Little Blessings.

You asked for it, so here it is!

I have been pretty quiet since my last post because I have been anxiously awaiting the call I received yesterday. As you may know, Jay and I have 10 frozen embryos in Denver right now. These 10 little frosty embabies were biopsied the day we left for home and sent for chromosome testing. We have been so nervous about the results due to Jay’s inversion (if you missed that, read about it here – Genetics.)

Now typically for my age range, which always falls in the “>35yrs” category in fertility talk, the percentage of embryos that come back labeled as EUPLOID, or normal, is roughly 70%. Here is a graph that may help you to visualize this. Sorry it is difficult to see, it was taken on a cell phone so forgive me…

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Remember.. Euploid = Normal and Aneuploid = Abnormal.

With that said, with Jay’s inversion of chromosome 9, it was estimated by the genetic counselor and our doctor that our rate of normal embryos would most likely be lower than average. My hope was to have 2 or 3 normal embryos as our best case scenario..

It was a long and agonizing 16 days but FINALLY, yesterday October 12th, I received the call. When I answered the phone, the nurse asked if it was a good time to talk about the results. I said yes but I was super nervous, which she replied with “oh I don’t think you should be nervous!”

So she told me that..

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We have SEVEN perfect little embryos waiting for us!

SEVEN, y’all!

And then she told us that we should probably celebrate tonight.. In which we did with some fabulous wine and cheesecake. Because, ya know, I just don’t think we have ever been so happy or had anything to celebrate on our infertility journey. And finally, we do! So we did!

Now I am all sure you are wondering what’s next? Well I’ll save that for another day since I’m not exactly sure yet. We of course would like to move along as quickly as we can but we have to take care of some other things along the way. For now, we have a phone consult with Dr Schoolcraft TONIGHT in order to discuss everything that has happened thus far and our next steps in this process.

Also, I would just like to take a minute and say that 4 years ago yesterday, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. That was such a life changing moment. But I will tell you what, I have not let MS define me or slow me down. I am not my diagnosis whether it be MS, infertility, anxiety, or anything else that wants to rear it’s ugly head at me.

I am Amanda, and I am kicking ass at life!

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Until next time.. ❤

 

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March 5th 2014

The day of my last post.

Today is now August 26th 2014.

One Hundred and Seventy Four days in between.

Not much could happen in that time.. right?

Wrong!

So much has happened! Allow me to share…

In March, I volunteered AND participated in my very first MS Muck Ruckus! It was a ton of fun and I can not wait to participate next year!


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In April, My husband and I went through our first cycle of IVF. It was an emotionally and physically exhausting process that unfortunately ended in a chemical pregnancy. This happens when an embryo implants but stops growing, causing a positive test but is not a viable pregnancy.

In May, I graduated with my AS in nursing! Not to mention with high honors.. a 3.79 GPA 🙂

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And I could not have done it without my amazing husband, who I celebrated SIX crazy years of marriage with on May 19th ❤

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Also in May, We attended a beautiful wedding in SC!

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And then went on an awesome cruise to Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel!

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In June, I celebrated my 25th birthday! Nothing too exciting about turning 1/4 century old 😉

I also passed the NCLEX!

We then underwent our second round of IVF. Unfortunately, this was not a success either. But we will keep our chins up and pray that one day some little miracle will call us mommy & daddy.

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In July, I began my first job as a registered nurse! It has been such a wonderful experience so far and I can not wait to learn more and more each and every day!

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We also started our PALEO journey during the month of July. It has proven to be a success with my husband loosing almost 25lbs and myself down 20lbs. This has been one of the best changes we have made to our daily lifestyle and we will definitely continue!

In August, I started my journey to further my education as a student at the University of Central Florida! Here, I will obtain my BS in Nursing which will allow me better career opportunities and allow me to become a nurse practitioner 🙂

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GO KNIGHTS!

Lastly, and most recently, my AMAZING husband bought me a brand spankin’ new car! With my hard work and dedication during the nursing program and finding a job almost immediately, he says that I deserved this! My little 2008 Toyota Yaris S was swapped in for a GORGEOUS ruby red 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE! She has black interior, a touch screen, and a sunroof! Not to mention the AWESOME gas mileage 🙂

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So as you can see, the last five-ish months have been pretty busy for me. It’s been such a roller coaster of emotions.

I plan to blog more often (for real this time), Hopefully at least one post a week.

But for now, I leave you with a picture that my mother in law recently took on a trip to Yellowstone National Park. It makes me realize that there is a bigger picture in this crazy life of mine and whether or not I see it, it is there. God works in mysterious ways and it will all make sense later ❤

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Enjoy!

hope.

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A simple four letter word with so much meaning packed inside. It is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”. 

But it means sooooo much more than that at the moment. 

It means a change in my life. A new adventure. New excitement. New memories. 

As most of you may know, my dearest husband is in the Navy. It is a nice lifestyle. But with the nice comes the not so nice. This month, my husband had to put in his choices for his next duty station. We are currently (and for the last 5.5 years) based at NAS Jacksonville. But, that option was limited this go around. 

This time, we had to choose from…

NAS North Island in San Diego, CA

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NAS Pax River in Patuxent River, MD

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or NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virgina 

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(No aeriel picture? It’s that bad…)

 

We won’t know where we are going for at least another month, but here is to hoping that we stay put at NAS Jacksonville in the beautiful Jacksonville, FL.

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On another note, I finished my OB rotation and class and realized how absolutely amazing this field is. So many emotions ran through me every clinical day. And I would not change my experience at all. I got an A (98.4%) in the class and have decided to pursue a career in midwifery!! I am beyond excited for my journey ahead.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my Pediatrics rotation and class. I have worked with kids in EVERY SINGLE one of my jobs prior to beginning nursing school and I am definitely excited for this. Kids are kind of my thing! 

And on that note, I must head to bed to begin the next crazy 8 weeks of my life!

 

But before I do, allow me to share one more photo of HOPE…

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This little box right here showed up on my doorstep a few weeks ago. And although it may be small, It contains the most HOPE ever imaginable. Believe it! 😉

 

Night folks ❤

 

bittersweet.

Today I realized that I am a very bitter person. 

Bitter about some things I have not been able to experience in life yet. Bitter about some things that I DO have to experience on a daily basis.

But as I sit here (trying) to finish up some homework, not able to sleep yet again, I can’t help but dwell on the fact that everything in my life is the way it should be. And it is perfect. Sure, It might not be how I expected my life to be, but I am so blessed.

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The man in this picture made me realize tonight how blessed I am. We have been through a lot (maybe too much for our age) together and guess where he is after all of it?

Right. Next. To. Me.

He supports me in everything that I do.

When I told him that I was quitting my job last year to pursue my dream in nursing, he supported me. 

When I was diagnosed with MS, he told me he wasn’t going anywhere. 

Every time I end up in the hospital, this man is right there by my side.

He loves me unconditionally, even when we argue (and of course we do.. we are only human. And married.)

 

So as of today, I am going to try being less bitter about life. 

That is all for now…

 

Except one thing…

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ONLY 78 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!

a new October

As I lay in my bed tonight (unable to sleep), I can not stop thinking how long it has been since I have written about life. Maybe not since August? A whole month went by without one post.

We’ll let me first tell you how extremely busy I have been this past month!

I started my OB rotation in nursing school. And what can I say other than I absolutely love it. It may be my calling. I would also like to add that I have been able to keep my emotions in check despite seeing all the new mothers with their precious newborn babies. Harsh reality that I still have yet to experience that wonderful part of life. Soon enough.

None the less, I am doing quite exceptional in my work for this class! And we only have 13 more days until it is all over when I feel as though it just began!

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when you are having fun, right?

Anyways, I also ended up having another MS flare up in September. Not too bad, although I do try to catch it before they get too bad. I started feeling some functional loss in my right hand and a burning sensation in my legs. I am no stranger to these symptoms and knew exactly what was coming on. I headed to my neurologist and ended up on a 3 day IV steroid treatment, yet again. Then followed by a 14 day oral steroid treatment. If you are not sure what steroids do to me (or the general population for that fact), allow me to help you visualize….

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Yes! That is the Incredible Hulk. And that is exactly how I feel on these high doses of steroids.

But sure enough, I should return to normal (or close to it) after treatment. But since this is my 5th flare since being diagnosed almost a year ago, my neurologist has some thinking to do. I will be repeating my MRIs next week and possibly (most likely) be switching medications. To what is a mystery at this point but we shall figure that out as the time comes.

Now begins October. The beginning of my most favorite time of year. Fall turns into winter and brings my absolute most favorite holiday, CHRISTMAS! I will share EVERY SINGLE reason why it is my favorite holiday some other time. I just do not have ENOUGH time at the moment.

But with October, comes a special adventure for myself. I do not plan on sharing at the moment, maybe later. But I will enjoy this month, and everything that happens. No. Matter. What.

Until next time..

a beautiful disaster

So what is multiple sclerosis, you ask?

It is falling asleep at the most inconvenient times. That tingling sensation all over your body that comes and goes as it likes. Walking around like a drunk because your balance is off. Running into things because you didn’t see them. Feeling nauseated because the room will not stop spinning. People thinking you are over dramatic when the pain really is too much. Looking like an idiot when you forget the simplest things…

I could go on but I think you get the picture.

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In July 2011, I was sitting down at work trying to get the kiddos down for their naps. I was tying my shoes when I noticed that my foot would not flex up. Odd I thought.

Long story short.. I saw the doctor. Did some tests. Got a brace. It fixed itself.

Fast forward to August 2012.

I had been running three times a week for around 8 months. I started getting a numb sensation in my legs afterwards. TOTALLY NORMAL.. right? I decided, what the heck, might as well just bring it up again to the doctor.

Same process.

See the doctor. Run some tests. Except this time was different. This time, I ended up making a visit to the good ol’ emergency department. My legs were burning. Yes, they felt like they were on fire. Literally.

The next day, after my ER visit, I see my Neurologist (who has been nothing short of amazing). He tells me that there are FOUR lesions on my spinal cord.

Now let’s be honest. We all have that inner WebMD doctor inside of us researching every symptom we have to make sure we aren’t going to die tomorrow. And that is exactly what I had been doing the last couple of days. So when he talked about the lesions, I knew what he was saying.

Basically, the body defends itself against.. Itself.. And attacks the fatty substance (myelin) shielding our nerves from this cruel world. Lesions occur at the site of this damaged myelin and they, in turn, cause “shortages” in the nervous system. (It seriously works just like any other wired system. I promise.)

The doctor went on to say that I would need a spinal tap and to start my first (of many) dose of steroids. Lovely, I thought. Just what I wanted. All the while, my poor husband was on deployment in Japan worried sick about me. But thankfully, that amazing mother in law of mine was able to fly down on a dime and help me through one of the toughest times of my life.

So now, this is what I do for a living. I take an injection every morning.

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So all in all, having this incurable disease is far from fantastic. Yet, I refuse to let it take over my life. Running was one thing that my MS took over. So it is time to take it back.

For now ❤