Friday, December 21, 2007


I know I just posted earlier today but I received a phone call from our genetics counselor this afternoon and wanted to give you all an update. She finally heard back from the specialist that was taking a look at Avery's x-rays and he said that Avery is still a mystery. He can tell for sure that she had a form of skeletal dysplasia but it must be a very rare type. He is sending her pictures to 3 other specialists and hopes to have a better answer for us by next week. The problem with it being so rare is that he doesn't think there are tests for it. Meaning they will not be able to test us to see what type of carriers we are, if any, and they will not be able to test our embryos. I had a feeling that this would be our answer but it still came as a blow. Especially when I was told that there is a possibility that we could have a one in four chance of it happening again. I haven't been able to really digest all that I have been told so I am a little numb to it all at the moment. All I know is that I love my little girl and if we are meant to have another child and he/she is like his/her sister I will still love them just as much, I just don't know if I am strong enough to go through it all again.

Tis the Season

I have been so caught up in the wrong spirit of the season lately, but the other day as I was wrapping gifts for a family that we have adopted this Christmas I had an epiphany. Let me give you some background first. I have been dreading Christmas. I thought it was going to be this horrible time where I would be depressed and only think of how much I missed my baby and how last year that was the only thing I wanted for Christmas. (Skeet would tell you, every time he asked me what I wanted I would say "A baby" and leave it at that. ) I have been so caught up in my grieving and sorrow that I forgot about the the reason we even celebrate Christmas. So, in my efforts to try to keep myself humble I took it upon myself to find a family for my family to adopt this Christmas. After contacting the local Care and Share we were assigned a local family with 4 children ranging in ages 7 to 2. It was fun to get everyone together to shop for toys for the kids and a Christmas meal for the family, but I found myself selfishly thinking about how I should be shopping for my own little one as well.
Then, as I was wrapping up each gift that we had purchased it hit me. This shouldn't be a time of year that I dread. The reason for this time of year should bring me happiness and a sense of peace. Christ was born so that he could die for us and for our sins. He did this for us because he loves us and he wants us to return to him. It is because of his birth and his death that I will be able to be with my daughter forever. I realized then that I should be rejoicing this holiday season. I may still be very sad that my daughter is not with us to celebrate Christmas but she is the lucky one that will celebrate with Jesus. And I know that someday, I will be with her forever because Jesus was born and died for our sins. What a huge gift that is.
I am so ashamed of my attitude toward this holiday season. Every time someone would ask me if I were ready for Christmas my answer would always be " I am ready for it to be over". Now, I feel so unworthy of the huge blessing that this holiday represents. Also, I am so much more thankful for the opportunity I have to help someone else.
We are delivering the gifts and food to this needy family this weekend and my change of heart has helped me to appreciate this experience so much more. I hope that my family will make it an annual tradition to help someone else during the holidays but if they choose not to I know that it will be a priority in my home to do so. I am so thankful to be in a position where I can give to others who are not as fortunate as I am. I don't think about it often enough but I am so fortunate to have a home and a job, and to have a family that is always there to support me whenever I am in need. I am also very grateful that I am able to be there for them as well. We have our health, we have each other, and we have the knowledge that through Christ we are promised that we will be a family forever. That is the best gift of all. I am truly blessed to have a little girl that will be mine for eternity.
I hope you all have a very Happy Holiday Season and I wish you all the best in the New Year.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Does this mean I have to move on?

Well today is the day, the day that we were first told to expect our baby to arrive. For months this date was my answer to the question "When are you due?". 8 weeks have passed since the 3rd time I was admitted to the hospital when moments later my water broke. 8 weeks have passed since that long night of waiting, wondering and anticipating the arrival of my daughter. And, tomorrow morning between the hours of 2 and 3 a.m., 8 weeks will have passed since my beautiful little girl left her body behind and went home. 8 weeks ago today I still thought I had 8 weeks left to spend with my angel.
This whole week has been a emotional roller coaster ride. I go from being happy that I am her mom to crying because it wasn't supposed to be this way. For some reason now I think more of the nursery that never was and the cute little clothes that will never be bought. I think of the happy Christmas that could have been, celebrating the arrival of a new little one. The gifts that might have been wrapped knowing that she would be too young to understand this year but would have more fun next year. Now I can't help but only notice who is missing when the family comes together for dinners and gatherings. I think of how lonely Christmas will seem this year without that special little soul even though a year ago we had no idea she would even be. It is so strange to me that last year at this time we had no idea that the only way we would be able to have a baby was through In Vitro. We had no clue that we would be pregnant within 3 months, or that 32 weeks later we would have to bury that precious child that we longed for- for so long.
If I could have had my way this year, Christmas would have just been skipped. I don't feel like I am strong enough to get through the holidays this year. I don't know how to just go on with life without her anymore. I did so well for so long but I feel like I am losing my composure and don't know how I will make it from one day to the next. I am sure it does not help that I ran out of anti-depressants and have yet to get them refilled. The numbness that they give me has worn off and now all I can think of is how badly I want that little girl back in my arms. And I can't help but wonder if everyone will expect me to be better now that her due date has passed. I hate to disappoint anyone who is thinking that because it is going to take a lot longer than 8 weeks!
I received a delivery of beautiful flowers today, roses from my loving husband, and a Christmas arrangement from my parents and sister. They are so pretty and smell so good but I can't look at them. They are sitting on my desk and even when I catch a glimpse of them out of the corner of my eye it starts the water works again. I can't seem to stop today and hate that I have to be here at work when my heart is breaking and nothing else seems to matter. But I know I will make it through the day and into Skeet's arms, which is the only place for me right now. If I can't hold her, I need someone to hold me. I am sorry for the somber tone of this post but I needed to get it out.
I love you all and I appreciate your kind words and support!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

They are done!!

Well most of them. Dr. Sanders finally gave me a disc of the pictures. There weren't many but they turned out so beautiful. I just wanted to share them with you all! There are a lot more of our family holding her but I will just include the ones that you can see her best.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back to work

First of all I need to apologize for not wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving sooner! I hope everyone had a great holiday and were able to take some time to ponder what you are thankful for. I would like to take a moment to share a few things I am very thankful for. I am so thankful for my husband, without him I would be completely lost. We don't always understand each other and we don't always agree but we love each other deeply and I truly believe we were meant to be! I am thankful for my family and for my in-laws. They have been such a great source of support and comfort to us over the past couple of years. For my friends, old and new, you are all so special to me. I am thankful for my health. This one is especially important to me right now seeing how I just got over the stomach flu and am so happy that I feel better. This year I have something new to be thankful for... my daughter. I still wish, more than anything, that she could still be with us and be a happy, healthy little girl; but I know that she was too special to stay here on this earth. And although we didn't have a lot of time with her she has been such a huge blessing. She has helped to make me a better person. I never knew that I could love someone as much as I love my little girl. She has helped me work on my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and she has helped me to realize that love and family are the most important things and life is too short to spend time worrying about the things we cannot change.

I am, of course, thankful for many other things but I know you all don't have all day to read my rantings so I will move on. I returned to work on Tuesday after recovering from the 24 hour flu bug I fought on Monday. (It's pretty bad when you have to call in sick on your first day back to work) Things at work haven't changed much, and everyone is being really nice to me. But, it is still so hard for me to be there. I keep thinking about how I should be taking another 6 weeks off to care for a new baby, and that the last time everyone saw me I was happily plump and my little girl was still alive. I have been fighting the tears off for the past two days so that people don't think that I am losing it. They all look at my like I may lose it any minute as it is. Especially when they come into my office to tell me that they are so sorry for my loss. All I can say is thank you and then there is awkward silence. Don't get me wrong I would love to talk about Avery but they don't ask and I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. So I suffer in silence praying that someone would just ask me about her. I am so proud of my daughter, she was beautiful and such a special little girl. I think that after a week or so I will be able to get through a day at work without wanting to scream at everyone to stop pretending like she never happened. I know I am not being fair... I think I may be dealing with the "anger" stage of grieving. Or maybe I wasn't quite ready to go back to work. Either way I know it will get easier I just have to stay positive and remember that it is just a job and there are more important things in life.

Sorry to say, I have no pictures yet. Well I have one and I will post it but please keep in mind that it isn't a very good picture. It was one that was taken with our sub-par camera and I tried to make it look better. You may not see her the way I do but I think she is the sweetest little angel ever! And you can't tell from this picture but she had a full head of jet black hair just like I did when I was a baby. I knew she would after all that heartburn.

Well off to bed....

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Aftermath

I have been trying to decide whether or not to continue this blog, and while I was trying to decide I realized how much I need to get out my thoughts and this is the perfect way! Whether or not anyone reads it, it can help me to heal.. so here I go again. I have been patiently waiting for Dr. Sanders to finish photoshopping our photos. I am seeing him this week for my 5 week check up and I hope he will have them done so that I can post a few. I can hardly believe it's been a month. It doesn't seem to be getting easier either. I am starting to wonder if it will ever get easier.

The closer I get to my original due date the more I miss having Avery growing inside of me. I lie awake at night and try to remember how it felt when she kicked or pushed against me. As hard as my pregnancy was I would give anything to have her with me still. We had family pictures taken this weekend for my side of the family. I was so strong through the whole thing just holding on to my teddy bear that I brought to represent Avery. As soon as they were done I broke down. It had been tearing me apart thinking that it's not fair that my sister and sister-in-law were able to hold their babies on their laps and mine I had to hold in my heart. I wish that we could have done the pictures while I was still pregnant so that Avery could have been in the picture in some way. Now every time I look at that photo I will only see what is missing.

I have been taking Prozac to help with the depression, mostly because Skeet wants me to. I think it is starting to work. It seems to be getting easier to get out of bed in the mornings although Avery is still the first thing on my mind when I wake. I keep hoping that one day I will wake up only to find that it's all been a bad dream and I will be pregnant with a perfectly healthy baby girl. It probably isn't healthy for me to have those thoughts but I can't help it. I miss my baby so much. I visit the cemetery 2-3 times a week just so I can talk to her.

I attended church at my home ward this Sunday. It was the first time in 3 years that I have attended our ward. I went and sat by myself and it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It is something that I have been wanting to do for well over a year but now I have an obligation to. I can't help but think that Avery is counting on me to do the right thing and I can't let her down. I wonder if God sent her to me to give me the push I needed to get my life in order. I know that isn't the only reason we were blessed with such a special baby but I can't help but wonder if it has something to do with it. I will never push Skeet but I hope someday he will decide to join me. It made me feel good about myself for the first time in a month. I hope that I can keep going and not go back to my old ways.

I don't know if anyone is still checking this but I hope to have some pictures of Avery posted by next week. I cannot wait to show her off. She is so beautiful. I plan on posting now and then to keep myself sane. If you are still reading I want to thank you again for keeping Avery in your prayers. Until next time.....

Friday, October 19, 2007

Avery's Birth

On Wednesday the 10th I went into pre-term labor and was admitted into Labor and Delivery. After hours of test and contractions Dr. Sanders was able to stop the contractions with some medications. I was sent home Thursday with a prescription for some medication to keep the contractions at bay. That day I got very sick from the meds they had given me and went into severe dehydration and was admitted back into the hospital late Thursday night. I was released Friday morning only to return Friday evening because I was leaking fluid. Just after testing me and telling me that I was not leaking amniotic fluid, I stood up to use the restroom and my water broke. My little girl was coming 8 weeks early. Skeet's family and my family were called and everyone hung out at the hospital all night long. No one wanted to miss the chance to meet her. Avery was born at 3:17 am on Saturday October 13th surrounded by our family. We did monitor her heart throughout labor but had a difficult time keeping her on the monitor... she was so small she was able to move away from it. About an hour before she was born the nurses were unable to find her on the monitor but hoped that she was just being evasive again.
We began pushing with the hopes that we would hear our daughter's cry. When she finally came I knew that she was already home. It was so hard to breathe knowing that I would never see her look at me, never hear her cry or even see her take a breath. But it was such a peaceful feeling knowing that she would never suffer. She was born breech which was extremely difficult on her little body which was extremely swollen because of fluid build up in her abdomen and around her brain.
We were all able to hold this sweet little girl. Everyone had a chance to hold her and Dr. Sanders stayed to take pictures of her. After a while everyone left Skeet and I alone with her to say our goodbyes. We knew this would be the last time we would see her on this earth and I wanted to cherish every second I had with her even though I knew it was just her body. She was with her Heavenly Father and she was finally safe and happy. I know that we will be with her again someday and I get great comfort knowing that she is always watching over us. I held onto her until I started feeling weak and sick and I knew it was time to let go. That was probably the hardest moment in my life. Skeet took her from me and walked her down to the nursery so that she could be weighed and measured. She was extremely tiny at only 2 pounds 9 ounces and 13 inches long.
Skeet and I made burial arrangements with the help of my mom and sister. As difficult as it was we laid her to rest on October 17th. It was a beautiful, private ceremony that honored my daughter like I had hoped it would. We were surrounded by our families and closest friends and even those that had not met her were blessed by this sweet spirit. I miss her every second of every day and I feel so extremely empty without her. I have a hard time because for so long my only purpose on this earth was to carry this child, to keep her safe and healthy and now I don't know what I am even here for. I know I just need to take it a day at a will get better. My arms ache for her but I know I will hold her again some day.
Thank you all who have been such a great support to me. Thank you for your prayers and your love. I know this time would have been so much more difficult without you. I am waiting for a disc of pictures from Dr. Sanders and will post some when I have them. I feel so blessed to have had you all with me through this difficult journey.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Our Precious Little Angel

Avery was born on Saturday October 13th at 3:17 am. She came after 3 days of me being in and out of the hospital for pre-term labor, dehydration and then my water breaking on Friday evening. Our amazing doctor, Dr. Sanders, told us her heart must have stopped within an hour before her birth. She was on monitor but moved around so much that we could never really keep her there. So we were not aware that her heart had stopped until she was born. She weighed 2 lbs 9 ozs and was 13 inches long. She was the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. I guess I would be a little partial. We are having a private, family graveside service on Wednesday the 17th. It is still hard for me to write about so I will try to post our story soon. Thank you all for your prayers and kind words. We feel so blessed that she did not suffer and is now with her Father in Heaven.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Genetic Counsler

Hello everyone! I want to start by telling you that we had an ultrasound on Tuesday and got to see our daughters face in 3D. She is beautiful. She has a cute little nose and pouty lips like her cousin Jacie. Unfortunately we were unable to get any pictures printed out because there was something wrong with the ultrasound machine. Dr. Sanders had promised us a couple more ultrasounds so hopefully at the next one we will get some cute pictures. Nothing has really changed as far as her measurements go. She still has really short arms and legs and her chest is very small. She is developing fluid in her abdomen and around her heart but not enough to worry about just yet. My amniotic fluid levels are still normal and we could see Avery sucking and swallowing the fluid. Did I mention she is so cute?

Yesterday I went to see Dr. Sanders because I was scared I was going into pre-term labor. My back had started to hurt and I started to panic. He checked me and said that I had started to soften so they hooked me up to the monitor and watched for contractions for the next hour. Luckily there wasn't much activity as far as contractions go so I was not sent over to labor and delivery. I am not ready for Avery to come yet. She is way too small right now, she only weighs about a pound and a half. The good thing about being hooked up to the monitors was that I was able to feel Avery move more than she ever has! She was all over the place and really didn't like the monitors on her. It was fun to hear her heartbeat and feel her move so much!
So today I met with a Genetics Counselor in St. George. She had the results from the blood tests they did on Skeet and I. It turns out that the gene "mutation" they found on Avery's amnio is actually not a mutation at all. It is just something on the gene that was passed to her by her dad and has nothing to do with skeletal dysplasia. So now we can say, for sure, that she does not have Thanatophoric Dysplasia. But, they still believe that she does have some type of lethal skeletal dysplasia that will not allow her to live very long after birth. They can still tell from the ultrasounds and pictures of her chest and heart that her lungs have little to no room to develop properly. We are again, where we won't know what she has until after she is born. And, although they are almost certain it is lethal, they cannot tell us how long she will be with us so we could have hours or days.

They will have to do x-rays and possibly even an autopsy in order to give us a diagnosis. I don't really like the idea of an autopsy but I would like to know if this is something that may affect any future children, and that may be the only way they can tell us. She also told us that she is having a couple of doctors from Primary Children's in Salt Lake look at Avery's photos. If they both decide it looks lethal then we can carry on with our plans to deliver Avery here in Cedar. If they think for any reason that she has a chance at survival, we may have to deliver in St. George or even Salt Lake. So once again, I feel like everything is up in the air. I was finally feeling like I could just try to enjoy the next few weeks with my baby and not have to worry about any of the other details but I guess things have changed. Hopefully by the first of next week she will be able to tell us something more. I feel very fortunate that we were able to speak with her ( I can't remember her name). She was very understanding and kind and I finally felt like someone knew they were talking about my daughter, not just a non-viable fetus. She told me that we need to cherish our time with her and respect her life. And also that we need to try to make her time on earth as peaceful and full of love as we can.

So that is all the news I have today. I wish I could share the ultrasound photos with you but you will just have to take my word for it! I have another appointment with Dr. Sanders next week and will be hearing back from our Genetics Counselor so I will probably do another update then. Thank you again for your prayers and kind words, please continue to pray for this beautiful little girl.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Another day... another Dr. appointment

We saw Dr. Sanders this morning, and I guess I will start seeing him every two weeks now. I think this was the hardest appointment we have had so far and it is all because Dr. Sanders cried. I knew it was going to be a tough appointment because there were so many things that I wanted to say that I had been rehearsing in my head for weeks now.
Let me tell you again how great Dr. Sanders is. I didn't even have to say any of the things I had rehearsed, he said it all for me. He said that we would treat this like any other pregnancy other than he is planning on doing ultrasounds for me once a month until she is born. He also said that in most cases like ours they wouldn't monitor the baby during labor but he would like to so that he can give us the best chance of having her born alive so that we can have those precious moments with her. He warned us again that there is a good chance that she may not make it to birth, which is something I knew was a possibility. He cried when he said that he wishes he could take it all away and make everything turn out okay for us.
I know a lot of you will be disappointed to read this but my hope for her being okay is all but gone. It is so hard for me to keep that hope alive when everything is telling me that it isn't going to turn out the way I have been praying for. Now my main hope is that we will at least have a few moments with her before she returns home, and my prayers are that I will have the strength to cope with it all, and most of all that she will not suffer.
I appreciate all of your prayers and kind words and I really wish I could give everyone the good news that they have been hoping for. I am afraid that if I keep trying to believe that our prayers will be answered, but God has other plans, I will not be able to get through this hard time with my sanity. I love my little girl with all my heart and I will keep fighting for her but I know the time will come when I will need to let her go and I have to try to be strong enough to get through that time. Thank you again for everything.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bad Days...

I have been having a really hard time since our last appointment. I think it is because I have realized that I am now in my 3rd trimester and my due date is quickly approaching. The fear and anxiety of what may come is starting to take over and I don't feel like I have the strength to keep pushing forward. I had a major meltdown the other night and think I scared Skeet pretty badly. It was my first since our finding out about Avery's condition and I have a feeling it won't be my last.
I can't stop crying and I truly think I am beginning to go into denial about it all. I keep catching myself thinking that there is no way God would do this to us. That everything will be fine and the doctors are all wrong. And then I cry when I have force myself back to reality. There is such a good chance that Avery does have TD and that her lungs will not be developed enough when she is born. As much as I want to believe 100% that she will be fine I can't help but let what I have seen and heard dim my hopes. Skeet isn't very optimistic as well and I think it frustrates him a little when I get my hopes up.
Avery is our daughter and that will never change. I have decided that at my appointment next week I am going to tell Dr. Sanders that I don't want to see Dr. G anymore. I don't think there is much he is willing to do for us anyway. I want this pregnancy to be treated as any other pregnancy, which means all the testing and avoiding things that are unhealthy for the baby. I am sick of people saying "Well at this point it doesn't really matter". She is my baby, I love her and she is entitled to every moment of life that she can sustain on her own. Plus, we need to be able to cherish every moment we get with her as well. I don't want anything to take away from that time with her. So that means, when she is born I want her delivery treated as any other delivery. I would like to have the pediatrician there and the respiratory specialist, just in case. And I would like them to clean her up and give her oxygen if necessary but then I would like to hold her and keep her with me. Unless of course the doctors are wrong and she looks like she will be okay then they can do whatever they need to to keep her healthy.
I do not want my baby to suffer at all but I know that there are some things we have no control over. I am leaving the rest of it up to God. I know that he has a plan for Avery, I believe in the power of prayer and I believe in miracles but I also believe that Avery has a purpose in this world and we cannot change that. As hard as it is, I need to just accept that I do not have any control and leave it in God's hands. I will continue to pray for my little daughter's health and strength and I hope that you all will as well. She hardly moves at all but when she does I know she is just reminding me that she is there and that she needs to be loved. There are so many out there who love her and I know that every moment of her life has been and will be filled with love. Thank you for letting me vent... I do feel better now.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Not much to report

We had an appointment yesterday with Dr. G and unfortunately I don't have much to report. He explained to us again that the gene mutation they found looked similar to Thanatophoric Dysplasia but they had never seen anything like it before. They took blood from both Skeet and I and were just going to send us home. I had gone to the appointment thinking I would be able to see my little girl so I pushed a little and Dr. G finally agreed to do an ultrasound. He did mention that if it looked like Skeet or I were carriers of this gene mutation that they would probably stop doing any ultrasounds and would just "leave us alone". He also said that although he can't say 100% that it is lethal, he thinks that it is. I have to say that I am a little bit upset by his bad attitude the whole time we were there.

Luckily the tech that did our ultrasound was very nice and I felt comfortable asking her some questions. Avery was, once again, being very shy and was curled up in a ball in my pelvis. We got some great shots of the top of her head but couldn't see much more than that. We did see an arm and from the measurements she took her humerus was only measuring 14 weeks ( I am almost 27 weeks) which means it hasn't grown at all. This made both Skeet and I a little sad. I have been praying so hard that she would grow, even if it is just a little bit. Measurements of her chest and abdomen were also taken but from the position she was in I don't know how accurate they really were. Her heartbeat was at 152 when the tech checked and to me it looked like her chest had some room for lungs to develop, but maybe I just saw what I wanted to see. We did get to see her face and her cute little nose and lips for just a second, but like I said the position she was in made it almost impossible to see anything. One thing I was curious about was my fluid levels and the tech assured me after measuring them that they are normal.

After she was done the tech went to get Dr. G to see if he wanted to do any additional measurements. He finally came in and I could tell he didn't really want to be there. He zoomed in on her skull and he and the tech talked about seeing something in her brain, but I didn't even want to ask. He then mentioned that her head looked like it was abnormally shaped. When he looked at Avery's heart it looked to be beating extremely slow... even slower than mine. He said "it looks like we are losing her" without any emotion at all. I couldn't understand how her heart could go from beating just fine to almost not at all in just minutes. He moved the wand around and her heart looked fine again. So he blamed the software on the ultrasound machine! I was furious!!! After everything we have been through, he suggests that we are losing her right then and there without an ounce of emotion, then takes it back like it is nothing. I wanted to scream at him... I still want to scream at him. I wasn't ready to lose her yet and I was really starting to panic. So anyway, he ended the appointment saying that we will just wait and see what our blood test shows before doing anything else.

So we play the waiting game again. I have a feeling, and have somewhat accepted, that we won't know sweet Avery's fate until she is born. Skeet and I discussed it on the way home and have decided that we will stick with Dr. Sanders and have Avery in Cedar city. I truly believe that if she is going to make it, it won't matter which hospital she is at. And, if she doesn't make it, I would much rather have her close to our families so that anyone that wants to meet her can be there. I feel deep down in my gut that this is the right decision, and am relieved that Dr. Sanders will be delivering her as we had originally planned. We are very comfortable with him and know that he will be sensitive to our situation and supportive of our decisions. I will see him next week for a prenatal check up and will discuss a birth plan with him. Hopefully he will attempt another 3D ultrasound, I plan on standing on my head before the appointment.

Again, I want to thank everyone for their kind words, thoughts and prayers. Skeet and I have been blessed with amazing families and anytime I start to lose hope I know I can turn to them. They are constantly praying for us and truly believe in the power of prayer. They have been keeping me strong and I want them to know how much I appreciate all of them. I feel Avery move on a daily basis and I cherish every little movement I feel. I want you all to know that whatever happens, we will always remember your kindness and will be forever thankful for it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Test Results Are In

After a very tiring vacation in Dallas with my sister and nephew I am finally home and have some more news to give. Aside from the new head cold and ear aches, I finally got a call from Dr. G's office yesterday morning as we were preparing to go to the airport to fly home. They left a message about the results being in and they needed Skeet and I to have blood drawn. I decided that I didn't want to know until I could be with Skeet so I didn't call them back until this morning.

When I spoke to Dr. G he said that the genetic mutation they found looks like Thanatophoric Dysplasia, but it is something they have never seen before. The type of mutation they saw looks similar to the type of dysplasia that is lethal but they cannot tell us for sure if it is lethal or even if it is for sure Thanatophoric Dysplasia. They need Skeet and I to have blood drawn so that they can test to see if we are carriers or if it is a new mutation or a mistake. I guess that means more waiting for us. And I can still have hope that she may be okay.

She doesn't move much but I think that she is growing because my belly is getting a lot bigger. I do feel her move more when I am resting and she is still really low, but I enjoy every kick, punch and turn that I do feel. While in Dallas we went into Babies R Us to find gifts for friends and family that are expecting and I thought I would be okay but while looking for cards I lost it. I didn't realize how hard it would be to see all the clothing, bedding and toys and not be sad that I should be having fun and buying things to prepare for her arrival. I don't want to have a pessimistic attitude about it but I don't think that I can make all those purchases and have to look at them or take them back if things don't go the way we are hoping for. I may never have a shower for Avery or paint a nursery but I will keep hoping that it will happen someday soon. With only a little over 3 months left of this pregnancy I am starting to get scared about what will happen and if I will be able to handle it.

Thank you all again for your prayers, please continue to pray for Avery and I will keep you updated. God Bless.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Strong Heart

I guess these posts are becoming a weekly thing now. I just wanted to give everyone an update on Avery. We traveled to Salt Lake this week for the fetal echo cardiogram at Primary Children's Hospital. We arrived Tuesday night and our appointment was scheduled for Wednesday morning. My parents were kind enough to drive us up and back and it was so nice to be able to spend that time with them. I figured that the FECG would be like an ultrasound and I was right, that is exactly what it was. They brought little Avery's heart up on the screen and started doing all the needed measurements. It took so long I think I was on that table for over an hour but it was nice to see our little girl bouncing around on the screen. After the tech had finished all of her pictures the doctor (I forget his name) came in to discuss the results with us. He said that they had noticed a small hole in Avery's heart but was not concerned because these holes, called VSDs, are very common and usually close up by the time the baby is born. He mentioned her chest size and said it looked extremely small. He seemed to imply that there was very little room for her lungs to develop. This, of course, wasn't new news to us so we took his news about her heart as good news and left Salt Lake with one less thing to worry about.

That brings us to today, Thrusday August 16th. I had an appointment with Dr. Sanders this morning to discuss my last appointment with Dr. G and the FECG. Skeet had to work today so my sister came with me to the appointment for moral support! I think she believes she owes me because I was there for most of hers and for Ayden's birth!

Can I just say how great I think Dr. Sanders is. If he could be my doctor for everything I would love that! He immediately makes you feel comfortable and he talks to you like you are a close friend and he really listens when you talk. So anyway back to the appointment, he wants Skeet and I to start thinking about how we want our birth plan to go if the baby's diagnosis is lethal. Depending on what we want will determine where Avery will be born. If we are comfortable with them not trying to resuscitate her and to just offer support after delivery then we can have Dr. Sanders deliver here in Cedar. We also have to decide if we would like to hold her and be with her until she passes or if it will be too hard. I haven't discussed any of this with Skeet yet because we don't know anything for sure and I told Dr. Sanders that. My sister asked him if the baby would suffer at all after birth and he said she would. She will go into respiratory distress then failure and then into cardiac arrest. He said as my doctor he wanted to be up front with me and that from everything they have seen he doesn't think the results of this test are going to be good and he wants me to prepare myself. In saying that, he wanted us to be able to leave his office today with some answers but after having his nurses call about 50 different places we found out that the tests were sent to California and it would be another week before we can find out the results. The 30 minutes that we waited to hear this were awful. My sister and I both crying and I was praying over and over again for some good news. Well to me... no news is good news. Once again I felt relief when he said it would be another week. I am just going to keep praying that the tests are negative for the lethal types they tested for and that little Avery will keep growing and surprise us all.
On a happier note I received a care package from a very good friend today and was reminded how blessed I am to have so many people out there praying for Avery. I have been crying from the second I opened this package and want my friend to know that it is the most beautiful, touching gift I have ever received and I have no idea how to thank you! I cannot wait to share it with Skeet and with Avery. Thank you from the bottom of my heart a million times.

So next week I am scheduled for a 3D ultrasound on Monday but may cancel if Skeet cannot make it. I cannot wait to see our little girls face. Then, I have to decide if I want the test results before my trip to Dallas next week or if I want to wait until after I get back. I can't decide if it would just be better to know or if it will be better to just wait until I have some time to be at home and just let it all sink in. I will see Dr. G again on Sept 5th to measure Avery again. I think they will continue the monthly ultrasounds no matter what the tests show.

I thank my Father in Heaven every day for my family, Skeet's family, and our friends and the great support they are to us. I know this experience would be so much more difficult if it weren't for them. Avery is truly blessed to have such wonderful people pulling for her. Thank you again to everyone for your prayers. Please continue to pray for her and I will let you know more when I know more. In the mean time... God Bless.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Baby Avery

I will start off with the good news. Much to our surprise they confirmed at our appointment today that our baby is a girl. I was so convinced for the last 22 weeks that we were having a boy. But the amnio results don't lie... it is for sure a girl. I think hearing that made everything harder. Our way of thinking has now changed. Its not just our baby anymore, it's our daughter. Reality is so much closer now.... but still so far away.

The drive to St. George was quiet, my stomach was turning and I prayed over and over the whole way. When we parked the car and started for the door to the clinic I almost turned back to the car. I didn't think I could handle it. I was so scared of what we were going to find out, or not find out. Before today I thought that them not being able to tell us anything would be worse than getting the definite lethal diagnosis. I was asked to sign a few papers before we could see the doctor and as I was reading them over my stomach dropped. There was a section on the patient information sheet for the diagnosis and underneath it said Thantophoric dysplasia. From all my research I knew this to be a lethal type of skeletal dysplasia. I thought for sure they had the results... why else would they list it as a diagnosis. It took all my strength not to break down right then and there.

We were taken into a very large dark room to start an ultrasound. This time I watched every measurement and the u/s tech talked us through everything she was doing. It was so strange this time around because there were so many things that I had read on the internet and seen in photos, that I was now looking for and my baby looked so different to me. I found myself looking for club feet, bowed femurs, frontal bossing amoung other things. Her legs are still very small and have not grown much, if at all. We still could not see her fingers because her hands were in fists. Her heartbeat is still stong at 165. The tech didn't tell us much and when I asked questions she told me I would need to ask the doctor.

Finally, the doctor came in and gave us the results of the amnio, all the chromosone testing came back normal. No down syndrome or any of the T syndromes. There was a problem with the additional testing that they do for dwarfism, the first test they tried failed so the lab had to start over. This means that we won't know what type of Skeletal Dysplasia our little girl has for another 3 weeks. That had been my fear but now I am somewhat relieved. I get to have some time with my little girl before I find out for sure! Anyway, Dr. G did his own measurements and did say that her chest has grown which is a really good sign. I asked about the heart and whether or not it looked like there is room for the lungs to develop and he said that it looked like the heart was not taking up the whole chest cavity. He sounded very optimistic about her chest size which made me breath a huge sigh of relief. However, he is still very concerned about the length of her long bones and we did notice bowing of the femur. He said her head looked good, it was right on as far as size and did not seem to have any frontal bossing and was shaped perfectly. He couldn't tell us much about her hands and feet because of her positioning and she wasn't moving much. I think she was napping.

So our appointment was okay but not great. I am not as much of a wreck as I thought I would be. I am still worried about getting the rest of the test results but I am feeling hopeful. Dr. G never pressured us one way or the other when it came to our options as was completely supportive of our decision not to terminate. He said because we have the time we don't have to be in too much of a hurry to get the results. He wants us to come back in a month to measure the baby again. He also recommended that we speak to the local neonatal specialist and find out what our options are for delivery. He is confident that we will be able to deliver either way in St. George which is alot better than having to go to Salt Lake. I am sad that Dr. Sanders will not be able to deliver our baby but we have to do what is best for her.

It's so weird to think that I have done everything to make sure that this baby is healthy. I eat my fruits and veggies, I drink my milk and water, and I take my prenatal vitamins. I have also been staying away from deli meat, sprouts, hot dogs and caffine (for the most part). But there is nothing I can do to prevent this, it makes me feel so out of control. All I can do is pray that God will not give us more trials than we can handle. I have to say that I would not be able to get through this if it weren't for my amazing husband. He is my rock and I feel so blessed to have him in my life.

I want to thank all of you for your comments and your prayers. Please continue to pray for Avery, we appreciate every prayer. God Bless!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

How it all began

After being married for a little over a year we decided it was time to start trying for a family. I had had so many problems in the last few years with endometriosis and irregular cycles that I knew it wasn't going to be easy and saw a doctor right away for infertility. Dr. Sanders was great, he agreed that it probably wouldn't be easy and scheduled me for a series of tests and surgery to help with the endometriosis. After 2 years of chlomid and ovulation tests we were told that our next option would be to see a specialist in Las Vegas. We met with Dr. D not too long after that and got the ball rolling for In Vitro Fertilization. On March 17, 2007 we went in for the egg retrieval. 46 eggs were taken from my ovaries and 40 of them survived fertilization. After a week of incubating we still had 7 strong eggs and our transfer was scheduled for March 22nd. We watched as Dr. D inserted 2 blastocysts into my uterus on the ultrasound screen and silently I prayed that they would grab on and hold tight. The 5 remaining were frozen for future attempts. On April 2nd Dr. Sanders called me to tell me that my blood test had come back with a positive. After 2 1/2 years we were finally pregnant! I could hardly believe it! A few days later I had to pee on a stick just to see for myself!

I experienced all the blessings of the first trimester, the nausea, the heartburn, the sore chest, and boy was I tired! But I loved every minute of it. One Saturday in May my sister rushed me to the hospital, I was 11 weeks and was having extreme pain in my lower stomach. I was so scared but was told that if there was no blood I shouldn't worry. After some morophine and alot of water they did a transabdominal ultra sound and said the baby is fine. They gave me some antibiotics for a UTI then they were going to send me home. Luckily my OB sensed something else was wrong and ordered me to be monitored over night and a transvaginal ultrasound to be done later that evening. After taking one look at my 2nd ultrasound he started making arrangments for emergency surgery. I had what they call a heterotopic pregnancy which is where two embryos implant, one in the uterus and one elsewhere. In my case it was my left tube. (The chances of this happening are about 1% in IVF cases.) My tube had ruptured and I was bleeding internally. I was so scared for my baby but my OB assured me everything would be fine. I remember waking up from the surgery and the first thing out of my mouth was "is my baby okay?" and it was! He showed me the next morning on an ultrasound that the baby was fine... a little bean bouncing all over the place! After that I thought the worst had to be over and if we could survive that we could survive anything!

Jumping forward 8 weeks to our level II ultrasound, July 17, 2007 I am 19 weeks 3 days, we show up to our appointment VHS in hand. I have a feeling deep down that we are having a little boy but can't wait to see for sure. Unfortunately the bad news comes before we can even find out. Within minutes of starting the ultrasound the tech tells me there is something very wrong with the baby and proceeds to point out an extremely short femur bone and what looks like alot of fluid around the baby's brain. After that I was crying so hard I didn't see the rest of the ultrasound. She finished up her measurements and we talked to our OB who said that best case is the baby will be a dwarf, but he is going to look over the ultrasound and call us later that evening. After a long day of everyone crying and praying Dr. Sanders finally calls and says it looks worse than he thought and that the baby most likely has a lethal form of skeletal dysplasia that will not allow the baby to breath on its own after birth. We were crushed. Our little miracle, the baby we have waited so long for, may not live. He recommended that we see a Perintologist and would call us the next day with an appointment.

The next day we drove the 40 minutes to the Peri's office dreading what we would hear but hoping for good news. He confirmed right away that it is for sure skeletal dysplasia, the limbs were about 6 weeks behind the rest of the body. They measured every part of my baby and I couldn't watch. It was too hard to see those images, to become even more attached to this little being when I didn't know if I was ever going to be able to see it alive, or hold it in my arms. They did an amnio and mentioned something about a heart defect and the appointment was over. I was told to come back in 3 weeks to go over the results. We were also scheduled for a fetal echocardiogram in 4 weeks.

Which brings us to today. I am 21 weeks 4 days pregnant and dreading next Wednesday when we will find out the test results. I have been praying for my baby every day, as have my family and friends. The one thing that brings me peace is knowing that no matter what happens this will always be our baby, our first, our little miracle. We have decided that no matter what the test results show we are carrying this baby to term if possible. We want to give it any chance for life we can, even if it is only a few moments. Next week we will find out the gender of the baby and will give it a name. I am asking anyone who reads this to please remember our little one in your prayers. I will be back next week to post the results.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Our Story

We were married in the fall of 2003, almost exactly 9 months after we met for the first time. We thought, like most people do, that we would wait a year or two before trying for a family. So a little over a year later, when we learned that Skeet’s sister was expecting a child, we decided it was time for us to add to our family so that the cousins would be close in age. I never told Skeet but I had been suffering from baby fever for months before that!

I knew right off the bat that I would need to see a doctor before we could get pregnant because I had suffered with endometriosis since I was sixteen and my cycles had been irregular for years. The first doctor I met with suggested I go on birth control to regulate my cycles. I thought this seemed a little too counterproductive, so I got a second opinion. My second doctor, Dr. S, was great! He immediately ordered tests and scheduled a laparoscopic surgery to try to reduce some of the endometriosis. After the surgery and the tests we began taking chlomid. We did round after round of chlomid with no luck. After 2 years, and knowing that taking chlomid for too long can actually hurt your chances of conceiving, Dr. S suggested we do one last cycle on the maximum dose with a trigger for ovulation. No such luck, we were disappointed yet again. Stumped, Dr. S ordered more tests and we were finally told that we would need to see a specialist. We were referred to a doctor in Las Vegas, Dr. D.

We saw Dr. D for the first time in January 2007. He ran more tests, looked at our records and concluded that our best shot would be In Vitro Fertilization. He gave us an 80% chance of success with this method and if we started right away we could do an embryo transfer in two months. After a lot of discussion, and some tears on my part, Skeet and I finally decided to increase the Home Equity Loan we had taken out with the intent of finishing our back yard, and instead give IVF a shot. We used our loan for the required tests and the cost of the IVF procedure, our insurance would not cover one cent of it, and then used a credit card to purchase the many, many medications needed. We thought an 80% chance of success sounded pretty good and were confident that within a couple of months we would be expecting our first child. Well, we were right!

In March of 2007 we saw Dr. D every other day for 2 weeks, first for ultrasounds and blood work, and then for the egg retrieval. They retrieved 46 eggs from my ovaries, and 40 of those were fertilized. 5 days later 23 embryos remained and they transferred the two best looking ones of the bunch. The next day, when they went to freeze our embryos, only 5 remained. So we had 2 perfect embryos in my uterus and 5 more on ice for future attempts.
Less than two weeks later, on April 2, 2007, I received a phone call from my beloved Dr. S. He asked me how I was feeling and how our blood pregnancy test had went. I told him that we were still awaiting the results but should get them any time that day. He then proceeded to tell me that the test came back positive, and congratulations! I, of course, made him repeat himself because I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it! We were really going to have a baby. I began crying, thanked him probably 5 more times, and dialed Skeet as soon as I hung up. Skeet was in Texas for work, but seemed almost as thrilled about our good news as I was. I then proceeded to call my mom, dad, sister, and everyone else I could think of to tell them the good news. This was not something I was going to be able to keep a secret, even if it was too early to start spreading the news.

The first few weeks of our pregnancy were uneventful. I did suffer from morning sickness but tried not to complain too much. I was just so unbelievably happy that we were going to have a baby. We had our first ultrasound at five and a half weeks and saw one sac and one baby but were told it was too early to see a heartbeat. Fortunately we were invited to come back the next week for another ultrasound. Skeet couldn’t make it that time so my mom came with me. I will never forget looking up at the screen and seeing the flicker of a little heartbeat. I couldn’t hold back the tears; it was one of the best days of my life.

The Saturday that I turned eleven weeks, I was admitted into the emergency room for severe abdominal pain. I was so scared. I didn’t know what was happening but was told that as long as there wasn’t any blood I shouldn’t worry. They did an abdominal ultrasound and saw my sweet little baby bouncing around on the screen with a perfect heartbeat. The ER doctor was stumped. The only thing he could find that might be causing me any pain was a very mild urinary tract infection. I knew what one of those felt like and this pain, enough to require morphine, didn’t seem like a mild UTI. Still, they gave me antibiotics and were about to discharge me when Dr. S came to my rescue. He too thought it was odd that I would need something as strong as morphine for an UTI so he decided to keep me overnight for observation and ordered an internal ultrasound for later that evening. At around 11:30 p.m. they took me in for a second ultrasound. By that time I was in a great deal of pain and felt weak and nauseated. This time they found that blood was filling my pelvic cavity, but my baby was still there with a very strong heartbeat. Dr. S rushed me into surgery.

When I came out of surgery I was told that I had what is known as a heterotopic pregnancy; which is when a pregnancy occurs in two different places. In my case I had one embryo implant in my uterus and one in my left fallopian tube. When my body decided to abort the embryo in my tube, the bleeding had caused my tube to rupture and blood to fill my pelvic cavity. I ended up losing my left tube, but was so grateful that my baby still had a strong heartbeat and would be okay. After that, I thought that if our baby could survive such an ordeal, it could survive anything.

Fast forward 8 weeks, we are now nineteen and a half weeks pregnant and about to have our level II ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby and make sure it is developing properly. By then I had completely healed from the surgery and was very much enjoying my growing baby bump. I had developed a habit of rubbing it all the time; it’s something I still miss. We arrived at Dr. S’s office with video tape and CD in hand to record pictures and video of our sweet little baby, and with the hopes that we will soon know the gender of our first child.

From the very beginning of our ultrasound I knew something was wrong. I was laughing and trying to make jokes but our ultrasound tech was very quiet. After a moment she said “there is something wrong”. I asked her if it was bad and she answered yes. I immediately began to cry and Skeet held my hand. She started to point out that the baby had very short arms and legs and at that point I couldn’t even watch anymore. I just laid there on the table and cried while she finished the ultrasound. They then moved us into an exam room to wait to talk to Dr. S. When he came in he said that best case scenario would be that our child would be a dwarf, or a little person. He said that he needed to look over the images one more time and that he would call us later that day. No one ever told us the gender of the baby and we left without a video or pictures of the ultrasound.

Instead of going back to work I went home and I cried. Skeet called my parents and my sister and they all met me at home and cried and prayed with me. We prayed for our little baby to be okay and for us to have the strength to deal with whatever we would have to endure. I started to feel a little bit better but when Dr. S called later that day my world came crashing down around me. He said that from the pictures he saw, our child likely had a lethal form of skeletal dysplasia. It would be lethal because the baby’s ribcage would never be large enough to allow his/her lungs to develop. The baby would most likely pass away immediately after birth. However, he wanted us to see a perinatologist to get a second opinion.

The next day we saw the perinatologist and he confirmed that it was a form of skeletal dysplasia and would most likely be lethal. They did an amniocentisis and sent us home to wait for a more certain diagnosis. Unfortunately all the tests were inconclusive. We spent the rest of the pregnancy praying that the doctors were wrong and that our sweet little baby would just be a little bit smaller than everyone else. We did however, find out through the amnio that our baby was a little girl and we named her Avery.

I cherished every moment of my pregnancy after that. I read to Avery almost every day. I would also sing to her, my favorite being “You Are My Sunshine” and I would cry. I didn’t dare make any plans, I just prayed. As much as I wanted to believe that I would bring my daughter home, I couldn’t bear having a baby shower or a nursery knowing that I may have to pack everything away someday if I did end up having to let her go. We were given the option to terminate our pregnancy but that was never an option for us. This child had been given life by our Heavenly Father and it was not our place to take that life away. My plan was to give our child every chance at life; I would not be responsible for taking it away.

On the morning of October 10, 2007, 31 weeks and 5days into my pregnancy, I woke up with back pain and decided to get checked out at Labor and Delivery. They confirmed that I was, in fact, in labor and I was asked to decide whether or not we wanted to stop the labor. I chose to try to stop it. I wasn’t prepared yet. I wanted those last eight weeks if I could have them. I was kept overnight for observation and released the next morning. That evening I was re-admitted for dehydration but was released early Friday morning. Friday afternoon I stood up and felt a gush. It wasn’t a lot of fluid but enough to make me worry. When I called labor and delivery they told me that if it happened again I needed to come in and get checked out. We had an appointment with a pediatrician that day to discuss a birth plan and right before we left for that appointment I had another small gush of fluid. I told Skeet that we would be stopping by the hospital on our way home from our appointment.

When they checked for amniotic fluid at the hospital the test came back negative. They were letting me go home. I stood up to use the restroom and change back into my clothes and felt another big gush. This time it didn’t stop and I hobbled to the bathroom to stand in the bathtub until the fluid stopped. They eventually helped me back to bed and confirmed that my water had broken. Avery was on her way.

We called family and waited to hear whether or not we would be sent to another hospital because ours did not deliver babies earlier than 34 weeks. Fortunately Dr. S had pulled some strings and we were able to stay there and have him deliver our daughter. Avery’s heartbeat was strong when they hooked me up to the monitor, however, they had a hard time keeping track of her because she was small and kept moving to avoid it; every hour or so we would have to readjust.

After I received the epidural, I was finally able to drift off to sleep. Skeet slept as well, in my room with me, while our families tried to sleep in their cars and the waiting room. No one wanted to miss the chance to meet our special little girl. At around 2:30 a.m. the nurse came in to readjust the heart monitor and to check my progress and Dr. S decided it was time to push. They paged the on call pediatrician and the respiratory specialist and we woke Skeet. My sister came in to coach me and Skeet held my hand.

Avery was born breech, at 3:17 a.m. on Saturday, October 13, 2007. She didn’t cry, she never even took a breath, and she had no heartbeat. She was gone. They wrapped her up and placed her in my arms and I was in awe of how incredibly beautiful she was. Although she was tiny, at only 2 pounds 9 ounces and 13 inches long, she still fit perfectly into my arms. Everyone took turns holding her and saying their hellos and goodbyes but it was when I saw Skeet take her into his arms that my heart broke. He looked so sad and I finally saw all that he had missed out on. He didn’t have the same bond with Avery as I did and I could see he realized that as he held her.

After everyone left I held on to her, trying to take in every moment because I never wanted to forget how it felt to hold my child in my arms. We were told that because the birth was so hard on her body, we should keep her wrapped up and we should expect that, once they took her to get weighed and measured, we wouldn’t get to see her again. I never had the chance to bathe and dress her. I didn’t get to look at her feet or toes. I never even saw whether or not she had my thick black hair.

At around five thirty that morning I started to feel sick and weak. I decided to say my final goodbye and I let Skeet walk her down to the nursery. I never saw my daughter again. I was discharged from the hospital the next day. The funeral home had already come to pick up her body and I knew that I would soon have to start planning a service. I cried as I was being escorted out of the hospital in a wheelchair. Most women leave the Labor and Delivery wing with a baby to take home… I left with only flowers and condolences for the death of my first child. They never gave me hand or footprints of Avery and told me that even though she had a full head of black hair; it was too short for them to cut a lock of it for me to keep. The only things I had were the few pictures that were taken of her and a small recorder that we had used to record her heartbeat.

In the days after Avery’s birth I suffered from extremely high blood pressure, fluid in my lungs and a fever that reached 104 degrees. Luckily my mother and my sister were able to help with burial arrangements. Avery was laid to rest on October 17, 2007. It was a beautiful service but the worst day of my life.

I knew that it would be a while before my heart would mend enough to even think about having another child. We still had 5 frozen embryos and Dr. D had offered to do our next transfer at no cost. We finally received a diagnosis, from the X-rays they took of Avery at the hospital, almost 5 months after her birth. They concluded (although they couldn’t be 100% sure because no blood work was done) that Avery had Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type II, or brittle bone disease. The doctors believed that her bones were breaking in the womb and then when they would heal it caused malformations of her hands, feet, arms, legs and even her ribcage. I can’t even imagine how terribly painful her birth would have been for her had she lived. I thank the Lord that she was not allowed to suffer through it, although I still wish sometimes that I could have seen her open her eyes, or heard her cry.

We decided to wait almost a year before we tried again. We did a frozen embryo transfer, of two embryos (one embryo was lost during the thawing process), on August 18, 2008 and received a positive pregnancy test but were told not to expect a viable pregnancy because the numbers were too low. At 7 weeks an ultrasound was done which showed a sac but no baby. I was given pills that induced a miscarriage. I was devastated once again but still held on to hope that our remaining two embryos would result in a healthy baby or two.

In May of 2009 we were ready to try again, this was our last shot and I had all of my hopes and dreams riding on these last two frozen embryos. On the day of our transfer we were told that only one embryo had survived the thawing process but it looked perfect. It was transferred and we were told that a blood pregnancy test would be done 10 days later. This time I began to feel something that made me hopeful. I felt pregnant. Smells would turn my stomach and I found that I couldn’t eat certain things that only a few days before I loved. I began to believe that things might actually work out for us this time.

On the day of our pregnancy test, I gagged at the smell of Skeet’s coffee and it was a wonderful feeling (I normally love the smell of coffee). However, later that day I was at the cemetery cleaning Avery’s headstone when I received a call from Dr. D. He said that although the test had come back positive, he believed that I would soon miscarry. He explained that I had what they call a bi-chemical pregnancy. When the embryo implants but does not begin to develop. Again, I was devastated. At this point all hope was lost. We had no more embryos and were still trying to pay off our debt from the IVF. Plus, I didn’t know what was causing this to happen.

Dr. D ordered blood work and a scope of my uterus and everything came back perfectly normal. He said that he believed if we could do one more fresh IVF cycle, we would have a healthy delivery. We are now torn. I have felt what it is like to have a child growing inside of me but I had that child taken away. Now, I want so badly to have that chance again but don’t have the resources to do so. I don’t want to give up on the idea of having a child of our own, having Avery’s brother or sister, but at this point I am afraid to have hope that it will ever happen for us.

(added on July 22, 2011)

**In January 2010 Dr S. performed a procedure on me called Ovarian Diathermy.  This was our last shot.  Our hope was that my body would respond to the clomid and that I might release some good quality eggs, giving us a chance of getting pregnant without having to spend thousands of dollars.  After 6 months and 3 failed rounds of clomid (I did respond, and ovulate but no pregnancy) we got our first surprise positive pregnancy test on August 21, 2010, on a non medicated cycle.  After a touchy pregnancy we welcomed our miracle baby, Sawyer, on April 27, 2011.  He was born healthy at 7 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches long.  He came into this world at 10:13 a.m. which just happens to be his big sister's birthday!  We are thrilled that our dream of having a child to hold has finally come true and we are cherishing every moment with our sweet little man.   We have learned that prayers are answered and miracles do happen!!  I am so glad that we never gave up.  Who knows... someday we might be able to give Sawyer and Avery another sibling too!**