Friday, April 19, 2013


At the suggestion of my blogger buddy, Stephanie, I have been reading "Hannah's Hope" by Jennifer Saake. It is truly an amazing book! If you or someone you love is struggling with infertility, adoption or miscarriage, I totally suggest reading this book. I especially suggest reading it if you are searching for more understanding about what someone you love might be experiencing while dealing with any of these struggles. (My mom is wanting to read it when I am done, which is awesome because the author does an amazing job at putting things into perspective from an inside view but also from an outside view.) I wanted to share a poem that the author shares in the book. I don't know how I haven't stumbled across this poem before now.

by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."
Amazing, huh?!
This poem spoke direct to my heart. In the past two months my heart has changed so much. My faith has grown tremendously. I have been happier than I have been in a long time. I have let things go that I have been holding on to. I have opened up more. I am witnessing growth in myself and all of my relationships.... with God, Ryan, my mother, family, friends, co-workers.... It's amazing. For the first time ever I am truly thankful for this journey!
I have had a few people ask me what's been going on recently. I am just waiting for my next cycle to begin so that I can start birth control pills. Yes, for the first time in two years I am anxiously awaiting my period. Strange that after two years of praying my period doesn't start, I am now wishing it along so that I can start birth control pills. So yup I am patiently waiting and thanking God everyday for this journey and all of my blessings!
{P.S. I plan on doing another post about "Hannah's Hope" when I am done reading, almost to the end!}

Friday, April 12, 2013



So a while back a very good friend of mine told me that listening to me talk about all that we had been going through inspired her. She said that although she could not relate to my struggle, she thought about the things I said and tried to place herself in my shoes. She told me that she could never imagine how it feels but that sometimes she turns her thoughts into a song. She wrote a song for me! She said that she didn't know when she would share it with me but that she would someday. I hadn't pressured her at all but yesterday she emailed me her song, "Someday".

Of course I started crying immediately! What an amazing gift to give someone! A gift that I will cherish for the rest of my life. A gift that I will share with my babies and grand babies someday. A gift of friendship and faith. I will be forever thankful for these words!

(Verse 1)
I want to look into those brown eyes/
I want to hear you/ to hear those little cries/
Not having you in my life/is just too much to bare/
You're in my every thought and wish/ you’re in my every prayer/
Someday/ my dreams will all come true/
Someday/ I’ll be in this world with you/
Someday/ In my arms you will lay/
Oh I wonder when it will be my someday/
(Verse 2)
I’ll count every finger and every toe/
I’ll hold my angel/ and kiss you upon your little nose/
and thank GOD for this blessing/ that He’s sent to me/
Each day you’ll hear how much I love you/ and what you mean to me/
Yes someday/ my dreams will all come true/
Someday/ I’ll be in this world with you/
Someday/ In my arms you will lay/
Lord I know there will be my someday/
10 little fingers/ 10 little toes/
and brown eyes that sparkle/ as I kiss your little nose/
I can’t believe it/ it feels like a dream/
what I’ve wanted so badly/ is looking up at me……/  
Someday/ my dreams have all come true/
Someday/ I am in this world with you/
Someday/ In my arms you now lay/
Thank you God for giving me my Someday
Thank you God for giving me my Someday

Wow! Amazing right? I think so! Thank you Jamie! I love you!

I know someday she will sing it for me. :) My hope is that she will record it for me too. That way I can play it to my babies. The Lord blessed her with musical talent, so although I plan on singing it to Walker babies someday, I still want them to hear it coming from her.
{Sorry Jamie I did change one word. I changed blue eyes to brown. Again sorry, but the likely hood of Ryan and I having a blue eyed baby is probably about the same as the likely hood of us conceiving without medical assistance. And that's ok!}

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Poor Ovarian Reserve...

It has taken me a few days to be ready to write this post. For one, it was way too nice out this weekend to be inside on the computer and I have the sunburn and sore muscles to prove it. (But my yard looks much better!) Secondly, I needed processing time.

Before I go into details of my appointment, I want to say I love Dr. Silber and the whole staff! They were all so nice, just like everyone says. I was not disappointed. :)

My ultrasound appointment was at 2:00 and my appointment with Dr. Silber at 3:00. The purpose of the u/s is to look at the ovaries, get an antral follicle count in each ovary and measure the uterine lining. The follicles are where the egg(s) grow and the antral follicle count is an indicator of your remaining reproductive years.

The girl performing my u/s was so sweet. She asked if I had ever had a trans vaginal ultrasound before. I told her yes, close to ten of them! I didn't ask any questions while she was performing the u/s because I knew that she wasn't supposed to tell me anything, that Dr. Silber wanted to know the results and discuss them with me.

When our name was finally called, I was so excited. I knew I was about to meet an amazing person. Someone who has helped so many people. He introduced himself and we sat at a small round table. The first thing he noticed was Ryan's Razorback shirt and Cardinals hat. He commented on them and then gave his brief spill about the infertility epidemic. Then he said something that I was not expecting at all. "Well your antral follicle count was 7, which tells us that you have a low egg reserve." I about fell out of my chair. I looked over at Ryan and he had the same look I am sure I had.

He went on to explain what exactly that meant. Basically I do not have as many eggs as I should at my age and that is why I haven't been able to achieve pregnancy on my own. I asked him what the count should be at my age and he said at least 20! Oh my. He said that I had two in one ovary and five in the other. That the count would vary with each cycle but that I would never have the normal amount. I told him that this was the first time I was ever hearing this (even after going to Little Rock for 6 months and having approximately 8 - 10 previous ultrasounds). I told him that they never told me my follicle count but that they would measure the two or three biggest ones each time. He said that was because the doctor was the one doing the u/s and that they don't take the time with each patient to do a complete ultrasound. [What?!?! Does this make sense at all?!? It took less than 15 minutes and is non-invasive and affordable!]

This is the chart that will forever be burned into my memory, that left a hairline crack in my heart:

I fall in that last line, the line that has a lovely dash under years until last child. But praise the Lord for creating people like Dr. Silber. People's whose passion for science and others has helped people like me fulfill their dreams! I know that from this point forward in our journey that we are in the two most capable sets of hands there is: God's and Dr. Silber's! And for this I am grateful!

His plan for us is to do several back to back cycles of minimal stimulation IVF. He thinks that we will need several cycles in order to retrieve enough eggs and store up as many embryos as possible. Mini IVF is like traditional IVF minus the daily injections of hormones for months. He said that I would not benefit from these high levels of hormones. That the purpose of them is to produce a high egg count for retrieval. But that even with the massive amounts of hormones my body would probably not produce any more eggs than usual. The goal of mini IVF is to recruit a only a few high quality eggs. The harvest, fertilization, culture and transfer of those eggs/embryos does not differ from routine IVF.  We are shooting for quality over quantity! He has hopes that based on my age my eggs should still be of high quality. Of course, there is no guarantee of this. But we won't know until we try and I have to keep the faith and think happy thoughts about my eggs until then!

So here's the way that mini IVF works:
  • Call the clinic on day 1 of my next cycle {end of April/beginning of May}
  • Begin and end birth control pills on days instructed by my coordinator (sweet Joan), somewhere between 21 to 28 days of birth control pills
  • Start period {end of May/beginning of June}
  • On day 3 of cycle begin 50mg Clomid and continue until ultrasound monitoring shows the follicles are ready for ovulation
  • On days 8, 10, and 12 add in 150iu of Follistim (FSH injections)
  • Begin monitoring (blood work and ultrasound) when instructed
  • When blood work and ultrasound look good we will do the egg retrieval {target date June 14}
  • Eggs that are retrieved will be injected with sperm by a needle (ICSI)
  • Resulting embryos will be frozen by new technique of vitrification
Dr. Silber wants us to do the process a few times to get as many embryos frozen as possible before making any transfers. This is because even if we have a handful of embryos there is no guarantee that those embryos will implant in my uterus and form into a baby. And also because if I were to get pregnant within the first couple of transfers (placing embryos in the uterus) I need to have some embryos frozen for future babies. I need to do this in order to insure I will still have a chance of having another child if I become pregnant during the first or second transfer. Because if I was to get pregnant but didn't have any embryos left for the future I may not have any eggs by the time we are ready for another child.

I am hoping we will get several excellent embryos and not have to do more than 3 rounds of retrieval. He would be happy if we could get at least 4 or 5 eggs during each retrieval and even more happy if all or most fertilize and turn into embryos. This is where we will find out the quality of my eggs. The number of eggs retrieved each time will vary as will the embryo count. The goal at this point in the journey is not to get pregnant but to get as many Walker baby embryos frozen as we can!

After Dr. Silber and we are comfortable with the amount of frozen embryos we will do a transfer. The number of embryos transferred would depend on the quality of the embryo. These are things to be determined. However, they will not preform a transfer until 3 months have passed since your last retrieval. Therefore, we are looking at winter as the earliest possibility of a transfer.

I tried to explain it the best way I could but if you would like to learn more you can go to Dr. Silber's website:

There will be more posts once I get more information. I expect our huge package of detailed instructions at the beginning of next week. The inpatient, information starved side of me wishes I had this in my hand already! But the side of me that will get me through this says "one day at a time!"

Side note: I went to bed early last night because Ryan was watching the NCAA championship game and I was exhausted. Anyway when he did come to bed he went on about how good the game was and then said "Oh and I read your blog. It is really good babe." :) :) :) I had told him a couple of weeks ago when I started it but he never asked to read it and I never asked or pressured him to. This melted my heart. Again thank you God for him!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

The sun'll come out tomorrow
So you got to hang on 'til tomorrow, came what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow
You're always a day away!
That song is stuck in my head this morning. I am so excited about tomorrow! Tomorrow is a BIG day for us. A day that will hopefully be the start of a new path in this journey. I admit I have somewhat high expectations of tomorrow. We will see if what everyone says about Dr. Silber and the whole clinic is true. I bet it is! :) Tomorrow will be a success if Ryan and I both leave St. Louis feeling confident, excited and ready for whatever is proposed. This is all I can pray for today!
This is a verse that a friend sent me one day, I have read it over and over on this journey:
"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!" Habakkuk 2:3
After reading it I tell myself, I am one day closer! I am one day closer to becoming a mother! Each day only brings me closer. Ryan and I have no plans to give up, ever. We know without a shadow of a doubt that we will be parents one day. We would love to have a child of our very own, one that is half him, half me. We also acknowledge that this might not be what God has intended for us. His plan might be for us to love a child that is not biologically ours but created just for us. Anyway that it happens, when it does happen we will be eternally grateful for our blessing and the lessons along the way! The lessons of patience, thankfulness and trust and for growing our relationship in a way that never would have happened without this journey.

We are so lucky to have so many prayer warriors! I have had so many people tell me this month that they have been praying for us and are praying about tomorrow. I am so blessed to have these people in my life. THANK YOU!

And the sun isn't out today in Arkansas, but the weather man says the sun'll come out tomorrow!

Our wedding day, little did I know how blessed I really was to be marrying this guy. :)