Texas in the Spring

It is always a tradition to have Bluebonnet pictures made around the Dillon Household. Even the very first Easter Lexi was standing in snow on the Bluebonnets. Gotta love Texas weather.

Another part of every spring and every April 15 lies TAX DAY. I am not going to delve to deeply into that except to tell you that we have a huge shock with our taxes this year resulting in the Dillon Family returning to a sequestration status. I think I have scared sweet Lexi because we aren’t going out to eat….save 1 meal a week. I am on a spending freeze for everything except necessities. As Dave Ramsey would call it a rice and beans…beans and rice budget.

So, as I got the kids ready to take pictures with our friend Gabrielle Cole she said “Mommy, pictures cost money- can we afford it?” Sweet girl. In reality I had cancelled pictures with Gabrielle let her know that we were not spending money on anything. I mean anything unless it is necessary. Gabrielle was so kind and was willing to go ahead and take our pics for us……We were so thankful and I hope to reward her in the future!

Take time now to visit her blog or to visit her on FB- she is a wonderful baby sitting and photographer. She has reasonable prices and she stays calmer than I do when Luke always decides that the photo time is the time to act like a maniac. Some how he things this is the time to act up. Even if he has been an angel all day. I will never know what it is!

Please send Gabrielle some love and some business for me! She deserves it!

http://gabriellecole.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gabrielle.cole.7161

Anyway….here go the pictures of the Dillon kids.

Angelic? Sweet Baby Happy Boy! Love Him Rowdy.... Oh happy day! Hold Lexi's hand! My Loves My Life My Heart IMG_4935 IMG_4937 IMG_4944 IMG_4942 IMG_4950 IMG_4952 IMG_4954 IMG_4956 IMG_4969 IMG_4967 IMG_4965 IMG_4970 IMG_4975 IMG_4976 IMG_4979 IMG_4988 IMG_4995 IMG_4997 IMG_4991 cropped-img_4935.jpg IMG_4999 IMG_5001 IMG_5014 IMG_5030 IMG_5027 IMG_5041 IMG_5043 IMG_5052 IMG_5038 IMG_5037 IMG_5057 IMG_5059 IMG_5068 IMG_5072 IMG_5076

Thank you sweet friend!

SDG

Embryo Transfer Photo Essay

I promised a photo essay of the pictures from the day we transferred the embryos. I was so impressed by St David’s amazing staff, the professionalism and perfection that everything was performed with. Completely smooth and  easy.

We arrived about 1100 and received a room and some fuzzy slippers. Of course, they were burnt orange- we are in the home of the longhorns. I wasn’t sure that I could bring those home and be allowed in the house so they sweetly obliged me with some red and white aggie slippers……or Sooner slippers in our case!

Next we waited and they gave me a valium because it decreases smooth muscle contractions and makes sure everything is nice and relaxed.

Tom (the embryologist) arrived and reviewed our embryos with us. This was a lot of information to take in at once and try to keep all straight. I did the best I could.

At 1230 they took me to the procedure room where there was a huge TV just above the procedure table and the ultrasound monitor.

The Big TV

Dr S explained that we were watching a video of the microscope in the next room (the lab).

First they showed us our name on the bottom of the petri dish. After that they showed us the embryos in the dish. Two initially then the three.

Two of the Embries

All three

After that the placed a “straw” in the dish and we watched as they sucked themselves up into the straw. We watched and they then got a small amount of air into the end of the straw.

Babies in the Straw- Getting a dot of air DSC_2175 So Cool- look at them go!

Tom then came in the room where we were watching and using an ultrasound we watched the dot of air go out of the straw. Under ultrasound you cannot see the actual embryos- only the air….this is why they get a small amount of air.

The ultrasound screen

Next he went back to the microscope where he pushed everything in the straw back to the dish. Sure enough ocho (as I like to call one of the embryos) remained in the tube. He repeated the process and they repeated the transfer over again.

Oh Ocho!

He then returned to the microscope and moved the scope on the word clear….meaning all of the embryos were transferred.

It's Done!

 

 

I was moved to the gurney and stayed still for 20 minutes. Following this I was able to get up and return to 48 hours of bed rest at home.

I didn’t really have an idea of what to expect when I was doing all of this and I am so amazed by friends I have that have been through this process several times to be able to have children. It is truly amazing that they just push them out of the straw into the right place and then God’s design takes over.

Needless to say, I didn’t want to cough, I didn’t want to sneeze, I didn’t want to do anything that would cause pressure or tightening.

Keep Running

SDG

The Verdict is In

I will not delay the drama- we are pregnant.

However we are early, only 4w1d. As many of you know infant loss and miscarriage is very very real so we are still trust God with all of our steps.

Let me just recap a little of what happened over the last week or so.

After my original enthusiasm over the 3 surviving embryos I spoke to the Embryologist (Tom) at the end of the day on 4-25-13. I asked him what the percentages on the form meant. They read like this

Embryo 1- 70%

Embryo 2- 60%

Embryo 3- 40%

Embryo 4-10%

Embryo 5- 50%

Embryo 6- 40%

Embryo 7-50%

Embryo 8- 70%

“What in the world does that mean?” He replied “Those are the amount of cells that were alive in the embryos.” I was stunned. You mean that only 70% of the blastula’s cells are alive? He walked me through some of the pictures as well as how they determined what embryos “had the potential for life” (that is a whole blog post in its own right) and which ones do not have the potential. Sitting where I am, I am grateful for a man with such wisdom to not transfer something to me that has no chance for life. He further explained the difference between the cells that have separated into the inner cell mass (that becomes the baby) and the outer cells (that becomes the placenta). Both of these two parts have to be forming properly to have a baby. After that I asked him what he would rate the blastulas.  He told me B’s or C’s. Those of you who are familiar with fertility AA is the best AB means the baby part looks good and the placenta part looks pretty good but not as good as the AA would look. BB the BA or AB or CC or BC….on and on it goes. They rate the part of the blastula that makes the baby and then the part that makes the placenta. I am not sure why I wanted to know his ratings but I did. It actually shocked me to reality. After the excitement of the previous day I was now praying that God would grant us favor and allow a pregnancy. It was sort of sad though. I was thinking “I don’t know if I can do all of this over again”. I want these babies or this baby for our family and for the genetic family. I want them to have another child- a sibling for their daughter- I want to have another child. I don’t want to be responsible for losing these babies.

Let me tell you a little more about what happens to the embryos when they are thawed. In the past the only way to freeze embryos was by using a slow freeze technique. This results in less than 80% of the embryos surviving when they are later thawed. (Now they use a process called vitrification where they can “flash freeze” embryos with a 98% successful thaw rate.) When these embryos were thawed 3 of them were immediately considered not viable- Embryos 3, 4, 6. Embryo 5 and 7 were not considered appropriate for transfer however they wanted to grow them overnight and then see what they looked like on 4-25 before they made a decision. The next morning those embryos had also retarded their growth (stopped growing) and had darkened. This means that they were not going to be viable in the future. What if one of those had done well? They would have frozen it by vitrification and we would know that it was doing well to be able to thaw the next time.

What if we made the wrong decision to transfer 3? 

Well, over the last 4 months we have submitted the numbers to God- He is in the details we believe. I asked Tom (our incredible embryologist) about the choice of three. We ask Dr S about our chances of pregnancy with transferring 2- he told us 50-50 that we would get 1 baby. Chances of twin pregnancy with transferring 2- 30%. Well, those really are not all that great odds (at least we didn’t think so). If we transferred 3 our odds of 1 taking would be better but we might have a greater risk of twins. Paul and I prayed and felt a great peace (remember this is before we knew anything about the embryos) that 3 would be a good number. If we did have twins God was big enough to take care of us. Triplets are really not all that likely.

I listened intently to what Tom was saying and I find it interesting that there is such a clear line between the “viable” embryos and the non viable ones. Isn’t it interesting that exactly 3 survived? Isn’t it interesting that they are so different from the others? I also find if amazing that the very best embryo- the one that was already breaking out of its shell was the very last one that they thawed. It was not even fully re-hydrated when they put it in me. I really believe that God is interested in details. Also, what if we have wanted 2? They would have only thawed Embryo 1 and Embryo 2 and stopped there. I guess we really can’t play the what if game but we would have thought that we still had 6 embryos left when in reality only 1 of those was considered viable. Sure, we can see that now…. I know this sounds strange but when you adopt embryos  you just don’t know how they are going to turn out when they thaw. I have a friend who thawed one, transferred one, and got pregnant with one. I guess you never know. I will tell you I KNOW that the last embryo is one we are pregnant with (I just know it). Maybe we will call him ocho :).

Of course, we do not know the end of this story just yet. Since we are very early I covet your prayers for the health and safety of these babies. (We refer to them as plural since we transferred 3.) We pray for normal growth, continued growth, prayers that I would be very sick so I would know that they babies are doing well. We also pray that God would comfort the family that gave us the children (we haven’t talked about it but there must be a slight sense of loss) and bring us close together and in one accord throughout this time.

So, my lab today was 190- anything above a 50 is pregnant but I would have been shocked if I wasn’t pregnant. I am already craving my pregnancy stand by of mashed potatoes, I have cried (a lot), I have heartburn, feel a tightening or firming of my lower abdomen, I have a few more pangs of mild cramping, and am nauseated (already-really???). I couldn’t imagine that all of those and other things could just be in my head!

Next step?  We will retest the labs on Sunday and look for the 190 to double. That will tell us that things are proceeding normally. If not, well, God is in charge of that as well.

I would love to leave you with my favorite scripture- one that we pray over these babies-

Psalms 139: 13-16

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

He knew me, He knows these babies by name….He calls them by their names!

Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!