Cooking up hope

Even through heartache, life moves on.  I am finding each day to be easier to get through.  When we started the stimulating shots, life was put to a halt.  The only thing that seemed to matter at that time was making sure my body was healthy, being careful to not hurt myself as my body was swelling, and trying desperately to stay awake. Tonight is the first night I have made a nice dinner in well over a month.   I absolutely love to cook.  When I am cooking I feel so much peace.  Tonight I made Porcupine Meatballs (one of my Dad’s favorites).  I even got to bake a pumpkin pie.  I missed it so much!  I was starting to feel like a real live human again.  All of the “false” pregnancy symptoms have started to fade.  I am starting to get myself back after one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.  I hardly remember the last month and half.  My memory is still shot; which is very frustrating sometimes.  I think my mind is so overwhelmed with making our dreams come true, it is having a hard time focusing. However, if I had to choose something to consume me, I would choose having children.  This matters so much. This is a fight I would never be willing to give up.

It was incredibly painful to receive such bad news; especially after the amount of literal blood, sweat and tears that were put into it.  I gave up my entire body just to try to get pregnant.  You get through the difficult parts because you hope for positive pregnancy test at the end.  We did not receive that perfect ending… yet.  I am confident that one day our nurse will call us with news we have dreamed to hear.  My Mom likes to remind me that the bad news was us being told “not yet.”  To be childless is not our final destination.  We have more options and chances.

This entire experience has been very emotional.  I love the clump of cells I saw on our transfer day. I love them more than I could have ever imagined.  I did everything I could to have helped it survive.  It was the most pregnant I have ever been. For whatever reason, that embryo was not meant to be our baby.  I bought a box to put the picture in to keep it as a part of our journey; but to also keep it out of my direct view.  We are ready to use this as our strength to help us fight even harder to meet our goal.

Now Kevin and I are looking towards the future.  We have frozen embryos that were saved from our fresh cycle.  When my body is ready we will transfer a frozen embryo.  While it is not clinically evident at this time, sometimes a frozen embryo transfer can be more successful.  They believe this because the woman’s body is not as stressed.  The hormone levels are at a more natural level.  So let’s pray this next transfer will help us get one step closer to bringing Baby Jaye into this world!

Pumpkin Pie!

Pumpkin Pie!

The Two Week Wait – Day 5

Today is day 5 post transfer of a 5 day blastocyst. By today our embryo should be completely implanted. If it is not implanted there is little to no chance of a continued pregnancy. What I would give to have a microscope to tell me what is going on in there! Has it hatched all the way; has it implanted? Whatever has happened by today will directly reflect the news we hear next week.

Everyday after the retrieval, we received a phone call that told us how our embryos were doing. They were watched and monitored. One of the highest graded one was chosen for the transfer. It was beginning to hatch out of its shell; which is gave us so much hope. I just wish I could get a phone call to tell me, “hey, I am still growing in here.” Just something to get me through the next week and a half. I have been experiencing twinges of pain in my lower abdomen. Could that be implantation? Sure, it could be. It could also be residual pain from the egg retrieval and some very pissed off ovaries. I am experiencing many symptoms that anyone would when they are pregnant. However, I have no idea if it is the pregnancy or the medications. At this point, it is most likely the medications.  It is a cruel mind game at the most pivotal moment of your life.

 I am consumed.
When we started our journey towards figuring out how we would have a family; I learned about the two-week wait. I thought it would be difficult just from reading about it. Now that I am experiencing it, difficult does not even define it. It consumes you. You wonder all day long; am I or am I not pregnant? How are things going in there, in my own body?  I spent day after day watching my follicles grow at my daily appointments during stims. I saw progress everyday. I was proud of my body for stepping up the stress I was putting it under and providing us with what we needed.  Now, I do not know what my body is doing. I just hope it is being nice to our embryo. I hope it is providing a safe and nurturing home.

Kevin and I have been through a lot in our lives and the past couple of months while planning and implementing this has been just as trying.  Our dreams have always been to have children.  We have a 1% chance of conceiving on our own.  While IVF does not guarantee a live birth, it does significantly increase our odds.  This process is everything to us.  It is our lives; it is our future.  So much planning, money, time, energy, and my own body has gone into make our dreams come true.  This process has been everything but easy. However, it is something we would do over and over again to bring our child into this world.

So today is day 5 post transfer. In the infertility world it is often written as 5dp5dt; meaning, 5 days post a 5 day transfer.  This means our embryo grew in the lab for 5 days and now it has been 5 days since it was transferred back into me. Today is a big day because it should be implanted today and if not, it probably will not happen.  We still have over a week to go until we are able to find out if this actually happened.  We are trying to stay busy.  Last night I went to Paint Nite with some friends; that significantly helped a pretty rough day emotionally end on a good note.  Now to continue to find things to keep my mind busy, my heart happy, and things to laugh about each day!

Please say some extra prayers today that everything is doing what we need it to!  Pray for implantation to be complete!  I bet you never thought that would be something you would read or pray for, I know I did not! Please know how much we appreciate it!

To our Embaby: We hope you are warm, safe, nurtured, and most of all we hope you know how much you are wanted and loved.  Please stick! Love, Your overprotective, worry wort of a Mother and your unconditionally loving Father.

This is my painting from Paint Nite last night! A little heart in the middle for the baby we hope to know soon!

This is my painting from Paint Nite last night! A little heart in the middle for the baby we hope to know soon!

Transfer Day! Officially PUPO!

We are officially PUPO!  This typically stands for “Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise” in the infertility world.  However, I decided to change it to “Pregnant Unless Proven Otherwise”.  The word “until” seems too negative to me; like eventually I will get the phone call that we are not pregnant.  I like the word “unless” much more.  To me this word means that it may not happen.  That I may not get the phone call that I am not pregnant.  Unless means that I have every reason to believe that I will get the positive phone call; and if we do not get that phone call, we will cross that bridge at that time.

This morning we watched our embryo get placed back into its home.  It is now in the blastocyst stage.  Our little embryo is even starting to hatch!  Before I started this journey, I did not realize that humans do

hatch!  This has to happen in order for it to implant into the uterus lining. In two weeks, we will get blood work done.  This will help us if our embryo has survived.

We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers during this time!  The next two weeks will be difficult to get through but we have hope!  Kevin and I choose to be public about this journey in an effort to educate as many people as we can about something that impacts 1 out of 8 couples.  In someways being public is very difficult.  I am still sad sometimes that we will not get the cute surprise pregnancy announcement like most people do.  I also know that if we receive not so happy news in two weeks, it will be difficult to go through that publicly. However, we decided that the impact we can hopefully make is worth it.  We also hope that anyone going through this knows they are not alone.  We want to break the silence that so many feel they must live in while suffering from infertility.  Infertility is a disease that is represented in both men and women equally.  1 out of 8 couples suffer with it.  Our story is just a glimpse into this world and we hope it brings the issues to light.

We will keep everyone updated!  Keep the prayers coming for Baby Jaye and pray for a BFP (BIG FAT POSITIVE)!

This is an actual picture of our embryo!  This picture was taken today; before it was transferred back! It is starting to hatch as you can see on the left side of the picture.

This is an actual picture of our embryo! This picture was taken today; before it was transferred back! It is starting to hatch as you can see on the left side of the picture.

The Story of Us

Ten years ago, in 2005, I met a man named Kevin.  We met when we were going to Community College. I was going to school for teaching and he was going for computers. We had a chance to be together at that time but we were always just friends.  It wasn’t because we didn’t enjoy being around each other or a lack of compatibility.  It was simply just what worked for us at the time.  We enjoyed being friends and we talked all the time through AIM or text , although I had to limit those since we had to pay for each one back then! Our conversations were always interesting and were compiled of the most random topics.  He really understood my sense of humor.  I could be myself from the beginning of our friendship. I was always considered the “quiet” (which I absolutely HATE being called, whether it is true or not) girl.  With Kevin it was different, I could say or do anything and he just rolled with it, no judgement, ever.  Although, I am sure some days he would love to see my quiet side!

One of the last times I remember seeing Kevin, was when he met me for dinner after work one night.  Kevin was working in Fairfax, so I did not see him much after he moved.  We stayed in touch through social media and text messages but those became far and few between as time went by.  Eventually, we both started dating other people.  Kevin and I checked in once in a while to see how the other was doing.

Kevin joined the Army after his job in Fairfax and I became a Teacher.  He was engaged to someone and I was getting ready to get married in a few months.  In 2012, Kevin deployed to Afghanistan.  On June 24, 2012 Kevin an IED forever impacted his life and all those who love him.  Kevin lost his right leg below the knee, pinky, and among other injuries, he suffered tremendous damage to his left leg..  On June 30, 2012 I got married.

After returning to the states and only a couple of days after my wedding, Kevin sent me a message on Facebook congradulating me on my marriage.  I remember thinking, he is absolutely insane for even caring that I got married after what he is going through! We stayed in touch once in a while through Facebook because he was posting regular updates about his recovery.  I was proud to know such a courageous person after watching the beginning of his recovery through his Facebook post.  He stood true to be the man I had met many years ago.

After just a few short months of marriage, I left my husband on November 10, 2012.  I suffered through months of emotional abuse and determined that the marriage was not able to be saved (more on that on a later blog).  I didn’t post much about it on Facebook so Kevin didn’t find out until Christmas when I wished him a Happy Birthday/Merry Christmas and checked in on his recovery. Yes, he is a Christmas baby!

We stayed in touch through Facebook and text messages for a while after Christmas. It was like no time had passed since the last time we talked.  We were always able to find something new to talk about.  At the end of January, I went to visit Kevin at Walter Reed.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw him again.  I was lost on the base (they way the number buildings does not make sense and I’m sticking to it!) and he was trying to help me find my way through the phone.  Eventually I made it into the correct building. As I was walking down a long hallway I came across an intersection.  As soon as I turned into the next hallway he was standing there.  The same Kevin I knew from many years ago.  Yeah sure, he was missing some body parts but he was the same fun loving guy who could give you the strongest hug in the world.  While I was visiting, Kevin was determined to get me hooked on the Walking Dead. We spent most of the time catching up and watching Walking Dead.  Needless to say, I got hooked..  I went home and binge watched the Walking Dead until I got caught up!  I also got my sister addicted to the show!

On March 23, 2013 I went to visit Kevin at Walter Reed again.  This time we went shopping for upcoming family birthday’s, lunch at Chili’s and then a movie. I still cannot remember of the name of the movie to this day!  Actually, let me tell you what I remember about the movies that day… there appeared to be a lack of oxygen in the theater and the heat was cranked up because my palms were sweaty!  Okay, maybe it was because I was so incredibly nervous that I couldn’t breathe!  Do you know that feeling you get when you just know something is about to happen and it is going to change your life? You know that one in the bottom of your gut that is just screaming for you to please listen? That was the feeling and it was overwhelming in the most beautiful way.  From the moment we sat down in the theater something was different.  I remember Kevin was messing around and kept grabbing at my hand (it was the best move he had… have to give him credit though, it worked).  Then one time he grabbed my hand and he didn’t let go.  I sat for the rest of the movie trying to breath quietly!  All I could hear was my own breathing and I thought for sure he could hear me breathing like a cow. After the movie was over, he kissed me.

Everything changed.

When I got into my car to leave Walter Reed the song “Begin Again” by Taylor Swift was on the radio.  This song could not possibly describe my situation more.  It was like I needed to hear it to confirm that I am where I need to be.  As soon as I could I sent a text to a few of my closest friends.  Their reply was… they knew this was going to happen!

I started visiting Kevin at Walter Reed as much as I could.  Over the summer he had surgeries so I was able to stay some of the time since I was off school.  Kevin was at Walter Reed for the first year and a half of dating.  Eventually he was able to come home to visit more. When he couldn’t I went down almost every weekend.  On January 27, 2015 he officially medically retired from the Army.  Now we live in a home that I had purchased before we were dating.  It is a two-story home that is not easily accessible for Kevin.  It is a nightmare of steps! We recently received amazing news from Homes For Our Troops.  They will be building us a home that will be modified to meet Kevin’s needs!  We are so excited to have that extra stress taken off our plate!  Kevin will have the amazing opportunity to live more independently again!

Kevin and I both hit some rough patches from the time we met until the time we reconnected.  Without a doubt we were brought back together for a reason.  I can honestly say I am marrying my best friend.  He knows me at my worst and at my best.  Kevin does not hold my flaws against me, instead he loves me through them all (and when I say “all” I mean millions!).  He knows my past and accepts it all, he just focuses on our future, that is what really matters. We are looking forward to new adventures with getting married (August 1, 2015), having a home built by Homes For Our Troops, and starting our own family.

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The beginnings of Turbulent Sunshine

I cannot even begin to tell  you how many weeks it took me to choose the blog name, Turbulent Sunshine.  I knew what I wanted to write about for a long time, but I could not think of a name that would encompass everything.  After several list of ideas, hours of looking at different word combinations online, and consulting with family members I chose Turbulent Sunshine.  The definition of Turbulent is characterized by conflict, disorder, or confusion; not controlled or calm.  This is my life.  There is always some type of conflict, whether with myself fighting Anxiety or other stresses in life.  Just because there is chaos, it does not mean that life is necessarily negative, which is why I chose Sunshine as my second word. The definition of sunshine (other than obvious sun shine) is cheerful or happiness.  Everything that I have been through has challenged me and made me grow.  With every heart breaking moment, I have found happiness in times to follow.  In an airplane you feel turbulence, and if you are like me you are convinced you are going to die, but you don’t.  You survive, you move on with your life when you get off the plane, and usually you find happiness, whether it be in the arms of a loved one or an amazing vacation.   This is the story of my life.  Just when I think I cannot take another second, I find a reason, a purpose, and there has always been happiness after each storm.

Please understand that this is my first time writing a blog.   I plan to write about my experiences, recipes, and anything else that comes to mind. My hope is that by sharing my stories I can give someone else hope despite life’s turbulent storms, there will be sunshine; there will be happiness.

I hope you enjoy!

There is sunshine with every storm.

There is sunshine with every storm.