Friday, December 19, 2014

No Promises

For a few years, we would take family vacations with Todd’s side of the family to Myrtle Beach.  It was a week-long vacation.  We would drive out there to save money…after all, flying 5 people gets pricey.  (We even had to walk Kaleb through a cost-analysis exercise one time, so he could see how much money we were saving.)  Anyway, the drive was 21 hours one-way when we lived in Dallas and the kids were in Arkansas.  In order to maximize our time there, we left Myrtle Beach at midnight and returned home around 10pm the next night.  This is all added information that is not important.

The point of the story is that we took the kids on an annual vacation.  The first year we did this, they started asking lots of questions about what we would do while we were there.  Quickly, we learned to answer them with, “We are making no promises.”  By the next year, we had shortened this to “No promises.”  By the final year, the kids had learned to answer their own questions with this answer.

We had our final ultrasound today.  Goodbye, Wandy…until next time?  The news is not good.  This was, indeed, not our cycle to have a baby.

What the next step is?  I don’t know.

What I do know is that I can make no promises.

I can make no promises that next time you see me, I will be happy-go-lucky.  However, I can make no promises that I will be sad, either.  My emotions will be unpredictable.  I could change how I feel at the drop of a hat.  When you’re dealing with something this painful, you deserve to have your mourning periods.  That being said, you also deserve the right to pull yourself out of the mourning slump and enjoy life when you can.  For the record, finding joy in life during a time like this does not mean that I’m over it or that it doesn’t hurt; it means that I cannot remain upset 24/7 or I could end up letting happiness slip through my fingers forever.

I can make no promises to be optimistic from this point forward.  There will be times that things will seem like they are never going to go our way.  I will do my best to only unload on Todd, though.  J  Lucky fella.

I can make no promises that I will respond to each and every text, email, voicemail, or Facebook message that I receive.  Sometimes, I have no words for what to say back.  I do appreciate any and every message that you send, though.  Just don’t be offended if you don’t hear back from me.

I can make no promises to what our future holds.  More IVF, donor eggs, donor sperm, donor embryos, adoption, no more Provence babies?  Who knows?  Todd and I have a lot discuss.  We have a lot to pray about.  Our next step used to be decided.  Then, we got pregnant, and things changed.
 
I can make no promises to stop making jokes about stealing babies.  Maybe those are a little off-color, but they make Todd and me laugh.  We enjoy dreaming up new ways to go to Walmart and bring home bread, eggs, and a baby.  That being said, I can make no promises to stop making jokes about taking friends' multiples off their hands.

As for now, we will take life one day at a time.  The kids get into town tonight, so we won’t be making any decisions until after they leave.  I will stop my Progesterone injections tonight and hope that I naturally miscarry.

At this time, the only thing that anyone can do for us is to pray.  We appreciate the support.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Handkerchief

When I was a little girl, my dad always had a handkerchief on him.  When I had the sniffles, he handed me his handkerchief.  When I cried, he handed me his handkerchief.  When I skinned my knee, he handed me his handkerchief.  He would put a handkerchief in his back pocket with the same importance of his wallet and watch.  I don’t remember a day that my dad didn’t have a handkerchief on him.
 
When a friend of mine passed away in college, my high school History teacher walked over to me at the funeral and handed me his handkerchief.  It reminded me of my father’s actions, and I was comforted.
 
When I got married, I had handkerchiefs monogrammed for him with my maiden initials.  It was symbolic of how I would always be his little girl.  I also had some made for Todd and myself because I knew that we would both cry on our wedding day.  Those handkerchiefs were meant for happy tears.
See the handkerchief in my hand in the bottom-left picture?
This week, I haven’t been without my handkerchief.  I have spent the better part of the last 3 days crying into one while curled up on my husband’s perfectly-made-for-me chest.

You see, 23 days ago, Todd and I received some of the best news of our lives.  We are pregnant.  We were elated!  We spent the next 3 weeks sharing the good news with friends and family.  (We chose for me not to post it to the blog because we were planning to tell our kids when they get here tomorrow night for Christmas.  We did not want to take a chance of them finding out via social media.  That would not have been a problem back when my mom was announcing she was pregnant with me!  Yes, kids, I’m that old.)
 
Anyway, our second pregnancy test at the doctor was on December 2, and we had a bit of a scare.  Our hCG levels were not rising as fast as they should have been.  However, by December 9, everything was on track, and we scheduled our first ultrasound on Monday, December 15.
 
We were so excited!  I asked Todd that week what he was most excited about, and he said, “Watching you be a mother.”  Awe!  So romantic.  Then, he quickly followed it with, “And freaking out over everything.”  Ha!  He knows me so very well.
 
As we sat in the exam room on Monday, we were like kids on Christmas morning, waiting for their parents to brush their teeth and get the video camera off the charger.  Dr. McKinney couldn’t take any longer to come into the room.  I was thrilled.  I even remember asking Todd if he was excited to see our baby for the first time.  We were all smiles and nerves…but good nerves.
 
The ultrasound started, and Dr. McKinney did a good job hiding that maybe things didn’t look quite copacetic.  It wasn’t until the nurse left the room without a word that I began to worry.  She could see that one of the embryos had implanted.  However, the gestational sac did not contain a yolk sac.  She proceeded to explain to us that this is called a blighted ovum.  She wanted us to return for a follow-up ultrasound on Friday (tomorrow).  It was at that point that she really burst our bubble.  She informed us that there was less than a 10% chance that this would turn into a viable pregnancy.
 
I was crushed.  Devastated.
 
I realize we still have a 10% chance that this will work.  I realize my God is bigger than this problem.  That doesn’t take away all of my pain.  There is a chance that this isn’t our cycle, and that hurts.  I am doing my best to remain positive and remember that God can fix this.  However, that doesn’t mean that He will.
 
I have spent the last 3 days crying into my monogrammed handkerchief.  That handkerchief comforts me a little, though.  It reminds me of when I was a child and life was so easy.

Monday, December 15, 2014

This Hope as an Anchor for the Soul

The night before our third retrieval, Todd and I were at a benefit dinner with some friends.  I know I told about this awesome gesture, but I haven’t taken the time to blog the details.
At the benefit dinner
My cousin, Bradette, worked with the members of our family and a few close friends to absolutely make our night one of the most special nights ever.  Right around the start of our dinner, texts with these notes and pictures began coming to us in this order…well, roughly this order J:
My parents –
Pistols Firing for Baby Provence!!!  - Mom and Dad. ��������  (iPhone emoticons don’t always translate well into Microsoft Word.  Those were horses in honor of our college, OSU.)
Our kids –
Think you can get another one as cute as us?  :)
Heather & Greg, one of my college girlfriends –
I'm late!!!! I'm on Houston time ;) Thoughts, prayers and ANCHORS headed ur way!!!! I love u both so much! And I think ANCHOR thoughts from a Texas fisherman r a good luck charm!!!  Do u love that it took us three tries for a decent pic :-) another good sign I think! Love u and praying for this anchor to work!
Mimi & Bill –
Hoping and praying for a new great grandchild! - Mimi and Bill
Larry, one of our groomsmen –
I'm praying for you Laura and Todd!!  Thinking about you guys!  Love, Larry.
My sister, Jenny's clan –
#anchordown #boysonly #nogirlsallowed  #mycousinsaredrab #kalebsboring #laurajr (#probablynotagoodthing;)) #hopehegetsmylooks-pete #jennysthefavoriteaunt #iamnotchangingdiapers #itsallingodsplan
My sister, Amber’s family –
This is us being hopeful for you guys and baby Provence!  Anchor down those little embryos tomorrow. We love you and are Praying for you!!!
Carri, Jen, Sam, & Annie, our friends from Dallas –
Anchors away!!!  We love you guys and will be praying for you guys tomorrow (and 5 days after that...and then for the next 9 days...and then for the next 9 months!).  Love, Sam and Annie (oh, and Jen and Carri too) ��������

Gotta love outtakes!
Uncle Brad –
Well pilgrim, you know what the duke always says, we're wasting daylight. Let's get it done.
Cousin David’s group –
We are praying for you'll daily that God brings you a beautiful healthy child. We love you and we are here for you.
Cousin Danielle’s bunch –
This family is cheering you on!!!! Love you all!!!  Anchor them babies!!!!    Remember I get 1!!!!  :-)
Cousin Matthew –
Todd, play this on your phone right meow!  http://youtu.be/e9vrfEoc8_g  Wait for it....  BAM!!!!!  It's a bird, it's a plane... No, it's Anchorman!!!
Michael, Samantha, & Kennedi, Todd’s bestman & his family –
We love you guys more than you know. We will be thinking about you and specifically praying for God's hand to guide the doctor in placing those embabies in the perfect spot. Just know tomorrow, we will be with you in spirit and if we could hug your necks really tight, we would!!! Go P's! The G's are super stoked about tomorrow! �������� (Again with the iPhone emoticons vs. Microsoft Word.)
Uncle Vern & Aunt Jan –
Never underestimate the power of prayer - our hearts are crossed for you.  Uncle Vern and Aunt Jan
Cousin Jeff –
Wishing you luck, Jeff.
Kyle, Jeni, & Keelie, one of our groomsmen’s crew –
Want y'all to know we are praying for you guys and thinking of you and share your hope that baby Simon or Simona will be here soon. These aren't the real family pics....those will come afterwhile...they are on Kyle's phone and he is on a delayed flight. :) Love you guys so much!!!  Keep us posted.
Sans Kyle, who was travelling and missed the photo op.
Last, but not least, the ringleader herself, Bradette, Rob, & Eleanor –
You may not always know how much everyone thinks about you but we hope you always know that everyone loves you!!  Our cup runneth over and over and over.  Love you guys!  The Groves
This was one of the sweetest gestures we have ever received.  Todd and I will never forget it.  Thank you to everyone that took the time to participate.  We are blessed to have you in our lives!
 
Shot Clock:
1.       Tuesday morning, October 28 – 300 units of Follistim
2.       Tuesday evening, October 28 – 300 units of Follistim
3.       Wednesday morning, October 29 – 300 units of Follistim
4.       Wednesday evening, October 29 – 300 units of Follistim
5.       Thursday morning, October 30 – 300 units of Follistim
6.       Thursday evening, October 30 – 300 units of Follistim
7.       Friday morning, October 31 – 300 units of Follistim
8.       Friday evening, October 31 – 300 units of Follistim
9.       Saturday morning, November 1 – 300 units of Follistim
10.   Saturday evening, November 1 – 300 units of Follistim
11.   Sunday morning, November 2 – 300 units of Follistim
12.   Sunday evening, November 2 – 300 units of Follistim
13.   Monday morning, November 3 – 300 units of Follistim
14.   Monday evening, November 3 – 300 units of Follistim
15.   Tuesday morning, November 4 – 300 units of Follistim
16.   Tuesday evening, November 4 – 300 units of Follistim
17.   Wednesday morning, November 5 – 300 units of Follistim
18.   Wednesday morning, November 5 – 250 mcg of Ganirelix – NEW SHOT!!!
19.   Wednesday evening, November 5 – 300 units of Follistim
20.   Thursday morning, November 6 – 300 units of Follistim
21.   Thursday morning, November 6 – 250 mcg of Ganirelix
22.   Thursday evening, November 6 – 300 units of Follistim
23.   Friday morning, November 7 – 300 units of Follistim
24.   Friday morning, November 7 – 250 mcg of Ganirelix
25.   Friday evening, November 7 – 300 units of Follistim
26.   Saturday morning, November 8 – 300 units of Follistim
27.   Saturday morning, November 8 – 250 mcg of Ganirelix
28.   Saturday evening, November 8 – HCG Trigger Shot – Ovidrel
29.   Monday evening, November 10 – Progesterone ½ ml
30.   Tuesday evening, November 11 – Progesterone ½ ml
31.   Wednesday evening, November 12 – Progesterone 1 ml
32.   Thursday evening, November 13 – Progesterone 1 ml
33.   Friday evening, November 14 – Progesterone 1 ml
34.   Saturday evening, November 15 – Progesterone 1 ml
35.   Sunday evening, November 16 – Progesterone 1 ml – theme song from “The Big Bang Theory”
36.   Monday evening, November 17 – Progesterone 1 ml – Bon Bons commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD3d3YEpF54)
37.   Tuesday evening, November 18 – Progesterone 1 ml – “All I Want for Christmas,” by Mariah Carey
38.   Wednesday evening, November 19 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Pretty Woman”
39.   Thursday evening, November 20 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Shoo. Fly. Mosquito.” from Pioneer Park Elementary Honor Choir  (even Google has never heard this song)
40.   Friday evening, November 21 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Up On the Housetop”
41.   Saturday evening, November 22 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Kiss,” by Prince in the janitor’s closet at a wedding reception
42.   Sunday evening, November 23 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Close,” by Hillsong Young & Free
43.   Monday evening, November 24 – Progesterone 1 ml – “It’s a Hard Knock Life”
44.   Tuesday evening, November 25 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Jesus Loves Me”
45.   Wednesday evening, November 26 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Oceans,” by Hillsong United
46.   Thursday evening, November 27 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Jesus Loves the Little Children”
47.   Friday evening, November 28 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Jingle Bells” in the women’s restroom at Waterfront Grill
48.   Saturday evening, November 29 – Progesterone 1 ml – “All out of Love,” by Air Supply
49.   Sunday evening, November 30 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Rock-a-bye Baby”
50.   Monday evening, December 1 – Progesterone 1 ml – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
51.   Tuesday evening, December 2 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Silent Night”
52.   Wednesday evening, December 3 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Let it Snow”
53.   Thursday evening, December 4 – Progesterone 1 ml – “You’re the One that I Want”
54.   Friday evening, December 5 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Charles Page High Forever” – in honor of Jenks High School winning the football state championship…again
55.   Saturday evening, December 6 – Progesterone 1 ml – OSU Fight Song – in honor of OSU beating OU in football as 19 ½ point underdogs
56.   Sunday evening, December 7 – Progesterone 1 ml – OSU Alma Mater – had to keep the weekend theme going, and it’s the last school song I know
57.   Monday evening, December 8 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Silent Night”…oops, I’m repeating!
58.   Tuesday evening, December 9 – Progesterone 1 ml – “The Wheels on the Bus”
59.   Wednesday evening, December 10 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Baby Got Back,” on request of Tiffany & Sadie
60.   Thursday evening, December 11 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Rudolph”
61.   Friday evening, December 12 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Frosty the Snowman”
62.   Saturday evening, December 13 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Come as You Are,” by Crowder
63.   Sunday evening, December 14 – Progesterone 1 ml – “This is Amazing Grace,” by Phil Wickham

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Shot Shenanigans – Part 2

The shot shenanigans continue in the Provence household.

Sunday, we realized we had let ourselves run out of patches to cover the lidocaine cream we use one hour before the shot to numb the area.  (The needles are that big, and lidocaine cream is a lifesaver.  I’m just sayin’!)  We decided I could just lay still for an hour with the injection area exposed and the cream on it.  Well, an hour later, we learned that plan only dries out the cream.  There was no numbing effect whatsoever.  I had to take the shot without any pain relief.  It wasn’t easy, but I did survive.

The next night, I came home from Bunco, and Todd was prepared for lidocaine cream experiment number two.  Sweet husband had cut off a piece of saran wrap about the size of my patches and applied athletic tape to the sides.  He made his own patch.
Ladies and gentlemen, it worked.  My husband is a genius, and I was able to have another bearable Progesterone injection.  Plus, we immediately got some new patches on order.

On a related note, I received my first request for a song during my shot.  My friend since college, Tiffany, has been singing a modified version of “Baby Got Back” to her newborn little girl, Sadie.  It makes her giggle, so she suggested I give it a try.  It worked great until I got to the second verse and realized I didn’t know all of the words.  Next time, I’m using a lyric site to help me!
 

Shot Clock:
1.       Tuesday morning, October 28 – 300 units of Follistim
2.       Tuesday evening, October 28 – 300 units of Follistim
3.       Wednesday morning, October 29 – 300 units of Follistim
4.       Wednesday evening, October 29 – 300 units of Follistim
5.       Thursday morning, October 30 – 300 units of Follistim
6.       Thursday evening, October 30 – 300 units of Follistim
7.       Friday morning, October 31 – 300 units of Follistim
8.       Friday evening, October 31 – 300 units of Follistim
9.       Saturday morning, November 1 – 300 units of Follistim
10.   Saturday evening, November 1 – 300 units of Follistim
11.   Sunday morning, November 2 – 300 units of Follistim
12.   Sunday evening, November 2 – 300 units of Follistim
13.   Monday morning, November 3 – 300 units of Follistim
14.   Monday evening, November 3 – 300 units of Follistim
15.   Tuesday morning, November 4 – 300 units of Follistim
16.   Tuesday evening, November 4 – 300 units of Follistim
17.   Wednesday morning, November 5 – 300 units of Follistim
18.   Wednesday morning, November 5 – 250 mcg of Ganirelix – NEW SHOT!!!
19.   Wednesday evening, November 5 – 300 units of Follistim
20.   Thursday morning, November 6 – 300 units of Follistim
21.   Thursday morning, November 6 – 250 mcg of Ganirelix
22.   Thursday evening, November 6 – 300 units of Follistim
23.   Friday morning, November 7 – 300 units of Follistim
24.   Friday morning, November 7 – 250 mcg of Ganirelix
25.   Friday evening, November 7 – 300 units of Follistim
26.   Saturday morning, November 8 – 300 units of Follistim
27.   Saturday morning, November 8 – 250 mcg of Ganirelix
28.   Saturday evening, November 8 – HCG Trigger Shot – Ovidrel
29.   Monday evening, November 10 – Progesterone ½ ml
30.   Tuesday evening, November 11 – Progesterone ½ ml
31.   Wednesday evening, November 12 – Progesterone 1 ml
32.   Thursday evening, November 13 – Progesterone 1 ml
33.   Friday evening, November 14 – Progesterone 1 ml
34.   Saturday evening, November 15 – Progesterone 1 ml
35.   Sunday evening, November 16 – Progesterone 1 ml – theme song from “The Big Bang Theory”
36.   Monday evening, November 17 – Progesterone 1 ml – Bon Bons commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD3d3YEpF54)
37.   Tuesday evening, November 18 – Progesterone 1 ml – “All I Want for Christmas,” by Mariah Carey
38.   Wednesday evening, November 19 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Pretty Woman”
39.   Thursday evening, November 20 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Shoo. Fly. Mosquito.” from Pioneer Park Elementary Honor Choir  (even Google has never heard this song)
40.   Friday evening, November 21 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Up On the Housetop”
41.   Saturday evening, November 22 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Kiss,” by Prince in the janitor’s closet at a wedding reception
42.   Sunday evening, November 23 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Close,” by Hillsong Young & Free
43.   Monday evening, November 24 – Progesterone 1 ml – “It’s a Hard Knock Life”
44.   Tuesday evening, November 25 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Jesus Loves Me”
45.   Wednesday evening, November 26 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Oceans,” by Hillsong United
46.   Thursday evening, November 27 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Jesus Loves the Little Children”
47.   Friday evening, November 28 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Jingle Bells” in the women’s restroom at Waterfront Grill
48.   Saturday evening, November 29 – Progesterone 1 ml – “All out of Love,” by Air Supply
49.   Sunday evening, November 30 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Rock-a-bye Baby”
50.   Monday evening, December 1 – Progesterone 1 ml – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
51.   Tuesday evening, December 2 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Silent Night”
52.   Wednesday evening, December 3 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Let it Snow”
53.   Thursday evening, December 4 – Progesterone 1 ml – “You’re the One that I Want”
54.   Friday evening, December 5 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Charles Page High Forever” – in honor of Jenks High School winning the football state championship…again
55.   Saturday evening, December 6 – Progesterone 1 ml – OSU Fight Song – in honor of OSU beating OU in football as 19 ½ point underdogs
56.   Sunday evening, December 7 – Progesterone 1 ml – OSU Alma Mater – had to keep the weekend theme going, and it’s the last school song I know
57.   Monday evening, December 8 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Silent Night”…oops, I’m repeating!
58.   Tuesday evening, December 9 – Progesterone 1 ml – “The Wheels on the Bus”
59.   Wednesday evening, December 10 – Progesterone 1 ml – “Baby Got Back,” on request of Tiffany & Sadie