
1. I realized when I was packing that I was never given any valuum. So the nurse had to call that in for me. We had to figure out which pharmacy to use in Knoxville etc. etc.
2. Clydene called us with the profile information of about 7 or 8 donors. She read each one to us, while I took notes. That was teamwork! The precious thing was that she prayed with us before we got started. We had just finished praying for the team at NEDC as they were trying to figure out what to do with us.
3. I realized a few more hours down the road, that I packed my PIO, but no syringes! Another call to NEDC!
4. When we got to the pharmacy, we discovered that the nurse had given the pharmacist an incorrect birthdate. Apparently, there is a Christa Winn that lives somewhere in GA. That took a while to figure out. Patience, patience!
5.We finally arrived at our supposed 3-4 star hotel to discover...it was not! Name your own price with Priceline- let us down! We checked out this morning.
6. When Byron drew up my shot last night, I realized that I had also forgotten any alcohol swabs! Not a huge deal, but I was starting to wonder what else could go wrong!!!

The great part of yesterday was being able to actually talk to Tracey and Britney on the phone! I was more thankful than ever to have met all of you dear EA sista's!

God is faithful!!!!!!!! Krisa

Friday, September 10, 2010

Down to the Wire!!!

Hi Everyone!
Sorry it's been so long since my last update. We have had some activity, but it took until yesterday to get the news that we needed. Finally- 5 days before our transfer, our donors signed the Open Adoption Agreement and sent their copy to Bethany. I am so grateful for all of your prayers. These past few weeks of waiting have not been easy. Really, nothing about this transfer this time around has been easy. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, "Just get us to Dr. Keenan's office and I know everything will be fine!" But, whew! The path to September 15th has been a rocky one! (For anyone who is exploring embryo adoption, please don't let our experience scare you away! This is our second embryo adoption, and we didn't go through anything close to this 3 years ago.)

Yesterday was also the day for my second ultrasound and labs. Everything looks great! My lining measured 13. Anything over 8 is what they want to see at this point. I begin 'the big shots' tomorrow. I teach on Monday, leave for Tennessee on Tuesday, and receive our precious embryos on Wednesday.

We got another special blessing yesterday as well- Our donors sent pictures of their family. It was exciting to get a glimpse of what the future may hold for us.

A prayer request for the next few days- peace for mommy and daddy as we leave our little one with her grandparents while we're gone for four days. Gone for four days??? I can't hardly stand the thought of being away from our baby that long. Going to Knoxville is mixed with bitter and sweet thoughts. I hope you all don't think I'm a 'basket case', but that's just the way I feel!

To quote the apostle Paul, "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you!" Thank you for walking with me over these past few months!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Here's what's going on in our 'neck of the woods'. First of all, thanks for your prayers. I have felt much more peaceful since my last posting.

We heard from our case worker on Sunday, and then again on Monday. She was able to make contact with our donor family. On Monday, many of my unfounded fears were dispelled! Hallelujah! So far, this family is everything they seemed to be on the profile we received. They still had a few questions for us, and are processing all of the various options for degreess of openness. Deb, our caseworker, called and emailed us yesterday to tell us that she should be talking to them again on Thursday to 'nail' things down. Maybe we'll have our paperwork early next week? Hopefully!!! This is a really big deal. Without this paperwork completed, we have no legal right to these embryos, and we're now 15 days away from transfer.

BUT- GOD IS IN CONTROL! On Monday, I read from Mark 5, where Jairius' daughter was dying and needed a touch from Jesus. On the way to the house, someone came and told Jairuis not to 'trouble the Master' because his daughter was already dead. Jesus' reply? "Do not be afraid. Only believe." I realized that I was being my own best naysayer. Just like Jairus, we are very, very close to a miracle. I don't need to panic or be afraid, but relax in the hugeness of God. I need to- "only believe."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Next Step...

I had my lab work and ultrasound today. Everything, "Looked great!" So, I just follow the medical protocol from here on out. I was very relieved to hear those words!

But, would you all please keep us in your prayers? You see, we still haven't even started our open agreement process with our new donors. We have our first phone meeting with our caseworker from Bethany Christian Services on Saturday. I have no idea if she's contacted our donors yet, or where she is in the process. My husband says that I'm analyzing and worrying about this too much. He's probably right, but- where in the world would he ever get the idea that I analyze too much? Hmmmmm????? Anyway, given all of the weirdness during our previous two open agreement processes this time around- I'm a little nervous. I'm praying for no more surprises, curve balls, unique situations etc. You get the idea. I would soooo appreciate your prayers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

In the Words of Dora the Explorer...

"I did it! I did it! I did it! Yay! Yes, I did it!
I got out the Lupron, put it in the needle- Yes I did it! I did it! I did it! Yay!!
I said a short prayer and gave myself the first shot! Yes I did it! I did it! I did it! Yay!!
I did it!"

Interpretation...I started Lupron today and gave myself the first dose. Quite a big deal for someone who hates needles! One step closer!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy News!

Our waiting is over. We heard from Clydene this morning and found out that our new donors have accepted us!

We were told on Monday that they were still praying about the decision. That actually made us feel even better about this family. It was good to know that they were taking time to hear from the Lord. We had been praying for them, that if we were the ones for them that they would have complete peace. We really liked their profile, but after all we'd been through we were feeling a bit 'gun shy' about knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would be "the ones." One thing we did know, we didn't want to be outside of God's plan in all of this. We are so very relieved to know that we will be in the September cycle, and that after eight months, 4 different donor families, and 20 embryos we now have our match! Whew!!!! Such happy news!

This week, as we've been waiting, I kept thinking about the song in the video below. When I first heard it, several months ago. I remember crying out to God saying, "Lord Jesus- You are the joy that is set before me. Byron isn't the source of my joy. Gracie isn't the reason I get up every morning. It isn't our next baby that will fulfill the cry of my heart. It is You! It is You! You are my hope. You are my future. You are the joy, the end goal that is set before me!" I needed to listen to this song again, and keep this perspective. It was my way of surrendering to Him. Please don't get me wrong. I am not untouched by stress and worry. I checked my email more times than I care to admit, and had my cell phone attached to my body at all times during the wait. I guess what I want to say here is that keeping my eyes on Jesus carried me through these past 8 days. Praying, reading the Word, talking with others of like faith, listening to worship music helped me to keep that perspective when I wanted to give up, stress out, or just analyze the situation to death! We are thrilled with today's news. But I know, had the news been different, I could still trust Him and you can too. Love~ Krisa

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Twists and Turns

Last week, one of my new blogger friends asked me if I ever worried that our first FET would fail. My answer was, "No." I went on to talk about the things that did bring worry and fear. But as the days went by and I pondered that question, I realized that my real fear back then was that we'd never even get to the first FET! We had had so many roadblocks along the way, and our embryo adoption journey was no exception. I know that God has led us to this second EA, but I am definitely feeling the need to put on my armour once again as we continue to hit bumps in the road.

I wrote in an earlier post that I wasn't as comfortable with our back up donor, as I was with our number one choice. Well, on Friday, I got up the nerve to call the patient coordinator at the NEDC. I told her I was having second thoughts about our back up donor. On Monday, I spoke with the embryologist and felt somewhat better. Later that afternoon, I got a call from the NEDC. I was told that our back up donor had decided to decline us. I was so excited! Whew! God intervened!

On Tuesday morning, we received a new profile to review. We had some concerns.... Later that evening, we met (by phone) with our mediator from Bethany. As we were discussing the change in our donor status, it became clear that there was a misunderstanding. It wasn't our back up donor that declined us, it was our first choice! We were so shocked and disappointed. We don't know why they decided to change their minds, we didn't ask. I don't really want to know at this point. (My mother in law wisely pointed out that God surely has a purpose in this. She said, "You may never know what that purpose is on this side of heaven, and on the other side of heaven- it won't matter!") Once we were off the phone with the mediator, we prayed together and spent the rest of the evening enjoying our Gracie girl! We are so thankful to have her in our lives. She is worth every delay and frustration we ever faced!

I still believe that God has intervened. I sincerely believe that every detail of my life is washed in His grace. I would so appreciate your prayers as we proceed. Right now, my preference would be to start over- again. We need God's wisdom, and we need everything to go smoothly so that we have our open agreement completed within the time parameters that remain.
Thanks so much!!! Krisa

Update: I've been on the phone with NEDC throughout this morning. The patient coordinator has sent us a profile that looks like a great match for us. We've given her the 'thumbs up'. Now we have to wait and see if they accept us. Using this donor would mean that we no longer need our back up.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mystery Solved!

If you've read my story about our first embryo adoption, you will know that my sweet husband and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary about a month after the birth of our precious baby girl. During the past year, as it has come up, he has told people, "Yes, we've been married for 24 years and we just can't wait to see what our two year old daughter has planned for our silver anniversary!" Well, this past weekend, we found out! She took us to Idlewild, in Ligonier, PA. http://www.idlewild.com/ It's an amusement park that has some wonderful sections that are just perfect for toddlers! We had a great time!Ok, her choice was a little non-traditional, but we loved it!
I can tell you that we never imagined being mommy and daddy to a two year old sweetie on our 25th anniversary, but we wouldn't have it any other way! Waiting is difficult, sometimes dark,and full of battles, but the reward is tremendous.
As the Bible says, "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Here's the latest....yesterday, I received an email from Clydene at the NEDC. Both of our donor families have agreed for us to be recepients of their embryos. She is faxing all the information to Bethany headquarters in Michigan. Soon, we'll be hearing from them and will begin to work out our Open Agreement! Hopefully, this will go quite smoothly, since we just went through the process three weeks ago.
If you read my story about the past 12 months, you will know that Bethany's new fee for providing mediation through the open agreement, and for one year after birth really discouraged us. It's $3,000.00, on top of the fees you pay for the homestudy. But, I'm really glad they are doing it the way they are now.
We had a mediator 3 years ago. She was wonderful, and we instantly adored her! We even arranged to meet her when we travelled to Knoxville for our first FET. But, the 'working out' of our Open Agreement, was very general and layed back. She would ask how we wanted to handle a certain situation, like communication, for instance, and we'd say, "We really don't know. How have other people done it?" She would tell us what others had done, and we'd say, "OK, that sounds fine." This time around, we had at least 3, hour long phone meetings- answering questions, being given scenarios to think about, and finding out more details about our donor family. If we hadn't had those meetings, we wouldn't have discovered what we did about our original family. So....I'm gladly paying the fee, and thankful for the experience that Bethany and the NEDC have gleaned over the past few years.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back Up Donor

Well, it didn't take long for us to hear back from the NEDC about a back up donor. We received an additional profile today. This one has 3 multicells. The donating mother is older, 42, which concerned me a little, but everything else looked good. I sent the profile to my husband and he said he thought we should go for it. I emailed Clydene, the patient coordinator, and told her our decision. She said that she would send our non-identifying profile to each of the donors for their approval. I thought that had already been done, because that's the typical procedure for open adoptions. So... hopefully everything will go through in the next few days and we can begin working out open agreements with these families.

To be honest, I hope that we don't have to use the back up donor. It may seem crazy, but I feel a bond with the donor we 'met on paper' yesterday. I'm already praying that the perfect number of embryos will make it through the thawing and transfer process.

On a side note- blogging is so much fun, but kind of hard for me. I struggle over how much information to share, and even over the titles for my posts! Here's the funny thing...my friend, and former Bethany Christian Services counselor/caseworker, forwarded my blog to someone in the Richmond office. That person has asked me to write an article for their newsletter about why I chose to start a blog. Their theme for August is Ways to Connect in the Adoption World. I'm so NOT expert, but I'm excited!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our Match!

I received an email late this afternoon from the patient coordinator at the NEDC. She attached two donor profiles. We now have our new match!!! We will have to have a back-up donor, because (I'm guessing here) there are only 4 embryos. But, we'll learn more about that in the next few days.
If I'm reading the handwriting correctly, it looks like these embryos were created within weeks of when Gracie's donor family was going through IVF. If so, God really was putting my family together when I was giving up. He is so awesome!!! Thanks for all the prayers!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Praying and Waiting

We are waiting for the NEDC to send us our next donor profile. In an open adoption, they try to match you with a family that desires the same degree of openness as you. In addition to that criteria, for us, they are also looking for a family that doesn't have too many embryos, and for one that doesn't have a sperm or oocyte donor. This is our thinking...We want our next child to have the same opportunity as Gracie to learn about his/her genetic origins. Also, we are hoping for another successful transfer on the first try. (If all goes well, this will be my last FET. The NEDC has an age limitation, and I'm about to hit it!) If we choose a donor with 12 embryos, but only use 2; the remaining embryos will eventually be donated to another family- thus creating more siblings for our child. It kind of gets complicated. So, we're praying. We firmly believe that God orchestrated Gracie's entrance into our lives. I believe He will do the same this time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Why am I doing this? I'm a pretty private person, and I've never blogged before now. I'm a terrible FB user because I rarely post anything! However, we are preparing for our 2nd embryo adoption. In fact, we were supposed to travel to Knoxville in two weeks, but last Monday our plans were disrupted. After much prayer, tears, and counsel- we decided to look for new donors. I was totally at peace with our decision, even though I knew it meant a change in our timeline. But I so wanted to talk to someone who had been through this before. Even though I had been through this before myself- I wanted to talk to someone with a different thought pattern than my own! So, over the past several days I've been encouraged as I've read the blogs of complete strangers going through embryo adoption. I began thinking that someone else 'out there' may be looking for encouragement too, so...here I am- writing my story!