Saturday, 22 December 2012

Parvo virus

AKA: slapped cheek disease, or fifth's disease….
I don't love parvo virus, I really, really don't. Too bad for me, because somehow, I wasn't immune to it, and somehow… I got it.
I diagnoses a couple patients with it, plus it's going around like crazy and I work in the clinic and ER seeing a million kids with the runny noses and fevers… you know, a cold, or the symptoms of parvo when most infectious. Once they actually get the rash they aren't infectious anymore.
So what does it mean?? Well if you aren't pregnant, it means nothing. If you are pregnant, there is a very small percentage of babies (about 1/100) that will develop fetal anemia. If left untreated that would be bad, really really bad. (I can't go there, but you can figure it out) Yesterday we went for an ultrasound to make sure the baby isn't showing any signs of anemia, and praise God, everything looked perfect!!! Unfortunately, parvo can cause anemia in the baby for up to 12 weeks post exposure. So, the plan is to do an ultrasound in the city with my dr every week for an additional 8 weeks. We will be skipping next week because I am 16 weeks, and the treatment for anemia, which is in utero blood transfusions to the umbilical vein, can't be done until 18 weeks, so if there was anemia… there would be nothing to be done. Frightening thought. Praying we never need to go that route and that we never, ever see anything but a healthy baby… I know God is in control. It's still scary. I would appreciate prayers for peace and for the baby's health.

So friends and family who live in the city… get ready for weekly visits for the next 8 weeks!

Here are some photos from yesterday's good news scan

Hand and arm

profile looking down

Both baby's feet! You can count all 10 toes!

16 week belly photo coming up!
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Saturday, 8 December 2012

To share or not to share...

The question I have been pondering... do we share with the world that our baby is adopted? Do we share the details of our child's life story? I was pondering this and asked a friend, and she said... What brings God glory? Do that.

We feel strongly that embryo adoption does bring God glory. What I have learned going through this process, is that in the end, no matter what technology we apply, no matter what doctors do, life is still ultimately in the hands of God. Only He decides if an embryo in the womb will implant, and continue to grow and develop, and if that baby will be born into this world. Only God decides if that baby's heart beats or not. No matter what protocol is used, no matter the quality of the embryo given by an embryologist, only God is in control. Our first transfer, we were matched with 7 embryos. Sadly, 4 died on thawing, and 3 were transferred. I had the honor of being a home to them for 3 weeks, and then they went to heaven. This time, we were matched with 3 embryos, 1 did not survive the thaw, 2 were transferred and we lost one. Praise God, He has blessed us with one very healthy baby, who is growing strong. I am very aware of the fact that life is precious and amazing! When we see our baby moving and changing and growing on the ultrasound screen, it never ceases to amaze me that IT ACTUALLY WORKED! All the meds and scans and prep, and the transfer actually worked!!!! There really is a baby in there!
The second thing that has been solidified for me... biology means nothing. I knew that already, knowing how I feel about our Ethiopian born children. But I am again reminded, I forget that this baby isn't genetically related to us in any way. It doesn't matter. I feel exactly the same about this baby as I have about all my children. Embryo adoption is, in my opinion, remarkable. I remember reading about it in a book called Adopted for Life, but I never thought I would live it! I feel blessed to be this baby's mom!

So in the end, what did I decide? In my husband's words... we have nothing to hide, our life is an open book....

Monday, 3 December 2012

Appointment with the obstetrician

Friday we saw the high risk obstetrician, and things went better than expected! She said she is VERY sure that the placenta will move to a safer area by 20 weeks!!! Such awesome news. She will rescan me at 20 weeks for anatomy and for the placental location.
This time, we got to see the baby moving so much! He or she was doing flips in there! We could see hands and feet, spine, face… it's made everything so much more real for us! We are so very blessed!! 
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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

12 week update

Personally, I think the baby bump is obvious… apparently to others it is not, but I wanted a photo anyway. I have been in maternity pants since 7 weeks (likely due to the extreme snug fit my regular pants had following 2 go rounds on lupron, drug of weight gain). I am happy to enter the second trimester! (don't they say you feel the best in the secnod trimester????)
I'm still feeling "all day" sickness, but its a lot worse at night. I'm currently attempting to eat what ever happens to not make me want to vomit that particular day, and then crossing it off the list for any further consumption. I feel bad for Jason, he says he has never been so close to being a vegetarian every before… can't do the meat…
Praise God, I've not had anymore bleeding, and I see my high risk obs this week. I might be crazy, but I am SURE that every so often I feel tiny little flutters of movement.  So thankful! 
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Monday, 19 November 2012


Today we had an unplanned ultrasound after having a small bleed yesterday of old blood (too much info?), thankfully we could get in for a scan, and honestly, thought it would be from the twin we lost, as the gestational sac was still seen. Praise Jesus, the baby is doing awesome, growing well, measuring 11 weeks 5 days. The news we didn't expect, placenta previa… a complete one. My placenta is completely over the cervical opening. The doctor said  that it "might" move up, but that we should expect more bleeding, as he could see a collection of old blood, and that it is a situation with risk involved and a "certain level of uncertainty".  All we can do now… reduce my activity, so I went off ER shifts, and get on our knees and pray that the Lord will bless us with this baby being born healthy at term. There's nothing left to do. Rest in the sovereignty of  God, He is in control, not me… I'll admit it, I cried today, but thankfully the baby is fine! We even got to see him or her move its hand in front of its face and squiggle around!
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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Its been quite some time since I posted last and lots has gone on in the mean time!
The day after our first ultrasound scan at 6 weeks, I had bleeding, which was terrifying and devastating as we feared the worst. Thankfully, I very amazing doc came in for me that day and within 2 hours, we saw our baby was alive and well, beating heart and safe inside. There was a second gestational sac seen on ultrasound later, and the bleeding was thought to be from our twin that implanted and started developing, but unfortunately died. Praise the Lord, our little bean is safe and sound. Since that episode, I had a scan at 7 weeks 2 days and 8 weeks 2 days, and everything is going awesome! Baby is growing and developing as expected. Praise GOD! 

First photo is at 8weeks2days

Bottom photo is 7 weeks 2 days

Yesterday we had the privilege of  hearing our baby's heartbeat through the doppler, at 10 weeks 5 days. What an amazing sound! 
Now we are in the weaning support medication stage, as my placenta has taken over making all the hormones this baby needs to survive. Its a little nerve wracking to go from... "don't ever miss this medication, your baby's life depends on it"... to "you can stop now". What? really? are you sure???????? Feels scary to just stop, cold turkey... hence the weaning slower. My butt won't likely miss the daily IM injections, but it does seem weird after almost 4 months of injections, pre and post transfer!
We are so very thankful that things are going well and this babe is growing! Miracle indeed!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Ultrasound day!

OUr appointment was this monring at 8am, bright and early. I will admit that last night I was a little nervous and slightly worried. Praise Jesus, everything is awesome! We were able to see one perfect beating heart, and the baby measures croen to rump 5.8 mm, which is prefectly on for 6weeks 3 days, which is what I am by dates. We were saddened to hear that one of our babies went straight to the arms of Jesus, but we celebrate the life of this little one that He has chosen to bless us with! THANK YOU LORD! I have never been so aware of the amazing miracle life is, as I have been going through this process. Embryos may be place into your womb, but only the hand of God Himself determines which embryos will continue on to life on earth. Humbling to think about. We give thanks today for this amazing blessing!!! Each morning I rise and feel nausea I praise God that this baby continues to grow! Thank you to all those who have been praying!!!

First glimpse!
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Saturday, 13 October 2012

The 2 week wait

If there's one thing I'm not good at, it's waiting. Blood test BHCG day, to see if I was pregnant as a result of this transfer, was set by my clinic for October 1st, 11 days after the transfer. 11 days, that's a breeze... right? Not so much... not when ALL you are thinking about is if this symptom, or that cramping means something good or bad... I was however allowed by my loving husband to buy 3 first response tests in the US (SO MUCH CHEAPER) and bring them home. I was SURE the transfer had worked by day 3 post transfer. I can't explain it, I just felt pregnant. My friend convinced me to hold off testing until day 5 or 6 post transfer. I compromised and got up at 3 am and tested at day 5.5 post transfer. I was a little worried that my urine wouldn't be concentrated enough after such a short time, but I woke up in the night and ALL i could think about was that I needed to test, because I KNEW it would be positive. So, I crept into the bathroom and with shaking hands I waited... within seconds I had it... A POSITIVE!
  The following morning I felt the need to make sure that line was getting darker... and praise the Lord, it was double as dark! By day 8 post 5 day transfer, the test line was darker than the control line. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
 By day 8 and 9 post transfer I was starting to feel some nausea throughout the day, which was a welcomed symptom! Day 11 post transfer was blood test day, to confirm that my hcg levels were where my clinic was happy with them. I found this digital test kicking around and thought I would try it out! I've never actually seen these words on a digital test before, so it was neat...
 Day 11 post transfer, my clinic was hoping for a bhcg of 100 or greater... mine was 229!! WOOOHOOO! Some very, very nonmedical websites listed this beta in the twins zone, although nothing can really tell except an ultrasound! I went for a repeat bhcg blood test 48 hours later with the hope for doubling the 229... it came back more than double at 526! My last bhcg was on Oct 9th, 18 days post transfer and it was 4092! Thank you Lord! All awesome numbers. Now we wait for our first ultrasound Oct 16th!

Transfer day

We drove to Seattle for our transfer, overall it was about 2200km of driving for us, but the trip was broken up with visits along the way. On Sept 20th, transfer day, we went to Pike place market for the morning to attempt to distract me from looking at the clock every 2 seconds. Finally the time came for drinking of liters of water and taking Valium. I'm going to say, I didn't think the Valium was actually doing anything for me. But my husband would say, it did  A LOT! The team at our clinic was fantastic. Everyone was very friendly and the clinic itself was beautiful. We went to the transfer room right away and the embryologist came into to show us photos of our beautiful babies. We had thawed 3 embryos, but unfortunately, one of the embryos did not survive the thaw. The other two, however, were growing strong and expanding as they should. I had been really nervous about the embryos not surviving the thaw, or if only one survived the thaw, as we really hoped for transfer of 2 embryos. As I have been told over and over again, I shouldn't have worried, God is in control, not me. During the actual transfer, we watched on a screen in the room as our embryos were moved from the culture dish and loaded into the transfer catheter. It was really cool to see them and KNOW they were really going into my uterus! The transfer was smooth and after about 15 mins of resting still, we were sent to our hotel! Our clinic is not strict at all about bed rest, and even encouraged us to go out for a nice supper. Too bad for the Valium... I slept all afternoon and evening :) The day following the transfer we spent lounging in our hotel watching movies and praying that these babies were implanting!!!!


We were given a number of profiles to choose from. How overwhelming! We told our clinic that we were open to any ethnicity, including mixed ethnicity embryos. Being open gave us a number of embryos to consider. It seemed so weird and wrong almost, to look through these profiles and try to decide which may become our child or children. We poured over the profiles for an evening, trying to figure out how one makes this choice. In the end, we felt that it was best if we didn't make the choice, so we emailed our coordinator and asked that she make the choice for her. All we want is a baby in the end... it matters not at all to us what skin color that child has, what genetic make up the child has, or what illnesses might run in the genes. So we asked the clinic to choose for us the embryos that had the best chance of surviving. Within an hour, we had our match!

What is embryo adoption?

Embryo adoption stems from a problem that many couples face after having IVF treatments. During IVF treatments, often many extra embryos are created than will be used for completion of their family. Couples are then faced with the choice of what to do with their extra embryos...
1: destroy them
2: donated them to science
3:give them to other couples for adoption, meaning the embryos will be transferred into the adoptive mother's uterus and she will carry the pregnancy and deliver her adopted child.

Currently in the USA there are about 500,000 frozen embryos in storage, About 9,000 per year will be adopted.

Adoptions may be done as open adoptions, with full contact between families, or by anonymous donation, with very little being known about the characteristics of the biological parents.

Our embryo adoption was done through an excellent fertility clinic in Seattle, and our adoption was totally anonymous. More about being matched to embryos in the next post.