Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Our IVF Journey

After years of trying and failing and after our recent failed adoption, Brandon and I have decided to turn towards In-Vitro Fertilization to try and complete our family.  This was something that was on the table a long time ago before we even started the adoption process but with the high cost and no guarantee, we decided to go the adoption route.  Obviously, that paid off since we have our amazing Jordan and we wouldn't trade her for anything!!  But now we feel like this is the path we must take to get our next child and grow our family.  I plan to use this post like a journal and not publish it until I am nice and ready.  So here is our journey......
Dec 16, 2014 -  Today is the day we went and saw Dr. Gelety.  We used Dr Gelety back in 2010 so we kinda knew what to expect.  He is a little different and is one of those, you either hate him or love him kinda people.  I was excited about going in today and hopefully finally getting the answer of if this is what we are supposed to be doing.  Our meeting with him was great!!  He was very attentive to us and our questions (although we liked him last time we went to him, he always seemed so rushed) he explained everything and then we went and did an ultrasound.  He said everything looked good on the ultrasound and my lining and ovaries were beautiful.  Kind of a weird thing for someone to tell you.  Ha ha!  He told us if we felt like this is what we wanted to do to that we could come back in a week and start everything!  Wow that was fast!  I was concerned if he would want me to have surgery again for my endometriosis since it has been almost 2 years but he didn't seemed concerned about it.   He wrote us all our prescriptions for all the medications we would be taking and then took us to see the finance lady so she could go over everything with us.   Now IVF is pricey but Dr. Gelety is one of the most reasonably priced places I have found and I know several people who have used him and now have children so he knows what he is doing.   One thing I love about his office if they give you some options of ways to save money on some of the meds.  Fertility medicine is not covered by insurance and can be VERY expensive in the US.  One of the meds called Menopur runs $100 a vial here in the US, and I had to get 36 vials.  But we could go to Mexico and get them for $29 a vial or you can order them from a pharmacy in Turkey and pay $39 a vial.  Obviously going out of the country is the way to go but can also be a little scary.  We knew that we were not going to be going to Mexico any time soon so we decided to order the Menopur from Turkey.  The other meds I needed are Lupron, HCG Shot, Progesterone in Oil and a Prenatal Vitamin.  So we will start working on getting all these meds and look forward to our appt in a week!
Dec. 23, 2014 - I was super excited to go back in today and get this process started.   I have been working on getting my prescriptions.  The Lupron and HCG I could get from the dr office so I decided to do that since no pharmacies carry that stuff.  We ordered the Menopur from Turkey.  That was an interesting experience.  The company contacted us and we had to wire money to a bank in turkey and when I say money I mean $1500 so it wasn't a small amount .  I was super nervous doing it but he received the money and processed it for shipping and it should be here today so I will be glad when it is in our hands.  The progesterone in oil has been a pain so far but Walgreen's has ordered it so hopefully it will come in soon.  And then getting the pre-natal vit was not problem. 
Anyway, the appt was fast and easy.  They just did some blood work and then did an ultrasound.  Everything still looked good on the ultrasound and they called me this afternoon and said my blood work looked good so I can start the Lupron.  The Lupron is an injection that I have to take every morning and it is just a small shot of 20 units just right below my belly button.  Thankfully I am able to do these shots myself since Brandon is sometimes at work in the morning.  I will do injections of 20 units a day for 14 days.
Lupron Medicine and needles
 I had him do it a couple times at first but then I realized it was just easier to do it myself.
Jan 5, 2015 - I have been on the Lupron for 14 days today.  Everyday it gets a little easier to stick the needle in me.  I don't feel any different which I say is a good thing since you never know what medicine will do to you.  We did get the expensive Menopur so that was a relief.  I had to take that with me to the appt today so they can show us how to use it.  So far I have only been able to get 1 of 6 vials of the progesterone.  Walgreen's has it back ordered and have no idea when they will get more so that is frustrating. But I have called a couple places in Tucson so hopefully we will get our hands on a couple more vials soon.  The appt when good today.  Ultrasound still looked good.   They did more blood work
Blood work.  Lots and lots of blood work
and called and said everything looked good so I can start the Menopur.  Taking this med is quit the procedure.  You have to mix the water with 4 vials of medicine and then it gets injected into my backside :/  This one I can not do by myself so Brandon has to be here to help me every night.
Menopur.   This is the expensive medicine!
That is a lot of meds and needles!!
I will take the Menopur for 9 days and then come back for my next appt.  I will also continue taking the Lupron but I will only take 10 units each morning now.  so far everything is going good.  I am feeling good and I just hope things continue this way!
Jan. 9, 2015 - Back to Tucson!  I feel like we are here a lot but it is all worth it!  Again, the appt was fast and easy and everything looked good.  I have 3 follicles on each side so a total of 6 so far.  They dropped my Lupron again so I will continue taking 5 units of Lupron each morning and then my Menopur at night and then continue my daily pre natal vitamin.  My next appt is on the 13th and hopefully everything will still look good and we can schedule the egg extraction date!! 
Jan. 12, 2015 - I just have 2 more days of the Menopur.  And I know I haven't explained what the meds do but the menopur is a stimulation drug.  It is helping me grow lots of follicles so we can get hopefully a lot of eggs.  And I can tell you I think it is working cause there is a lot of activity I can feel down there!!  Ha ha!  I am anxious to go in tomorrow and see how everything looks and hopefully schedule the extraction appt and then the transfer appt. I am getting excited and just hope and pray that everything works and that I can be pregnant soon!!!
I am getting a lovely bruise by my belly button.  Which is funny cause I do the shot in a different location every time.  You can see all the little dots everywhere.  Good Times!

Jan. 13, 2015 - My dr appt went good today.  I was sick to my stomach most of the way to Tucson which is never fun but we got there on time and everything looked good.  My lining was at 10mm which they said was good and I have 5 good size follicles on the right side and I have 2 good size ones and 3 smaller ones on the left side.  Tonight I will take my last Menopur shot so hopefully they will grow a little bit more and we will get a good number of eggs on Friday.  They gave me my HCG shot to take home for me to inject tomorrow.  Then we will go back in on Friday at 8:30 for the egg retrieval and assuming we get some good eggs and some of them fertilize, we will go back in on Monday for the embryo transfer!!  So exciting!  
The girl couldn't get any blood out of my arm today so she had to do it in my hand and that kind of hurt!  I also finally got all my Progesterone today!  That has been an ordeal trying to get it but Walgreen's Specialty pharmacy was finally able to ship it to me so I have all that ready to go to start taking after my extraction on Friday.

Jan. 14, 2015 - This may be TMI for anyone reading but HOLY OVARIES!!!  Being someone who has tracked my body as far as fertility goes and who has done years and years of fertility treatments, I am very aware of my body.  I know when I am ovulated on a normal month with no medications so now that I am on stimulation medicine that is making lots and lots of follicles, I am VERY aware.  Ha ha.  There is a lot of discomfort going on down there!!  I am sure it will probably get a little worse after my trigger shot tonight but I am thankful that retrieval is on Friday!! Of course any and all pain is worth it if it results in a baby at the end so I am not complaining!  :)
HCG shot.  Pre-Filled Needle ready for my hiney!  ;)
Jan. 18, 2015 - I am a couple days behind but I wasn't really up to posted after the retrieval on Friday.  So Brandon and I went down to Tucson on Thursday night since my appt was at 8:30am.  My dad and Chris were kind enough to keep Jordan for us.  I was pretty uncomfortable on Thursday.  The only way to explain it was that I felt full. Which my body was making lots of eggs so I was a little full.  I was ready and anxious for Friday to hurry and get here!  Once Friday finally came it was time for the appt.  I was so scared I was going to go in and they were going to be like, oh sorry you already ovulated!  Blah.  It is timed pretty good with the trigger shot so that shouldn't happen but you never know right.  Anyway, once we got there we had to go back and give an arm and leg for payment and then return to the waiting room to wait and wait and wait.  I was starting to think they forgot about us!  With this needing to be so timed and you usually have about 36 hours after your trigger shot before you ovulate, I felt like the clock was ticking loudly at me.  we are heading into hour 34 so I was getting anxious.  Finally they called back and we had to sign about 6 different papers just about the procedure and the medication and harvesting phase, etc.  Once we signed them all they had me go to the bathroom and sent Brandon to the waiting room.  Then I went back to the room and undressed from the waist down.  I thought it was kind of weird that Brandon wasn't allowed back there.  Anyway,  they hook me up to the machines and put my IV in and started prepping the room.  Marta came and said she was going to give me the first dose of the sedative and said let me know when you start feeling light headed.  It only took about 10 seconds when all the sudden it felt like my mouth went numb and then I felt light headed.  Ha ha.  And that is the last thing I remember.  I vaguely remember waking up at one point and being in a lot of pain and knowing that they were still doing the procedure of extracting my eggs but I quickly fell back asleep.  Then I kind of remember some one getting me dressed and I was kind of just in and out for while.  They eventually went and got Brandon cause he was in the room when I was really starting to come to.
I did not want to wake up!!
  I was still pretty out of it but Dr. Gelety came in and said that they got 10 eggs!!  I was happy with that number.  I know some people get a lot more but some people get much less so I was happy with 10. 
10 eggs!!
They had us stay there for almost another hour just so they could monitor me and make sure I was doing ok.  I was still kind of just in and out of it so I don't really remember to much of that time but I know that she showed Brandon how to give me my progesterone shots which I started on that day and will continue to take for the time being.
Progestrone and all the needles

I got pretty nausea shortly after we left but lucky I had some Zofran in my purse so I took one of those and got my pillow and slept the whole way back to Safford.  I was pretty sore but I was feeling ok.  We stopped at Kainoas for lunch before going and getting our baby Jordan.  I did have to take some Tylenol when we got home cause I was hurting pretty good.

For those who don't know anything about IVF, in order to extract the eggs they basically take a needle type things and poke it into your ovaries into the follicles and drain the follicles to get the eggs.  So basically each of my ovaries were poked 5 times each since I had 5 follices on each side.  That is why I was sore and in pain. 
Going to the bathroom the first time was interesting and a little painful but I survived.  I pretty much just took it easy the rest of the day and rested on the couch.  On Saturday I was still alittle tender but for the most part was pretty good.  I did try dancing with Jordan just out of habit and that hurt pretty bad so I just have to be careful of  certain movements.  Then today is Sunday and I feel pretty great today.  There is still just a tiny bit of tenderness but I think I am pretty much recovered.  I am so ready for tomorrow.  It is kind of weird to pray every night for your little eggs and sperm to do what they are supposed to do but that is what we are praying for.  We are hoping that a good number of them fertilized this weekend and that we will have a good number to transfer tomorrow.

Jan. 20, 2015 - Yesterday was our transfer!  I swear I was more nervous yesterday to find out how many fertilized then I was on Friday for the extraction procedure!  I was just so nervous we would end up with like only 1 fertilized egg or something!  But we got to the appt and we had to wait for a little bit for Dr. Gelety but he finally came in and said that 8 out of the 10 eggs fertilized!  I was happy with that number!  However, they weren't all in fabulous shape.  5 looked really good. 1 was looking okay and 2 were not doing to good and probably wouldn't continue to divide like they should.  But we have 5 maybe 6 really good embryos!  They showed them to us on the big tv.  Then Dr. G. asked how old I was and I told him 28 and he said, "oh aw humm."  Umm okay!  What the heck does that mean?!?!  ha ha.  But then he just explained the if I was 22 then they would  automatically transfer 2 embryos.  Or if I was 32, they would just automatically do 3 but then there is this gray area of age were there isn't really a right or wrong answer so he was leaving it up to us if we wanted to transfer 2 embryos or 3.  Blah!  This was a hard decision.  We kinda of went in thinking we were just going to do 3 cause that is kind of what we had talked about in our consult but now we had to decide.  And you have to take into account the chances of multiples and high risk pregnancy, etc.  So he gave us a couple minutes to talk about it while I undressed and we were still having a hard time.   Putting 3 in would give us a better chance of achieving pregnancy but then we had the chance of twins or even triplets.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing but multiple babies at one time usually comes with some complication during the pregnancy and after birth.  On the other hand if we just transfer 2 then we are lowering our chance of getting pregnant and well, I have spent a lot of money and achieving pregnancy is our goal here.  I think we both wanted to do 3 but didn't want to seem irresponsible so finally Brandon said hold up the number you want to transfer behind your back and I will do the same and I'll count to 3 and we can show our fingers.  Well we did that and we were both holding up 3 so 3 embryos it is!!  (Real mature way to make such a decision I know!  But it worked)
When you do the transfer you are supposed to have a full bladder and I did!  So much that I was scared I was going to pee on the Dr once they started!  Ha ha!  But they got me all ready and Dr. G. told Dr. Wu, who is in charge of all the embryos, that were were going to do 3.   Well the whole time Dr. Wu. if getting the catheter ready with the embryos, Marta the Nurse had the ultrasound paddle thing on my stomach cause that is how they guide the catheter into the uterus.  I seriously did not know if I was going to be able to hold my bladder with her pushing on it for so long!!  Ha ha. But I did thank goodness.  Anyway, Dr. Wu. finally hands Dr. G. the catheter through the little wall opening and we watched on the screen while he guided it in and all you see is a little flash of light and that was the embryos leaving the catheter into the uterus.  And just like that we are done!  All the work for the last couple weeks and that was the last step that the Dr's could help with.  From here it is all up to my body.  They had me lay there for a few minutes and then I was able to get dressed and finally use the restroom. 
I know the embryos can't fall out but I was a little scared to move!  I want these babies or at least 1 baby to stick!!!  So that's it for now.  I go back in on Friday for them to check my progesterone and make sure they don't need to adjust my injections and then I will go back in on Feb. 2nd for a pregnancy test.  I am just hoping and praying and praying and hoping that it is positive!!  That would be so incredible!!  So i have just been taking it easy yesterday and today and then he said I could resume normal activity on Wednesday.  Hopefully I can suffer through this 2 week wait!  I have felt very gassy and bloated today but if it is leading to pregnancy then I don't care!  :)
3 little embryos!
 Feb. 4th - Well I survived the 2 week wait. It was rough but I made it.  I had to go in on Jan. 23rd for them to test my Progesterone to make sure they didn't need to up my daily dosage but everything looked good so I will just continue injecting 1cc every day.    After that I thought my next appt was supposed to be on Feb 2. to test the HCG for pregnancy but they ended up scheduling me for Jan 30th instead.  I thought this was maybe too early and I questioned it but they still just scheduled me for the 30th.  So we drove to Tucson so they could draw my blood and then we had to wait several hours to hear back from the Dr.  I really thought I would be more anxious then I was but I had a suspicion that it was negative so I think that's why I wasn't super anxious.  Not that I was being negative about the process but I think my body just knew.  So we went to the Wildlife Museum and then headed home.  On the way home Dr. Gelety called me and said that the test did come back negative but that he wasn't saying for sure that I wasn't pregnant because we actually did the test 3 days early.   Surprise Surprise!  I knew I wasn't supposed to come in til Monday but his front desk ladies thought differently I guess.  So he asked me to retest on Monday Feb. 2nd so we would know for sure.  So I continued the progesterone through the weekend and went back and tested on Monday.  Luckily they just send the request to the local lab so I didn't have to drive all the way to Tucson again.  But as suspected that test too came back negative.    I wasn't super upset cause like I said, I think I already knew.  I didn't feel pregnant and I guess my gut was right.  So I stopped the progesterone and now I just have to wait for my period to start so I can go back in and talk about round 2.   I am glad we still have a couple frozen embryos so we can do another round.  I figure there was no point in getting sad when we still have another chance. :)   We were kind of stressing about what we would do if we got pregnant the first time and had left over embryos cause we both kind of feel like there is just one more child for us.  So maybe this is the way to take those stresses away.  Round one didn't take so we will transfer the rest of the embryos this second time and won't have any left over.  Praying and Praying one will stick this time around. 

Feb.10, 2015 - We went back in to see Dr. Gelety today.  Well we saw Marta but same thing.  We found out that we actually have 4 frozen embryos!  We thought we were only going to have 2 maybe 3 so that was a surprise to find out that 4 made it to be frozen.  We had 2 options for our frozen transfer.  We could do a natural round where I don't take any meds and just wait for my body to naturally ovulate and then do the transfer.  The downside to this is I would have to go in every couple days for an ultrasound and blood work and just hope that my body actually ovulates.  Or we could do a more predictable route and I could start on a new med and only have to come in once for an ultrasound and do more progesterone injections.  Obviously the only downside is being on more meds but I am all about predictability and not having to travel so much so I started on Estradiol today and I will go back in in 1 week for an ultrasound for them to check everything and if everything looks good they will schedule my transfer for the 20th or 21st.  We plan to transfer all 4 this time so hopefully at least one of them will stick! 

Feb. 17, 2015 - Had another appointment today.  It was nothing exciting.  They were just checking to see how everything was looking and how my lining was looking.  I will continue taking the estradiol and I will also start my progesterone shots again on Friday and then we go in for our frozen embryo transfer on Monday. 

Feb. 23, 2015 -  We stayed in Tucson last night so I didn't have to be worried about getting sick while traveling so that was nice.  We went in for the transfer today.  We met with Dr. G. first and the embryologist showed us under microscope our last 4 embryos.   All 4 survived the freezing and thawing process so that was good.  One was not super well developed but the other 3 were good.  We went and got prep just like last time and they loaded all 4 embryos into the catheter.  It was nice to know what was happening this time around.  So everything was the same as last time.  Quick and easy.  We are home now and I am taking in easy.  I will go in for blood work on Friday to test my progesterone and then on March 9th I will go in for my HCG testing to see if I am pregnant!  Fingers crossed and lots of prayers cause this is it!!

Our last 4 little embryos!  Hopefully one of those will turn into a baby!

Feb. 27, 2015 - I just had to go in and get my blood drawn to get my progesterone.  It came back at 79 and they said the is perfect so I will take their word for it.  :)  I am still taking the Estridol pills twice a day and my progesterone shots once a day in the back side.  So much fun! :/  But if it helps produce a baby I am not complaining.  I go back in next Monday on the 9th to test my HCG and see if I am pregnant.  Fingers crossed and lots of prayers that this wasn't all for nothing!

Mar. 9, 2015 - Well today is the day.  The 2 week wait if over.   I went in first things this morning to do my blood work hoping I would get the results quicker but after waiting 9 hours and not hearing my Dr and assuming he wasn't going to call since it was after 6pm, I went and bought a HPT.  I know they say not to do that but my anxiety was getting the best of me.  Sadly it was a big fat negative.  And then about 45 minutes later my Dr finally called and he confirmed that after 2 months, $10,000+ spent, 15 Dr Appts, 6 different medicines, 10 blood draws, 62 self administered shots, 1 surgery and 2 transfers, it was indeed negative.  My heart hurts right now.  I am a bit confused and I think I need a night to process my feeling before summing up this post.  And it is a little hard to see the screen through tear filled eyes.  I am kind of glad Brandon is not home tonight.  I need time to just cry alone.

A night of crying can be good for the soul and an honest open talk with our Heavenly Father.   This journey did not end as I had hoped or thought it would.  I really thought this was the answer to adding that one last person that I feel is missing right now.  But once again I am reminded that I am not in charge of my destiny.  After the failed adoption I was so confused but then we put fertility treatments back on the table and I thought well maybe it took that failed placement to get us to this point again so we could be blessed with a pregnancy.  But I guess not.  I wish I knew His plan for us.  I wish I could see a small glimpse into the future but all I have is my faith and I have to believe that it will get me through this.
A part of me feels really guilty for essentially "wasting" such a huge amount of money on these treatments.  But at least I won't have to wonder, "what if" my whole life.  I now know that I have literally done everything in my power to expand our family and the rest is up to our Heavenly Father.   Will I ever know what it feels like to carry a child inside me? I don't know.  Will I be able to witness the amazing miracle of adoption again?  I don't know.  But I do know that I will be comforted and uplifted and I can be happy if I chose to be.  
At the end of the day I know I am a very blessed women!  I live in a beautiful home in a great community.  We have money in the bank and food on the table.  But most importantly I have the greatest husband a women could ask for and I am lucky enough to be called Mommy by the sweetest, most beautiful little girl in the world!  So as hard as this feels at this time I will count my blessing for I am blessed!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

An Unsuccesful Adoption Story

Although this story does not have the happy ending we planned for, it is still our story and a big chapter in our life book.  With that said I look forward to writing this out and sharing this process and emotions.

Brandon and I had discussed options for expanding our family in late 2013.  After lots of discussion Brandon finally told me to request all the paperwork we needed to get certified for adoption again.  I quickly requested the papers from LDSFS.  As soon as I got them I printed them out and sat at my desk at work to start filling them out.  Before I could write I single thing down I was completely overcome and knew that the timing just wasn't right to move forward with this.   I went home and told Brandon and he agreed so we put those papers away and felt at peace.  The discussion was put on the back burning for the time being.

March 28, 2014 - This was just any ordinary day.  I was at home working on a birthday cake and it was consuming most of my day.  That afternoon I sat down to take a break.  I got my phone and checked facebook and then decided to check my email.  Most it was junk that I was quickly going through and deleting.  I came to an email that just showed it was from an email address, no name and the subject just said, Hello.  Most people know emails that come across like this are usually just junk.  So I slide the message over on my iPhone with the delete button on my screen ready to delete it. For some reason I hesitated and decided maybe I should just look at it.  So I open this email and much to my surprise, it was not junk!  It was a quick note from a girl named C telling us that she has been thinking about giving her baby up for adoption and she saw us online and was looking for a couple like us.  I was shocked!  It took me be complete surprise.  I called Brandon in and read him the email.  He to was surprised. I didn't know how she saw us online so I asked.  She told me that her Dr had given her an LDSFS card and she googled it and we popped up.  Now I have no idea how that happened since we have not had a live profile since Jordan's birth mom picked us in January 2012.  But somehow we came up and she was able to look at our profile and contact us.  Miracle? Maybe!
 C and I sent emails back and forth for a bit and then I left the conversation open for her to contact us again if she wanted to.   Brandon and I talked about it and kinda just decided that we would leave it up to her to contact us again if it was meant to be.  Well after a couple days and she continuously being on my mind I decided to send her an email just to see how she was and to see if she was able to contact an adoption agency yet.  A few emails later we both felt as though we were the family for her baby and made plans for us to come meet her and go to her next Dr. appointment with her to find out the sex of the baby. 
We were excited and nervous and anxious and knew that we had a lot of work to do before September.  We weren't even certified to adopt!!  There was a lot of decisions to make at this time about weather to use attorneys or use LDSFS again.  Once we made the decision, then the paperwork began.  Anyone who has done this process knows that it is not an easy one.  It requires LOTS of paperwork, fingerprints, background checks, homestudys with multiply visits.  And although money doesn't matter in a time like this, it does require a nice chunk of money.  But we started all this and we were excited to do it!
The time finally came to meet C.  I was a ball of nerves.  Being nervous makes me sick to my stomach, literally, so it was a LONG morning.  We decided to meet her for lunch before her Dr appointment to kinda break the ice.  So we meet her and her friend and her son at Paradise Bakery on April 28th.  It was a good lunch, not tons of conversation but good.  Then we went to her Dr appointment.  I was so grateful she allowed us to be there for this.   It was so awesome to see this tiny baby up on that big screen and after awhile they finally said it was a BOY!!  I would of been excited either way but since our family is mostly full of girls, I was excited for it to be a boy!!
From that point on we continued to have almost daily contact with C and continued to attend another 7 of her 9 appointments with her.  Even if it was a 7 hour round trip drive for a 20 minutes appointment, it was worth it every time.  We developed a great relationship with her and my love for both her and this sweet growing baby boy grew stronger and stronger every single day!
During these 5 months we did everything we could to get ready for this baby.  We got certified, we got out all the baby stuff we have, we moved back into out bigger house for more room, bought a bigger car to fit 2 car seats, we bought, received and washed lots of super cute baby boy clothes, we decorated a nursery and mostly prepared our hearts for the amazing gift we were going to receive.

Jordan was excited to have a baby brother and spend time practicing her big sister skills.

(Sorry for the naked pictures.  I swear she does wear clothes)
September seemed to take forever to get here and baby boy pretending like maybe he was going to make his debut in August but he stayed in and finally C's Dr decided we would force him out on Monday, September 15th. To say I was excited was an under statement.  Finally, we were going to have another baby.  Jordan was going to have a sibling!!!
I talked with C daily the weekend before her scheduled induction.  Although I knew all of this was becoming very real to her and she was starting to freak out, all still seemed to be OK.  We did all the last minute preparations that weekend and finally loaded up the car and headed to Phoenix Sunday evening so we would be there and ready as soon as the hospital called when they had a room ready Monday morning. 
Monday is when everything started to change.  I messaged C that morning just to tell her how excited we were and although this was going to be a hard day that it would also be great and I couldn't wait to hear from her.  We sat around all morning anxiously waiting to hear from her.  After several hours has passed I decided to message her and at the time her friend let me know that they were already at the hospital and she didn't want anyone there.  Although with adoption you prepare for bumps in the road, I immediately dropped my phone and went to the bathroom and just sobbed.  I think I knew right at that moment that things were over but I was still holding onto hope.  Well to make this extremely long story a little bit shorter... after waiting all day, finally a little after 1am Tuesday morning, I found out that a perfect baby boy had been born at 8:56 pm.  The emotion that came with this news is a little indescribable.  I was so excited that he was finally here but my heart was breaking because I wasn't there and really didn't have any right to be there.  I wanted nothing more to hold him and love him and be there for his sweet mommy but instead I just had to lay in bed and do my best to sleep. 
The next day and a half were so hard and sad and confusing and I know they were for C as well.  I know this wasn't an easy decision for her and it caused her a lot of pain and heartache as well.  I cried a lot in those couple days, I questioned a lot, I was sad and angry and confused. 
Finally Wednesday came.  This is the day of discharge and I knew this was the day we would finally get an answer.  I already knew what the answer was going to be but part of me just was hoping I was wrong.  I was hoping she remembered all the reason she choose adoption in the first place and that these reasons would out weigh the thought of her broken heart.  But I knew and I think that helped me once the answer was finally given.   There was just no way she could give her baby away.  It was to much and she couldn't do it.  Some people would think that this news should of made me angry.  It should of made me hate her for putting me through this.  But that is far from the truth.  I loved her and I loved that sweet baby.  She was placed with the hardest choice a mother could ever have and at this time she decided that parenting her child was the best choice. 
I decided that I still wanted so bad to see her and to hold that sweet boy and I was so happy that she allowed me to come to the hospital.  I was so excited to see him and to hold him. Her was cute and perfect and amazing!  I took her the basket we had made for her.  this was meant to be given to her when we all left the hospital and even though circumstances had changed, these were items purchased specifically for her and I still wanted her to have them.  It was a great visit.  No tears were shed and no angry was present.  I was 100% truly happy for her and so glad I got to snuggle this sweet baby.  Of course, out of love for them, I am concerned about the struggles they will may face.  Being a single mother of one is hard enough but now to be a single mother of 2 I know she will have hard days and that is one reason I will always continue to pray for them.   But this is a day I will forever be grateful for.

Going home with an empty car seat and placing it in an empty nursery was hard!  Even though I was at peace with C keeping her sweet baby, I was still empty inside.  I was ready to have a baby in my arms and that didn't happen.  I was down in the dumps for a couple of days for sure.  I felt a bit numb and just didn't really care to do anything.  But through my prayers and prayers of many others I am also filled with peace knowing that everything would be okay.  I have no doubt that this nursery will be filled again.  That car seat will be used at some point.  I don't when and I don't know how that child may come to be but I know it will.  I have faith in our Heavenly Father that he will bless us with our righteous desires. 
I don't know the reason for this trial.  I don't understand how so many miraculous things had to happen for this women to come into our life just for this adoption to fail but I do know everything happens for a reason and someday we will know the meaning of all things.  My faith is not lost but strengthened. I will forever love sweet C and her baby L will always hold a special place in my heart.  So although this wasn't the ending we hoped for, it is the ending that was meant to be in this story. :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Grandpa Alec

Yesterday, July 12, 2014, I attended my Grandpa Alex Gibson Hunt's funeral.  This was a day I had just convinced myself would never happen cause my Grandma and Grandpa were just going to live forever.  Sadly, that didn't happen.  Grandpa got sick a little while ago.  There was several issues but one of the most serious was Cirrhosis of the Liver.  With this diagnosis and the other medical issues he was having we knew his time here on this earth was limited but still I wanted to believe he would just get better and live forever.  But after suffering for some time our Heavenly Father decided it was time for him to return home the morning of July 6, 2014.  Even though it was expected, it didn't make it any easier.

I have never really had to experience death.  I have known people who have passed away but I have been blessed to never have had someone close to me pass away.  My grandmother (my mothers mom) passed away when I was 5 but I was to young to remember.  It was a different experience being on that side of a funeral.  Being the ones in the Relief Society room for the family prayer, the one following the casket into the cultural hall and sitting in the reserved seats up front.  It was a very different experience for sure. 

I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the viewing.  It was hard to walk in and see this man I love more then word can describe laying in that casket.  But at the same time, it wasn't really him, it was just his body.  And even though I knew that, I wanted so bad to wrap my arms around him and hear him tell me,  "you get prettier and prettier everyday" while giving me a kiss.  I wanted to smell him and feel his warm embrace and see that smile and look of adoration on his face as he looked up at me.  But of course none of that happened. I just had to look at his body and imagine all those things in my head and heart.  It was really hard to do, harder then I thought it would be.  I held my emotions together the best I could but inside I felt like I was breaking.  When someone that close to you leaves this earth it truly feels like a piece of your heart goes with them.

From the moment he passed I quickly started regretting all the questions I never asked or the visits that never happened.  Did he know how much I love him and how much he meant to me?  Did he know how much I looked up to him and how much his love and approval meant to me?  Did he know how much joy and happiness his love for my grandma brought me?  I'm sure he did but how I regret not taking time to open up more when I was with him or how much I regret never having him come to Thatcher and teach me about my heritage. Or at least sitting with him at his home while he told me all about it.  However, regretting won't change anything so I know it is silly for me to dwell on that. 

Grandpa's services were wonderful.  I recorded Justin as he gave Grandpa's life story and as my dad and each of his sisters shared their thought and memories of him.  I plan to transcribe those so I can add those memories of him to my own book of memories.  My grandpa was a wonderful man filled with so much love.  There is not one single time I can remember seeing him that he did not give me a hug and a kiss on the lips and tell me I was pretty or beautiful.  I never had to wonder if he loved me cause he always told me he did.  Even though he has 10 other grandchildren who I know he loves just as much as me, he always made me feel like maybe he just loved me the most, that I was the most special and I am sure all of his grandchildren felt that way. 

Seeing my Grandpa throughout my life and then hearing so many wonderful things about him yesterday really makes me want to be a better person.  His love for my Grandma was incredible.  I'm not sure I know of a stronger love between spouses.  He adored my Grandma and wasn't afraid to show it.   I want to be that kind of spouse.  I want my husband and anyone who ever sees us to know just how much I love him and how strong our marriage is.
Grandpa made everyone feel special and beautiful.  I wanna be that type of person that can always make someone feel better about themselves.  I may not tell everyone that they get prettier and prettier everyday but those were some of my favorite words out of my grandpa's mouth.  There have been times in my life when I have felt far from beautiful but he would always change that.

Grandpa was good with money and he used to tell me, "If you are every in a bind financially, double your fast offering." Of course at first that did not make any sense to me.  How would paying out more money in fast offering give me more money.  But knowing he is a smart man I have used this advice for many years now and every single month I pay my fast offerings I think of my Grandpa.  I always have and I probably always will cause thanks to always paying my tithing and taking his advice with my fast offerings, we have never been in a financial crisis that we were not able to get ourselves out of.  Something always works out and we are able to move on. 

One thing that was said at my Grandpa funeral was that when asked what he cherished most his answer was his Temple Recommend.  What an amazing answer and another amazing example he is.  Just hearing that made me want to strive and be better about my temple attendance and doing the work for my ancestors who have passed on. 

I could probably go on for weeks about my Grandpa but I just wanted to get a couple thoughts down before to much time passed.   Although yesterday was one of my hardest days ever, I am blessed to have so many amazing memories of my sweet Grandpa.  I am grateful that when I think of him that I don't see the body laying in that beautiful casket, instead I see one of the most handsome guys around with the sweetest smile ever.  I was so grateful I was able to visit him in the hospital 2 weeks before he passed.  He was awake and alert and me, him and my aunt were just able to sit and talk for awhile.  I had planned to take Jordan to see him on Monday cause he just loved my Jordan so much.  The fact that she is adopted never matter one tiny bit.  He would always just say, "I love my babies no matter how they come to us.  She is truly your daughter."  Unfortunately, we were just a day late for that visit but I will cherish that last time I got to spend with him and to hear him say, "there's my beautiful girl" one last time.   He has left a lasting impression my heart and has inspired me to be a better person.   I hope as he looks down on me that he will continue to be proud of the women I have become and the better women I continue to strive each day to be.  I am beyond grateful for my understanding and testimony of the plan of salvation and eternal families. Although I will miss him so much during my remaining days here on this earth, I know that this is just a temporary separation.  I know that I will one day be able to greet him again with a big huge and kiss and hear him say, "Hey Sugar, hows my beautiful girl?"  Til that day comes I will try to be the best person I can.  I will remember him each day and be happy when I think about him and cherish the times we had together.  He is one of the greatest men who ever lived in my book.  Til we meet again Grandpa.............

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

St. Patrick's Day!

I decided that I wanted to start celebrating all the holidays and not just the big ones that everyone celebrates.  St. Patricks day isn't normally celebrated in our family so I decided to change that this year. I wanted to make pretty decorations, yummy food and fun memories. 

We made a table setting with gold under our rainbow.  Jordan loves balloons so I knew she would like this table when she woke up in the morning.  We have bags of rainbows and gold (skittles and rolos) waiting for us when we woke up in the morning. 

I invited my mom and Terry over for our St. Patricks Day dinner.  I was a little nervous since I wasn't sure how anything was going to turn out but in the end I think it was a success. 

One tradition we started was the clover under the plates.  Everyone has a clover under their plate but only one had a 4 leaf clover.  That person was Lucky enough to get to bless the food and they also get a special treat.  This year it was a large bag of skittles and a package of Rolos.  My mom was the lucky one this year.  Before we ate we also learned who St. Patrick actually was and what he was known for.  That was interesting to learn since I never really knew why we celebrated this day.   Then it was time for dinner. 

 We had a yummy rainbow fruit tray to snack on while we waited for all the food to get done.
 As well as spinach dip and crackers.
 What would St. Patrick's day be without Corned Beef and Cabbage.  It turned out so good!!
 Green Jello Salad
 Clover Rolls
 And rainbow ice cubes.  I was the only one who chose to have colorful soda but I thought it was fun.
It was so nice to have my mom and Terry there and make new traditions on this day.   We also had some yummy green rice crispy treats with marshmallows in them
We then ended the night with some green candied popcorn and an Irish movie called Waking Ned Devine.  It was an interesting movie. 
We continued the festivities into the next day for family home evening.  After our lesson we made St. Patrick Day pictures.

We look forward to celebrating more St. Patrick Days with our new traditions and more holidays to come. :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Our 10 year old Love Story and how we celebrated!!

On Friday, January 9, 2004 I walked into a Famous Footwear in Bozeman, Montana and met a boy named Brandon.  My sister had told me a lot about him but I wasn't that impressed at first. :/ (I know, horrible to say but I am just being honest)  Later that night he came over to my sisters, cause he spent most of his free time with her and my BIL, and this time it was different.  I saw something in him and I knew I wanted to know him better.  We didn't see much of each other the rest of the week although I could always hear his car coming and going to work and my heart would jump a little hoping he was coming over.  I say our love story started 1 week later on Friday, January 16th, 2004.  So here we go!!!

Friday, January 16, 2004 -  Brandon and my brother in law Shayne were working this evening so Chelsea and I went to meet them while they were closing the store.  We had decided we were going to go the movies and of course invited Brandon to come along.  Once the store was closed, Brandon kept talking about needing to go to his house to get a hat.  He said this over and over before I finally got the hint that he was trying to get me to go with him.  So we got in his little Mazda hatchback, drove down a long road going a little to fast, awkwardly talking on the way there.  Once we pulled into the driveway, he was nice enough to warn me that there might be dead bodies hanging in his garage.  (Animal bodies of course)  I then waited in the kitchen with a huge mean looking cat while he went upstairs to get this much needed hat.   We then headed back to Famous Footwear to meet back with my sister and BIL.  As we pulled into the parking lot, Brandon thought he would show off his driving skills by doing an E-brake parking job in the icy parking lot!  Embarrassed to admit that I almost just peed my pants, I quickly got out of the car.  :)  We jumped in my sisters car and headed to the theater.  We bought our tickets to watch Cheaper by the Dozen and got our seats.  I purposely left my hand open and available for Brandon to hold it.  He never did.  I was little bummed when the movie got over but was glad that I wouldn't have to be teased my Shayne for holding his hand.  When we got back to the parking lot to drop Brandon off he said 5 words to me that changed the rest of our life.  He said, "Hey, come visit me sometime!"  That sentence sent electricity through me.  The reason I say this changed our lives is because I had my plane ticket to go home to Arizona in the morning.  But after Brandon said those 5 words to me I knew I had to stay longer.  Who knows what would have happened if I would of gone home and not experienced the next 3 days. 

Saturday, January 17, 2004 - As soon as I woke up I called the airlines and changed my ticket to Monday.  That gave me 2.5 more days to see this amazing man.  Brandon told me he was pretty excited when he found out I decided to stay a couple more days.  Later that day, me, my sister and BIL went to visit Brandon at work at the Bowling Alley.  While there Brandon politely told Chelsea and Shayne that he would be happy to babysit for them if they were needing a night out alone. :/  That was a good ice breaker!!  I may of only been 17 but really??  A babysitter??  He just thinks he is so funny!!  Good thing so did I!  Although they did not take him up on the babysitting we did decide that we would go Jackpot bowling that night when Brandon got off work. 
We had a lot of fun and even though I was not technically old enough to even be playing I won a whopping .25 cents.
How cute were we 10 years ago??!??
As we were leaving the bowling alley, Brandon asked me if I would like to go to church with him in the morning.  I consider this our first officially date since it involved him asking me, picking me up, and us not being with Chelsea and Shayne.  I of course said yes and then couldn't wait for morning to come.

Sunday, January 18, 2004 -  I was super excited to get ready that morning and my heart almost leaped out of my chest when there was a knock on the door.  I opened the door and he look so HOT!!  Wearing his vest and sun glasses.  And he smelled so good.  When we got to the church building he held my hand as we walked up to the doors.  I couldn't help but smile.  We turned lots of heads as we walked into church.  Here comes Brandon Little walking into the University ward, holding hands with a girl that no one has ever seen before.  :)  It was fun to see the looks of wonder on every ones faces.  After church we went to his best friend PJ's house and he introduced me to PJ's mom.  He was to scared to take me to his house so he decided his second family would be a good place to start.  When the spent the rest of the night at Chelsea and Shayne's house.  (Our first kiss happened this night.  Nothing intense, just small and perfect)

Monday, January 19, 2004 - The day I had to go home.  Although I did not want to leave I had no choice since school would be starting the next week.  Brandon came and picked me up early that morning so we could spend a little bit of time together before Chelsea took me to the airport.  We went to Burger King and shared an order of Cinni minis.  We sat and talked and were sad for the inevitable departure I would have to soon make.  At this point we were head over heels for each other and couldn't stand the thought of leaving.  (I know it is crazy.  We had only known each other for a week and had only spent a total of 4 days together.  Oh and I still had a boyfriend at home.  Whoops!)  We eventually said our goodbyes so he could go to work and me and Chelsea headed to the airport.   I told Chelsea that those were lips that I could kiss for the rest of my life!!  Not knowing at that time if I would ever see him again let alone have the chance to kiss him again. 

Well lots of emails, text message, phone minutes, a move to Arizona, a proposal and temple marriage later, things worked out just great!!!!!  And I can't believe it has been 10 years since that amazing weekend!!  With Brandon working so much lately I knew that we needed a special night out and I decided what would be a better date then to relive the weekend we fell in love.  So after much preparation we went on the best date ever! 

Here is how we celebrated this weekend.
I made little cards for him to open for each phase of the date.  Each one reminding him of an event that happened on the weekend 10 years ago and inviting him to join me on each adventure starting with Fridays event from 10 years ago.  I set up our "Movie theater" at the fire station.  Complete with popcorn, candy and soda.  And what did we watch???
Cheaper by the Dozen of course!!  I think the last time I saw this movie was 10 years ago so it was fun to watch it again.  He laughed cause he had just watched it at work this last week. 
He was super excited!!  He he.  I left my hand available again.  He never once held it!  What?!?!  He did it on purpose and told me afterwards. 

I then gave him his next card which lead us to the bowling alley.  The Safford bowling alley does not do jackpot bowling so I had to make up rules for our own game of jackpot bowling.

We had such a good time!!  Brandon was worried because he hasn't bowled in over a year because of the issues with his back but as you can tell by the scoreboard (224)  he had no problems and he won almost all the money!!  People were probably wondering why I kept paying him after each frame.  At the end of the game, I walked away with $1.00, which is .75 more cents then I got 10 years ago, and Brandon made $15.50!!!  He had a lot of fun and was happy with his score (had he not scored well he would of been sad the rest of the night)  :)   On to the next part of the date.

Like I said earlier, on Sunday 2004 I went to church with him.  Well since we went out on Saturday and there was no church's opened, I invited him to join me for hot chocolate and stroll around the temple.  It was freezing but beautiful as always.  Little did he know that I had printed some emails that we had sent back and forth to each other after I had come back to Arizona 10 years ago.  These  emails were full of sweet words and poems and affection.  I had him read the ones he had sent to me and I read the ones I sent to him.  It was so fun to reread those first words of love between us.  We found ourselves laughing a lot at some of the cheesy things that were said.  Brandon couldn't believe some of the stuff he wrote.  Ha ha.  It was great!  At one point he jumped over to me and was like, "What is the date on this email?"  So I told him and he was freaking out cause we had just met 2 weeks before these email and we were already talking about getting married.  He was saying there is not way Jordan better try to pull that on us.  Ha ha!!  I think he got a glimpse of how his parents were feeling 10 years ago.   :)  But it was great to read those words and remember all the cheesy things we said to each other. 

Now that we were freezing, it was time for our last stop.  I told Brandon he would get brownie points if he could remember what we did my last day in Montana in 2004.  He thought hard but could not remember.  Knowing how well his memory is I gave him a little hint on the card and we soon found ourselves at Burger king.  Although they do not have Cinni mini's anymore, we enjoyed a treat together before we headed home to relieve the babysitter and peek on our sweet girl.

It really was such a great night and a great way to relive that fabulous weekend we had 10 years ago that set the foundation for many amazing years together.  I think it will go down in the book of great dates!! 

Love you Baby!!!  Thanks for an amazing 10 years.  Can't believe how fast it went.  Can't wait for the next 10 years!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pinterest Review - Green Smoothie

Drink this daily and watch the pounds come off without fuss. The recipe is two handfuls of baby spinach, 1 apple, 1 banana, 1 cup of yogurt, 5 strawberries, 1/2 orange. Blend well and enjoy! I love green smoothies!!! This will give you tons of energy!... I want to try this!

I have always wondered about green smoothies.  They look interesting but I have never tried one. Since we have a problem getting all our fruits and veggies in I thought this would be a good idea.  This smoothie calls for 1 cup yogurt, 1 apple, 1 banana, 2 handfuls of spinach, 5 strawberries and 1/2 and orange.  That is way more fruit and sometimes veggies then I EVER eat in one day.

I tried this on Sunday and split it with Brandon.  I thought it was really yummy but my blender didn't do a very good job mixing everything so the small bites of spinach in it weren't that great!
I made another one tonight and this time I used the blender on my Bosch and it worked way better.  I blended everything for about 2 minutes and it was smooth with no spinach pieces in it. :) 
I also decided to put my smoothie in the freezer for a little while so it was nice and chilled and it made it so much yummier!! 
I know on the pin it says if you drink these everyday that the weight will just fall off.  Since I just drank my first one 2 days ago I don't know if that part of the pin is true and that wasn't way I tried it in the first place but I can however say that this is a very yummy green smoothie that will help you get more fruit and veggies in each day.  I know there are several varieties to green smoothies that incorporate more veggies and I plan to find one of those and try it next.