Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Breaking the Silence!

Let the silence be broken...

Yesterday was a very special birthday for me. Yes, I turned 22 and I'd like to quote Taylor Swift by saying, "I'm feeling 22..." but I'm not. I feel like this last year of my life has aged me another 22 years haha just kidding. I'll always be 18 in my eyes haha. But celebrating this birthday meant so much more knowing how much I've accomplished and been blessed this last year of my life. I've had 3 of my grandpa's pass away and my young cousin, on top of going through this whole process of IVF. I think I've been able to finally understand that God has a plan for everyone. Period. Not my plan but his. I've really reflected on this year and have to thank my Heavenly Father for the wonderful people, blessings and strength he's given me. It was around this time last year where we were meeting with Genetic Counselors and picking Dr. Peterson for this whole process and now it's almost come full circle. So in nut shell, I feel extremely blessed, loved and am so lucky to know so many wonderful people who have such big hearts!

Sooo we've had lots and lots of people ask us how everything was going and if we had any news.... Well we certainly do. We snuck up to Salt Lake on November 11th, where they transferred one embryo. On November 23rd we took our official beta test, which is just a blood test to show whether or not you're pregnant. Later that day we got the phone call annnnnnnd!!! {Drum roll}
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
V


WE'RE PREGNANT! 




Our due date is July 29, 2015 :). So far I've been ok. Morning sickness is definitely in full swing and my emotions are insane... Sorry Garrett...  I've bitten his head off quite a few times. :) A week ago we had a viability ultra (because we did IVF they have you do an earlier ultra sound to get a heart beat and check on development). Our new doctor, Dr. Gatherum, said that everything looks great and we're right on track!


Yay!!!! We're so excited and feel so incredibly blessed! It seems so surreal that this is finally happening. For some reason I keep thinking someone needs to pinch me and usually when I do I have another wave of nausea come over me to remind me it's for real. ha But really thank you all! Everyone who donated and continuously shared our GoFundMe. We appreciated it all and you've answered so many of our prayers. God bless you all! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

{{An Attitude of Gratitude}}


I've said it before and I'll say it again and again and again. We are so grateful for everything everyone has done on our behalf. Prayers, thoughts, donations, shares. You name it. We're so grateful for it. We're still recovering from the shock, excitement and emotions from yesterday, but I think we've settled on the overwhelming amount of gratitude we feel. We don't want to over shadow everyone else who donated with Bryce Harper's because it wasn't just him. So many people pulled together and gave what they could. There is no way to express how that feels. But yes, Bryce's donation is incredible and brings about a whole other round of emotions for me. He was just the last piece to the puzzle of helping us out. It truly was everyone who has helped us get to where we are today. So Thank all of You and thank you Bryce Harper.

We also want to specially thank Abbey Kyhl. Had she not come forward and offered her talents, connections and time, we wouldn't be where we are today. Bryce Harper would've never seen the video Kim and Jesse Moore made. Our story wouldn't be reaching the amount of people it has reached. So Abbey, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You are so amazing in every way! And even though I'm not an AK Bride, I feel like having worked so closely with you on this and sharing the hard and good times, I qualify as one! ;) haha We love you so much and are forever grateful for you!

Now, that the fundraiser is over, I'm sure you all will go back to your lives and back to your routine. But I will forever be changed by the generosity Abbey, Bryce, and everyone else has shown to us. This is a once in a life time kind of experience. It's truly been life altering. I can only hope that someday we'll be able to repay, or pay it forward to those who have helped us over this last year.

Abbey took the words right out of my mouth, "To the 639 people who shared [our] story…THANK YOU! To the 125 people who donated…THANK YOU!" We truly love you and are so amazed at the generosity, love and support everyone has given us.

Yesterdays Story:
We've had quite a few people ask what happened yesterday and how it all came about so I think it's fitting to give credit where credit is due.

As everyone knows who reads this blog, yesterday was the deadline for Abbey's give away. This meant that yesterday was the last day to donate and enter to win. So we were all sharing and re-sharing everything on Facebook. So yesterday at around 2:00 PM we got a message from Kylie, Garrett's sister, asking if we had looked at our GoFundMe recently. We're both working college students so we hadn't been really checking it. I had just got to work, logged on to my computer when I discovered we'd reach our goal of $20,000. I quickly scanned my screen,

"$11,000 Anonymous"

What people don't know is that when you log into your account on GoFundMe you can see the names of people who donate, anonymous or not. So I quickly log into our GoFundMe to figure out the mistake on our account! I see,

"Bryce Harper"

It was around this time Garrett called me and we're both bawling. "Bryce Harper the Major League Baseball player for the Washington Nationals. Yes, that Bryce Harper." When I realized who it was I become more hysterical! I thought, "Why would someone who has no idea who we are, who has never met us, give us THAT MUCH MONEY?" It really is a testament to who he is as a person. After this tear-filled phone call, students started coming into my office and I really had to try to pull myself together. But whenever I had a break of students I was on the phone with Kylie getting the rest of the details as to how he found our story.

I am so thankful for social media. Without those outlets, no one would have ever seen any of our story and we would have been left to bare this financial burden for years to come. Thank you all so much for sharing it once, or many, many times. I'm sure some of our friends were sick of seeing our story pop up again and again but it was ONLY because of that, that we accomplished our goal.

This has been such an incredible experience. Thank you all, so much.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

{Here's to Surprises}

Ok, wow! I'm so excited. So sorry that I posted a teaser yesterday and then didn't do a blog post. When we got back to Cedar I kind of had a lot of homework I needed to do. I guess I should put school before blogging.... So I'll stop rambling.

First off, I'd like to take a second and just give everyone a heads up on the fundraiser. TODAY is the LAST day to enter for the drawing.( http://akstudiodesign.com/2014/08/garrett-chellcee-get-a-baby/ )I don't think I've said thank you enough. But really thank you. It's so touching and so wonderful to have so many people care. Not to mention this prize is pretty fantastic for whoever wins it! So share the news! We have also had a couple of other people approach us with some more fun ideas! So stay tuned for that!

Here's the latest:
Yesterday was our follow up appointment to the egg retrieval. Things went really great.                 Dr. Peterson had to check me to make sure my ovaries were going down in size and make sure my uterus was looking good for the next part of our cycle. Soooo... I have a cyst that's healing on my left ovary he said that's totally normal and will be just fine. So we have the green light to start the last part of our cycle!! Wawhoo!!

After he checked me he went over the results to the testing. We actually found out Friday last week the results but we wanted to confirm it with the doctor before sharing. So 2 out of the 5 are GOOD! 2 out of the 5 also carried Garrett's Marfan gene. And the last one he didn't really talk about. It had something to do with a development issue. SO we have 2 solid healthy viable embryos!! He said that those 2 were the best that developed out of all of them! As many of you may know, the sex of the embryo is already decided at this time and we were under the impression that we would be finding that out as well. The only issue was nobody could find the results. So our nurse, Jennilee called Natera (the lab) to figure out why we didn't have the results. Come to find out it costs extra to test for that! So we said no way! We don't want to pay for anything else and we're super happy it's going to be a surprise! It feels more like a normal pregnancy to do it this way too. So we're very excited about it.

Once we got done talking about the embryos we planned out the rest of our cycle! We have all the dates of when the next round of injections start and most importantly we also have the date of the transfer and the date of the pregnancy test. But that's it. That's all you guys get to know for now :) After this it's radio silence.Well... I'm going to try to be radio silent.
haha I really struggle with secrets and trying to surprise others. In fact I'm the worst at it. So I'm sure you could get it out of me eventually haha. But I'm going to do my best to keep quiet! Here's to fun surprises!!


Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Another Waiting Game

It's been quite the couple of weeks, with school starting, injections every morning, the egg retrieval, and the fundraiser! It's been so busy! However, we just want to again, thank everyone for the donations. We really can't say it enough! Thank you thank you! I still struggle with the fact that people have been so great throughout this whole process. We just want to again thank you! For those that don't know what's going on this is the last week of the fundraiser. It ends Sept. 30th. Abbey Kyhl is doing a $500 giving away for those that enter by giving money to our GoFundMe account. (abbeykyhl.com) She's been so amazing throughout this process. And even though we may not get to our full goal, the amount of money we've received has been so much more than we ever thought possible! So thank you all! :)

So as I mentioned, over the last couple of weeks I've been doing injections that have been progressing the maturation of my eggs.

Like crazy needle injections. No I'm just kidding they weren't that bad. 

WARNING: Kind of graphic???


Two weeks ago I had two ultra sounds and in just two days my eggs doubled in size. My ovaries were the size of a 50 cent piece then grew to the size of a tennis ball... It's incredible what medication can do! I took my HCG shot, which is a booster shot, Tuesday the 9th. And my egg retrieval was Thursday the 11th. That day they took 13 eggs. 9 out of the 13 were actually mature and ALL 9 fertilized! Yay! From there 5 out of the 9 grew to the blastocycst stage. And all 5 were biopsied. Biopsy means that they took a couple cells from each embryo, froze the cells and the embryos, then sent the cells they took from each embryo to be tested for the Marfan Gene. So the cells are in California, and the Embryos are in Salt Lake. Haha So now we wait. The testing takes about 7-10 days and then we should have the number of embryos that don't have the Marfan gene. Fingers crossed none of them  do :) Statically though, about half will have it because it's a 50/50 chance.  Hopefully though, none will have it!

Once we get the results we'll decide where we go from there. I'll either begin my next round of injections to prepare my uterus for the transfer, or if we end up not getting any viable embryos... Then we'll come to that bridge if we need to.

This will probably be one of my last blog post on this subject because from here on out things maybe needing to be a little more private. But I just wanted to say thank you to all of the people who have messaged me, texted me, or just left comments of encouragement. This really is such a difficult thing to go through and I would never wish it upon anyone. But to see and experience the kind of support and love people are willing to give amazes me. It really made the hard days not as hard and the happy days that much more happy. God worked through all of you to help me get through this. So thank you! :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Home Stretch

Words literally can't describe the gratitude Garrett and I have felt over the last 7 months! I can't describe it because we've never experienced this kind of love before. We've been on the receiving end of so many prayers as well as blessings. As many of you know, we began this whole journey to have a baby in January and we're still a few months away from it possibly becoming a reality, but through it all we've experienced the most genuine kind of charity.

Through our GoFundMe we've been able to raise almost $5,000, which is so incredible and totally unexpected! Having said that, a couple of hours after we started our GoFundMe we were approached by Abbey Kyhl who wanted to take it a step farther. With the help of Jesse and Kimberly MooreAshley Sylvester and I'm sure lots other people, Abbey put together this fundraiser for us. Abbey is an unbelievable photographer and she has an even bigger heart. Jesse and Kimberly are probably the cutest and most talented videographers I've ever meant. And Ashley is incredible when it comes to hair and make-up! Really... go check out her page. Anyway, Abbey and these wonderful people wanted to put together this fundraiser with the hopes of helping us raise enough money to pay for this whole process.

So here it goes! With the help of everyone sharing things on Facebook and raising money #GarrettAndChellceeGetABaby, Abbey will be doing a "GIVE AWAY" to people who donate to our GoFundMe! For every dollar that you donate you will be enter to win a $500 GIVE AWAY for anything Abbey Kyhl. So that could be family pictures, wedding pictures, engagements, anything! You can check out the details at http://akstudiodesign.com/2014/08/garrett-chellcee-get-a-baby/

To kick this fundraiser off, here are a couple of things to check out. The video explains our story and the pictures.... Well obviously they show off Abbey's amazing photography and give you a preview of the quality and style of photography you will get when you enter for the give away!

Our Story:


Chellcee and Garrett from modern-atelier on Vimeo.














Thursday, August 7, 2014

|| Counting My Blessings ||

 "There are a few select moments in my life that I can pinpoint and know for sure that God was looking out for me. Today was one of those moments. As I hydro-planed at 80 mph and lost control of my car the only thing I could think of to do was pray and so I did. I prayed for what felt like hours and seconds all at the same time. An impact of that strength in that location should've injured a regular person but should've done much worse to someone with my heart condition. I walked away with a sore leg, a blistered hand and a spilled Dr. Pepper. I'm certain this wasn't by chance and I know My Heavenly Father protected me. I'm happy to be alive and healthy. Life is a beautiful thing. I don't share my testimony enough, God lives and loves.

David's words from some of my favorite scriptures are resonating with me today:

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence."


          - Garrett

Wow, has it been one of those weeks! As many of you know, Garrett got in a little finder bender.... Well, that's kind of an understatement. Garrett got into a pretty serious accident. He's just fine though. He survive with only a burnt hand from the air bag and a deep tissue bruise from the door of the car. The car however... is totaled.




Right after accident
 

Couple of hours after accident
A week later


For those you who follow the blog know that Garrett has a serious heart condition that effects his aorta. He had to quit playing basketball in 8th grade because doctors said his aorta couldn't handle any hard blows to the chest or aggressive playing. He's been told his whole life that if he were to be in a serious accident and be hit with the air bag, he would most likely died because his chest can't handle that kind of a blow. So you can only imagine my anxiety and fear when he told me he totaled the car. He clearly shouldn't have made it out of there alive but here he is with only minor injuries.

It's experiences like this that remind you what your most grateful for. And I feel like I have so much to be grateful for right now! Not only for Garrett's protection in the accident (which I'm most grateful for) but for several other happenings in our life. At the beginning of July we moved across town to a new ward, new house, new area... Lots of new things. We now have wonderful land lords! A wonderful townhouse that we love. And a fantastic new ward. With everything that's happened with the accident we've able to upgrade to a better car for our family and we've been able to pay off our other car. On top of these great new things, we've received our cycle calendar for IVF and we continue to make progress with that! It's so incredible to see the Lord's hands in your life and just when you think you can't handle the load, the Lord reminds me how blessed we've been.

Over that last year we've had some trying times and I'll admit we're still going through trials, but the blessings that we've experience are exponentially better and continue to out weigh the weight of the trials. Really, the only way I can describe our situation is BLESSED!

FYI:

IVF Cycle Calendar (YAY!)-





Monday, July 28, 2014

Let the Hormones Begin!


LET THE HORMONES BEGIN! 

We officially have the green light to start our IVF cycle. I've been talking with our nursing for the last couple of days and I am now on the birth control regimen part of our cycle. Today or tomorrow we'll be getting the rest of our calendar together. Yay!! So excited! 

I've had a couple people ask me to go over the steps of how this will all work, so hopefully this list kind of clears up some of your questions.

Step 1: Birth control (30-? days)
I'll be doing this regimen for a month. Or until they want me to stop (I'll find out more Monday)

Step 2: Ovarian Stimulation (8-14 days)
This will be when I start to doing injections of hormones. These injections are meant to make eggs mature faster so that during the egg retrieval there will be lots of viable mature eggs.

Step 3: Trigger Shot and Egg Retrieval (1 day)
What's a trigger shot you say? Well the Trigger shot is a shot of HCG that kind of finalizes the maturation of the eggs. This is done about 36 hours before Egg Retrieval. After the shot is the egg retrieval. This is when they go in and harvest the eggs. It's also at this point where they'll get a semen sample from Garrett. 

Step 4: Embryo Development
It's at this point where they do the Invitro Fertilization... Where they fertilize the egg with the sperm. After that they grow for 5 days. 

Step 5: Embryo Testing
On day 5 the embryologist with take 3-5 cells of each embryo and send them to be tested by Natera. While the cells are being tested the embryos will be frozen for 2 months. 

Step 6: Embryo Transfer
After those long 2 months will be when they transfer 1 (maybe two... Garrett and  I have to decide) embryo(s). 

Step 7: Pregnancy Test
10-12 days after the embryo transfer they'll do a blood test to confirm pregnancy. 



Friday, July 11, 2014

Just a Waiting Game....

Everyone! We have some fun exciting news with the fundraiser coming in the next month, so stay tuned! Until then...

It's been over 8 weeks since we had our samples sent and they started the whole PGD process. This means that we should be getting the green light to start the IVF part of the this whole process any day now. It really has turned into a waiting game. We can't do anything until we get the "go" from Natera and we've done most of the preliminary test for the IVF so now we wait...

In the mean time, we just wanted to thank everyone again for the donations on our GoFundMe. We're at $4,995! Words really can't describe the feeling of gratitude we feel towards everyone who's donated and shared the link. It's extremely touching and such an incredible experience. So really thank you, thank you, thank you! God bless you all!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Who doesn't love samples?

Holy moly! It has been an emotional couple of weeks. Garrett and I are so amazed at how much help we've received. In just three weeks we've been given over $4,000! It brings tears to my eyes every time I go into our GoFundMe. It's so humbling to know that there are so many wonderful people out there. I was talking to my mom this last week about how incredible it feels to know how many people care. We've had random friends from high school, Garrett's "sneakerhead" friends, extended family of in-laws, and so many more people donate! I've gotten messages of encouragement on Facebook from people I don't know who have seen the post be shared or who have seen the blog. It's incredible. We've also been approached by two wonderful people who would like to do fundraisers for us as well. We'll keep you posted on that! But seriously, we've been shown so much charity and love it's been overwhelming. It's such a testimony builder! There are so many Christ like people out there ready and willing to serve.

So we have good news! We almost have all the money we need to completely cover the PGD testing! We have enough now to move forward soo last week we ordered the sample kits they need for the PGD testing. As mentioned a couple of blog posts ago. This next stage, they're developing a test to test the embryos. They're doing this by getting DNA samples from Garrett, me, Chad and Debbie (Garrett's parents) and comparing it with the Marfan mutation Garrett has. It's a lot of mumbo jumbo lingo that I don't complete understand. Words like FBN1 mutation in chromosome 15! Lots of fun complicated things. To translate that, the FBN1 mutation is Garrett's Marfan gene, it is found on chromosome 15. So with the DNA samples they'll be developing a test by testing and observing our DNA.
 Yay for share our bodily samples! haha who doesn't love samples. Well... Today I think most people would make an exception. We gave our blood. Mine was taken not just for PGD but also for some blood tests that have to be done for the IVF part too.
Garrett on the other hand gave a little more than just blood ;) He wasn't very happy about giving up both of his samples (note the picture above).  Not to mention the hospital gave us quite the time with taking our blood home. Apparently you can't draw your own blood and take it home with you. Seriously, the nurse was like, "You'll need to talk to my supervisor, because this isn't normal." The whole time Garrett and I were thinking "Why can't I take my blood? It's MY blood!"
 
 Anyway, now that the kits have been sent we they should be starting testing and the PGD within the next couple of days. So we're looking at starting IVF in 8-10 weeks!

I just want to again, thank everyone for your help. This is quite the journey and we've been so touch by the generosity, love, and kindness everyone has shown us. It may sound silly but I really appreciate the messages, texts, and emails about how we're doing or even your own experiences. It's encouraging and enlightening to know that other people care. We love you all! Thanks again!!




Sunday, April 27, 2014

There Comes a Point in Time...

There comes a point in time when you have to ask for help. Garrett and I have really been struggling to come to this decision for a long time. But we've come to a crossroad and we can't move forward in this process if we don't have the finances to keep going.

We're looking at a minimum $15,000 for the PGD and the IVF. So with that said we've started a "Go Fund Me" account for any size of donation. Really anything helps. We've put up a post on Facebook, so even sharing it would help.

We appreciate everything that everyone has done for us so far and thank you in advance for any more help. Words cannot express the gratitude we feel!

Here is the link for the GoFundMe: http://www.gofundme.com/8oxt8o


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Keeping Up With The Jones'

Feels like it was only yesterday that I started this blog and now we're already almost 3 months into this process. It blows my mind. So I have a couple of things to update everyone on...

Natera (the lab), contacted us last week and gave us the run down of how the whole PGD thing works. When I say "run down" I really mean that they explained above and beyond everything I needed to know. They talked about "Snippets" and "52 to genotypes.".... I'm serious, it was like they were speaking another language! haha After our genetic counselor got done explaining everything, she ask if we had any questions. Obviously I had a thousand! haha So she proceeded to dumb it down to my level.

How the whole PGD process works is different for every case. It's dependent upon what kind of mutation of the gene, what type of gene, lots of things factor into PGD testing. Every PGD case is different. In our situation, what they're going to do is get a semen sample from Garrett and test all the sperm. Since they already know what his mutation looks like they'll be able to pick and choose which sperm don't have the Marfan mutation. Once they've found all the "golden sperm" (that's what Garrett and I are now call it haha) they'll ship that sperm back to Dr. Peterson and that will be when we'll start the IVF cycle. This is a pretty incredible thing. It ultimately means that all the good eggs they get from me will only be injected with the good sperm from Garrett. How cool is that?! Not only does it increase our chance of getting more viable embryo's it also increases the chance of having more children! Which means that we will only have to do this once! YAY!!!

Yesterday, we talked with the genetic counselor again and she gave us the billing information and the OK to start giving samples (blood, spit, the works!) . She also gave us the time line of how long the testing will take. At this point we're looking at 8 weeks till they are done with the tests. End of June should be when we start IVF. Fingers crossed it stays like that :)


Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Latest and Greatest

I don't know if this news is the greatest news... When I imagine the greatest news I see me winning a billion dollars and quitting school! haha Sorry, I'm just ready for this semester to be over. Back to what I was saying... we have good news. 3 week ago Garrett was retested for the Marfan gene and they re-isolated it! It such a big deal because I was planning on it being a longer wait. But this isn't even the best part! Wait for it… wait for it! Garrett's insurance paid for it! This test is normally a $5,000 test! Can you say blessings?!? I sure can. I'm constantly reminded of how much the Lord loves us!

On top of this news today I talked with our nurse and she told us the results from the re-isolation have been sent to the lab. We will be hearing from Notaire (the lab that will be building the probes) within the week to have an update. We were told today that depending on the complexity of the gene it will be a minimum of 4 weeks to have the probes built. Soooo... Let the waiting game begin!

Saw this today and it made me laugh haha

In the mean time, the nurse has several blood tests that I have to get done before we start IVF. I never thought I'd said this, but I love homework! So while they're building the probes I'll be giving my blood!

Can I just say that even though we haven't even started and even though we're at least 5 weeks out from starting the whole process, I'm feeling good. Today is another good day... Stressed with school... but everything else is going good. Garrett and I have never been better and we're continually amazing at how much we're being blessed. Thanks for the extra prayers and thoughts. Every one has been so great! Thank you all for the encouragement too, I really do need it sometimes! :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Change In Plans...



I'll admit it, I stress about when my time will come to be a mother, whether it's in 12 months, 18 months, or in 2 years. I stress about taking my finals. I stress about a lot of things sometimes. But I have to remember THE LORD HAS A PLAN! Today I had a very up lifting conversation with my Grandma Kay, and she told me, "Chelce, it's going to be OK. But in the mean time I want you to focus on gratitude. Focus on the blessings the Lord is already blessing you with." This was exactly what I needed to hear after the news we were told yesterday.

A couple of years ago Garrett was a part of a research study where they synthesized his DNA and isolated the Marfan's gene. So our original plan was to use these results so we wouldn't have to pay to retest Garrett. However, we haven't been able to get a hold of those results. We were told that research groups don't usually give out results or information unless they plan on or have published the study. So in yesterdays conversation we found out that if Garrett has to be retested it would take any where from 6 to 10 weeks to re-isolate the gene. On top of his testing we found out that it will take 6 to 10 week to build the probes that would eventually scan the embryos for the Marfan's gene. This means that I wouldn't even start any of my IVF injection or anything until those two things were completed. It seemed like it was one thing after another. 2 steps forward and 5 steps back!

BUT!! Today (literally 20 minutes ago) Garrett was able to get a hold our genetic counselor! And we found out that he'll need to be retested no matter what and that this time we'll have the results within 3 weeks! YES!!!! They'll be able to get the results faster because they already know where to look! So we're only set back a few weeks! Yay! 

It's blessings like today where I know the Lord is on my side. I know that he's aware of my stress levels and is aware of what I can handle. Today I'm grateful for the good days. I'm grateful for family members and friends who take the time to listen to me vent and cry, and vent and cry. This is such a roller coaster ride and I'm grateful that we have the love and support it takes to get through the hard days. Most importantly I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father who loves me. I know that I wouldn't be who I am today without that knowledge. I'm still learning that it's his plan, not mine. It's not my timing it's God's timing. 






Friday, February 21, 2014

Let's Talk About Being Baby Hungry

I'm probably the most baby hungry person on the planet haha and I think that I just really need to vent. So bare with me for a sec. For the last 4 months Garrett and I have been making preparations for having a baby. Those preparations include; me getting health insurance, meeting with a genetic counselor, finding a fertility specialist that does PGD (I'll explain later), and WAITING! In the mean time, ever day that I'm on Facebook, I see another baby announcement from one of my friends. Sometimes I think, "Wow, the Lord must think I need some humor in my life." However, I don't think it's funny. Well that's not completely true, I don't want people to think I'm being a Negative Nancy. I do laugh, and find joy in other's getting pregnant and having babies. But when is it going to be my turn? haha Out of everything I'm learning right now the most important thing is that the Lord has a plan and special timing for everything and everyone. My turn will 

Before I go on, I think I need to explain myself a little. Garrett has a genetic disorder called Marfan's Syndrome. It's a connective tissue disorder that has several side effects, but the most serious is his heart. Because his tissues don't stick together very well doctors have to watch his aortic valve to make sure it doesn't rip or tear (that would be bad if it did). Eventually (within the next 2 years) Garrett with need open heart surgery to replace his aorta. Along with this major surgery, Garrett has regular echos, MRI's, and other health test, in order to properly monitor everything. So with that said we've decided to do a form of IVF where they'll genetically test all the embryos before implanting them. This means that they'll only implant the embryos that are free from the Marfan's gene and also any other genetic abnormality. Such a blessing that this is even possible. Garrett has a very mild form of this disorder, but it can be extremely debilitating in the worst scenarios so we don't want to take the risk of it.

Sooo... with that said, we've had a lot of family and friends ask us about what we're doing and I figured it'd be easier to keep everyone updated on here...

So on February 7th we began this journey. Our doctor is Dr. Matthew Peterson at the University of Utah. He's AWESOME! And we're very excited to work with him. Here's a great link explaining the whole IVF process, including all the great drugs I'll take :). This is just the IVF stuff, since we're not just doing that and we're adding the PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) that will add on a few more steps:
      1. After egg retrieval and semen sample, they'll mixie mixie and wait 5 days. At that point the embryo is what's called a blastocysts.
      2. (This is when PGD comes in) From here, they'll take a few cells from each blastocysts and send them to a lab to be tested. They'll screen for the top 100 most common genetic disorders along with Marfan's syndrome.
      3. They'll collected the viable embryos and freeze them for 2 months. They do this to reduce risks of birth defects and many other complications.
      4. After waiting those 2 months we'll be able to do the embryo transfer. And they'll only transfer 1 embryo.
      5.  They'll wait 9-10 days and do a blood test to confirm pregnancy and they'll also another ultra-sound at that time.

And that's basically the whole process! When it works (pray it works) we'll have a baby in 9 months! I thinks what's most incredible thing is that we have 21 other people (doctors, nurse, lab tech, etc) on our team who meet twice a week to discuss our case. We have all their cell phone numbers at our disposal and they've even told us they'll do everything in their power to make insurance pay for as much as possible. Their ultimate goal is to get us pregnant and that's that! I get chills thinking about it :) It's such a blessing! 

(this picture was before they started the tests.... Little did I know what they were going to do to me... Tricky tricky haha)

So on Tuesday, Feb. 18th I had my first preliminary tests done. They did what's call a sonohysterogram, which basically means that they use an ultra sound to measure my ovaries, uterus and everything and checked to make sure that I didn't have any ovarian sises and pollips. Don't worry passed with flying colors and I'm, "Clean as a whistle."

Next week, I'll start my injections and I'll get my treatment plan for the remainder of our cycle. I'll be sure to keep everyone updated :)