I just received this email from my cousin, Heather:
I was just saying a prayer for you and an image of a little boy chasing Evie out of your kitchen and into your living room (both giggling) ran through my mind. :o). Just wanted to let you know some good thoughts and prayers are for you.
We're excited and anxious to see what the day holds tomorrow. I hope Heather is right!
Thanks to you all for your prayers and support through this whole thing. I'll keep you posted!
I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom this morning, when I heard a door slam. Evie was alone in her bathroom with the door closed, and she began calling for me. "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"
I walked down the hall and opened the door. It was pitch black. She'd locked herself in but was unable to turn the handle to let herself out! I turned on the light. Evie looked up at me and said "I need privacy, Mommy," and closed the door right in my face.
As the sun rose today, you opened your little eyes and said "Hello, Sleeping Beauty!" And, again, it struck me how much you've grown.
In the past several weeks, you've left The Backyardigans behind. It started when you no longer wanted your stuffed Pablo at bedtime - you'd hold your little hand up and say "No Pablo!" You don't want to watch the show anymore, either. You prefer Sesame Street or American Idol, or if you're having a lucky day you can talk me into letting you watch Finding Nemo or Tinkerbell.
Now you don't want to sleep on your Backyardigans bedding. Instead, you told us you want "Nemo covers." Daddy agreed to buy you new covers if you started sleeping in your own bed. Until it is light outside. And you're doing it. It should make me happy to have our bed back again, but it doesn't. I'm mad at Daddy because I wake up in the night and I miss you. You've traded in the comforts of your mother for toddler bedding!
We've planned a trip to Florida in May, and in preparation I've introduced you to the wonderful world of Disney. The library is a treasure trove of Disney Princess books and you call them by name. "Mommy, Cinderella! Sleeping Beauty! Ariel! Jasmine! Snow White!" Those Princesses are everywhere - on the balloon Aunt Rachel bought you, on your Pull-Ups, on sunglasses you see at Target, and on the fruit snacks Daddy brought home today. The two of you lay on the floor each day and read Princess books together. It melts my heart to watch you together.
You are becoming quite the backseat driver. You notice red ("Red, stop!") and green ("Green light, go Buddy!) traffic lights. You often demand "Drive slowly, Daddy!" And you rule the radio, "Music, Mommy!" or "Different music!" or my personal annoyance "Too loud!" That radio is at a whisper, and you still ask me to turn it down.
But you love singing. You know the words to "Hush, Hush" and to the "Sunny Day," which is what you call the Sesame Street theme song. You have fun singing along to all the songs from our Kindermusik class - especially "Morning Song." We sing "Wheels on the Bus" several times each day. Oh, and you are fascinated with American Idol. You even sing along with the contestants! I wasn't sure how much was actually sinking into your little brain, until you asked me to sing "Mercy." I had no idea what you were talking about until you clarified "Mercy, Mommy. American Idol."
Your taste in food is changing a little, too. You love to drink protein shakes with Daddy after he runs. You like pork loin and brussel sprouts. For some reason, you always ask for a cookie when you watch Sesame Street. But your favorite is still candy. Luckily for us, this has helped tremendously for potty training. Who knew a "potty jar" of candy would work so well?
With so much talk about a new baby lately, you want to play "baby" often. You ask to be held like a baby. You feed and cuddle your baby dolls. Somehow, you even tricked Daddy into giving you a bottle of milk the other day! And I want you to know I loved you so very much when you were a baby. You were my first miracle from God, and you made me a mother. But, Evie, I love you so much more today. You are so sweet and smart and you just glow with happiness. You have spunk and empathy and energy. You're tiny, but strong.
I love watching you grow, Little One. And I love loving you.
I'm finally finished with bed rest, so I'm able to post!
Sunday, we still had seven strong and growing embryos. Since there were so many, our doctors waited until Tuesday to see which ones looked the best. Yesterday they transferred the two beautiful embryos you see above. We didn't end up having any embryos left to freeze, so we trust God has given us exactly what we need in these two.
I've been on bed rest since the transfer, and Chris and my mom have just been wonderful. I'm so blessed to have them, along with the rest of our family and friends.
So now I take it easy and we wait. We'll know next Wednesday if I'm pregnant, so please keep us in your prayers!
Yesterday was my egg retrieval and it went really well. Dr. Witten said a few follicles must have been hiding during the ultrasound, because he retrieved eleven eggs. And then we received a call today that eight of those eggs had fertilized! We made embryos - lots of them!
So I am a little freaked out. But freaked out in a good way.
I had resigned myself that (if it worked at all) this would be the last time I'd be pregnant. I know all eight embryos won't continue to grow. Last time, five eggs fertilized and only three were still alive for our embryo transfer. Depending on the quality of embryos we have Sunday, our doctors will transfer two or three. However, if we have more than that, we could end up with extra embryos to freeze and use later.
This is a great scenario because if I don't become pregnant from this cycle, we would have frozen embryos to use. That procedure is much more simple and less expensive.
But what if I do have a baby (or two!) from this cycle? I think it would be a miracle to have more kids. It just wasn't something I saw in my future. So now I am adjusting the picture I have in my head.
It may be that nothing comes out of this. We may end up with the single baby I had planned. It is great to open myself up to God's awesome and impossible design again, though. Just when I think I have it all figured out, here comes the most wonderful curve ball...
My mind and my body are drained from the emotional and physical toll IVF takes. Even though I'm exhausted, I can't sleep well because my mind won't quit and my swollen ovaries make it hard to get comfortable. This is almost over; my egg retrieval is scheduled for 10:30 am on Thursday. Hopefully I'll just be complaining of morning sickness soon...
I've also been fortunate enough to be chasing a two-year-old around the park. Around and around and around. And following her up and down the block on her scooter. Up and down and up and down and up and down.
I am so tired.
I don't have much energy (or care for that matter) to prepare dinner. Last night I just made one of those pre-marinated pork loins. Tonight I used the leftovers to make fried rice in the CrockPot. As much as "fried rice" and "CrockPot" don't seem to go together, let me assure you they do - and well. Evie, as uber-picky as they come, had seconds. 'Nuff said.
CrockPot Fried Rice 2 c leftover brown rice 3 Tbsp butter 2 Tbsp soy sauce 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 1 c diced onion 1 c frozen or fresh vegetables leftover meat, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 egg
Throw everything into the CrockPot and mix it gently. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 3-4 hours.
I should mention this is a fabulous and easy recipe from A Year of CrockPotting. If you've never visited this blog, you are missing out! Lisa hosts Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays over at Blessed with Grace. Visit her for more yummy recipes!
As I was driving home from my doctor's visit today, I had that thought. My ultrasound went well - I have eight "good" eggs. My doctors will retrieve them Thursday. Then we'll say lots of prayers and hope they fertilize and grow!
Can this really happen? Can I really be blessed twice? As I was carrying my sleeping miracle baby to her bed tonight, I thought this just might work out. I just might be able to carry another baby. Please God, let me have another baby.
I feel good. I feel hopeful. And Heather pointed out that my embryo transfer will be this weekend - Valentine's Day. A day that is a symbol of love. That's just what I'm hoping for.
Oh, the weather has been beautiful the past few days. The neighborhood is spilling from inside our homes, happy just to be out again.
Evie woke up from her nap Friday and we headed next door to see if the girls could play. Never shy, my daughter helped herself to the toys in their garage. I watched as she clumsily dragged a scooter around. But here's the amazing thing - 30 minutes later, she was riding that scooter!
Evie is a persistent little thing. Once I helped her take the scooter to the sidewalk, she could not be deterred. It's so incredible to watch a child learning. I could see the wheels in her brain turning, trying to figure out how she was going to ride the scooter. She started by standing on it with both feet and lunging forward. That got her nowhere. And that's when she figured out to put one foot on and push with the other foot. The scooter moved! Practice does make perfect, and soon Evie was speeding down the sidewalk.
I watched her with wonder and with sadness. I simply could not believe my tiny baby girl was actually riding a scooter. I was so proud of her new skills! I also had a lump in my throat. I still believe sometimes that Evie is a baby. But each day brings another realization that she is moving on and growing up. She's talking and running and singing and even riding scooters down the sidewalk.
I'm happy Evie is thriving. I'm happy she's moving on and growing up. But the best part was when she finally turned around to get a glimpse of me, and called out "Mommy!" I ran to catch up to her and helped her make her way back home.
I started my Follistim injections on Monday. I used to have a terrible fear of needles, but that's one phobia I've conquered. They're really not bad, and Chris bought me a big bag of Jelly Bellys to have as a reward each night after my shots. Mmm, mmm, mmm!
Evie's asleep in the morning when I get my shots, but she's awake for my nighttime shot. Because I don't want her to be afraid of needles, I allow Evie to watch as Chris gives me the "medicine in my arm." She sees that it's quick and easy, although she sometimes says "Don't worry, Mommy." I always smile down at her and tell her I'm not worried at all.
My plan is working a little too well, though. Last night, I said "It's time for Daddy to give me the medicine in my arm." Evie's little face lit up and she yelled "Oh, jelly beans!"
She has to get two shots at her next doctor's visit. I'll be sure to pack jelly beans.
If you've spent any time with my daughter, you know of her love for lip gloss. I don't know what it is, but once she gets it in her head, she can't move on until she has her fix. If you try to ignore her, you hear "Lipilee! Lipilee! Lipilee!"
Seriously, it is never ending. She has more stamina than should be allowed in a two-year-old.
This weekend, Evie was doing her typical lip gloss begging in the car. Suddenly we heard "Lip gloss, Daddy!" We both did a double-take - she said "Lip gloss," not "Lipilee!" After months of "Lipilee," we were so surprised to hear her use the real words. Her baby word has been replaced by the real thing. Another bittersweet parenting moment.
But Chris has another worry - how to get his daughter to quit calling his manly Chap-Stik "lip gloss." That's a lesson for another day.
I have been married for more than 11 years to my fantastic husband, Chris, and we have two beautiful and energetic children. Evie is 5, and full of spunk and sparkle. Ethan is 2, and has taught me about trains and construction vehicles and Buzz Lightyear - and about sweet boy cuddles.
I strive to be gentle and kind - a reflection of the love Christ has shown to us. I don't always live it perfectly, but I am working towards a life of gratitude, joy, and love!