Monday, March 30, 2009

I've never been more thankful...

Well, it's official...I'm pregnant. The nausea has kicked in. I laid down most of the day, because getting up made me want to throw up. Yuck. Alex asks me every day if I'm nauseous and when I say "yes", he says, "good!" He says that means everything is normal and the baby is doing it's thing. Sweet man. I do want to say...I've never been more thankful for nausea. :)

I have the sweetest friends/family. My S-I-L, Sara, brought me these items. A pregnancy calendar, it's so neat. It comes with stickers to mark special days. She also gave me some preggo pops for the nausea and some lotions for when my belly is a little bigger. :) Thank you, Sara!!

My neighbor, Becca, gave me these items. This book is huge and covers from pregnancy-2 years old. She also gave me this cute sign, which I love! Thank you, Becca!! By the way, Becca is one of my sweet friends that is also preggers. She's due in October, so we get to watch each other's bellies grow. :) This will be her 5th child, so I may be calling her with a lot of questions, once the baby is here. :)

And last, but not least...our sweet friend, Mrs. Vae, heard that I was pregnant and she bought me these pretty tulips.

Excuse the poor quality of the pics. As I told you, we don't have a camera right now, so these are taken with Alex's phone.

I have to say, I'm usually on the giving end of the pregnancy gifts and enjoy giving with everything in me, but receiving these preggo gifts was so much fun for me. They just put a huge smile on my face. :) We're excited for the u/s on Thursday...can't wait to hear the heartbeat(s)!!

Have a great week!

Love you guys,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The dentist...

I went to the dentist yesterday for my 6 month cleaning. We took x-rays last time, assuming that I would be preggers this time around. My hygienist and dentist were so excited for me. They want me to call next week, to let them know how many babies we're having. I got the speech about flossing every night. (I get this speech every 6 months) I'm really going to do better though. From what I understand, oral health is even more important while pregnant. I use my Sonicare toothbrush, twice a day. I absolutely love that thing. I have to admit, I don't floss every evening before bed. I promised them that I would be an avid flosser, when I return in 6 months. :)

My friend Holly (mother of twins) gave me these wonderful books, yesterday. Alex and I both started reading, last night. :) We love them! I'm going into this, fairly clueless, so it's wonderful to read what's going on in there and what I can expect. Thank you,'re the best!!

I would have taken an actual picture of the books, but we no longer have a camera. I didn't tell you guys the funny story of when I first took the pregnancy test. Alex was holding the camera and out of excitement of seeing the positive sign, he began to rejoice. The camera flew in the air. He almost caught it a couple of times. It hit his hand, then his elbow, but in the end, it hit the bathroom floor. LOL I took it to the camera shop, but they said I would be better off to just buy a new would cost a lot to fix it. We were wanting to upgrade anyway, so I see this as the perfect time to get my Canon SLR! :)

I hope you're all having a wonderful week! The weekend is almost here...yay!!!

Love you guys,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Beta #2

Okay, we may have to put Alex on some sort of medication for worry. He has always been very protective of me, but since we found out that I'm pregnant...oh my goodness! I believe his words were...."I just want to put you in a bubble for the next 9 months." Bless his heart. Gotta love him. :) The good news is...I don't think I'll have to lift a thing for the next 9 months. HA!

The nurse called with my second beta result and it was 1199. She said my progesterone is exactly where they want it and everything looks wonderful! They have scheduled my first u/s for April 2nd (my brother, Andrew's b-day!). We will get to see how many there are and hear the heartbeat(s)! We're so excited. Alex shared the news with his work and one of the girls there, sent home a Mimi's Maternity gift card to me, yesterday! How sweet was that? She also has a brand new pack and play that she wants to give us. I was thinking we could keep it at my parents for when we visit them, that way we don't have to pack it up each time we go. My Mom asked if I had started looking at things online and I really haven't. I have waited so long for honestly feels like a dream. Maybe after our appointment, next Thursday, it will seem real. :)

I'm excited to say that my S-I-L, Sara, is pregnant, as well!! I'm really excited that we get to share this experience together! I actually have 5 girlfriends that are pregnant right now (most of them go to my church) and all of our due dates are Oct-Nov! Alex says we're going to grow Journey Church, one baby at a time. HA!

Well, that's all I have for now...just wanted to give you an update on things.

Love you guys,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

We're blessed

I have never in my life seen that word on an HPT. I've never seen two lines. Until now. Alex and I are ecstatic to announce...we're going to have a baby! I believed with all my heart that this cycle was going to work. Before my egg retrieval, I was driving down the road and just talking to God. That's one of the places that I get still enough to actually hear Him. I felt God tell me that it was my turn. I thanked Him in advance and found myself just crying and praising Him right there in the car. I'm sure anyone around me thought I was insane. I truly believe that's why I had perfect peace throughout this cycle. Alex and I want God to receive all of the glory and praise for this miracle!! He is faithful and good. He proved that over and over again, throughout our three year journey through infertility. Even when we were curled up, holding each other, tears streaming down our faces, wondering when it was going to be our turn...He was there. He was holding us in the palm of His hand and we could feel it. We found ourselves wiping each others tears and praising Him together through the storm.

I shared the news with my parents over the weekend, since they were in Springfield. I wanted to tell them in person and was thrilled to get to do that. We shared with the rest of my family, Alex's family, and our church family this morning. We've had a sweet time of praising Him all weekend! To be honest, it all seems so surreal. Alex and I find ourselves just smiling at one another from across the room. We're going to be parents.

I go to the doctor again, tomorrow. I will have a second beta and they will let me know when my first u/s will be. That's when we'll find out, if we'll be having more than one baby. In my opinion, I look like I'm carrying a litter. I have felt ginormous from the very beginning of the transfer. No matter what, we're blessed.

To all of those who have been praying for us, encouraging us...thank you. Words can't describe our gratitude. You are precious in the Lord's eyes and in ours.

We love you guys,
Alex and Jill

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I was so excited to get home, so I could blog about my last 3 days! I was blessed with a trip to a Beth Moore Conference in Nashville. I went with my Mom and S-I-L, Sara. I've been to many Living Proof Conferences and they are always awesome. This one was special though. It was designated for minister's wives only. I sat among 1200 women who are married to a minister. Some married into it, some were surprised by it, later on in their marriages. I listened to what many are going through in their ministries and marriages and realized very's in every ministry. The struggles, the stress, the hurt. Whether you share your husband with a congregation of 50 or a congregation of 5000, your lives are not your own.

Me with Mom and Sara...two of my very best friends.

Beth Moore and Travis Cottrell came with a heart to minister to a group of women, who just like their husbands, have committed their lives and families to the ministry. For better or worse, we're in it with him.

Travis Cottrell...

They made us feel so special. Every time we walked in or out of the sanctuary, they filled our hands with an abundance of gifts. I grew up in a minister's home, so I had a good idea of what it would be like when Alex surrendered to the ministry. Though it's very different when it's YOUR husband that someone is upset with or doesn't agree with. :) What a lot of congregations don't realize often, there is no one to minister to the pastor and his family when they are dealing with something difficult. When one of us would be at the hospital, I remember my Mom and Dad would sit in the waiting area one there to pray with them and encourage them. My Daddy sacrificed many hours with his family to tend to the needs of other families. I realize that will be asked of Alex and our family, as well. It's not a job that you walk away from, after 8 hours of service to your employer. I encourage on your pastors and their families...minister to them whenever possible. It will mean more to that pastor and his family than you could ever imagine. No they aren't perfect...they never will be and trust me, they know it. :)

I had such a sweet time with God over the past few days. I found myself falling in love with Him and the ministry, in a way that I never have before. I'm excited about what He has in store. I know it won't always be easy. To be honest, Journey has been in existence for a little over a year and we've already had times where I thought to myself..."I just want to go somewhere and be a member that comes when I want...with no commitment...this is too hard." But God gets a hold of me quickly and reminds me that my life is not my own. It's His. He told me at the conference that I work for Him, that He chose me, and that I'm blessed because of it. What a sweet time we had and I would encourage your church to send your minister's wives, the next time this conference is available. I walked away excited and refreshed to serve our church family and support Alex in any way I can.

Me, Mom & Sara at Darfon's.

I leave for Springfield, tomorrow. Not sure how often I will be online. Know that I'm praying for each and every one of you. I pray that you find yourself falling in love with the God of this universe, in a way that you've never experienced...that He would be your one true love. Know that He wants you and loves you more than anyone else every could!

Love to all,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

One more day...

Well, I've been laid up on the couch (or in bed) since Sunday. My back is feeling it. I'm feeling....well, I feel extremely bloated. Sorry to use that word. There is nothing lady-like about the word, bloated. I know this. There just isn't a better word to describe how I feel. Puffy just doesn't do it. My abdomen looks GINORMOUS to me. I couldn't suck in my tummy if I tried. Experiencing lots of pressure, as well. I spoke with one one of my friends on the phone, last night. She assured me, this is normal. She should know. She just finished her first IVF and it worked. On top of that...she's pregnant with twins!! She called me last night and told me the wonderful news! :)

I spoke with the clinic today. Our two embryos didn't make it to freeze. It always makes me a little sad when they don't make it. It doesn't affect our feelings towards this cycle though...we're still trusting and believing God for our little miracle(s)! :)

I pray you're all having a blessed week.

Love to all,

Monday, March 9, 2009

What happens after 5-day transfer?

My friend, Joannah (my IVF buddy, this cycle) told me about this site. It gives a breakdown of what should happen after transfer. Hopefully, my embies aren't slackers and are working hard in there. If by chance, you know the difference between a morula pre-transfer and a morula 4dpt, let me know...I've been trying to figure that out. I need to read more on it.


-1dpt ..embryo is growing and developing
0dpt... Embryo is now a blastocyst
1dpt....Blastocyst hatches out of shell on this day
2dpt.. Blastocyst attaches to a site on the uterine lining
3dpt.. Implantation begins,as the blastocyst begins to bury in the lining
4dpt.. Implantation process continues and morula buries deeper in the lining
5dpt.. Morula is completely inmplanted in the lining and has placenta cells &
fetal cells
6dpt...Placenta cells begin to secret HCG in the blood
7dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops
8dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops

I won't be sharing our pregnancy test date. This is something that we like to do on our own and share afterwards. We're holding off on the pregnancy test (by several days) this time around. I will be traveling a lot, over the next couple of weeks, and I want to be home with Alex when we find out. :)

Love to all,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Transfer Day...

Alarm went off at 7:30am. I immediately went to the kitchen and made a huge pot of homemade vegetable soup for lunch. That way, Alex wouldn't have to worry about cooking. He had a busy week and weekend, so I wanted him to be able to relax when we arrived home today, as well. He usually takes me through Burger Mama's and grabs lunch, but they are closed on Sundays. Ah Shucks.

Waiting to go to the OR.

We arrived at the clinic at 9:25am. We were the only ones there, so they immediately took us back. I changed into a gown and she took my blood pressure. It was high. I've never had high blood pressure...ever. We were fairly certain it was just anxiety. My stomach was indeed, in knots. I wasn't really nervous, it's just a big day, ya know? She said it was time to head to the OR, so off we went. Once we were settled in the OR, she received a call that Dr. M headed over to the hospital to check on a patient. She apologized and said it would only be about 20 minutes before he returned. It ended up being about a 45 minute wait. While we waited, Alex read to me out of his Bible. He read the story of Hannah. I immediately felt relief. All of those knots in my stomach were gone. We prayed together and I was thankful that we had that time, just the two of us, beforehand.

Us in the OR. They won't let Alex take his mask off, but he assured me that he's smiling in this pic. :)

The embryologist came in and told us about our embryos. It was a different embryologist than we normally have. She didn't show us pictures or anything, so I don't have any to post. She said of the two embryos that we were transferring, one made it to blastocyst stage. The other was a nice morula. A morula is the stage they hit, right before becoming a blastocyst. The other two embryos have not made it to blastocyst stage yet, so they will call us tomorrow and let us know if they make it overnight.
Waiting on Dr. M to arrive.

Dr. M arrived and started the procedure. The speculum is the part that I hate the most. Between that and the pressure on your very full bladder, it is quite painful. The nurse told me that if I wiggle my toes and take deep breaths, it can help relax those muscles. She was really helped. He loaded the catheter and we watched, once again, our little babies shoot across the screen to land in the perfect spot for implantation. I was teary-eyed. It's an emotional thing to go through, on so many levels.

Now we're home and Alex is waiting on me hand and foot. We've eaten our yummy vegetable beef soup and are about to take a nap.

We both feel really good about today...about this entire cycle. We continue to pray that God will open my womb and that my body will accept these babies. We're believing that this is our time. :)

Thank you for the prayers, emails, text messages, phone calls, etc. You have offered such encouragement and we're blessed to have you in our lives. You really are the best family & friends that anyone could ask for.

We love you guys,
Alex & Jill

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Forward!

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour this Saturday evening, March 7th.

I would have totally forgotten to do this! Luckily, my nurse called to tell me the time of my transfer tomorrow (9:30am) and before we hung up, she said, "don't forget to set your clocks don't want to be late!"

So we lose an hour of sleep, but that's okay...I doubt I'll be able to sleep anyway. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Love to all,

Friday, March 6, 2009

My favorite number...

Well, my favorite number today is 5!! :) We're going to day-5 transfer guys!! We've been praying that our little embryos would continue to do well. The nurse called and said they are doing great! 2 are at 8-cell/excellent stage and the other 2 are at 8-cell excellent/good. They're going to let them go to day-5 and at that point, they will be at the blastocyst stage. Alex and I talked about it last night, and decided that if they made it to blastocyst stage, we would put two back. They recommend 1-2 when they reach this point. Anymore really increases your chance for multiples. I'm fine with multiples, but evidently they have guidelines that they have to go by. Alex and I feel good with this decision. If God wants us to have twins (or more), it will happen. :) I told Alex yesterday, "if they call and say that only one made it through the night, that's the one God is going to use." I believe that with everything in me. I haven't been able to stop crying, since receiving the call. I just sit here, praising the Lord for keeping His hands on our little babies.

Thank you all for praying. Many of you have been praying peace upon us, and can I just tell ya...we can feel it! We're blessed to have so many that care and that cover us in prayer. No matter what happens from day to day, we want God to receive all of the glory and praise!!

Love you guys,

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 2 - Fertilization Report

I just wanted to give an update on our embryos. They are still dividing and all 4 made it through the night!! :) We have 1-4cell excellent, 2-4cell excellent/good, and 1-4cell good. Nurse L said, this is exactly where they like for them to be, at this point. She is going to call me EARLY tomorrow morning and let me know their progress. If they have stopped dividing, they will have me come in tomorrow, around 10am, and do the day 3 transfer. If they are still dividing, we will go to day 5 and do the transfer on Sunday. I told her how we felt about transferring 3 this time. She said that she would have the doctor's recommendation in the morning when she calls. She told me that we have every right to come back and say we want to transfer more. The doctor would just want to sit down with us and discuss the risks, etc. I made it clear that we wouldn't want to transfer more than 3. Alex and I will continue to pray about it. I know we will have peace about what we're supposed to do, when it's time to make that decision.

And I have something that is even more important that my fertilization report. I have a prayer request. Please pray for my friend, Amber. She just received the news that her IVF didn't work. I'm heartbroken for her and know so well, the pain she is feeling right now. Let's lift her up in the days ahead, please?

Love to all,

Mel's little Ladybug...

"A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!" ~Proverbs 27:14. My husband came across this verse, months ago. He immediately shared it with me and I immediately claimed it as my life verse. If you know me personally or have read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I'm not a morning person. I enjoy my sleep like nothing else. I'm not sure what's going on, but the last couple of weeks have been filled with early mornings. I woke up this morning, wide-eyed, looked at the clock, and what did it read? 3:30am!! Seriously? I couldn't go back to sleep. Alex loved it. He wakes up around 4am, every day, and would love to start our day together. Regardless of the fact, that if we did, he wouldn't be allowed to talk to me until 10. That's when I become my happy-go-lucky self. I remember at my last job interview, they told me that my hours would be 10-3 (it started out a part-time job). When those words left her mouth, I knew it was the job for me. I all but yelled, "WHEN CAN I START!?" I'm thinking that since this IVF cycle is going to work, God is preparing me to live off of less sleep. Because once the baby is here, you no longer get to sleep. If that is the case, I'm totally fine with your plan, God. Wake me at whatever time you choose!

Speaking of babies...

I am so excited for my friend, Mel. She became a mother, yesterday!! I have been checking her blog like a stalker. Just waiting to hear that everything went okay and that she and her little ladybug are doing okay. Mel isn't sharing the name on her blog, so she gave baby girl a nickname. Ladybug. How cute is that!? Since I've been awake since 3:30 this morning, I immediately got online and have been checking my email. I was excited to see the email come through around 5:45am, this morning!! Mommy and baby are doing well. Mel's words were...and I quote..."she is utterly perfect." :)

Mel, I can't even express how happy I am for you and your hubby. You have waited so long for this. You have been a constant source of encouragement to me. You have played a big part in helping me, not just deal with infertility, but to actually be thankful for it. Your humor throughout your infertility and pregnancy was so refreshing. I think the world of you and I'm celebrating with you, today...even if it's miles away in Arkansas!!

Give that little Ladybug a kiss and squeeze for me! :)



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fertilization Report & Happy Birthday!

We received the fert report. 4 out of the 6 eggs fertilized! We have 4 embryos that we are praying will continue to divide. We will talk with the clinic, tomorrow, to see if this will be a 3-day transfer or 5-day transfer. We're looking at Friday or Sunday. I don't like when retrieval lands on a Sunday, but it would really be best if they could go that long. Though I am aware of the fact, that when you're only working with 4 embryos, they tend to do more 3-day transfers. Ultimately, it's in God's hands and I'm optimistic either way! Alex and I are discussing how many we would like to put back. We put back 2 the first time and 1 the second time. We are comfortable with putting back 3, but aren't sure how our docs will feel about that. Just curious...those who went through IVF, how many did you put back on your successful cycle?

And to end this post...I wanted to say Happy Birthday to two of my precious nieces! They both have birthday parties on Saturday, which I won't be able to attend. :( I wanted to share some of my favorite photos of these two girls.

Peyton turned 2, yesterday! She is so funny and loves her some Uncle Al. I love seeing him play with's the cutest thing! We were going to call her on our way to the clinic, yesterday, but as Alex almost drove off the road while reading his phone...I told him to wait and call when we arrived. We were called back immediately upon arrival and then forgot to call. We were thinking about you Pey-Pey!

This will always be one of my all-time favorite pics of her. She would lay in this and just float around the pool. It was the cutest thing.

Peyton & Aunt Jill

Throwing her up in the air...she loved this when she was little. :)

I remember when I took this girl loved her some sucker!

This is Peyton at her Aunt Jill's, eating one of her faves...marshmallows!

My niece, Joylyn turns 3 on Sunday! Joylyn is very shy...when she does speak, it's with a soft little voice. She lives farther away than any of my other nephews & nieces, so that makes the time we do get to see one another, even more special. She is so sweet and such a girly-girl. She loves pink and purple. I sent her a package full of little outfits, necklaces. bracelets and these little stickers that you put on your nails (she loves to paint her nails). It was so much fun to put together. It made me look forward to the day when I have a little girl to buy those things for. :)

This is my favorite photo of me and Miss Joylyn. When she was a newborn, anyone else was lucky to get to hold her. I would totally hog her and could just walk with her on my shoulder forever. She was the sweetest little baby.

Me & Joylyn on Thanksgiving

We bought her 6 pairs of princess shoes for Christmas...oh my goodness! The girl carried them around from the time she opened them, to when she walked out the door. :)

Me and Joylyn...brunch at Mimi's

This is Joylyn at her Aunt Jill's, enjoying one of her faves...chocolate ice cream!

So know that if you send your child to my home...marshmallows and chocolate ice cream are two of the main food groups around here. :) Happy Birthday, Peyton & Joylyn...your Uncle Alex & Aunt Jill love you so much!

Love to all,

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Retrieval update...

We arrived at the clinic at 8:30am, this morning. We no more than arrived and they called us back. Nurse L was my main nurse. She and my nurse anesthetist, kept Alex and me laughing the entire hour that we waited. I'm not kidding...when they finally took me back to the OR, I had a headache from laughing so hard.

We retrieved six eggs, today. My first thought was...only six? God quickly reminded me, that he only needs one to work with. :) On our way home from retrieval/transfers, Alex always takes me through the same restaurant to get my lunch. They have those crinkle cut fries and a really good grilled cheese. I'm always starving, by the time we get home. I was in need of pain medication, by the time we arrived home. It kicked in fast...I could barely get my fries and grilled cheese down, before it kicked in. It helped me sleep for about 4 hours, which was nice.

I will receive daily fertilization reports, starting tomorrow. I'll keep you guys updated!

Love to all,

Monday, March 2, 2009

11 hours to go...

Why is it, when you are told that you can't have anything to eat or drink after midnight, you want to stay up and drink as much as you can, until the clock hits 12:01am??

Everyone has been talking about girl scout cookies. I haven't seen one girl scout anywhere and I guess they don't go door-to-door anymore. I then found out that my husband has a co-worker, whose daughter is a girl scout! I asked Alex why on earth he hadn't ordered cookies...he gave some lame excuse like, "I was busy working and didn't think about it." WHAT!??

He came home this evening with 3 boxes of these...
He knows how to keep his woman happy. **Thanks for the hook-up, Jared & Jen** Tagalongs are my favorite!

Well, retrieval is in 11 hours! I think I'm going to go to bed, soon....but first, I'm thirsty...I think I need a drink. :)

Love you guys,

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pullin' the trigger...

I'm sorry it took me a little bit to get this post out. I've received several emails, asking about today's appointment. It has been a crazy, busy, wonderful day! My alarm went off at 6:00am. We arrived at the doctor's office at 8:00am this morning. He did an u/s, measured the 10 follicles, did bloodwork, etc. I asked him if we were going to get some eggs, this week...he assured me that we would. :) He said things look good! He left me a message while I was in church, telling me to trigger tonight! I take my Ovidrel injection at 10:00pm, this evening. That makes our retrieval, Tuesday morning, at 9:30am.

Sara and I had our meeting, this afternoon. We received our first order and the boutique I mentioned is officially carrying our jewelry line! We are beyond excited!! I promise to have some pics up, as soon as possible.

My sweet friend, Joannah, is going through her first IVF and we share the same schedule. She triggers tonight and her retrieval is Tuesday. Keep her in your prayers, this week.

It's going to be a big week and I'm looking forward to the days ahead.

Have a great week!

Love to all,