Saturday, February 28, 2015


Today we are celebrating the 3 year anniversary of transferring one perfect little embryo, who we all now know & love as Gavin.

Here was our first glimpse of him:

Gavin's first baby picture :)
February 28, 2012
Relaxing after the transfer

This post is short & sweet, but this day is far too special to miss mentioning.

We love you, sweet boy!  Here's to bringing you a baby brother or sister this year!

All our love,
Mom & Dad

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Q&A Time

I receive a lot of questions and comments about our journey.  Here are my answers to a few of the most common:

Does insurance cover your IVF?
Sadly, even our rock star insurance does not cover IVF.  So, we have to pay everything out of pocket.

How much do your IVF cycles cost?
Including both the procedures and medications, our fresh IVF cycles are $15,000 and frozen embryo transfers are $5,000.  Typically, the medications run 20-30% of that total cost.  CF throws an extra curve ball, so before we could begin our first round, we had the added expense of Jake's testicular biopsy.  This procedure was $6,000.  We also opted to do ICSI (Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection), where the embryologist selects a single sperm to be injected directly into an egg, which was an add-on to our IVF fees.  To date, our costs have been approximately $46,000, with our next frozen cycle pushing us over $50k.

My friend got pregnant when she stopped trying.  If you just relax, it will happen.
Oh, how I wish it could.  Even though we all know stories of friends who struggle with infertility for a long time and are then able to conceive naturally, for some it's not a possibility.  CF brings on a slew of complications, with one being the lack of a vas deferens in males - basically a natural vasectomy.  IVF is our only option to get pregnant. 

How many cycles did it take for you to get pregnant with Gavin?
Technically, it took 4 cycles - 2 fresh cycles & 2 frozen embryo transfers.  The second fresh cycle had to be cancelled before transfer, due to hyperstimulation.  He was worth every single injection.  This video entry from a Ferring Fertility contest we entered last year is the best snapshot of our road to G-man.  

Are you afraid of this cycle failing, especially since you've gone public?
We've had cycles where people knew and ones where we've kept it a secret.  I'd much rather let people in.  Afraid? No.  But, if it's unsuccessful, we'll be sad.  We'll be that way whether 10 people know or 100 people know.  We're letting the world know how to pray for us - the good, the bad & the ugly. 

What do you do to help keep your stress level down during treatments?
Acupuncture, Netflix marathons, sporadic baking & scrapbooking.  We're usually on the go, so we make a point to clear our schedules during this time.

I'm an open book.  So, please don't hesitate to ask away if you have questions.

We're so grateful for your love.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Cramping & Crepes

This morning was my sonohysterogram, a test I mentioned in a previous post.  My Dr had added it to my list of cycle prerequisites, due to my rocky delivery with Gavin (postpartum hemorrhage requiring a D&C).  He had expressed concerns that there may be adhesions (scar tissue), making it difficult for the next embryo to have a nice place to stick.  So, we agreed to this test to make sure we were in the clear.

I made a promise to myself to always dress up to the clinic to keep it from feeling so serious and sterile. Here's a glimpse at the exam room:
The glamorous life
The Nurse Practitioner met us right away to get prepped for the test.  She first checked me via ultrasound - lining looked great and showed many micro follicles on my ovaries.  Next, a catheter was put in place and saline was injected through the tube.  She added the ultrasound wand back in to take images of my uterus.  The procedure lasted around 15 minutes.  I didn't experience nearly as much cramping as the last time I had this done.  She stayed pretty quiet through the test, just giving a few notes in medical gibberish to the nurse that joined us in the room.  But, right as I got to my breaking point in the suspense, she let me know that everything looks great!  No scar tissue, strong muscle wall, no polyps.  Praise God!

Because we were already doing a procedure using a catheter, we went ahead and did the Trial Embryo Transfer.  The purpose is to determine the length and direction of my uterus.  It's basically a road map for our Dr, so there are no difficulties on the actual transfer day.  She triple checked and it went in smooth & easy each time.  They are actually discussing no cervical stitch needed for this cycle, which will be a first!

All clear!
I ended the appointment with a quick blood draw to check my Vitamin D level.  I spoke with the nurse briefly about last week's blood draws (DHEAS & TSH).  They both came back normal, which surprised us both!  I've had to take dexamethasone every cycle due to a DHEAS imbalance.  

Needless to say, I'm really taken back by so many good things in one appointment.  Totally a God thing.  Lots and lots of prayers from friends, family and complete strangers.  I'm a very positive person, but it's easy to second guess things when it comes to IVF, especially with our track record.  I'm so thankful for Gavin, but knowing that it took 4 cycles to conceive him makes me anxious.  I'll keep praying and trust His timing. 

There's no better way to celebrate a great appointment than with a sweet treat.  So, we ventured over to Germantown and found a new favorite, Red Bicycle, a coffee and crepe house.  

Celebration time!
Now, we're back home basking in this fantastic day and I'm getting cranked up on lots more orders from our IVF fundraiser.  As a fundraiser for our upcoming cycle, I'm making two special necklaces - both symbolizing our hope of growing our family.  It has far exceeded my wildest dreams!  Over 100 orders shipped out since Wednesday and another 100 on the books.  I've even had a few orders from the United Kingdom!

If you are interested in purchasing one, please leave your email address and necklace details, so that I may send over a PayPal invoice.

Bird's Nest: $15
Peas in a Pod: $18

Customize with the following options:
Wire colors: Antique Silver, Antique Brass
Chain finishes: Antique Silver, Antique Brass
Chain lengths: 16", 18", 20", 24"
Bead colors: Taupe, Ivory, Pale Pink, Turquoise
Number of Beads (Price includes up to 4 - Additional beads are $2 each)

Thanks to everyone who has purchased, shared or prayed for this fundraiser.  You rock!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ice Ice Baby

We were prepared for potentially the biggest snow in Nashville history, as told by our area meteorologists.  Gavin and I went to bed, dreaming of a winter wonderland.  But, instead, we are being pounded with an ice storm.  Yuck.

As grumpy as I want to be at the lack of snow, I'm seeing the bigger picture.  The sonohysterogram I am having soon is very sensitive to a specific timeframe (must be between cycle day 5-11).  When I called in this morning to schedule my appointment, several key members of the clinic staff were out due to weather.  I am officially scheduled for 8am next Monday, Feb 23, missing all of this icy mess.  Cycle day 9.  Perfectly timed.

We have a fantastic sitter that is coming at the crack of dawn that morning, so we can start the trek to Nashville through rush hour traffic.  We will know the test results immediately and I'll be sure to update you later that day with the outcome.

In the meantime, we are taking advantage of being stuck inside for a few days and are starting to potty-train G.  Wish us luck!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Deja Vu

I'll admit it.  I was a nervous wreck this morning.  A mix of excitement and feeling like I was going to vomit.  We dropped Gavin off at preschool and were on our way to Nashville for our consultation appointment when the most beautiful thing started snowing.  No forecast predicted it.  It just happened.  Suddenly, the nerves went away and we drove on through our own little snow globe.

When we arrived at the clinic, it felt like we never left.  We walked in and were welcomed by many familiar faces.  It speaks to how much time we've spent at Nashville Fertility Center --- five whole years.  These folks are family to us.

First, we met with our cycle nurse, Tina.  She took a few vitals (BP 100/72, Pulse 84) and reviewed my medical history.  Soon after, Dr. Hill came in.  He greeted me with a hug and jumped right in to his ideas for this next cycle.  But, before we can officially start, he expressed a few concerns stemming from Gavin's delivery.

When Gavin was born, he came via c-section after I labored for 18+ hours.  Within a few hours of his birth, I suffered a severe postpartum hemorrhage, which required a blood transfusion of 2 units and an emergency D&C.  The dilation and curettage (D&C) was done to manage my excessive bleeding.  A possible complication of performing a D&C after pregnancy is intrauterine adhesions.  Adhesions (areas of scar tissue) can sometimes form in the uterus after this procedure.  In some cases, it can lead to infertility or miscarriage.

See, our only option for pregnancy is through IVF, due to Jake having Cystic Fibrosis.  CF has lots of complications, with one being the absence of a vas deferens, aka natural vasectomy.  Great for birth control (Sorry Mom!) but not so great when we want to make a baby.  To hear that I, too, may have an obstacle affecting my fertility is not the news we were hoping for.

So, when my time of the month rolls around in a few days, I will be immediately scheduled for a sonohysterogram.  This is an outpatient procedure designed to help the doctor check my endometrial cavity (the inside part of the uterus) and endometrium (the lining of the endometrial cavity). A saline solution is slowly injected into the uterus to examine through ultrasound.  The saline helps distend the uterine cavity and improves the ultrasound image quality, providing a more detailed view.  He will look for scarring inside the uterus (adhesions) from the D&C, abnormal growths/masses or an abnormal shape/structure.

If adhesions are extensive, surgery will be planned to remove them.  Additional hormone treatment may also begin to help to encourage growth of healthy uterine tissue.  But, I'm not going to elaborate on the surgery or hormones.  Instead, I'm focusing my energy on praying this is not the case.  I pray he will find a clean slate and perfectly lined uterus ready to hold a pregnancy.

Like every appointment, I couldn't leave without a little bit of blood work.  They tested my TSH and DHEAS levels, both of which play vital roles in fertility, pregnancy and IVF.  Results should be back within the next week.

Despite the whirlwind of this appointment, we left feeling really optimistic.  Jake keeps me laughing, so a bad day is nearly impossible.  We know God's got this.

I can do hard things.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Here We Go Again

I'm utterly embarrassed by the length of time that's passed since I last wrote.  I was in my second trimester, May 2012, to be exact.  Well, it's a good representation of a) how quickly pregnancy flies by & b) how crazy busy life gets with a little one.  But, I wouldn't trade this life for anything else in the world.  

Here's a recap + an update on our recent happenings:

Gavin Blake was born on November 16, 2012.  He shocked the doctors (and us!) measuring 9 lb 6 oz and 21.5 inches long.  He quickly earned the nickname, "Tank".

The answer to our prayers
SO much cuteness in that bucket!
Gavin is now 2 years old.  We enjoy lots & lots of laughs with this sweet boy.  It seems he grows by the minute.  He has my smile & chubby cheeks, but most of all, his Daddy's drop dead gorgeous eyes.  Somehow, he's also in the 70th percentile for height.  So, I'm bracing myself to be the shortest member of the Bachman family in just a few short years.

November 2014
Our little monkey had a Curious George themed party to celebrate turning TWO!

Fall 2014
The holidays are more fun than ever before.  It's incredible to see Christmas through the eyes of a child.  Birthdays are a Pinterest-explosion of fun.  Honestly, we treat most days like special occasions, since lots of them involve cookies "just because".  

Christmas 2014

For the past year, we have been praying for God's guidance in the timing of our next IVF cycle.  Many times circumstances would arise showing us the time isn't right.  We had originally planned to start last Fall.  Shortly after this decision, Jake was hospitalized for over two weeks with a very severe virus.   Thankfully, he made a full recovery, but we decided take it easy through the end of the year before starting another cycle. 

It's now February 2015.  We feel ready to get the ball rolling.  Gavin adores babies and keeps asking for a "brudder".  We will meet with our specialist at Nashville Fertility Center tomorrow morning for an initial consultation for round #5.  It's hard to believe we've made it this far.  (Fun fact: I was absolutely petrified of needles when we started.  500+ injections later, I'm a Pro!) Our plan is to do as many cycles as we can with the three frozen embryos we have in storage.  Gavin was a successful single embryo transfer, which is pretty unheard of.  Most clinics transfer at least two.  We are prepared this may be suggested to us this time around.  

I have tons of questions for the doctor.  I'm sure he'll have tons for me.  After all, it has been 3 years since we were in his office.  There will be tons of testing over the next few months.  I'm anticipating a rush of emotions walking back through those doors.  So much of our life has happened there.  It's where we mourned the loss of our first child.  But, it's where we celebrated the success of our 4th cycle -- Gavin.  

We are blessed beyond measure, no matter the outcome.  Thanks for walking with us through this wild journey.  You mean the world to our family.