Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Going for a ride

on a super-duper roller coaster. Of fear, excitement, sadness, anticipation.
Last time I talked to you all the techs had just stabbed me for my second blood draw. Good-445. Almost double, looking good! Feel free to go to your normal kickboxing and karate classes, just don't get hit in the abdomen, and don't get into a car wreck on your way home. This part of the story to be cont...
On friday morning we headed up to Ohio to visit my family. My paternal gpa is dying of small cell cancer. He's in his mid 80's. He's one of 2 sons, his brother passed away several years ago. He knew Bob Evans-the sausage/restaurant guy. He signed up early to serve his country in the Air Force during WWII. When he came home my gparents married and moved to Cleveland, Ohio where my gpa opened a watch and jewelry repair store which he ran for 15 years. Grandpa Willis and Grandma Betty decided to grow their family, starting with my dad, Willis (Willy) Franklin Parsons, Jr., then Timothy (Timmy), Cindy, Pamela (Pammy), and a few years later James Christopher (Chrisy). After several years he closed up his shop, brought the supplies home, and found a job driving bus for the RTA (Rapid Transit Authority) in Cleveland. He was often requested to do special jobs like driving church groups, school groups. He said those were the best!

After working there for 25 years, they retired him out, and he went off to look for another job. The Plain Dealer is the large local paper for the Cleveland area and surrounding towns. My gpa's job was to walk downtown, building to building to pick up the ads from the local businesses and bring them back to be edited and taken to print in the Saturday and Sunday papers. Keep in mind that he worked this job from the ages of 61-76 in all seasons. And Downtown Cleveland is located on the banks of Lake Erie where they have lake effect snow throughout late fall and into early spring.

My gpa had surgery around this time to replace a valve in his heart. They used a pig valve transplant. This type is less trying on the patient due to some meds that don't have to be used, but it doesn't last as long, 5-15years on average. They are not used on younger patients, so my gpa was a perfect candidate, he was old, but strong. The day after his surgery at The Cleveland Clinic he was walking the halls, climbing the steps between floors, chatting with other patients, visiting with leaders of foreign countries and their bodyguards...yes, he was that type of man! He recovered quickly and completely and was released earlier than expected. The next 11 years were good, he remodeled the house using wood from the family farm in southern ohio, painted the home, added a back porch, and landscaped. He was faithful to complete the items on the "honey-do" list my gma came up with.

He was a great man of faith. Attending a local baptist church for his whole life. Serving as deacon for over 30 years. Always saying "Grace" everytime the family gathered together. This past June we surprised the whole family by popping in for a 5 day visit. We were able to pull together one of those family gatherings where there is food everywhere, people everywhere, tons of conversations, and a group of family members ranging in age from 10-85. Amazing!

This is my grandfather. I am the first born daughter of his first born son. And he is headed home to heaven tonight! God Speed Grandpa! Please kiss my first baby for me. I love you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The good, The bad, and The ugly

I guess the majority of people probably ask for the good news first when the question is posed, "Which would you like first, the good news or the bad?" So, here's the good news!

That's right! After 3 years and 11 months and 1 miscarriage, 9 rounds of Clomid, 2 cycles of Femera, one cycle with Femera and injectibles and a HCG shot and an IUI procedure we had nothing. In between all those drugs we would take "breaks" with no drugs from behind the counter at the local pharmacy. We turned to natural rasperry tea, guaffinison, multi-vits, green tea, licorice leafs, extra vit E and A and C, flax seed oil. DH had to choke down his fair share too: extra zinc, and a butt load of other stuff they managed to shove into 3 pills to be taken 2x's a day on top of his 2x's a day multivitamin.

It came down to our very last try. I met with the nurse and told her about this research that had been done showing that Floradix elixer has made women's uterine lining thicker (that was one of my main problems, nothing for the bean to snuggle into). I took the stuff (YUCK!) for 8 days and came in for an ultrasound to check my lining. It was thicker than it had ever been before! The nurse was amazed. She went out to speak with the doc, and came back a few minutes later with just 2 prescriptions. 1 was Femera 5mg days 3-7, the next was for HCG shot on Ovulation day. She said they would order the super-duper shots (that no one in our area carries) that will increase my follicle growth. "Wait, wait! I don't have problems with follicle growth, I have problems with my lining." "Of course, these shots do both." "Well when I took just one shot not the 3 you are now suggesting I didn't O and my lining was still crap! I'm not doing those shots again, not for $400! And I want progesterone suppositories to support my lining until the corpous luteum kicks in." "I'm sorry, I don't think we can work with you then. You need to follow our protocol." I paid my office visit bill at the door and left...with my scripts for Femera and HCG ;^P I drove 5 minutes down the road to the local CVS and had them filled.

So, since we didn't have the super-duper shots or the progesterone we were left with what we knew wouldn't work. After about a week, Officer Boop decides we should start looking into adoption. Knowing how he occassionally speaks out of turn, I gave him 24 hours to think over what he just committed himself to. He afirmed that indeed he did wish to go ahead with the paperwork. So, my little Type-A/OCD self gets to work....research, call, talk, research some more. Get freaked out by how much $$$ it costs, how much paperwork there is, how long the time will be before we are chosen, the possibility that we'll be dumped by our baby on birth day. *cry, cry, hysterically cry, uncontrollable sobs!* And suddenly a tiny sound in my head. The old hymn Trust and Obey . Singing softly, then louder, and loud enough to get my attention. My only thought was "OK God, I get it, you can handle even this. It's totally in your hands." I walked to my computer and shut it down. I prayed for a while, then went to bed and slept peacefully for the first time since the decision had been made. 3 days later a great friend of mine called to find out how we were doing with our treatments. I told her the news and congratulated her on finding out that she is having boy/girl twins with the help of the RE clinic I had just walked out on. The purpose of her call was to find out if I needed progesterone suppositories!?! She had made it long enough that she wouldn't need the ones left and was offering them to us!!!!!!! Do you realize what that call was? The voice of God! The progesterone was the last piece of the puzzle *halleluja* I thanked her immensly and let her know that we would think and pray about it for just a few days. That following Monday I stopped by her house to visit and pick it up. O.B. agreed that it would be best for my sanity if we rid our cupboards of all fertility meds, syringes, needles, etc.

So on September 9th I started this cycle. I took the Femera on days 4-8 (thinking that 3-7 was a bit too early) while drinking my daily dose of Floradix and guzzling quart after quart of red raspberry tea. I peed on a stick on days 9,10,11,12,13 before finally seeing a strong positive result. That means shot time. I loaded up that syringe with bacteriostatic water, inserted into the jar with the powdered meds and let 'er rip. Swish. Swirl. And now suck it back out with the syringe. Change over to a sharp needle, carefully tap the syringe to rid it of bubbles, recap. Carry it and a alcohol wipe back to the bathroom where O.B. will not have to witness the self-mutilation. Find the right spot of thigh muscle, wipe, and BAM it in, then push the stopper to ensure deep placement of the medicine into the musculature, pull out quickly and apply pressure with a sterile cloth. Wait for that to START burning then command O.B. to make a deposit, same as yesterday, the day before, 2 days before, and 2 days before. Oh, and don't forget tomorrow's and the next night!!!

Once that fun is finally complete you begin inserting progesterone suppositories, not in your ears or your nose, not even in your rectum, noooooooooooo they go THERE! Cold or they melt too quickly. And they are the size of a bullet from a 40 caliber handgun. Did I mention they are cold? Oh yeah, do them 2 x's a day, 12 hours apart! So, now you are wearing panty-liners 24 hours a day to ensure that your clothing doesn't end up with greasy streaks when the glycerin melts. Within those first 2 glorious days you develop some irritation...down there! The burning, the itching, the cottage cheese chunks-EW! A yeast infection. From the suppositories. That you have to take or lose the possiblity of having a baby. Ever.

Now you count down the days from when the pee stick said "GO" 14days, 13days, 12days, 11days, 10days, 9days, 8days, 7days, 6days, 5days, 4days...test=BFN, 3days ...test=BFN, 2days ...test=BFN, 1day ...test=

Is that a line? Take a picture, blow it up, analyze it, break it open and hold it into the sunlight, look again, post the pic on the internet and ask all of your "friends" to look at it and analyze it. Give up and take a different brand of test:

For sure! That's 2 lines alright! *start giggling, dancing, hooting, hollering* Hurry up and get ready because I'm supposed to be at a birthday lunch for a close family friend in 5 minutes!! Rush in there 15 minutes late with the excuse "Your going to be a great-grandma, grandpa, grandma, 2 uncles, 2 aunts, 2 cousins, and 1 more on the way!" More hugs, dancing, hooting, and hollering!

OOPS! Forgot to tell O.B. I manage to track him down to a local Firehouse Subs where he is eating lunch with his rookie and his former rookie. We give him a card that said inside "Daddy-to-be". He showed his typical excitement...that of a night shift disc jockey, then ran out the door to help a fellow officer that was involved in a foot chase.

So, here's the final verdict:

I went to the docs office first thing monday morning for blood work. The wonderful nurse, Amanda has been working with me for 4 years now. She greeted me in the hall with a bear hug and a whisper that she was putting this set of labs through STAT. No waiting until tomorrow, baby! The number came back at 226! *Yikes* That's a bit high. I'm considered to be 3 weeks along, the number should be 5-90. So today rolled around and I stuck my arm out again. More blood draws, but no STAT rush. Going to have to wait this one out! It shoud double, but if it's higher than that we may be looking at twins. YAY! So, OB doesn't hear me yell!


I'm sorry, I'm too exhausted to write out the bad and ugly stories. I just have 2 prayer requests until then. Pray for my entire family, (in a nutshell)my paternal grandfather is being released from the hospital with end stage cancer to go home to die. They are sending him with oxygen and pain meds. We'll be leaving town early Friday morning to hopefully make it home in time to say goodbye.

The ugly story is that O.B. after 13 years on the Greer PD yet again did not receive a lateral move that he interviewd for. The person that was chosen has 10 years less experience, and didn't even request the position. But the person has less outer anatomy between their legs.