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Thursday, October 30, 2014


Where do I begin to explain how I've been feeling about this Egg Donor Cycle? Naturally, I've been scared out of my mind. I continuously worry something is going to go wrong. I continuously worry that we won't get enough good quality embryos to have an embryo transfer. I continuously worry that I won't become pregnant from our embryo transfer. I continuously worry that I will miscarry within the first trimester. I continuously worry that we will have to have another funeral for another child. I worry so much that what we are doing isn't going to be enough to answer our prayers. I have to stop and remind myself constantly that we are doing EVERYTHING we know to do about the problems that we are aware of in this moment in time. And there is nothing more than I can do than that.

SO to calm down my fears, I decided to make a list of the problems we are aware of and how we are attempting to solve the problems to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

1.) My Translocated Chromosome: One of my #13 and one of my #21 chromosomes are attached. This is what doctors believe has caused my recurrent pregnancy loss (stillborn daughter at 24 weeks and 3 first trimester miscarriages). Only the last two babies had genetic testing which confirmed their diagnosis of Down Syndrome caused by my translocated chromosome. We attempted IVF with PGS (preimplantation genetic screening) which failed to work for us due to poor egg quality and genetically abnormal embryos. SOLUTION: Donated Eggs from my Sister who Does NOT have the translocated chromosome.

2.) Homocystinuria: This genetic disease which prevents me from metabolizing protein and can cause blood clots which in turn can cause miscarriage and stillbirth. When I was first diagnosed in 2012, we were told this could have been the reason our daughter was stillborn in 2008 instead of the cord strangling her to death like we had thought for the past four years. Medication and diet are the only ways to control the Homocystinuria itself, but the potential clotting issue is a second layer to the disease. With my first pregnancy after getting diagnosed I started Lovenox injections at week 7 once we heard the heart beat. With my last pregnancy I started taking Aspirin daily months prior to getting pregnant and started Lovenox injections a few days after the positive pregnancy test. SOLUTION:Medication and vitamins to control my homocystine levels-Cystadane, vitamin B12, vitamin C, Calcium, Folate (been taking for months); Daily baby Aspirin (been taking for months) and daily Lovenox injections beginning 2.5 weeks before embryo transfer to prevent blood clots in my uterus

3.) MTHFR Mutation: We discovered after I miscarried our third baby that I have this genetic mutation that is associated with causing Neural Tube Defects in babies and causing difficulty metabolizing folic acid, the synthetic form of Folate. Folic acid has been an essential vitamin for pregnant woman for ages but I didn't know until after our fourth loss that there are specific prenatals that have the real form of Folate in them and that Folic Acid, because it's synthetic can actually be harmful to me and a baby. SOLUTION: Daily Neevo DHA prenatal, a prenatal designed specifically for women with the MTHFR mutation, And daily Thorne Research 5-MTHF 1mg capsules (2 per day) which is the natural form of Folate.

4.) PAI-1 4G/5G Genotype with Insulin Resistance: This is something we just recently discovered thanks to several friends who told me they were put on Metformin due to their insulin level which can affect egg quality and can cause miscarriage. When they told me what their insulin level was when they got put on Metformin, I looked mine up from my fertility testing in January before we started our first IVF cycle. My level was higher than theirs I was really upset this was not addressed! When we went to New York to see Dr. Braverman he right away said I needed to be on Metformin because my Insulin level was too high and could cause me to miscarry and likely caused my eggs to be really poor quality. My fertility doctor here in Ohio agreed to prescribe it to me, but when we switched to the other doctor in his practice she ran a genetic test on me that we had never heard of or done before-the PAI-1, which she said can cause miscarriages when associated with Insulin Resistance which is what I had. Sure enough, the test came back that I had the moderately severe genotype which is associated with causing coronary problems and blood clots. SOLUTION: The only solution for this is Metformin. I take 1500mg daily and will throughout the pregnancy.

5.) Elevated Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: We discovered after our third loss that my Thyroid Stimulating Hormone was too high when we did our initial fertility testing. Elevated TSH has been known to cause miscarriage SOLUTION: I've been taking Synthroid-75mcg daily since April 2013 and my levels have been controlled. My new doctor just added Selenium-200mcg daily.

6.) Poor uterine blood flow: When Dr. Braverman did a color flow doppler on me he said my blood flow to my uterus was "resistant." This test was done in July of this year. SOLUTION: I've been doing Acupuncture every 2-3 weeks since the middle of August. I'm going to start going weekly for the next three weeks and then twice the week of my sister's egg retrieval and twice the week of the transfer. Acupuncture is known to help increase uterine blood flow. I've been taking L-Arginine and Coq10 also, and the Lovenox injections that I start next week will help too.

7.)Possible Autoimmune Issues: I have some elevated cytokines which are the chemicals inside of cells that can be indicative of auto-immune problems. I have had Psoriasis, an autoimmune disorder, since shortly after my daughter was stillborn. I've had elevated Anti-nuclear antibodies after my third miscarriage which is evidence of my body attacking itself. I have low T-reg cells which are needed to recognize what is a normal invader and what is an abnormal invader in our bodies...a low level means almost everything appears to be an invader. There is a definite possibility that my body views a baby as an invader and attacks it to get rid of it. SOLUTION: I will get Intralipid Infusions every 2 weeks-I had my first one on Monday. And I will take 10mg of Prednisone twice a day which will both work together to suppress my immune system so it stops working in overtime all the time. My dermatologist thinks this will help my Psoriasis too! I've seen a little bit of improvement which just one Intralipid Infusion and my legs and joints don't seem to hurt as much I think this will help in more ways than one!

8.) Low Progesterone: I was on oral progesterone for my last pregnancy and that shot my level up really high but apparently oral progesterone doesn't get to the uterus. With my first IVF cycle I was on Progesterone in oil injections everyday and that did not seem to help my levels at all. SOLUTION: My doctor insists that the injection form of Progesterone is the best and wants me to try it again. I'm agreeing to try it again only because she agreed to check my level 2 days after transfer and will add Progesterone suppositorys if my level it too low.

9.) My husband's poor sperm morphology and borderline high DNA fragmentation in his sperm: With our first IVF we just did ICSI (Intra-cystoplasmic sperm injection) which increased changes of a normal sperm fertilizing my eggs but our embryos' development was so poor due to fragmentation issues which could have been the result of problems with the sperm. SOLUTION: For the past couple of months my husband has been taking tons of vitamins to improve his sperm...and they did improve his count and motility but not morphology. He takes Antioxidant, Coq10, B Complex, Multivitamin, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, and Vitamin D. This past month he also started taking ProXeed which is a male fertility supplement recommended by Dr. Braverman to improve morphology and fragmentation issues. We will still do ICSI to be on the safe side. He will also take an Antibiotic for 14 days starting Monday which will kill any potential bacteria in his body that could affect sperm quality.

Other things that I am taking are Estrace which is used to thicken my uterine lining since my uterus has to be ready to accept an embryo that has already started developing outside of my body. I responded really well to my trial on Estrace so I have no doubt my lining is going to be just fine this time too. I'm taking Vitamin D because I've had a Vitamin D deficiency after my third loss and that can cause miscarriage too...but my level has been fine since then and I want to keep it fine. And Finally I'm taking Fish Oil which benefits me in multiple ways and was recommended by Dr. Braverman.

Looking at this, it is a lot of information to take it. It is a long list of problems which all have the potential to cause harm to me and a growing baby. It's easy to get overwhelmed and to feel like I am doomed to always miscarry or to never be able to have a baby. I have to stay focused on the solutions and have to remain thankful that we have solutions to these problems, and I have to trust that these solutions are going to work for us. My number one solution to my biggest problem-fear, is praying for peace to overcome me and trusting that ultimately, God is the one in control.

Monday, October 27, 2014


When you are desperate for a baby, you will do just about anything and go to uncomfortable lengths to get to that baby. Woman and men going through infertility treatments and high risk pregnancies are the most courageous and strong people you will ever meet. And every once in a while they will have a third party who has jumped on the infertility train with them and will ride the train until the goal is met-a beautiful baby. That's the case with us. My sister jumped on the train back in May and she continues to ride the train with us and has really amazed me this past weekend.

Our cycle began on September 28th with my first birth control pill. I started my fifth and final week of birth control yesterday. Because me and my sister's periods were a little over 2 weeks apart, her part of the cycle started on October 16th when she re-started her birth control. So we are now getting synchronized and in order to full sync our cycle, we both needed to be on Lupron injections to get our ovaries nice and quiet in there. I had my first injection on Saturday. It's not my first rodeo so these injections are nothing to me now. But my sister, she started her injections on Sunday. Because she has NEVER had to inject herself before, I thought for sure I would be going over to her house Sunday morning to give her a pep talk and give her enough courage to go through with the injection. Instead, I woke up to a text message saying "I already shot up. It wasn't that bad." Shocked the hell out of me! And it also made me incredibly proud of my sister to have had the courage to give herself an injection for the first time ever when it's not even for her own benefit. She truly is amazing, at only 23 years old!

When we first started our egg donor journey, a fellow Baby Quest grant recipient who lives in California had already been through the process and told me she had purchased a gift for her sister to give to her on every day that she had to do the stimulation meds. I thought it was a great idea-a way to show our appreciation to my sister. I started collecting gifts for her before I even knew if she was going to get approved or was going to follow through on her offer. One of the first gifts I purchased was this, and I gave it to her yesterday on her first injection day because every last word of it is so true and she proved that when she took her first injection with no help or complaints:

Along this egg donor journey to what we hope will be our Rainbow Baby, we all three have our jobs, and we all three have to do uncomfortable things or take medication with terrible side effects. And we are all #doinitforbabymonnier. That is amazing to me. If one of us did not do our part-this definitely would not work. With all of us doing our parts-this could definitely work! My sister obviously has to take injections and pump her body full or hormones which will eventually make her an emotional wreck and bloated beyond belief. She is doing that to help us bring home Baby Monnier. My husband has to drink packets of ProXeed daily which he states are disgusting but are to help his swimmers multiple and become better developed. He has to take an antibiotic for 14 days starting next week and he gets sick (like throwing up sick) when he takes antibiotics. He has to go inside a small room with a cup and come out with the cup full of sperm in a few weeks, with someone likely waiting on the other side to go in for their turn. He is doing this to help us bring home Baby Monnier.

And me....I probably have the toughest job of all. I have so much medication that I have to take between oral, injections, and infusions, but it is all to be able to bring home Baby Monnier! To prepare my body for the embryo transfer, I have to take the normal stuff-the antibiotic, the Lupron, the Estrace. But because of my history of pregnancy loss and some things we've discovered on blood work, I also started Intralipid Infusions today and will get the infusions every 2 weeks until we confirm if I am pregnant or not at the beginning of December. I get the infusions in my home from a home health nurse which is nice because I got to stay in my pajamas the whole time. The medication though was FrEeZiNg going in my hand and with 30 minutes left of the infusion my vein blow and blood and medication from the IV spewed all over my hand, the couch, and the carpet. All was good though....the nurse rushed to me and started cleaning me up with her bare hands and alcohol wipes (I ensured her I do not have HIV or Hepatitis...that's the good thing about going through fertility treatments-you get tested for all that). We repositioned the IV into my elbow and finished out the infusion just fine. My hand is still sore....but as long as I am #doinitforbabymonnier I don't even care! Next week I get to start Prednisone, which I've heard is a real treat, and Lovenox injections, which burn like hell and bruise the f*** out of my stomach....but I'm #doinitforbabymonnier! Let's see what else-I've been on Metformin for about 5 weeks and it has torn my insides apart, or atleast it felt that way...I think I'm finally getting use to it. And I get needles poked in my forehead, wrists, 5 different spots on my abdomen, knees, ankle, and feet about every 2 weeks for acupuncture, which will be increasing to weekly for the next three weeks and then twice a week for two weeks. My chiropractor is not a trained Chinese woman who is a professional acupuncturist so it really is not as relaxing as it was supposed to be. And then finally, I get to wake up every morning starting the day after my sister's retrieval and let my husband jab me in the ass with a long needle to pump my body full of progesterone:)

Doesn't this all sound like so much fun?!?! I just keep telling myself we are #doinitforbabymonnier and all of the uncomfortableness, pain and bruises...that all doesn't seem to matter. If this is what it takes to bring home Baby Monnier, I would do it 10 times more! Ok...maybe not 10....but maybe once or twice more:)

For all the woman who are out there who feel like a pin cushion and pull junkie...just remember, you are #doinitforbaby------(fill in the blank:)) Best of luck to everyone on a November cycle with us!! Baby Dust to all

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ready to Rock out this Cycle

Over the next few days our cycle is going to be taking off! My bags are packed for my slumber party tonight at my sister's house, and my car is gassed up for her to drive down to Cincinnati for her appointment with our fertility doctor in the morning. I get the pleasure of spending the morning tomorrow with my niece who has so graciously offered her bed for me to sleep in tonight! Tomorrow's appointment is nothing spectacular or interesting, just some repeat blood work and physical that is required of egg donors within a few days of starting injections.

But what this means is....Injections start this weekend:) I start taking Lupron on Saturday and my sister starts her Lupron on Sunday! I explained what Lupron does during my first IVF cycle, but as a refresher or for those who have recently started reading my blog-Lupron is used to essentially "shut down" the ovaries. For me, because we aren't using my eggs and are only using my uterus-we need my ovaries to really shut down. We need them to be quiet and to stop ovulating. For my sister who is donating her eggs to us, we just need her ovaries to retain all the eggs she has so we can eventually stimulate her ovaries to produces many large follicles that we can retrieve some eggs from in a few weeks. Lurpon is the one injection that we will both be on the remainder of our cycle.

This is a scary process for my sister who has never had to give herself injections before. Her first injection is actually during her double shift as a dispatcher on Sunday so I will be going there to train her on how to draw out the medication from the vial into the needle and how to inject herself. Knowing that every day around the same time we will both be giving ourselves Lupron injections with the hope of creating a beautiful baby that me and my husband can love on and raise for years to come....that gives me chills and tears! What a way to bond with my sister.

In other news, I will also be starting my Intralipid Infusions on Monday:) At 8:30am Monday morning I will be hooked up to an IV on the comfort of my own couch watching t.v. as I get infused with the medication over a 2-3 hour period. We are doing the Intralipids at the recommendation of Dr. Braverman, a reproductive immunologist in New York, who believes that my body is partly to blame for our recurrent losses. The Intralipids will treat any autoimmune problem that I am having so, if my body is attacking itself or the babies that I have been pregnant with, it should no longer do that. The great news is that the infusions, which are $500 a pop and will be done every 2 weeks, will only cost us $27 after insurance which we never thought would cover them! Why didn't we think about doing this sooner?!?!?!

The only resolution that we got on the billing issues with our fertility clinic is that we can try to submit my sister's screening blood work and ultrasound on our own to the insurance after the cycle is completely over. Whatev. It's worth a shot so we will be doing that to see if we can get any of our money refunded by the insurance company.

So lots of great things will be happening soon and I'm sure I will write on the experience of them all as they come.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Delayed Start

Today my sister restarted on birth control on cycle day 3 of her menstruation. Based on all her previous menstrual cycles she should have been on cycle day 1 on Sunday but didn't start until Tuesday this month. Apparently Aunt Flo's flight had a long layover or her baggage got lost at the airport and she had to wait for security to find it before she could stop in for a visit. What matters though is she made it, and her flight delay only delayed when my sister would start her birth control and did not delay anything else during our cycle. Everything else remains unchanged! Which means our retrieval is still on track for November 19th, our transfer is still on track for November 24th, and our pregnancy test day is still on track for December 3rd.

Everything is really coming together and falling into place. I have all the medication in my possession that I will need throughout our cycle-Lupron, Estrace, Medrol, Doxycycline, Prednisone, Lovenox, and Progesterone in Oil. Its all sitting in my bathroom cabinet waiting to be used. The pharmacy is working with my insurance company to get the Intralipid Infusions covered. I spoke to them today and they told me United Healthcare normally does cover the infusions...which is a total shock to me! I honestly thought we would be paying $500 every 2 weeks to get the infusions done. Hopefully I'm not getting my hopes up about this, because historically UHC has pretty crappy coverage for speciality meds-I have to pay $100 for a 20 day supply for my Cystadane which is used to treat my Homocystinuria and prevents me from getting blood clots from homocysteine build up in my blood and is a medication I will be on for life. I will be ecstatic if they cover the majority of these infusions and I am sure my husband will be too! The pharmacy is supposed to be checking with Dr. Braverman's office to find out the exact week he wants me to have my first infusion. We think it will be the last week in October but we will wait and see.

We've had some other positive things with billing as well, but also some frustrating issues too. We paid $3,000 back in May to Dr. Braverman for our immunological testing and coordination with our fertility specialist in Ohio. We recently found out that UHC covered $1800 of the $3000 charge so we will be getting the $1800 back very soon! This will be added right to our Egg Donor cycle fund since we owe our clinic $17,000 by November 12th. The other good news is that IF we end up pregnant, we will have to pay another $3000 to Dr. Braverman's office for continued immunological treatment but we know that UHC will at least reimburse us $1800 of that again. So instead of paying Dr. Braverman a total of $6000 to test and treat us, we will end up paying $2400 in the end...such a huge difference! The problems we are having with billing right now is with our center here in Ohio. What is it about fertility centers and trying to sneak one past you to make some extra money off of you? Maybe I'm a little paranoid-I don't know. But we had billing issues with our first fertility center too where they tried charging us an additional $1000 in the end. We fought them about that and we won our case with them. With our current center, it is super annoying that they roll all the donor's screening, medication, and procedures into one price. This prevents us from exploring different pharmacies to see where we can get my sister's medication the cheapest. They even include birth control and prenatals into their medication cost and when my sister received her package with these medications, the invoice was almost $300! Her own insurance would have covered the birth control because she's been on birth control for years, and we can get over the counter prenatals for 10 bucks. But no-this charge is rolled into the donor's medication and there was no way around it which is super annoying-actually, it pisses me off. So we have that issue. But we also have an issues where my sister's psychological testing is supposed to be covered in this donor package and instead the psychologist billed us for it separately, a charge of $350. She said the fertility center told her it was not included in our donor package so I emailed the center and they responded that yes it is included. So now I have everyone involved attached to the same email because someone owes us back the $350! My last frustration with this donor package is that I know damn well that my sister's insurance would pay for her hormone testing, STD testing, HIV and Hepatitis and Cystic Fibrosis screening, and most likely her day 3 follicle count that was all apart of her screening. I am fighting the center right now about at least submitting it through her insurance to see if they will cover anything. Her insurance covered her chromosome testing and we paid for the bill she did get which went towards her deductible, but that test was ordered by my genetic doctor and not the center. The center says they can't bill her insurance. I say that's bullshit. Like I told them-their job should be to save the patient as much money as possible, and if they can get paid through an insurance company what is the difference? They get paid, the patient is happy because the patient saved money. This sounds logical right?!

Okay, enough ranting. These are the woes of fertility treatments. It's expensive. On the bright side-34 DAYS UNTIL EGG RETRIEVAL DAY!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Adoption Day!

A year ago my husband and I adopted our first living baby....our fur baby, Miss Farrah! You may wonder, what does this have to do with our journey, but I can tell you it has so much. Last year me and one of my friends from grade school had been becoming pretty close through Facebook because she and I both had miscarriages around the same time as each other. When my husband and I found out we were losing a fourth baby on October 7th, 2013, I told him I wanted a pet. I needed something that I could nurture and feel a motherly connection to on this Earth. The friend that I mentioned had posted a picture of this adorable orange stripped kitten that her mom was fostering until she could be adopted. I saw the picture and fell in love instantly! My husband really wanted a dog, but when I showed him the picture of the kitten he kinda fell in love too:) So on October 12, 2013 I drove to my friend's mom's house to pick up our new daughter! She was 3 months old when we got her. She was a very important part in my recovery process throughout my miscarriage.  As a kitten, she was so loving and was a cuddle bug.

It's been an amazing experience watching our little kitten grow into a cat. It's been fun to watch how her personality is changing. What is even more amazing is knowing all of her likes/dislikes and knowing just how she is going to react to a given situation. I assume this is much like watching a baby grow and meet milestones and become their own individualized person.

Over the past year this what we have learned about our fur baby:

1.) She loves Daddy more than Mommy :( That's right....we have a Daddy's Girl and it makes me sad!

2.) When Daddy leaves for work though she loves to lay in bed with Mommy until I have to get up too. This is about the only time she actually sleeps in our bed.

3.) Farrah loves loves loves attacking feet and even likes to wrap herself around our legs to give us hugs when we get home from work.

4.) She would much rather drink water from the bathroom tub facet than her own water bowl. She spends a lot of time in the bathtub waiting on water to drip.

5.) Sitting in the window seals when the windows are open feeling the breeze from the outside and watching kids and birds play is her favorite past time.

6.) Farrah might have hallucinations. She attacks things that aren't there and wiggles her but when she gets really excited over nothing.

7.) I should know better than to leave my hair tie on the bathroom counter when I get into the shower because when I get out it won't be there anymore-she will have it in the living room playing with it. That never fails. She plays with my hair ties more than her own toys.

8.) Sometimes I think our cat is on crack with the amount of energy she gets from out of no where. She can be as calm as a cucumber and then all of the sudden starts running around like a chicken with it's head cut off.

9.) Orange cat can jump. She is so curious about things that are high up that she will jump 5 feet onto any surface to see what is up there.

10.) She hates to cuddle-definitely not a lap cat. But the cutest site ever is on Sundays when Alex and I are laying on the couch watching t.v. and shes right there next to us or in between us taking a nap and staring at us.

11.) If we shut Farrah out of our room, she will bang on our door all night long until we let her in. If we are outside having a camp fire, she will bang on the screen door because she knows we are out there. She has recently started banging on the shower door while we are taking a shower. I think she loves being around us:)

12.) I took Farrah outside with me twice and held her in my arms on the front porch, now any chance she gets she tries to sneak by us to get outside when we open the door. She got out once and didn't know but found her an hour an a half later sitting next to the car that was parked in front of our house. She didn't even try to run away! We have such a good cat!

I am sure I could go on and on. I just felt like a fun post today since nothing else is going on right now with our Egg Donor Cycle. In a few days we should have some more news for you though. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Having Mixed Emotions

We got our IVF cycle calendars yesterday. Seeing specific dates down on paper makes me really excited and hopeful, and it makes me really bummed and scared.  If all goes as planned, according to our IVF calendar, my sisters egg retrieval will be on November 19th, our embryo transfer will be on November 24th, and our first beta pregnancy test will be on December 3rd.

December 3, 1999 my husbands father was pronounced dead.  My husband was a 15 year old boy and naturally developed so much anger when he lost his father at such a young age.  This year marks the 15 year anniversary since his father died.  I don't even know how to think or feel about our pregnancy test day falling on this day.  Is it a sign? Is his dad going to pull a favor with God on our behalf? Is my husbands father going to help make my husband a parent finally? Or is this just going to be one more heart breaking day in my husbands life? Is he going to have to feel the pain of his father being gone now for 15 years AND the pain of another failed IVF cycle?  I really hope that this is a good sign and when we get the phone call from the nurse with the results of our blood work that day we can drop to our knees crying tears of gratitude and not tears of despair, anger, and resentment.  For right now, I need to believe in this quote: 

Things are getting very real for me.  I'm already starting to get emotional about what may or may not happen and I've only just begun week 2 of birth control.  I'm still waiting on my sister to start her period this coming weekend so she can start her birth control too.  We have all the meds ordered for both me and my sister and we have my sisters first two appointments during the cycle scheduled. Dr. This talked to Dr. Braverman in New York today so that takes care of the last bit we needed to get arranged for my treatment protocol.  Lord knows I'm going to be an emotional wreck as we get closer and closer to that egg retrieval date.  

Hoping all my friends going through cycles this month and next have success and are blessed with the beautiful babies they deserve:) 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Inside the Heart of a Mother

Today is the 5th day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Today's Capture Your Grief's prompt is "Journal." Since I was a teenager, writing has always been my way of coping with heartache and the stresses of life. I've written poems, I've kept diaries, I've scrapbooked my entire life practically. My blog is now my journal. This is how I am coping. I am miles from the person I was before I started blogging. There is less anger, less resentment and jealousy towards other people, and less over-reacting to what people say to me. It's freed me in a lot of ways.

Today I want to share the feelings that I had the very last time I was pregnant. I had started a scrapbook and wrote my feelings down and glued them into the scrapbook for that corresponding week. My husband is the only other people who has seen this scrapbook and has read the things that I wrote. I am ready now to share these feelings with the world, or anyone who feels like reading. These are the words straight from a Mother's Heart.

Positive pregnancy test: September 6, 2013

"After trying to conceive for the last four months, our fertility doctor, Dr. Mark Bidwell, agreed to retest my progesterone level on Tuesday September 3rd to determine if I would need progesterone supplements to conceive a baby. When the results came back on Thursday September 5th at 16.8 the doctor was pleased with my level. I thought 'hmmm....maybe I should take a pregnancy test tomorrow because this was higher than it had been a few months ago.' On Friday September 6th while I was getting ready for work, I anxiously waited my pregnancy test results. It seemed like it took hours to process, and then finally....PREGNANT! I couldn't believe my eyes and took several double takes! You, my sweet baby, were already busy at work growing in mommy's belly:) I was so excited to surprise daddy so I sent him a picture of the positive test but he didn't respond so I had to call him. He was as shocked and as happy as I was! We talked about you being our Rainbow Baby, about how God sent me signs on Mother's Day this year that you, our Rainbow Baby, would be here by next Mother's Day....and here you are! You will be due to arrive in May:) I knew if you were truly our Rainbow Baby I would need to inform the doctors immediately and start any medication I would need to help you continue to grow. Dr. Bidwell  retested my progesterone and HCG the day we found out you existed. HCG was 30!"

Week 5:

"We have progressed to 5 weeks my sweet baby! This week has been full of so many emotions. Your daddy and I have continued to be excited and over the moon about your pure existence:) On Monday September 9th Dr. Bidwell's office called to inform me my progesterone went from 16.8 last Tuesday to 17.6 on Friday, three days later. The nurse said they are 'cautiously optimistic' and wanted me to retest on Tuesday morning, By Tuesday afternoon I got the call saying my progesterone was 17.5 and HCG was 55. The nurse seemed concerned that my levels weren't rising as fast as they should. Dr. Bidwell decided to put me on progesterone supplements and wanted me to retest my levels on Thursday. So on Thursday morning I had my blood re-drawn and prayed so much for my levels to be increasing. Your daddy and I also had our first ultrasound to make sure you are not growing in mommy's tube. Thank God you're not! To both our surprise, Dr. Kovac should us mommy ovulated TWO eggs this month meaning there could be not just one, but TWO of you! How wonderful! I think Daddy is nervous about that though! Dr. Bidwell's nurse called Thursday afternoon stating my progesterone went up to 20.5 and HCG up to 82. Still not good enough. Dr. Bidwell bumped me up to progesterone twice a day now. I pray this helps you!"

Week 6:

"What a relief this week has been! After 7 straight nights last week of having nightmares that I was having a miscarriage with you, it has been a much better week. On Monday I had my hormone levels re-drawn and Tuesday Dr. Bidwell called with fantastic news! Mommy's HCG was now 330 and progesterone was now 30! The nurse finally said they are 'hopeful' rather than 'cautiously optimistic.' This certainly calmed my anxiety! We get blood drawn again tomorrow. Fingers crossed all is well:)"

September 24th, 2013-6 weeks + 2 days

"Today we had our second ultrasound. Although I am disappointed we didn't get to see you or hear your little heart beat, I am happy the doctor's tell us everything is still progressing as it should. We even got this picture to show you certainly are working hard at growing in mommy's belly! Yesterday Dr. Bidwell's office called to tell my my HCG was now 1840 and progesterone is 80. You are getting plenty of progesterone now so I hope next week my HCG has continued to rise:) Love you tons!"

Week 7:

"Dear Baby Monnier, You are now 7 weeks old in mommy's belly! This past week was quite uneventful after we had our ultrasound. Although we can't see you yet, we know you are there and you are so very loved already! Mommy and Daddy cannot wait until next Monday to get to see you and hear your beautiful heart beating. I pray for you every day and every night that God provides you and us with the opportunity to one day cuddle with each other, give you kisses, rock you to sleep, and watch you grow into a healthy child."

Week 8:

 "Sweet Baby Monnier, What a week it has been. On Monday Dr. Bidwell's office called to tell me my HCG has increased to 7718 but my progesterone decreased to 59. The doctor isn't worried but it's so hard for me not to worry about you. Mommy's emotions have been in full force this week. I've been thinking a lot about your siblings. I wish more than anything for you to meet them, but only when God sends them down from Heaven to play with you as you are growing up. I can't bare to send you to Heaven to play with them. Tomorrow is our 8 week ultrasound and I am so anxious. I continue to pray we will see progress with your growth and that we will hear your heart beating. I want you to always know, no matter what, we love you!"

October 7th, 2013-8 weeks + 1 day

"Today we got the news I've been so fearful of. Once again our hearts are broken with the pain of losing another baby. My womb is empty...Baby Monnier, you never grew past 5 weeks. We had so much hope that you would be our Rainbow Baby. My thoughts are racing with questions about why this happened to us, to you. Why we weren't given the opportunity to raise you. Why God sent me false hope only to cause my heart to crash again. I told you no matter what that we love you, and that will never change. You will always be my baby angel."

October 17th, 2013-9 weeks + 4 days

"This last week has been hard to accept you're gone. I had to have one more ultrasound to be 100% sure before I let you leave my body. Baby Monnier, you will always be loved unconditionally. You are mommy's 4th little butterfly. On October 19th I took the medication the doctors gave me and I thought for sure I had passed your placenta that. It hurt me seeing pictures of your newborn cousin, Marcus, when you my baby didn't have a fighting chance. On Monday the doctor told me your placenta was still in my womb. Tuesday, I think I passed it again."

I stopped writing what happened next because it just got too hard. I was trying everything I could to miscarry as naturally as possible and every three days when I had an ultrasound the doctors kept telling me there was still placental tissue inside me. I ended up getting a D&C on November 1st, 2013. We had genetic testing done and found out on December 6th that our sweet Baby Monnier was actually sweet baby Audrey Rayne. Audrey had Down Syndrome just like her brother Logan who died in January 2013 between 10 & 11 weeks while pregnant with him. Losing Audrey is what made Alex and I decide to try fertility treatments. We just could not continue to get pregnant on our own knowing that every time there was a very large risk of miscarriage. Unfortunately, our first IVF cycle did not work for us. The last time I was pregnant was with Audrey at this time last year. It has been such a stressful and draining year. I just want to have one pregnancy where everything goes right and where I do not have to live in fear and anxiety. I hate thinking about how much time has passed in between each and every baby we have been pregnant with, and yet, we have never been able to take any one of them home. It's about time we get to take a baby home isn't it?