“Patience is the small acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you had in mind.” – David C. Allen
I remember my grandmother telling me to never pray for patience because God would grant me many opportunities to practice this request. Throughout the last five years we have travelled many peaks and valleys to becoming parents. We may not ever understand why we had to endure far too much loss but are remaining optimistic that God has a plan for growing our family. His plan for our life is providing ample time for his will/plan to fall into place and provide us with many opportunities to demonstrate our ability to practice patience & perseverance.
“Patience is not the ability to wait, but having a good attitude while waiting.” – Unknown
It has already been 30 days since my last update. I will continue to post as our family building journey progresses. Currently, we have received initial approvals (just a couple days ago) for our second gestational carrier and couldn’t be more thrilled! Many more steps in the process but it is looking very optimistic. We are taking this round a little slower, wiser if you will, ensuring we move forward one step at a time.
Many family and friends still do not completely understand what a gestational carrier is and what this new chapter consists of for the Huycks’. With that being said if you would like to understand or learn more about our journey visit the attached link (Resolve.org):
“We’ve received the medical transcripts from your GC (gestational/compassionate carrier), medical testing has almost been complete; we just need you to finish your paperwork with your attorney to move forward.” These were the words we received from our gestational carrier coordinator.
I finally settled on an attorney after contacting many, looking for a good “fit” for us and our circumstances. Someone that would hear out our needs and also provide detailed feedback so we could support our gestational carrier. Well, we met her: Erin Johnson in Lake Oswego, Oregon. (http://www.robinsonlaw.squarespace.com)
Erin was able to provide a detailed document/contract that covered everything from what to expect, our child’s birth, delivery of our baby and what to expect afterward. The meeting went flawlessly; she set my heart at ease and excited to represent our family in this miracle. We anticipated the first draft of our contract to be delivered one week later. We signed the document that evening and sent it via email at 10:38pm. I specifically remember the time because it felt like our family building opportunity was quickly becoming reality. The anticipation and excitement had overwhelmingly taken over my emotions.
The next morning at I received a call from my gestational coordinator but was unable to answer due to being at work with clients. She left a voicemail that awaited me when I was finished with my day. The voicemail said something to the effect of “……call me at your earliest convenience”. Having been a patient at ORM (oregonreproductivemedicine.com) for 5 years, you learn good news ALWAYS gets left on the voicemail and BAD news always seems to require a “call back”.
Baffled by why she needed a call back- I dialed her up at the end of my day. My coordinator shared that unfortunately we would not be able to move forward with our gestational carrier due to complications. I tried to keep it together on the phone with our coordinator but after talking it through over an extended period of time the tears could not be withheld.
I simply don’t understand the plan for our life and how this burning desire to build a family has not dimmed even with so much heartache.
I am so thankful that a friend could be so brave to offer to carry our child, that everything seemed to be lining up so smoothly and utterly disappointed that in one phone call we were back to square one.
This journey is teaching me many things: to be risilient, to never give up and stay humble. Though these lessons do not seem fair or kind when in the heat of the moment of what seems like loss and extreme frustration. We are experiencing blessings and building relationships at a level that would not be possible without this process. These relationships and blessings could not be possible without God’s grace. Being humbled to ask for help was something I was far to prideful to admit in the beginning nor did I think we would have gone 5 years, exhausting means and still be hopeful for our miracle, yet here we are… still hopeful for our miracle.
As this journey has progressed we have been overwhelmed with the kindness from others in the form of prayer, financial support to the long process and words of encouragement.
Here’s the but wait! Keep reading…
Not even two days later I reached out to a friend that had once stated our story had inspired her (2 years ago) to become a surrogate. Little did we know I would be reaching out to her and asking if she would consider carrying our child for me. We talked for a hour that night and the days to follow…
Though in the beginning stages we are hopeful we may have a match!
We are so grateful to our beautiful friends for your support and uplifting messages. To these women, my friends, who are willing to try to carry our babies there are no words that can describe the utmost gratitude I feel toward you. You have hearts of gold and am so thankful that God has placed you in my life.
More updates to come… (hopefully soon!)
On February 18th we learned that after every effort, we did all that we could but I will not be able to conceive our child. Even with a positive pregnancy test this morning, the result was still just too low for our babies to survive. The doctor’s reassured us both over and over that we have done everything we could but we are that very small number that is simply “unexplained”.
Today is a very hard day and neither of us understand why we have traveled this road together and that doors continued to open until today. We are trying to find closure, perhaps we never will until we get to heaven and can ask him face to face. In the meantime, we are taking time. Taking time to find what “normal” is for us after almost 5 years of fertility treatments, appointments, being stretched physically/ emotionally/ financially.
With time I’m sure we will want to talk about it but for now it all just hurts. Dreams of what we thought and believed would be our miracle changed today.
This doesn’t mean our miracle won’t come in the form of adoption or even possibly a gestational carrier (we have 2 snow babies in waiting). We are considering our options and are excited for what the future may hold for the Huyck family.
If the next time I (we) see you and tears well quickly, please know no words needed but hugs are always gladly accepted. Taking life one day at a time and holding onto the one thing we know in being thankful to have each other.
Thank you for loving us through all of this journey and being a support.
Love, Aaron and Mollie
January Goal = Keep Stress Levels Low
January is my busy month annually in the fitness industry as the “New Years Resolution” rush begins promptly with the stroke of midnight. If this wasn’t all encompassing in itself… layer in my FET protocol and and wait a surprise audit my the State Revenue Department all in the same month.
If it’s not enough to feel inadequate during infertility treatments, layer in the government wanting to question every tax deduction related to every procedure and trying to wrap it all up in a bow and not stress for our last try.
So, this morning led to our final appointment before I begin the progesterone and autoimmune portion of the protocol followed by us meeting with the tax auditor this afternoon.
This morning led to successful results. We progress onto the next steps starting Sunday. The ridiculous stress of the week I shared with my doctor what was happening and her expressing her sincere apology followed by a “you have them call me and I’ll tell them where all of your funds have gone, Oregon Reproductive Medicine!”
Finished the week with a relaxation session of acupuncture and with a side of fender bender as I left the parking lot. (While listening to a sermon oddly enough).
God, please hold me tight during February and in letting go of the stress with each breathe and creating the best home for our little miracles. I pray you will keep our babies safe and with us here on earth in the home you’ve created for our babies, as we long to meet your incredible creations and experience parenting through your guidance.
Thank you for teaching me to let go of the things I can not change and loving us through it all.
As 2014 comes to a close I can’t help but take the time to reflect on our journey this year and never would have imagined we would have been on this crazy ride called infertility for 4 years and counting…and feel like a slight repeat of 2013.
This year with ORM (Oregon Reproductive Medicine) and Blossom Clinic I had:
– 100+ appointments – countless injections – countless oral medications – 2nd round of IVF – 6 beautiful embryos, 4 in waiting or as I like to call them our “snow” babies – genetic testing on our embryos – a chemical pregnancy – an ectopic pregnancy (2nd one) – a lot of tears and frustration – 1 surgery – 2 mock cycles – 2 biopsies, ERA tests – acupuncture appointments – massage appointments – prepping currently for our next transfer with all of the incredible information we have gathered over the past 12 months…for our final “try” in 2015.
What truly stopped me in my tracks wasn’t the countless failures or the multitude of needle pokes but rather that our insurance company claiming that this process is optional. They state that I have a choice to pursue infertility treatments, yet I didn’t have a choice when I was created to not be given the ability to naturally conceive and face autoimmune issues. Our insurance companies do not recognize my condition as a disease in the State of Oregon. We are striving to come up with a solution that works best for my husband and I.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the comments we received in 2014: “Why don’t you just adopt?” *Adoption isn’t as simple as one may think.
“Go on vacation and relax” *We went on 3, nope it didn’t work or the the 8 we’ve been on in the past 4 years, but thank you for the advice.
“It just took us not trying and I got pregnant on the first try” *We are really happy for you but when you spent hundreds of thousands to have a baby and still haven’t received this blessing… probably not the best choice of advice.
“Are you having kids?” *This one is the hardest for me. What I want to say is you really shouldn’t ask this question and I’ve lost 3 babies in 2 years and thought we were pregnant 5 times… but most of the time I say maybe God willing…sometimes this is the easiest way to move through or past the topic.
“It’ll happen if God wants you to have children, naturally…” or “We’ve stopped praying for you guys because God didn’t hear our prayers”… *I firmly believe God has our doctors in his hands and the ability to help us create our family (and others experiencing IF). Sometimes life takes a little help from science and a lot of hope through God to find balance in a very precious situation of building a family through IVF/reproductive medicine.
Please don’t stop praying, take a moment and think about what you are going to say to someone that may be hurting (even though a smile is what you may often see from someone going through the infertility journey). 1 in 8 experience infertility and it’s not easy!
Currently we have done EVERY test and procedure scientifically known through reproductive science/medicine and naturopathic method that could apply to our circumstance known as of 2014. We are still VERY hopeful!
As I look at our insurance statement stating our cost for 2014 being $89,576 for procedures and medications. This does not include testing such as the ERA tests or genetic testing of our embryos.
I am beyond thankful for our ability to find a way to “try”, our doctor’s for their contribution to our unique case, and my incredible husband for being my partner in balancing the stress of not only losing multiple babies in the past two years but staying in it with me even when it gets hard.
My goal for 2015: The first one is easy to guess, get pregnant and carry out a successful pregnancy. Fingers crossed as I have begun the slow process of preparing for our FET in early 2015.
The second is to meet with our senators and begin the process of pushing for a bill to pass legislation in the State of Oregon. As I am fully aware this process is long (even requesting meetings that have gone without response during 2014) and may not benefit us. It could benefit someone going through the infertility process in the future.
If reproduction is known as a fundamental feature of all known life; each individual organism exists as the result of reproduction. If this process is “broken” are we truly given a choice?
Oh the difference 4 months and 36 hours can make!
After having my second ectopic pregnancy in July I was not very optimistic, in fact we had met with Dr. Barbieri to consider “other” options. During this visit she shared that one last procedure/test had recently come out of clinical trials and I happened to be the “perfect” candidate. As she shared that this test would require an endometrial biopsy that would look for 238 expressed genes that determine when a uterus could accept an embryo down to the day.
We listened, gathered the information so I could research this test more on my own and determine if we needed a second opinion. She shared that she would recommend a clinic in Colorado (coincidentally a friend had also recommended the same clinic) that had a good reputation. In the pursuit of “answers” to our Baby Huyck success I discovered through the clinic that it was also in agreement with having those patiently that met the recommendations to have the endometrial receptivity array test.
I happened to meet EVERY requirement:
“This test has been tested in patients who have had implantation failure with embryos of good morphological quality (at least 3 failed embryo transfers for younger women or two in patients 37 years or more). This test is recommended for patients with apparently normal uterus and with normal endometrial thickness (≤6mm), in which no problems are apparent. A displaced implantation window is detected in approximately 20% of these patients.
This analysis allows the implantation window to be located, allowing personalised embryo transfer (pET) to be performed based on these individual results.This test must be prescribed by a physician and the result will be sent to the doctor. It will never be sent to the patient. The physician who prescribe the test will be responsible of sending the report to the patient.” – ivigen.com
In September I was eligible to have the procedure done (3 months after having the methotrexate treatment to resolve my ectopic pregnancy – as it would interfere with accurate results) So, after reading countless case studies, meeting with physicians we decided I would have a biopsy/procedure done in hopes it would render a more definitive outcome. A more definitive answer it provided: Not-Receptive/ Pre-Receptive.
Simple terms: our babies were put in too early, they could not implant where they should and I would need to have another biopsy one day later (yes one) as 85% of the gene expression suggested we could potentially be just 12 hours too early with our embryo transfers.
What this meant for me: 3 weeks to lower my estrogen levels to a safer starting point, then to begin intramuscular injections .3 of delestrogen every 3 days until my uterine lining was/is ready 7-8mm, then progesterone suppositories for 6 days this time- to go in again and have a biopsy taken. The sample sent off again, wait for 3 weeks to deliver our results of my window of implantation for Baby Huyck.
Besides the physical pain of having this biopsy done not just once but twice; the hardest part is having patience in waiting for the results and being open to receiving what will be determined from this genetic test.
With each test, each failure, each loss it changes you, it continues to change me. It teaches you a lesson every time, a lesson that can not be understood by many others, unless they have experienced infertility or loss of a child. It takes a part of me every time and as we have moved down this road I feared this chapter in our lives would be quickly coming to an end.
This final ERA test would determine if we would get to “try” again, if I would get to try one last time to attempt to carry our baby. In the past few weeks I’ve shed countless tears in disbelief that God would have us travel this path where he has brought so much hope, opportunity yet a pain and heartache that I have difficulty in finding just the right words to describe. I am not ready to give up hope.
The call came in from my nurse on Wednesday late afternoon while I was at work. I listen to her voicemail, my eyes well up with tears as she says, “Good news! The result is receptive…” I couldn’t dial the phone fast enough to call her back! I needed to hear it from her voice one more time… Indeed, we got the result we are looking for!
Until then: daily medication to maintain my progress, acupuncture, low caffeine, decrease stress, no processed foods/only organic, increased exercise and preparation for a medical leave in February.
We have hope.
Learn more about our story: http://www.ourmiracle2013.wordpress.com/about/
If you had asked me 4 years ago if I anticipated this road would be this long I wouldn’t have believed it for even a moment. As the days turn to months and then to years it’s becoming a very lonely place. Friends that have moved on with success in their IVF journeys, created their own families have slowly disappeared and friendships I thought would endure the test of time are a glimpse in the mirror as I travel down this road. Family doesn’t ask anymore where we are in the process and have even stated that they have stopped praying- “that God doesn’t listen to their prayers”. Our parents still ask but with so many failed attempts I can only imagine the disappointment of hearing the continuation of not having “good” grand-baby news to share.
It’s so hard to understand why people don’t just pick up a phone or drop a line to say “how are you?” And not because they know you’re struggling with infertility but because they genuinely care about your well being. It’s always that I have to pick up a phone, write a text or letter and after trying so many times… it makes me wonder. Much like any situation when there isn’t much reciprocation I eventually stop putting in as much effort.
The stress can feel almost unbearable: my dreams are so horribly vivid of fear and loss, leading me to talk in my sleep, toss and turn and being awakened by my husband because he can’t sleep from my shenanigans. I always feel like I am handling my stress well but unfortunately it always comes out in my sleep or lack there of.
I feel like I simply can’t win, a failure. The last two months have been very hard. Mock cycles layered in with injections/meds daily, ultrasounds, corneal ulcers, blood tests and biopsies. And while I am having many days of self pity currently, all is done in silence away from those you can see my pain.
Today was my final biopsy- to determine what day my body will be receptive to our babies, if receptive at all. I think I’m having an even harder time because I’m feeling like our journey is coming to an end- when 4 years ago I walked into the office with so much hope and optimism. Now with each visit I’m asked “have you considered a gestational carrier?” Yes, I have considered it and have even asked friends. Layering in mock cycles and trying to ask a friend if I can “borrow” their uterus because mine is damaged goods is incredibly hard. We do not have a money tree growing in our backyard with $100,000 to pay for a “gestational carrier” through a surrogacy center even though I wish we could. It is simply unrealistic.
This is the hardest challenge (infertility journey) I’ve had to face. Compliments fade, body image issues set in, emotional connections are hard, financial stress, family sarcasm and feeling like all of this sacrifice will be for nothing.
It’s lonely this week and feeling like a very long road. Indeed this post is personally ugly for me and even embarrassing to admit but infertility isn’t always hope and optimism…it has moments in time that hurt, that ache to my core and may not always bring out the best in us.
Here’s to prettier days ahead… I will keep praying and keep hoping even when it seems dark. There’s gotta be light just around the corner …
What does someone with infertility look like? As I sit here in the lobby awaiting another ultrasound and another blood test I glance to my left and to my right. Infertility has so many unfamiliar faces yet familiar all at the same time. Simply because they can relate to your journey. It may not be the same journey but they too have felt the pain of failure, of wanting to build a family and maybe even waiting for answers as we are.
Monday will bring another procedure, the ERA test, endometrial receptivity assessment, this test will tell us if I carry the gene that allows an embryo to implant and if so down to the day for the best chance of implantation (as we have done three cycles of ivf with partial/failed implantation in the correct place) in my uterus. Like the dozens of test before we have done that have had a “normal” result: we are hoping for a positive outcome. This test like others comes with a lot of pain from the biopsy and anxiety because I know exactly what is coming in a few days. Trying to stay positive and thankful my husband will be by my side the day of the wicked, yet incredible, procedure.
The past few months have been quite the journey. Recovering from my second ectopic pregnancy, losing my hair by the handfuls from the medication to resolve the pregnancy, back to my “normal” weight (mind you it’s been a year and half), oh wait then to gain it back again when the next cycle of meds began, deciding to do this test instead of immediately transferring our snow babies back into what could be not the “perfect” environment, new Yale protocol layered with injections daily, buying our first home so if/when this test comes back with a possible negative result we can move forward with adoption and trying to be patient. Hoping that there is an even bigger incredible plan for our family just around the corner.
You ever love someone you’ve never met? My heart is so filled with love for this little one and we haven’t even met yet. We want to give the best home to our child whether this be through IVF or adoption. The incredible part is we get to love this child unconditionally and give her/him the very best of us & raise this precious gift the best we can.
Until then… little one, know I think of you every day, I dream of you often and can not wait to be your mommy. I pray every day that this brief period of time will feel as though I waited for you for only a moment when I get to hold you for the first time.
This week I am trying to forgive my broken body. Amongst all of the day to day activities going on there still lingers many thoughts surrounding “our family”.
As my husband and I approach 2 years of marriage I can’t help but reflect on how much we have endured as a couple: so much opportunity, yet so much loss and heartache in a brief moment of time. Through it I fall more in love with him as the days pass.
We have moved forward with the purchase of our first home together- excitement is building. I cant help but hope that we will fill it with not just the love we have for each other but a bundle of joy in the near future (IVF or adoption).
New protocol after this past week of recovering from an allergic reaction (horrible- 5 days of vomiting and could barely keep anything down) to the meds to tie me over until our embryo transfer and recovering from the methotrexate. This week I received the call from ORM, Oregon Reproductive Medicine, that I am ready to start the new meds (first meds- covered by insurance $0, special meds $220- utterly disappointing) to prep for our final attempt at building our family through IVF, with me as the carrier. (A whole different entry to come soon) The emotions are very high: terrified that it won’t work but trying so hard to keep the faith and not send bad thoughts or juju through my mind in fear it may be detrimental to our chances.
More than anything I want to protect our perfect embryos and keep them safe and protect them from harm. I am praying that God will heal my body, keep our embryos safe and prepare us to endure this journey ahead; that he will prepare our hearts for what other avenues (adoption or surrogate) we may pursue in the near future as a couple if this cycle doesn’t work or I lose another baby.
After 2 ectopic/miscarriages I try so hard to keep the hope but I am so scared. Terrified that our babies won’t survive or my body will fail again- and trying to find forgiveness through it all. Forgiveness for the emotions that fluctuate like the breeze, the loss, the hurt, the anger and grief that follows like a shadow through my infertility journey.
Keeping the faith as we will be parents one day… Breathing, trying to remember how lucky I am to have the chance to try and have a partner that is so brave to go through the journey by my side.
“There’s a promise for those who just hold on” … Heard the song Sun Is Rising by Britt Nicole and it just seems so fitting this week. Here’s to hoping for an incredible week of hope!