Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tick Tock- This is what we are doing while we wait

These are pictures from Sarah's Halloween Party Friday night. We had a lot of fun and so did all the girls. We played games, bobbed for apples, and made trick or treat bags.

  1. Sarah - as Susan from The Chronicles of Narnia with Lauren as Super Girl
  2. Dawn - as a pirate with Jen the magical clown
  3. Cheryl- as the white witch from The Chronicles of Narnia

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

First Disappointment

I just assumed that when we got the call that 4 of the 5 eggs were good that the lab would have frozen the two eggs we were not going to use. Not the case.....when we were in Cincinnati for the transfer Judy said they would keep the eggs out a few more days to see if they would go to the blastocyst stage. Well today I got the call to inform me they did not get to the blastocyst stage so we have no frozen eggs.

Judy said just because these two eggs did not make it to the blastocyst stage does not mean the two we transferred would not work. We transferred the two best quality eggs and Judy said they were in a better place...their natural environment.

I'm hoping we don't have to do this again. I feel good about the two that we transferred. We are still praying for a miracle!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Above: Mike and Dawn
Below: Jen and Shawn

Transfer Day "The dish is empty"

Today was a very early day with a 2 hour road trip that started at 6:00 a.m. and about 1/2 hour earlier for Jen and Shawn. It all still seems kind of surreal. We arrived at Christ Hospital at about 8:00 a.m. where we were meet by our favorite nurse Judy.
We all had to change into our hospital attire before going into the procedure room. We had the entire wardrobe scrubs, hats, shoe covers and mask. (See our picture on the left side of the blog) We were now ready to go we just had to wait for Dr. Thomas to arrive. It was a very emotional day! I had a little breakdown while we were all in the room waiting on the doc. We all held hands and Shawn said a little prayer for us before Dr. Thomas arrived.
We got to watch the entire process take place. Dr. Chris did an ultrasound on Jen's stomach which allowed Dr. Thomas to view exactly where the catheter was. It was really neat to be able to watch the entire thing take place. We could actually see the catheter go in and then you could actually see the embryos release from the catheter. WOW how amazing. I think the entire process took about 10 minutes. With a very full blatter poor Jen had to lay on the table for 1/2 hour after the embryos were transferred. Jen was a trooper and did a great job!
One little funny note about today.....Yes, it has to do with Mike. While waiting our 1/2 hour in the room with Jen and Shawn Mike decided he wanted to touch things and see how they work like he always does. Mike touched a small ball looking thing (kind of like the ball on a blood pressure cuff) that was hanging on the wall. We this would have been the call button for help for our room. Yes, there was a loud beeping noise that came from out in the hallway. I luckly was able to find the button to cancel our distress call. We all started laughing so hard and poor Jen's blatter almost burst.
Jen did a great job today and we just can't thank her enough.
It's in God's hands now.

Embryos Transferred Today October 20, 2007

These are the two embryos that were transferred today. My scanner is not working so I had to take a picture of a picture. I will keep trying to get the scanner working so we can get a better quality picture.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The day before the transfer

I feel so moved, in a way I can't describe. The way it touches me is beyond words.

As I sit here tonight, the day before the transfer I think to myself that each and every one of us is placed on earth for a certain reason. We are all on a "journey" to touch some one in a special way. Some have already found their purpose while others are still searching.

I believe my journey started when we all agreed to take this step toward hopefully creating the miracle that Dawn and Mike have longed for.

I hope and pray all goes well tomorrow. I truly believe God will be watching over us as we enter the next two weeks.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Egg Fertlization Results

Yesterday we had 5 eggs retrieved. Today the doctors office called and said 4 of the 5 fertilized and were good quality eggs. This means they will transfer 2 to Jen on Saturday and we will freeze the other 2. The nurse said this was a very good fertilization rate.

Egg Retrieval

Yesterday I did my egg retrieval at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. We arrived at the hospital and I had to change into my hospital attire which consisted of the lovely hospital gown, hair net and bootie covers that went over my socks. It was nice because I had the same nurses I have seen throughout the entire process. An IV was started and I was given two different types of antibiotics and all my vitals were checked prior to the procedure. I was then taken back to the procedure room where they had nice relaxing music playing. We had to wait a few minutes for the doctor because she was still seeing patients at the office across the street. The last thing I remember was someone sticking their head in the door and saying the doctor was here now. The next thing I know I'm in the recovery area waiting to go home. I lost track of time because Mike said I was awake when I came out into recovery but I thought I had only been there about 1/2 hour but it had been more like 2 1/2 hours. My eyes might have been open but I don't think anyone was home. LOL When I realized I had to go to the restroom before I could go home I downed a can of Sprite, glass of water, and a glass of OJ. There was no pain from the procedure. I was very tired yesterday I slept in the car on the way home and hit the bed as soon as we got home getting up only to have dinner.

Total eggs retrieved 5 The lab will call the next day with the fertlization results.

Monday, October 15, 2007

October 15 We are ready to go

Today we saw Dr. Williams and he said we had good follicle growth and should be ready to take our HCG shot tonight. Cheryl will be giving me my injection tonight since this one is a big needle in the hip and she did all my other IM shots. Mike has not had formal training on IM injections (LOL). I have to say Mike has done a wonderful job of doing my multiple daily injections.

Judy called me today about 4:50 to verify we would be taking our HCG shot tonight but they were not sure of the time yet it may be another hour. I waited and waited and then got nervous that they had forgot about me because it was 7:45 and no call yet. I called the service that pages the doctor and they called back and said they still did not have everything worked out yet and I should get a call back within the hour. (They had not forgot about me they were working really late tonight) Finally at about 8:40 Judy called with an injection time of 10:45. I was hoping to be in bed by 10:00 tonight because I am still under the weather and I know Cheryl probably wanted to be in bed sooner but what can we do it's all about timing.

My egg retrieval will be at Wednesday at 9:45

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday October 14- Catch Up

As Jen said I'm a little behind due to computer problems and getting sick. I woke up Thursday with a sore throat. By Friday I was feeling really bad with fever, sore throat, and major sinus pressure and pain. I went to my family doctor Friday to get some antibiotics so I can try to get rid of this stuff before my egg retrieval date Wednesday the 17th. Tonight is the first night I have even felt like getting out of the bed.

We headed down to Cincinnati Friday morning for blood work and ultrasound. Things seem to be going good. We had good follicle growth and my estrogen level was up to 430. We were instructed to take the same dose of medication and come back Sunday for another ultrasound and more blood work.

Today's ultrasound looked good again there are a few follicles they want to try to grow before the HCG shot. My estrogen level today was 751 which was a good increase from the 430 on Friday. Tonight we take the same dose of medication and go back to Cincinnati tomorrow for another ultrasound. I hope this appointment tomorrow will be the last one before my egg retrieval on Wednesday. I think we could make this drive with our eyes closed now.

Thanks to John

I just wanted to thank John for fixing my computer. Mike's friend John had to do some major repairs to my PC. I have no idea what happened to it but I really messed it up.

Thanks John

It's getting close

Mike, Dawn and I went down to Cincinnati today. It was only my third time down but Dawn and Mike have been at least eight times already and she has to go back tomorrow. At this point it is all in the timing. They did blood work on Mike, Ultrasound and blood work on Dawn and just an ultrasound on me. My ultrasound showed that everything is ready for the transfer when it's time. Dawn will post her levels soon, Her computer has been down and she has been a little under the weather! (Dawn I hope you feel better!) We should find out tomorrow if they are going to do the egg retrieval on Wednesday. If they do, the transfer will be on Saturday, Wow less then a week!

Until next time, Jen

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

October 10, 2007 Dawn's Doctor Visit

Another visit to Dr. Williams in Cincinnati today for an ultrasound and more blood work. The ultrasound results were good the follicle size looks good. The blood work results are in and they look good too. My estrogen level today was at 255. I will continue to mix four vials of the Bravelle and continue the 5ml of Lupron.

Next visit: Friday for an ultrasound and blood work

Monday, October 8, 2007

Another Trip To Cincinnati

Today I traveled all the way to Cincinnati for a simple blood test. All my doctor appointments, lab work and ultrasounds are covered under the shared risk plan that we have already paid for. If I would have the test done here I would have to pay for it because we have no insurance for infertility.

Judy our IVF nurse called with the results of the blood work and my estrogen levels are a little low. My level today was 96.8 and she said they like to see them between 100-200. I have to add another vial of medication for my injection tonight and tomorrow then head back down to Cincinnati on Wednesday for another ultrasound and more blood work.

One good thing is that I have not had a migraine the last three days after having one every day for the last week. YEA!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Upload of Jen's Calendars

I just wanted to say I am still amazed by Jen. She is unbelievable! Jen is willing to give up so much to help Mike and I. Let's not forget about Shawn either because he is just as amazing. I'm sure when Shawn agreed to all of this he had no idea he would be giving Jen shots let alone this many. Here are Jen's calendars. To read them just click on the picture.

Friday, October 5, 2007


I feel compelled to write this evening; So many thoughts, feelings and emotions inspire me. Peace, sadness, joy which ever it is, it's there. The one feeling that stands out and strongly stands out, is 'peace'. It always goes to peace that I feel. Yes, there is sadness, great sadness, worry, which I know you all went through. I am just so thankful that Dawn is here today. I don't think she realizes how sick she was, I truley believe God kept her here for a reason....

When I heard Dawn and Mike were researching their next move (surrogancy or adoption) I just felt that peace that I have been feeling. I don't know how to describe it. Well maybe I could help them. I talked it over with my supportive husband and we thought this was something we were supossed to do. So we went with it and I told Dawn we would be willing to help her.

It's all about family, it doesn't matter how you get there.

The feeling of mixed emotions, not wanting to dissappoint them enters my mind. I know that is a nautrel feeling. All we can do is our part. The Doctor's will do theirs and the rest is up to God.There is that "peace" feeling again!

Dawn, I've never met someone that was not only beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well.
I believe God has his hand in this and will see us through any hurdles we may encounter.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

October 4 Doctor Visit

Today we traveled to Cincinnati again... I had an ultrasound and blood work done today. Dr. Williams said there were 12 to 13 follicles on one side and 7 follicles on the other side which was good. Judy (or IVF nurse) called today with the results of the blood work and the results were good my estrogen level was 11.2. For the past week I have had a migraine headache just about every day so I decided to ask Judy about them today. I guess my Estrogen is really low now due to the Lupron injections which can trigger the migraines. I start a new injection tomorrow (now up to 3 injections daily) called Bravelle which is a human follicle stimulating hormone. Judy said we will have to see how I do with my headaches on the new medication.

Update with Jen's calender

Just an update to let you know which step we are at in the process; Tonight I do 20 units of Lupron (injection), alternating between stomach and thigh, Shawn does a good job with the injections! Then I will put an Estrogen patch on. Shawn and I are both on Zithromycin and I take a low dose of Aspirin(81mg). So far I have had no side effects, Thank you Jesus!

Soon I will have a copy of my calenders posted.
I would like to ask everyone to keep the four of us in your prayers as we go through this journey.

Until next post, God Bless!

Jen's story

Hello to all,
First of all Shawn and I think Dawn and Mike are an amazing couple. With that said, this adventure begins....................

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

September 23 Started taking Lupron injections

Lupron Injections:

Today I started my Lupron injections. These injections are given in the stomach with a small insulin needle so they are not too bad. I will continue this medication the entire cycle.

Lovenox Injections:

I started these injections September 16

As a result of the testing done after I got Eclampsia last year, I was diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder called anticardiolipin. Because I had a DVT (deep vein thrombosis or blood clot) from a central line I am now required to take Coumadin forever. During my IVF cycle I have to stop the Coumadin and start Lovenox injections. Coumadin is not safe during pregnancy and Coumadin stays in your system for a while while Lovenox is only in your system for 24 hours. I can not have any blood thinning medication in my system when the egg retreival is done so I had to switch over to the Lovenox. The Lovenox injections are also given in the stomach but they are much more painful than the Lupron.

September 21 Calendar and Medication Arrive

Today we both received our calenders and medication. The box of medication is enormous and there are way too many needles in that box.
Here is my calender:
You can click on the image to enlarge it for reading.

Thanks to Jennifer and Shawn

Jennifer and Shawn,

We just wanted to let you both know how much we appreciate everything you are doing for us. You both are so thoughtful, caring and giving. We could not have found a better couple to help us achieve our dream of having our own child. Jennifer to think of the personal sacrifices you are making for us is just unbelievable and so unselfish. Shawn you are a terrific and supportive husband and your role in this is just as important as Jennifer’s. Without your support this would not have been possible. Words can not describe how grateful we are to both of you.

September 9 Jen's first round of medication starts

Jen has now started her birth control pills. It's not going to be hard to get our cycles in sync we are only two days apart now.

September 7 Cycle officially started

Our cycle has officially started. Today I started my first round of medication the birth control pills. Jen and I have to take birth control pills to get our cycles in sync. It's hard to believe this is starting so soon. I am excited but afraid to get too excited.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

September 6, 2007 Attorney Appointment

A surrogacy contract is required by the fertility clinic before we do the egg retrieval and transfer. The contract basically protects the intended parents (biological parents) in the event the surrogate would change her mind and want to keep the baby. Because we have Jen as our surrogate we have no worries about this part. This would be a very scary thing if you did not know your surrogate.

This contract will then be reviewed by Jennifer and Shawn's attorney.

If a pregnancy is achieved there is more legal work to be done about 3 months into the pregnancy. I'm not sure of the exact steps needed to complete this part of the legal work. I think our attorney will file for a paternity hearing to declare Mike and I as the biological parents. There is also legal work that needs to be filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics so our names can be put on the birth certificate. I know there is also some type of work that needs to be done with the hospital the baby will be delivered in.

September 14, 2007 Approved for Shared Risk

If you have been wondering why we are going to a fertility clinic in Cincinnati here is your answer. The shared risk program. This program only works with the best doctors and fertility clinics across the country and the closest one was in Cincinnati.

Shared risk is offered through IntegraMed America and is a program that allows you to do multiple IVF cycles for one price with a guarantee. With the shared risk program you can complete 3 fresh cycles and 3 frozen cycles for one price. The best thing about shared risk is if you don't take home a baby (have a live birth) you get 70-90% of your money back. There is a catch you pay a little more for the program if you achieve a baby after the first attempt. I would rather pay more and be guaranteed to have a baby then spend all my savings and still not have a baby.

August 29, 2007 Education Day

WOW ! Talk about information overload. All four of us headed to Cincinnati again this time for education day and testing for Jennifer. Jen did great with all her test everything was perfect.

Education day started with a detailed explanation of the IVF process. We meet with a lab employee that explained the entire process: egg retrieval, egg quality, how cells divide, transfer, and cryo freezing. All I can remember from the lab guy is - This is biology not science. Last but not least we got instruction from the IVF nurse on how to use and administer the medications.

The medication part was overwhelming. I did not realized the amount of medication we would have to take. (SHOTS) Yikes! I feel really bad that Jen has to do so many injections and poor Shawn has to be the one to give the injections.

I keep thinking how amazing Jen and Shawn are. Even after finding out about all the injections they both are still on board to do this thing.

July 18, 2007 Our First Doctor's Appointment

All four of us made the journey down to Cincinnati to the Center for Reproductive Health for our very first doctors appointment. Dr. Thomas told us we would probably have an even better success rate because of our surrogacy situation. I was very comfortable with Dr. Thomas he has great credentials.

What is a gestational surrogacy?

This is an option for women with viable eggs, but who don’t have a normal uterus or can’t carry a baby for other medical reasons. A woman’s eggs are removed, fertilized with the male’s sperm and the embryos are implanted in a surrogate mother’s uterus.