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 :)