Thursday, June 9, 2016

Glory Baby

Post commenced Sunday, May 29, 2016

This is hard but I'm pushing through the hard because although recalling these details is painful, I know I will be thankful that I did. Out of ease and because I'm at a loss on how to eloquently organize all my thoughts, I am just going to format most of this in a timeline/list.

This is the story of our Glory Baby...

January 2016 - After nearly a year of losing weight, getting into shape, meeting goals, and preparing mentally, Tom and I came to a point where we were ready to expand our family. For us, expanding means the pursuit of further fertility treatments. Our IVF cycle that gave us Grady & Wren also gave us 2 embryos to freeze for the future. We scheduled a consult with our doctor to discuss our next steps. 

February 2016 - On February 24, 2016, we had a our consultation with Dr. Hansen. We decided after my next cycle began that we were ready to pursue a frozen embryo transfer (FET) using one of our remaining embryos. 

March 2016 - On March 1, 2016, a few days into my cycle, I began taking the prescribed Necon birth control which is the first medication in FET protocol.

March 28, 2016 I began giving myself daily Lupron injections in the abdomen. Lupron prevents ovulation during a FET cycle which would throw off timing of uterine receptivity.

April 2016 - On April 3, 2016 I took my last birth control pill. 

April 11, 2016 I began wearing estradiol (estrogen) patches on my abdomen to thicken and mature uterine lining.

May 2016 - On May 1, 2016 Tom began giving me nightly intramuscular (IM) progesterone injections in the glutes. Progesterone is also used to prepare and mature uterine lining.

May 4, 2016 At 2:45pm one beautiful, thawed, grade 5BA blastocsyt was transferred to my uterus.

May 10, 2016 I took a home pregnancy test (HPT) and it was positive!!


 The pic I sent to Tom at work showing our HPT results

May 13, 2016 I had my first beta blood test to measure my hcg levels (hcg stands for human chorionic gonadotropin and is the hormone produced by the embryo after implantation). The results were not favorable as they were only at 15.9 and they want to see them around 50-100 by that point in pregnancy.

May 14, 2016 I stopped feeling the pregnancy symptoms I was having which gave me concern and led me to take another HPT. It registered as negative.

May 17, 2016 I went in for more blood work which showed my hcg rose abnormally to 28 (it is supposed to double every 48 hours). Because of the initial low hcg number and the sub-optimal/abnormal rise I was advised to discontinue hormone therapy of estrogen patches and progesterone injections.

May 19, 2016 I returned to the clinic for more blood work which showed my hcg rose to 92.3. This took us all by surprise and reintroduced a glimmer of hope that maybe we weren't loosing this pregnancy after all. We were given the option to resume hormone therapy, which we did to give this baby the best chance possible. Later that evening I began bleeding. 

May 20, 2016 [5th week of pregnancy by FET calculations] I had an ultrasound, which didn't show anything because 5 weeks is too early to see anything, but they wanted to check my endometrial thickness among other things. I had more blood work which showed that my hcg rose again to 174. At this appointment Dr. Burks informed me that in situations like these they have reasonable concern that we could be dealing with an ectopic pregnancy (meaning a pregnancy located somewhere other than inside the uterus - in a fallopian tube, on an ovary, etc). We discussed the options I had going forward of how to handle an ectopic pregnancy but I was told we weren't quite to that point and that we would continue with "expectant management" (meaning close monitoring of what was going on inside of me via ultrasound and also continued monitoring of my hcg levels via blood work).

May 23, 2016 More blood work, hcg rose sub-optimally to 195 and I was advised to again discontinue hormone therapy.

May 26, 2016 Blood work, hcg rose to 246.

May 27, 2016 [6th week of pregnancy by FET calculations] Ultrasound and blood work, hcg rose to 264. By this point hcg should not have remained this low with a series of abnormal/sub-optimal rises. Dr. Quaas did not see anything on the ultrasound that would typically be seen by 6 weeks of pregnancy. Due to abnormal conditions the ultrasound was inconclusive and they consider this a "pregnancy of unknown location." It cannot be successfully determined if the pregnancy is inside or outside the uterus. All that is known is that there is some fetal or placental tissue somewhere that is continuing to produce hcg.

There are 3 ways to treat this type of situation:
1.)   Continue with expectant management (monitoring via ultrasound and blood work)
2.)  Methotrexate injection (a chemo drug also used to treat ectopic pregnancies)
3.)  Uterine evacuation surgery (similar to a D&C)

Dr. Hansen called me on the afternoon of May 27, 2016 to further discuss the latest hcg level and ultrasound and he asked me which treatment option we had chosen. We chose to discontinue expectant management as it was proving that my body was not processing things on its own. We chose not to do uterine evacutation surgery because if the pregnancy was undetectable and not located in the uterus then there was a possibility that surgery would not be successful. That left us with methotrexate.

May 28, 2016 At 8:30am I received 2 IM injections of methotrexate. After the injection there are 2 more follow-up appointments for blood work to assess if hcg levels have fallen by the appropriate amount. If hcg does not fall appropriately, another dose of methotrexate is required. 

June 2016 - June 1, 2016 Day 4 post-injection follow-up blood work, hcg rose to 332.

June 4, 2016 Day 7 post-injection blood work, hcg finally dropped but only to 330. Since it did not drop by 15% from day 4 to day 7, I had to have another dose of methotrexate.

June 6, 2016 Second round of methotrexate injections. If this round does not work, surgery will be required.

June 10, 2016 Day 4 post-injection follow-up blood work, hcg fell to 201.

June 13, 2016 Day 7 post-injection follow-up blood work, hcg fell by more than the required 15% to 128.

June 21, 2016 blood work to continue monitoring hcg, which will be repeated until hcg is negative.


The term Glory Baby comes from a 2003 Watermark song of the same name written by Nathan & Christy Nockels after they had a miscarriage. I was in college when I first heard this sweet song and of course I had absolutely no frame of reference to fully comprehend the place where it was written from. 

Even though I hadn't listened to it in ages, it has been on my heart since I began grieving the loss of this baby around the time I felt pregnancy symptoms leave my body. 

Glory Baby  (click song title to listen)

Glory baby, you slipped away as fast as we could say baby...baby
You were growing, what happened dear, you disappeared on us baby...baby

Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe
Until we're home with you
Until we're home with you

We miss you everyday, miss you in every way
But we know there's a day when we will hold you, we will hold you
And you'll kiss our tears away, when we're home to stay
We can't wait for the day when we will see you, we will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, 'til mom and dad can hold you
You'll just have heaven before we do
You'll just have heaven before we do

Sweet little babies, it's hard to understand it 'cause we're hurting, we are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we're stronger people through the growing, and in knowing
All things work together for our good
And God works his purposes
Just like he said he would
Just like he said he would

We miss you everyday, miss you in every way
But we know there's a day when we will hold you, we will hold you
And you'll kiss our tears away, when we're home to stay
We can't wait for the day when we will see you, we will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, 'til mom and dad can hold you
You'll just have heaven before we do
You'll just have heaven before we do

I can't imagine heaven's lullabies
And what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing
Heaven is your home
And it's all you'll ever know
All you'll ever know

We miss you everyday, miss you in every way
But we know there's a day when we will hold you, we will hold you
And you'll kiss our tears away, when we're home to stay
We can't wait for the day when we will see you, we will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, 'til mom and dad can hold you
You'll just have heaven before we do
You'll just have heaven before we do


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Friday, May 6, 2016

Grady & Wren: 4 Years

Grady's Stats: 30 lbs 8 oz / 37 7/8 inches
Normal Growth Chart: 7th percentile for weight, 7th percentile for height
Wren's Stats: 35 lbs 8 oz  /  40 7/8 inches
Normal Growth Chart: 54th percentile for weight, 74th percentile for height
2015-2016 MDO Picture
  2015-2016 MDO Picture
Impromptu Birthday lunch at Chick-fil-A with friends
Hello Kitty 4th Birthday Party
 Cars 4th Birthday Party
Mother's Day 2016
First & Last Day of 2015-2016 MDO


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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Grady & Wren: 3 Years

Grady's Stats: 26 lbs 6 oz / 34 1/2 inches
Normal Growth Chart: 4th percentile for weight, 2nd percentile for height
Wren's Stats: 30 lbs  /  37 1/4 inches
Normal Growth Chart: 42nd percentile for weight, 55th percentile for height
MDO Birthday Drop-off
2014-2015 MDO Pics
Peppa Pig 3rd Birthday Party
Birthday Dinner at Chick-fil-A

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