Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Transfer Day!

Me and Jenni's Good luck socks

Mack's "Surro Sis" shirt

Thaddeus and I with a picture of our Embryo blasts.

Jenni & I at Houston IVF

Transfer went great!!

We had 4 blasts! We transferred two!
One of them was a perfect 4AA blast!
The other was an almost perfect 4AA (2/3) blast. They said it was better then a 4AB and only 1/3 away from a 4AA.

They are pretty sure that we will be able to freeze the other 2 and will let me know today!

Watching this take place was the most amazing experience. I can even begin to put it in words the feelings you experience watching this miracle take place.

Thanks for your prayers! Will send an update in 9 days! Or maybe 4!!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

It's here!!

It's here! The end of the beginning and the beginning of the next 9 months!

We started with 9 eggs retrieved, 7 of them were mature, of those 4 kept growing properly. We of course are having a 5 day transfer, yay! That means the embryos were healthy enough to keep growing without the Uterus and we can select the most mature 2 to place in Jenni. The embryo grades were as follow:
1.) 10-cell graded at 4-
2.)8-cell graded at 4-
3.) 8-cell graded at 4-
4.)7 cell graded at 4-

The nurse said our embryos were excellent and they were only expecting 3 of the 4 to do well and they all did, yay! Tomorrow they get there letter grades if I understand it correctly it has to do with their outer shell and fragmentation? The best is 4AA.

Our appointment is tomorrow at 12:30pm. I am so excited I do not think I am going to sleep. Today has been so surreal to me. I can't help but think if baby Luke too. It's so crazy that 7 months ago this sweet little boy was brought into my life. And though he was only here for 2 hours he changed me forever. I am so thankful that God gave me those 2 hours with him, I am so thankful that God used that little baby to change my life, I am so thankful that God picked us for this story. I wouldn't take any of it back for one second!!!

We had dinner tonight at PF Changs with the Bonds(The twins, Jenni's 1st surro family), Jenni's parents and the Jenni, Justin and Kids! Here we go :)

Please pray for a smooth transfer and positive results :)


"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.." Jeremiah 1:5

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kristin + Anesthesia = Good Times :) Thaddeus and I are sitting in recovery waiting on Kristin...we see her come rolling around the corner on the stretcher. She is just talking a mile a minute...and said SO many funny things while she was coming out of the anesthesia. Thaddeus and I were totally entertained...and we even convinced her she said some things that she didn't...but here are some things she did say:

1) When she first rolled into recovery and saw me - she reached out her arms and said "You made it here" "Hug me - I'm going to cry". The she would start talking to a nurse or Thaddeus and then a few minutes later look over at me and say "You made it here...I'm going to cry". And this happened every few minutes - like I just got there.

2) Every time the nurse would come check on her (which was every few minutes)...she'd ask Kristin "How are you feeling?"....and Kristin's response every.single.time was " 7 a good number of eggs??" So, Barb would respond "Yes, it's a perfect number". Then, 2 minutes later - we'd go through the same script. But, then when we all start laughing - Kristin would ask "What?! Have I asked that already?"

3) Kristin kept telling the nurses (over and over) - "I admire you" "You have such an amazing job" "I need your names so I can write you thank you notes"

4) We had her convinced she promised each person there (nurse, anesthesia, physician, etc) a $500 check in their thank you card. And, the more she started waking up, the more she started getting worried that she really said that.

5) Kristin asked Thaddeus if her eggs were good - and he responded "Yes, they even have the FDA stamp of approval" And, she responded "REALLY?!?!"

6) She even offered to find a dance class at the studio that would be "perfect" for the nurse. The nurse promptly replied "I love to dance, but I've had a hip replacement"...but she mentioned she had a son that was 18 that likes to do hip-hop. So.........then Kristin says "Really?! - we have hip hop at the studio - I wish I could steal him"

OH...we had a good time!!! But, I do have to say - I'm so relieved and so grateful that everything went off perfectly. Kristin did such an awesome job!

So, as of right now, 9 sweet little Sharp babies are growing at Houston IVF and we'll soon hear more news as to how they are growing and when transfer is.

THANK YOU so much for all the prayers!! Please keep them coming! God is ever so present...and we are so thankful!!


I am home!

Egg retrieval is done. It only took about 30 mins for them to knock me out, do the procedure and wake me back up. They were able to get 9 eggs. We find out tomorrow how many fertilized and then Saturday we find out their "grade". Transfer will be Saturday or Monday. I am feeling pretty crampy and sore.

Jenni has some funny stories from me on anesthesia. She can share at some point if she would like.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Egg Retrieval

My calendar of meds, DONE!!

So retrieval is tomorrow morning. We have to be at Houston IVF at 8:00am and retrieval is at 9:30am.
There are 3 cases before me. While you are praying for me will you please pray for those other 3 woman. We all have had hard journeys and I just really hope that it works for them as well.

Transfer will be Saturday or Monday but I will keep you posted.

I have two pictures. One of my completed calendar of medications and the other is my LAST shot done last night :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Last Shot!

Okay so tonight is my last shot!! I get to do my trigger shot tonights at 11:00pm. I have 10 eggs and I believe they are going to take all 10.

My retrieval was pushed back to Wednesday and transfer to Jenni will be Saturday or Monday depending on how well the embryo's grow.

Please pray for my retrieval on Wednesday! This has been such an up and down journey so letting go and giving control to God has been a must.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Incredibly humbled...

I'll let Kristin update about her awesome appointment this morning....but retrieval and transfer will be happening THIS coming week!!! :)

As dates get finalized, I have this overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I am so thankful that God chose me, once again, to be a surrogate. Looking back, my amazing first journey that resulted in the precious baby girls still leaves me speechless...and here I am - on another journey. God had chosen this path for me...and I am so, so incredibly humbled.

This week has been crazy...lots and lots of shots, pills, patches, ultrasounds, and blood work. We've spent alot of time at Houston IVF this week. Kristin and I are both exhausted (and hormonal) but we are SO ready for this coming week!!

God, we are watching your amazing plan unfold. Thank you....


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 30

Had another awesome appointment today, the nurse told me to expect 4 eggs at today's appointment. HAH I had 11 little eggies today :) So I have one more appointment on Friday and they will tell me what day retrieval is and about how many eggs they will try to take. YAY!! So excited that it turned out well again today.

I will be doing acupuncture on Friday as well, they say it makes a difference so whatever it takes ;)

I am feeling pretty yucky though, I have a ton of nasal drainage (caused from the steroid). The pressure from my ovaries is pretty uncomfortable and my boobs hurt. So I am laying down a lot. Last but not least EVERYTHING makes me cry. Today while watching centerstage, a dance movie I have seen a million times, I cried at the end. This morning cried while listening to KSBJ. Cried yesterday because Dr. Mackenzie said Jenni's uterus was perfect...I am crying all the time.

Thanks for your prayers :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another God Moment

Okay so these are just getting so awesome.

First off I must say that Jenni's appointment today went great, the Dr. said she has a PERFECT uterus and that her job would be so easy if all of them looked like Jenni's :). Her Estrogen level is in the 700's and it just needs to be 300 for transfer so she is set to we are just waiting on me.
My appointment tomorrow will kind of show us when retrieval will be. Friday will be more definite. But will keep you posted :)

So back to the total God moment. There are 2 doctors at HIVF. Dr. Hickman and Dr. Mackenzie and while they are both more than qualified and amazing physicians, Dr. Mackenzie was the doctor Jenni had for her chemical pregnancy before the twins. So the associated loss gives a bad taste in the mouth when it comes to Dr. Mackenzie. She is SUPER sweet, but if you know my story there is a certain doctor that should have caught my issues and he didn' when someone says his name or I see in the office I cringe. But when I am Dr. Norton (well she is just great anyways) Same with Dr. Hickman (he is the equivalent to Dr. Norton) We just LOVE him and her. Anyways we were told he would be out of town this week and next we were pretty bummed. Even contemplated pushing back transfer so that we could have him. But I prayed and prayed and God was telling me to trust him and keep transfer as it is. If I am suppose to have Dr. Mackenzie then I am suppose to, no need in trying to change it myself. Well the nurse was wrong and Dr. Hickman gets back early next week....YAY!!! That means he will be the doctor on call for our transfer. Even though I was content with Dr. Mackenzie a huge feeling of relief came over me and wow it was great.

I am so glad "I" did not try to control this and change the date myself. I am so happy I relied on Him to lead me and wow again He did it.

I am so amazed by God's love and the power of prayer and following His call.

I have an appointment tomorrow.....prayers are appreciated, thanks!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This is what it means to be held...

So today we had our suppression and linen check along with our labs.

Our report from our nurse is below:

Kristin: You will be starting 150 units of Gonal F and 2 powder vials of Menopur (to 1 cc of water) on Saturday. Please remember to drop your Lupron dose to 5 units as well. I will need to see you back in the office on Monday at 7:30 am for blood work.

Jenni: Your estrogen today is 69.6. Lining is awesome! So you will need to increase to 4 patches. I will see you back in the office on Tuesday at 7:30am.

I had no cysts on my ovaries and my linen was teeny tiny like it should be. Jenni's linen was plushy like a pillow how it should be :)

We were heading to the appointment today and had an AMAZING God moment. We were running about 10 minutes late and listening to KSBJ. I of course was nervous. Anytime I go to HIVF or the OB I associate it with finding out something is wrong.... since when I went in with my appointment with Luke just a normal appointment it turned so bad so fast.

As we are about to exit the song "Held" comes on. If you listen to KSBJ and have ever encountered a loss this song is sure to make you cry every time. But the song's lyrics have gotten me through so much of my journey. As I was crying in the car and Jenni and I were in awe of the God moment. God was just reassuring me that He is walking with me every step of the way. To remember to rely on Him and trust Him. I got to the chorus and really started listening to words and God just revealed to me that He hand picked me and Thaddeus to walk this walk and placed Jenni in our lives. God picked US! To live out this AMAZING story, how amazingly blessed are we for Him to use Luke and that journey to bless us with surrogacy and the amount of people we have touched from just following God's plan. We have received so many emails and messages of support from so many people that it is just the most amazing overwhelming feeling of knowing that we are doing exactly what God has called us to do. Thank you to everyone who has sent us an encouraging message, text, email and for your prayers....they are getting us through every step of the way and we are very grateful for all of it

So if we would not have been 10 minutes late today I would not of had that moment when I needed it. Isn't it amazing how His timing is perfect.

Please continue to pray for us, I start more intense meds on Saturday and Jenni will increase her patches & for the husbands, though their part is small they sure do put up with our hormones well.

Below is the lyrics to Held....a song that has touched my heart and made this journey more understandable.


Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

If hope is born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our savior

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held
We'd be held

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This is what it means to be held.....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thank you, God, for those moments...

Yesterday, I was looking for a card for Kristin at Lifeway...and found one I really liked. I read the outside and inside...and thought "This is perfect". So, I buy it...go home and am sitting down to write in it and I look on the inside flap of the left side. I hadn't noticed the verse there before...and it literally gave me chills. It said:

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.." Jeremiah 1:5

I know God is always with us but I absolutely love those moments when God reminds you just how truly close He is. And...this was one of those moments.


Pre-heatin' the oven...

Now, the oven is officially on pre-heat!!! I've added the estrogen patches to my list of medications. The estrogen patches help build my uterine lining so that the little embryos have a nice pillowtop to climb into and hold onto for dear life ;) So, now I'm on pre-natal vitamins, baby aspirin, Lupron injections and estrogen patches. Kristin just finished birth control, is on pre-natal vitamins, Lupron injections, and Dexamethasone.

So, what does this mean??? Kristin and I are both beyond hormonal and have had many hormone overload moments. But, I am so thankful that it's something we are going through together and we can sit back and laugh at ourselves (after the fact)...I really am just so thankful. I know that Justin and Thaddeus deserve a huge medal of honor after this. :)

This Thursday is Kristin and my first "pre-transfer" appointment. Kristin will have a ultrasound to check her ovaries, blood work and exam. I'll have an ultrasound to check my lining and blood work.

I do have to say that I am so very proud of Kristin. Every night, we have been meeting at 9:30 so that I can do her Lupron injections...welllllll, last night - Kristin did her own. That was a huge step...and I'm so proud of her. She did an awesome job... :)

We are getting so close to retrieval and transfer...and, I just can't wait to watch God's plan unfold before our eyes. I know He has some amazing things in store!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 17

I am officially off the birth control. Decreasing my meds to only the lupron shots and the dexamthasone pills. Jenni starts her Estrogen patches this weekend :) Tonight Jenni and I were examining my needles (okay really just me) and WOW some of those suckers are huge. Good thing needles don't scare me.

In the mean time I am pretty irritable, bloated and my skin is breaking out like I am in jr. high again...loving the extra hormones.

Mack (Jenni's little girl) drew me and Jenni a picture tonight. Yep it is Jenni giving me a that kid :)

Until next time....

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 14

I started my Lupron tonight, yay!!

So my meds consist of Lupron, Dexamethasone, and Desogen. Jenni right now is doing Lupron and should start her Estrogen patches on Sunday. Very mixed emotions right now. Excited about everything starting and then slight nervousness thinking OMG it is here. I will leave you with a picture of our combined meds. Thanks for the continued prayers. We appreciate them so much!