Sunday, February 7, 2016

November 2015

November 2015... oh how I soo do not miss you. This month was so hard. Its crazy how you can be so happy about one thing, but then snap! Back to reality you go- and you are faced with sadness, worry! We started the month out with a Ultrasound and got to see our little gummy bear.... Our little bright spot through all the turmoil of the coming months!

Love this little babe! here is a 9 week Ultrasound

One of the first weekends of the month Colton went bird hunting with his boss and a client.... I sure love my mountain man! ANNND While the husbands away... I go to my sisters! haha I got to hang out with my newest cute little nieces Lily and Khole. They are going to be two peas in a pod someday! 

Khlo's face cracks me up in this one..... hahaha and Lily is always SOO Smiley!!!

A couple weeks later we got to go to ANOTHER Ultrasound.... 11 weeks this time... It is truly amazing how different baby can look in two short weeks!! We are so in love! 

Our little miracle babe!

The same week my Dad invited me to come to Twin Falls to listen to him speak at CSI. He did it for YEARS.... and I had somehow never seen him do it! I was the only one in our family who hadn't gone with him- not sure how that worked out. Dad was incredible. He was always sooo good at public speaking- and touched so many lives. It was a privilege to hear his incredible story. I will treasure it forever....  

My Dad. 

Testing the powerpoint

The only picture I will ever have of my Dad with me and baby :(  he was soooo excited for this baby to come... if only we had a few more months with him! 

He is truly my hero. 

Unfortunately this trip to Twin took a toll on our Dad. That very weekend he was hospitalized and then Life Flighted to the University of Utah and put on a ventilator. His C02 levels were 129 a normal person is anywhere between 25-30. His kidneys were alarming the doctors- with not good levels as well. Just not good. But he was Michael Pollard so we thought for sure he would pull through like he always does... And he did- kind of. Unfortunately this all happened the weekend before Thanksgiving. So my Mom, sisters and I all spent the entire week of Thanksgiving down in Salt Lake in ICU at the University Hospital. Jess's Hubby Bryan invited Colt to join his family and the kiddos in Preston for Thanksgiving dinner.... I am SOO grateful for the Westerbergs and their generosity towards Colton on this big holiday. I felt so bad leaving him by himself that whole weekend... But I was where I needed to be- supporting my Mom and being by my Dad's side. My Mom's brother Rick and his wife Shauna made us a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.......We were so blessed. I am also so thankful for the Christensens for opening up their home to us for that week- despite their busy Thanksgiving plans and guests! Man we are so blessed- and had SO MANY tender mercies throughout our week stay in SLC. 

It broke our hearts seeing him like this.....

We are monitor watching pros..... 

Holding our Daddyo's hand..... 

Our Thanksgiving feast.... Unc. Ric was there he just wasn't in the picture... haha

After a week in the ICU we were able to take out the vent, and my Dad was transfered to the medical unit,. He remained there for 3-4 more days before they sent him home to Burley. He was significantly weaker- but we were all relieved to have him home. He was relieved to be home... but it obviously didn't last long.... and before we knew it- it was December! 

Before the vent came out

Breathing freely.... Strongest man I know!

He was so excited to move off the ICU! I Love this smile....

October BABY

October was a exciting month around these parts! We kicked off the month in Alpine UT with Colt's family. Jayne and I threw his sister Corinne a baby shower. It was fun getting together with family- and as always Colt's mom went all out with the food- IT WAS DELICIOUS! Holy smokes. and LOTS to choose from! SO exciting for Corinne and James welcoming baby boy the very next month!! While us women were stuffing our faces and ooohing and ahhhing over all the adorable baby stuff the men were able to attend the Priesthood session since it was conference weekend. Perfect timing :)
Pure heaven... see those homemade oreos-- DELICIOUS...... I think I ate all the chocolate ones! :)

Welcome baby Beard!!!! 

The Cox girls :)

The handsome fellas after Priesthood

Sunday Morning Conference and Breakfast with Grandma Mary and Grandpa Dave

Baby shower weekend was right after our IVF. SOO I believe we only had a couple days until we had our bloodwork to determine if we were pregnant. That was the LONGEST 10 days of our lives! Ha the day before our bloodwork Colton was leaving for work and was like "JEN DO NOT take a pregnancy test! We have been so strong we only have one more day....." Well me home- stewing and wondering I couldn't take the anticipation any longer so I took a at home test. HA poor Colt.... It was the day before our anniversary and I just wanted to get the sadness over with if it didn't work- WELL it was POSITIVE! WHOOT WHOOT! Our very first POSITIVE pregnancy test!!! I couldn't believe it.... I think Colton was secretly glad that I took it- haha I immediately called him and told him the result. We were both on Cloud 9! The next day I went in and my bloodwork confirmed the positive test. WE WERE PREGNANT!!!! Best. Day. EVER. Best ANNIVERSARY EVER! 

2 weeks after we received the good news we had to go down to our fertility clinic for a 6 week ultrasound. They really like to keep tabs on you- so you see them and your local OB until I was 12 weeks. I consider us soooo fortunate being able to see baby more than normal pregnant people. It never gets old seeing your baby on a ultrasound!!! 

Because we were just BARELY preggo you can hardly see our little dude.... SOO exciting...

Almost ;) everytime we had to drive down to the clinic we would stop at IN-N-OUT- our little tradtion... It was always a spirit booster if ya know what I mean... our favorite.. haha


Next up for October we had our 3rd Royal Princess Academy. It was fun- I was Snow White this time... haha very interesting... but oh so fun! I have had ALOT of people ask me what exactly it is.... and I had full intentions to do a full Blog post on it but honestly time got away from me! So here is a little about RPA.......

While I was a event coordinator here in Logan we had a few "Princess Parties" take place at our Venue. Since Jordan was also a employee of my boss at their sister store she would come help me at events... and eventually Jessica also began helping with events. So all of us were able to witness one or more of these parties. We would always say how fun it would be to do something like that- but it just seemed like alot of work. Well finally in the Fall of 2014 we decided to begin planning some sort of princess event. Because of all the kindness and charity shown towards our family over the years we wanted to do something that could not only be a small business- but also give back in some way. So we decided to donate a portion of all proceeds to Juvenile Diabetes Research. With this goal in mind we began planning. Soon we had a Logo, Buisness name AKA Royal Princess Academy, and a plan as to what exactly would happen at this event. We wanted to hold a "Princess Party/ School" To not only interact with the actual princesses- but to teach them etiquette, self worth, and to be themselves. We didn't want to just play- but have a goal in mind. Here is the description on our facebook page.. It explains it better ;) 

Bring your little princess to Royal Princess Academy where she will learn what it means to become a TRUE princess inside and out. The girls will learn that true princesses have Beauty, Elegance, and Grace, but also Intelligence, Generosity, and Confidence in who they are! They will learn about these characteristics by participating in a variety of activities such as, learning a brief dance complete with curtsy lessons (because every princess should know how to curtsy), reading stories, showing their artistic side, and channeling that inner magic that each and every princess holds. At the end of the session, when the clock chimes, each girl will be able to graduate from Royal Princess Academy and receive her very own crown!

So that is what the RPA is :) haha it was a fun Academy this time- we love seeing some of the same little girls.... It is such a blast doing something girly with my Mom and sisters! Not gonna lie we really are good at it- hahaha anyways here are some photos :) 

My little cut out buddy :) 

Anna and Belle our dresses are really pretty in don't do justice!

Cinderella dancing with some of the girls....

Cutest fairy God Mother ever!

Our Princess lineup with Miss Kyler

Love my Goosey!

Dracula Snow :)

I wish we had a better picture of our Elsa Dress... it is GORGEOUS! 

Baby showers, RPA, Doctors appointments/ Ultrasounds really kept us hopping in October so we really treasured our down days... I have to say Dacie is OBSESSED with Colton. haha She is ALWAYS laying on him, or by him- she just loves her daddy! 

Oh and she is the QUEEN of our bed... SPOILED.

I mean really? haha how pathetic is she!?!

By Halloween-- morning- or in my case- ALL DAY sickness had fully kicked in. I was SO SO SICK. It made for a pretty chill Halloween... I finally found enough energy to get ready and so Colt and I went into Logan for some frozen yogurt (one of the only things I COULD eat)  and a quick game of bowling and pool... It was so nice to get out of the house. Before we went on our mini date we stopped at the Westerberg Casa to see some pretty excited little kiddos getting ready for trick or treating. NORMALLY I go trick or treating with them- first year I didn't I believe! :( but they were sure cute! 
Cutest little cabbage patch doll, Unicorn, and Werewolf I ever did see :) 

Oddly enough we tied in our bowling game... WEIRD. HA 

When Colton and I were dating he had a pool table in the house he was living in... So pool became kind of a staple for most of our date nights... It had been such a long time since we had played and it was so fun! Reminiscing the good old dating days! My Hubby is HOT! 

Colt trying to make me smile while sabotaging the picture... Dork!

We also tied in Pool that night... Not sure how thats possible- but it happened.. haha It was a good date night out! Soaking in a good night/ month before the storm of November took over..... 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Our IVF Journey

4 years of trying everything we could to get a baby and nothing worked. 4 years of tests, ultrasounds, bloodwork, injections, meds, tears and more tears. We were at a fork in the road. Either Adoption, or IVF. Both extremely expensive- both extremely time consuming. As Colton and I would talk more and more about which direction we were going to go it was very apparent to us that we had not exhausted ALL of our options of trying for our own. We did not feel that adoption was right for us- at this time. Colton and I came to the conclusion that EVENTUALLY- not right now- we would try adoption. So we began our IVF journey after many tender mercies, and the unwavering love and support of our incredible families. I cannot tell you what their faith- and support meant to us buoying us up when we wanted to give up. We had not anticipated switching doctors until we were serious about doing the IVF route. We wanted to be ABSOLUTELY sure we were with the right Doctor and clinic. While we loved the staff at the Reproductive Care Center- there was just something with Dr. Foulk at the Utah Fertility Center that struck a cord with Colton and I. After our first consultation with him WE KNEW he would help us get our baby. Maybe it was his confidence in his work? Maybe it was his surety of what he was doing? Maybe our personalities just clicked. I don't know- I'd like to think that if a doctor is booked 3 months out until he can get you in for a consult- it means he is in high demand- and VERY GOOD. Well we were right. We met with him July 27th for that first consult. With how my cycles were we wouldn't be ready in time to be in the August group for IVF. I know it sounds weird haha how they do it in groups but the reason for this is: They want all the women are on the same time frame. We all start our meds, we all get ultrasounds, we all do our retrievals and transfers the same weeks/days. Because Dr. Foulk is so busy it is easiest to get everyone on the same schedule. He also works in Southern Utah at a clinic 1 week out of the month so everyone has to be right on point. 
So they got me going on birth control- to clear out/ reset my system from any meds and restart my cycle days to when they wanted my body to do its thing. It was so smooth- We were set up with a IVF Coordinator, Chelsee, who I swear I talked to on a daily basis. Chelsee was the ULTIMATE organizer. She ordered all my meds and Colt's meds (yes he had to take a few), and got my IVF calendar in place. She went through the calendar with me explaining EVERYTHING and setting up all my appointments, bloodwork, and ultrasound visits. This process would have been near impossible without her. Another reason I LOVED Utah Fertility Center. They were incredibly organized- and made me feel like I was their #1 concern which doesn't hurt ;) . Now everyone's bodies are different- I have talked to a few other women who have done IVF the last few months and we were all on different meds, and different dosages, even if we were at the same clinic or doctor. Your calendar and your meds are catered to YOU and YOUR body- looking at my history Foulk knew exactly what I would need and how much- another reason he is a genius, just sayin ;) 

We officially started injections in August- but really hit the ground running in September. Here is our IVF calendar- Color coordinated and all (Thanks to Chelsee ;) ) In the beginning I was only doing 1 shot a day by the 12th of Sept. I was starting to do 3 shots a day-- Until our Egg Retrieval. 

The day we got our meds felt like Christmas- I couldn't believe ALL of this would be injected into my body- but the ultimate prize would be WELL WORTH IT! I was so overwhelmed when I started getting it all out. Poor Colton came home to a VERY emotional wife that night- it was so scary!

2 of my 3 shots. It was insane how many viles of powder meds were mixed into the fluid in one shot! Colton was SUCH a trooper! Between him and my big sister I didn't ever have to inject my own shots- there is no possible way I could have, I am a wimp who REALLY hates needles.... As time went on they began to get more and more painful- because of the hormones my stomach began to bloat- got really tender, and was covered in bruises. Now a normal person makes 1-3 eggs a month. With IVF you are trying to make anywhere between 10-20 - SOME not all people get even more than that. So injecting all of this into your body to produce more eggs can take a toll. Colton and I figured out that if I iced my stomach before we injected I couldn't feel the sting near as bad when I was initially poked.. 

My tentative day for my egg retrieval was scheduled for September 22nd on our calendar. But my body responded so well that they bumped everything up a day. On our last ultrasound before the egg retrieval I had 16 good looking follicles (eggs) that they would be able to retrieve, and my bloodwork was on point. Dr. Foulk was pleased with this so we went a day ahead of schedule for the rest of the process. On Monday September 21st we went in for the retrieval. It was a painless procedure- they put me under anethsia so I was asleep for it. The next thing I knew I was woken up to Colton and the doctor in a recovery room. They had retrieved all 16 eggs and things were looking good. Colt drove me home and I slept the remainder of the day. I think the worst part of the whole process was after the retrieval. I was SO hormonal from all the meds, my stomach hurt wicked bad and was so so tender. Its amazing what your body is capable of! 

You can only draw blood in one of my arms... I tried telling the nurse- yeah she didn't listen and blew one of my veins in my arm that won't draw- it hurt sooooooo BAD and was only more amplified with the hormones in my system. ;(

We had 3 straight days of ultrasounds and bloodwork before we could be cleared to do our egg retrieval so we took advantage of being down town SLC and went to temple square... Thanks to the family who let us stay with them so we didn't have to go back and forth!! :) 

Sorry for my nastiness, you are not allowed to wear makeup, hair products, or anything with a smell so I look like a gremlin hahaha oh and my ugly socks ;) haha

After the egg retrieval we wait 5 days to see how many eggs fertilize with Colton's swimmers. Each of those days I got a call from the lab with my egg report. We went from 16 to 12 to 8 to our final 5 embryos. I am amazed at the science in this part of the whole process.... We were right on schedule for a 5 day transfer. So our Transfer was Saturday the 26th of September. Since we had 5 good looking embryos we decided to Transfer our 2 best and freeze the remaining 3. Weird to think our future family were all conceived at the same time, in a dish, under a microscope haha :) 

The day had finally come!!!

Our Embryo report

The transfer is really quite cool. They gave me a pill to relax me, and I was awake the whole procedure. Your bladder has to be full- which was the hardest part- and you watch the entire thing on a ultrasound. I am a IUI pro- and the Transfer is much like that. They insert the tube and you can see it on the screen and then the Doctor slowly inserts each embryo through the tube. You can see two little rice grains pop out of the tube and all of the sudden you have two embryos in your uterus! It was soooo COOL! And just like that you have officially done a round of IVF.

You have to be EXTREMELY careful the 2 days following your Transfer. They actually call them "Princess Days" No joke. haha You are placed on strict bed-rest- not allowed to even empty a dishwasher or have any sort of physical exertion- NO STRESS. Since our process was all moved up a day I was fortunate to have a extra princess day. My Mom came to Logan to take care of me while Colton worked- and between her and my sisters I was literally treated like a Princess ;) Haha Colton and my family MADE me stay in bed that 3rd day because why not- I had already requested it off work and we hadn't anticipated everything being bumped up a day. I firmly believe these three days were the most crucial in the process as far as the embryos sticking to my Uterus.

My little buddy stayed right next to me for 3 whole days.... Mmm I love my furbaby!!! 

The following days were so hard just because we were so anxious. You wait 10 days following the transfer and then you go in for bloodwork to confirm pregnancy. I was so blessed with amazing friends, and my sweet young women visiting me, and bringing me treats!! We have never felt more loved than in did in this two week wait!! 

My Best friend Sam brought me this cute bag of sunshine :) 

I had never spent so much time at the temple as I did during this 10 day wait. I was desperate for peace and comfort no matter the outcome. The minute I felt anxious or a glimmer of doubt off to the temple I went. I cannot explain the comfort it gave!

Most yummy cookies EVER! Thanks to my Young women!

What are the odds that our bloodwork was on our Anniversary?! Talk about nerve racking..... I couldn't wait and the day before on October 6th I took a pregnancy test... We had held out- and right before Colt left for work he was like JEN DO NOT TAKE THAT TEST!!!!! But the waiting was KILLING me..... So I gave into the dark side ;) haha lo and behold the FIRST positive pregnancy test I have EVER gotten in our 4 year battle with infertility. I was so excited I couldn't even handle it- I called Colton immediately------ hahaha I think he was secretly glad I took it... and he was SO EXCITED! EEK! The next day I went in for bloodwork and it was confirmed. We were offically pregnant!!! We have never felt that magnitude of joy in our lives. It was the BEST anniversary EVER. 

The journey of Infertility is a crazy one. We are totally different people now then we were before. We are both so humbled and grateful that the IVF process worked for us the first time. Alot of times it takes multiple tries before you can achieve that positive test. We are so fortunate. Our hearts still hurt for our friends or family members who are going through what we went through- and we are much more aware and empethetic towards them than we were before we went through this trial. We learned so much through this process- and although it worked this first time- we will most likely struggle to get all of our children- so the battle isn't entirely over. For now we can be happy with the outcome and just take it one day at a time. We never thought we would be able to be parents- and here we are finding out the gender of this baby in two days. We are so incredibly blessed. 

I don't know what I would have done without Colton. He was my biggest cheerleader and shoulder to cry on. His countless priesthood blessings brought so much peace to me and our home during such a stressful time. It is amazing how love grows with you through your experiences and trials in a marriage. I never could have comprehended the love I could possibly have for this man today- on our wedding day- it is immeasurable. I am so excited he can finally be a daddy- a day I have wanted for him for so long!!! He will be the best, I just know it ;) 

Wow we really need to update some pictures..... The other 4 people that we could have NEVER done this without were our parents. We talked to all of them EVERY DAY. They were most definitely our biggest cheerleaders- with us EVERY step of the way. When we would leave an appointment- we would always would call My Dad, and then Jayne (since my mom and brad work during the day) to fill them in on the latest and progress as it went. Colton and I both have some pretty awesome parents, and we are so thankful for all their wisdom and insight throughout this process. Lastly I am so grateful for my Big sister. She was here EVERY DAY with me- helping me with injections, or in any way possible. What can I say we are blessed with the best :) 

And just like that we are on to our next phase in life- whatever it may hold. We are going to soak up the here and now with our little gummy bear while we can. Thanks for all the prayers on our behalf- we feel the love and support and appreciate it greatly!!! Love you all!!!! 

6 Week Ultrasound :)