I don’t even know where to begin. I’m still on such an emotional high and keep crying off and on after the most beautiful, most emotional procedure I’ve ever had in my life!
We arrived at the clinic at about 7:40 (after taking a few pics, of course) and were able to speak to my Doctor about where we stood on everything. He said that our embryos looked very, VERY good and he was confident in our chances. He also gave us the opportunity to elect out of the 2 embryo transfer since we had pretty good chances anyway.
Transfer 1 embryo: 40-45% chance of the embryo resulting in a successful pregnancy with a very slim chance of it splitting into identical twins (I can’t remember the exact number).
Transfer 2 embryos: 70-75% chance of the embryo resulting in a successful pregnancy with a 35-40% (pushing 45%) chance of twins if we stuck with the two.
We elected to still proceed with the two embryo transfer to better our chances and we really want twins anyway! (Come on, Twins!!!!)
After that, Ryan gave me a good luck kiss and I was escorted back to the pre-op area (right outside their private O.R.) to get into my gown and ready for the transfer! The embryos can’t be out of incubation for more than 3 minutes (MAX) so it’s important that I was set up and completely ready before the embabies were brought out. Another perfect design of our doctor is that he built the embryology lab directly attached to the OR so it’s easy to bring them in and out. I was put on the bed with my upper part of my body tilted down at a crazy angle and my favorite nurse checked me with an ultrasound (a normal abdominal one this time) to see if we were ready to proceed. Next, my Doc came in and got everything in place for the transfer. It’s all very specific exactly where the embryos go into the uterus and the catheter that’s used has to be in the exact right spot. Finally he was able to bring in the embryos and get those embabies settled in there!!!! My nurse was so great and she turned the screen to me so that I could see the little babies on the screen!!!! (They’re microscopic so you can only see a “flash” where the fluid is, but they were in there!) My only wish was that Ryan could have experienced it with me, but I wore his green army socks (under my surgical booties) to have a piece of him with me and it’s safer for the OR/embryos to have as few people back there as possible.
The whole thing was so incredibly surreal!!! I was officially/unofficially pregnant!!!! To actually see something in there and know that there were two 5-day old babies ready to grow and make me a mommy was the most beautiful moment!!! That moment alone made all of this worth it. Every tear we cried, every doubt, every fear, every pain I felt when I saw someone else get pregnant or have a baby or get pregnant AGAIN in the time we were trying ALL became worth it!!! To have this incredible joy and to experience the beautiful nature that is IVF and the science that God has given us is so incredible. I’m so thankful that we understand the true value of this and just how incredibly precious life is!!!
I was officially pregnant at 9:50 am on 11 DEC 2015! How cool is it that I know the exact moment that I got pregnant??!
As an added bonus, Doc took my phone back into the lab with the flash turned off and surprised us with pictures of the embryos before we got started!!!! It was a total surprise that he did for us because he knew had badly I wanted one.
Once we were done I layed on the stretcher and chit chatted with my nurse until my 20 minutes were up and was able to get dressed and grab Ryan. 🙂 🙂 Once we got in the car, I surprised him with the picture of OUR BABIES!!!!! He totally wasn’t expecting it and it was such a precious moment to share with him and watch his reaction! A moment that i’ll never forget…and another blessing of doing a procedure like this.
Also, my two week wait cut down to 10 days was then cut to 8 to take my Beta blood test. Then Doc said I could come back in in exactly one week to see if i’m officially pregnant!!!! We’re so thankful that everything went great and are confident that this is going to work. We love these sweet babies so much already…I can’t even believe it! 🙂 🙂 We hope and pray that they both get buried in there and make themselves comfortable to stick around for 9ish months!!!
Embryo Report: Also, we already have 3 frosties (frozen embryos for the future) and 5 more waiting to see how they do so we might be able to freeze even more 🙂
UPDATE: We had one more embryo make it to freeze, so we’re hoping for future siblings! 🙂
~Hopeful mommy to be,
Sometimes life hurts…and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s okay to get emotional and to not be perfect. Be you and express that in whatever way works best for you.
For a long time I’ve been working on loving myself and “ignoring the noise” of people who don’t like me. It’s a difficult process and one that I’ve never been very good at…but i’m learning. My whole life I have always internalized everything and took negative things that I heard to heart which is a very bad habit to break. I believe it’s because my primary love language is “Words of Affirmation”, so the negative words cut that much deeper. In the world, you will always be wrong. That’s just the way things work and this summarizes life perfectly.
You will always find people that don’t get you or don’t like you or think that you should live life their way, but we have to learn to not need their approval. Yes, I will never get “thicker skin”, because that’s just the way God made me and I don’t want to be like everyone else. It definitely hurts more when it’s close friends or even family, but you have to focus on loving yourself. There are people in this world that love me for me so why would I change to become something different?
I sincerely hope that I never become the type of person that judges others or causes them to feel like they are anything less than beautiful. Yes, there is lots that I don’t agree with, but I refuse to try to change people into who I think that they should be. You see, it can be very easy to judge a person by what you see on social media…or even in real life. But are you married to them? Do you see their hearts or know their struggles that they’re wrestling? I truly believe that this world be a much better place if everyone picked up a bit more empathy for others sharing this space.
I want to be the person that my husband sees when he looks at me, smiles and says “I just love you so much“. I want to see what he sees and forget all of the negative opinions and harsh words of those who want to cause nothing but pain.
Love yourself the way that God loves you, because you’re beautiful just the way you are!
Let me start by saying that I am so thankful for the way that I grew up and for all of the many experiences that I’ve been afforded and above all else, I am an American. I am from Maine. My family is from Maine on both of my parents sides. However, when your entire life has centered around the military people sometimes don’t understand. In the first 30 years of my life I lived in 8 states and 2 countries. My husband’s family is from all over: California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida and a few relatives in Mass. However, on his first trip home with me he fell in love with New England! If home is where the heart is then he’s definitely from Maine. 🙂 The only reason that we do not live in New England now is because of his (our) service to the military.
There will always be a part of me that wishes that I could have grown up in Maine. It’s arguably the most beautiful state in the union, it’s where my family is, it’s the birthplace of a Nation, and above all: it’s home. Part of me will always be sad that I didn’t get to grow up near the rest of my family and that always hits me when we go home. It was all the more apparent when we said goodbye to my Grammy and Grampy Walsh. When someone passes, everyone shares fun memories that they had with that person, and it broke my heart to not have more of my own to share. I felt left out of a lot growing up when I didn’t have more memories with my family back home. It is still difficult to see my cousins’ wedding pictures with our grandparents and wish that we could have some.
There are many advantages to life as a military. I was afforded many opportunities that some never get: we were in Germany when the Berlin wall came down and I’ve visited almost every country in Europe, I’ve climbed to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa, I’ve lived in more states than some people travel to and visited 3 times as many, I feel much more resilient than I would have been and have an appreciation for other people and cultures. I also have a unique stance in that I know what it’s like to send my Dad and my Husband off to war. I wouldn’t trade the way I was raised and I am excited that our kids will grow up with their own adventures as Army BRATs. 🙂
However, it can also be difficult to always be the “outsider”. Yes, we have MANY southern friends and there are plenty who love us and don’t act negatively toward us, but there are still FAR too many fighting the Civil War. I’ve been discriminated against since moving to our current state as many (most certainly not all) people from the south still hate “Yankees”. We’ve been kicked out of restaurants since moving to our current duty station because they “don’t serve” our “kind” in there. We walked out thinking we were in some sort of backwards movie from the 60’s (which is even funnier because Ryan isn’t technically from the North). I’ve had a few people tell me to “Go back where I come from”. There is a shrine erected in a park downtown always facing the “enemy to the North” and we were told that no part of this monument was allowed to even TOUCH Northern soil on its way down from Canada. Umm, what??!! I’ve never been exposed to such hatred in all my life. Even at a civilian doctor in Tennessee a nurse said, “Oh you must be so glad to be away from all of those a$$holes up North and down here where people are nice”…which is a judgmental and rude statement to make in and of itself. Now, it’s become even worse with the church shooting of 9 black people in Charleston (1.5 hours from where we live) and the North/South battle is heating up again. Funny thing is…you don’t see it up North. I was always taught that it was a dark part of our Nation’s history, that Jesus has called us to love all people as ourselves, and my family fought to keep the USA together after the slave (southern) states seceded.
On the flip side, some people feel as though i’m not “from Maine” because I didn’t get to grow up in one place. So, let me get this straight…no Army BRAT is from their home state since they didn’t grow up there? I’m a New Englander through and through and I will never turn my back on it. Our kids will probably be born in a few different states, but they will still be New Englanders since that is where we’re retiring one day.
Remember that not everyone grows up traditionally and some of us still sacrifice every day in giving up where we would like to be living for service to our Nation and ensuring our freedom and the freedom of others. But we wouldn’t have it any other way and we appreciate experiencing other cultures. We don’t want sympathy, but love and acceptance (or at least kindness) would be perfect. Besides, aren’t we all Americans?
~Melissa, Army Wife and American
I often get myself in trouble by being too open with how I feel, but sharing helps me to process emotions and situations better. Also, being the true believer in counseling and an aspiring counselor myself, I believe that knowing others going through similar situations can sometimes help.
Our home church here in Savannah recently completed a sermon series on being “Satisfied”. In the lesson that will always stand out in my mind we discussed being content with what we’re given and not comparing ourselves to others in order to have happiness. As do most of our lessons, this one really hit home for me. It is so easy in this life to compare ourselves to others and to always want more money, better health, a better job, a better duty station, kids (or easier time getting pregnant), etc. In fact, there is almost always something that we can pray for to make our lives better.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve literally begged God for some life-threatening situations in the past few years. And you know what? He’s come through: Every Single Time! We’ve had some medical scares in our family and God has kept everyone in His hands and worked it out for His good. We also had what seemed to be another hopeless situation with our family that we sometimes doubted ever improving. Sitting in that very church with family members that we were scared would never be in our lives the way we desired was proof that God is faithful! I’m so very thankful for every situation that He has turned around for the better.
Even with knowing all that God has brought us through it can be so difficult to depend on Him and believe that things are going to work out. Our greatest desire has been to grow our family and we hoped that this would be a quick answer to our prayers. Selfish as it may be, it’s painful to see people all around you announcing births or pregnancies, especially the “surprise” ones. It seems as though we can’t open up a social media site without seeing another announcement. It’s easy to sit back and wonder “What did I do wrong?” or “Are we being punished?”. I’m not sure if they’re happening more now or if we just happen to be noticing them more (more than likely the latter), but while you are happy for the growing family you can’t help but wonder, “Why not us?” Adding salt to the wound, we are much older than most childless couples on the enlisted side of the Army and we often get lots of questions. People assume we are 10 years younger than we are because we got married later in life and people tend to be excited/curious for you to add children to the family. I know that compared to some friends and family who tried for years and/or underwent multiple rounds of fertility treatments, we have little right to be upset. My heart goes out to each of them. I don’t think I could have ever imagined how painful this road can be and we are only at the beginning. It’s a daily struggle to remember to stay positive and focus on one step at a time when there is baby stuff/pregnant women everywhere.
Our prayer now is that God will give us the desires of our heart and help us through the ups and downs in the meantime. We know that His timing is best, but the human side has a hard time remembering that when there are painful triggers everywhere.
I was always taught that God ALWAYS answers prayers…but it’s not always yes. It’s scary to think that this may not be just a “not right now”, but a no. However, we are believing that He will grow our family in the best way that He sees fit and in His timing. Until then, the job is working on being “content” with the life that He has given us and all of our many blessings. I am so blessed to have an amazing partner in all of this. Ryan is the strongest, most patient, attentive and loving man I have EVER known. While painful, what should be testing our marriage has only brought us closer and taught us to depend on each other and God more than ever.
“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” – Romans 4:18
“He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the LORD!” – Psalm 113:9
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Let’s face it: there is a LOT of negativity surrounding us in life. From the news to work stress, getting stuck in traffic to long lines, and people having negative things to say in person, behind your back and on social media. I admit that I have a hard time not complaining and staying positive sometimes.
Every time I run an OCR, and ESPECIALLY when I run SPARTANS, I restore my faith in humanity. When you’re out on the course everything else disappears. It’s you, your fellow Spartans and that next obstacle between you and the finish line. I love when people care more about pumping up the people they’re passing or the ones that are having a hard time getting over that wall than they care about their time. It warms my heart to see people give me a boost or grabbing that guy or girl who is sliding back down the slip wall. I ran my first Sprint in March 2014 and it took me over 4 hours to do 4 miles. I sprained my ankle 3 weeks prior and was overweight and extremely out of shape. I’m still nowhere close to my goals, but I finished this Tampa Special Operations Sprint that was just over 4 miles in 2 hours. This was a huge accomplishment for me and even though I still have so far to go i’m on the right path.
I remembered this weekend that the OCR community and those focused on bettering themselves and their bodies are so much more positive! When you’re so focused on positivity and lifting up others (in the verbal and literal sense) then you have no time to judge anyone. I’m sure not everyone in the community is positive 100% of the time and neither am I but the effect on me has been nothing but positive.
After the race ended on Saturday and I returned to the social media world I noticed even more how negative the world can be. If you’re trying to eat healthier or work on improving your life there will be people telling you there is something else you’re doing wrong. Why not lift someone up for the positive improvements they’re trying to make instead of telling them what they’re not doing correctly? I understand that I have had my fair share of negative posts, but this is something that I am working on as well. I think we need a little less judgment in this world and a lot more love. I also think this is important for those of us who are followers of Christ. Yes, there is a time and a place for judgment in love, but is that all the world should see of us? I have been judged for how emotional/happy I am in my life and my marriage (sappiness), I’ve been judged for my tattoos, for the sports that I follow and for past mistakes that I’ve made. If I lived by what others have said to and about me I would be a truly miserable person, but I am learning that the only two that matter are God and my husband.
I personally am going to work on loving others, praying for others and lifting up others. One of the great things about our beloved USA is that we are able to express ourselves and our opinions freely, but I think we shouldn’t tear others down for believing differently. I only have one life to live and I am pretty blessed to be given this one. I’m fairly healthy, have an amazing husband whom I don’t deserve, a body that provides me the ability to be active in sports like OCR, and many adventures still to come! Let’s all choose to focus on our blessings instead of what others do that doesn’t agree with us. 🙂
On March 8, 2014 my husband and I ran our first Spartan “Sprint” just outside of Atlanta, GA. My awesome soldier thought that this would be a great way to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary and we planned it a few months out. Unfortunately I did not really “train” and I sprained my left ankle just over 3 weeks before the race. I also would find out a short time later that I had undiagnosed Asthma. 4.5 Miles and 20+ obstacles later we finished, but it took us (me) just over 4 hours. I wanted to cry tears of joy for finishing and tears of sorrow that I was so unbelievably out of shape so I vowed to myself that I would NEVER feel that way again. As we left the after party I was thinking that it was a great experience, but I wasn’t sure i’d ever put myself through that again. I most definitely would not have finished if it hadn’t been for my husband’s help and cheerleading! At the time, I thought the Sprint was difficult. Boy, was I wrong!
By the end of the weekend though…something inside me snapped. I thought, if all of these people can earn the Trifecta medal (including wounded warriors) what makes me think that i’m any different?? If they can do it, so can I! Thus, my trifecta training commenced! For those who may not know, Spartan Racing Series has three different levels: Sprint (3-5 miles), Super (8-9 miles), and Beast (12+ miles). When you complete all three within one calendar year, you are awarded the coveted Trifecta Medal!
My sister introduced me to an amazing weight loss/health program called Omnitrition and I started almost immediately after the race and lost almost 20 lbs of fat in 3 weeks. Even with all of my training, I’ve put on a ton of muscle and stayed at the exact same weight as when I finished. Losing a good 20+ lbs of fat does wonders for your athleticism!
On August 16th, Ryan and I ran the Rugged Maniac back at the same spot that we first ran the Super in March. Even though this was “only a 5K” it had more obstacles (25) and I was nervous to see if I really was improved. We finished in just under 1 hr. 15 minutes and that was with a little waiting/helping at a few obstacles. I cut my time in fourths!!! Ryan kept telling everyone how proud he was of me and I felt great!!! Minus the bruises and scrapes, I recovered so much quicker than I had before.
The next weekend we drove to Virginia for the infamous Wintergreen Spartan Super. This one is part of the “Devil’s Trifecta” and is the hardest Super in the Spartan Race series. I was extremely nervous so I trained my tail off…and still managed to underestimate the level of difficulty. This was not a race, but an exorcism! I was really disappointed in my time on the race and was really down on myself…even though I had improved so much since March. I’m realizing that each race is designed to break you and teach you something else about yourself.
We have the Beast coming up on October 25th and i’m going to crush it!! I’m determined to beat my Super time with my Beast time and have a blast doing so! By the end of October, we’ll finally be a part of the 2014 Trifecta Tribe…and it will have only taken us 7 total months from our first race. 🙂
~SPARTAN Melissa AROO!
My amazing husband knows how much the 4th of July means to me (and to him) so he tried very hard to get me home to celebrate with my side of my family. Being from Maine, 4th of July is big in my family and we always have a huge cookout at my parents’ camp complete with lobstah, brisket and sometimes clams. When we were engaged he was deployed and last year we were PCS-ing to GA and never got the opportunity. It was very hard for us to not be home with everyone and he definitely made up for it this year! With his current unit they deploy pretty frequently so he volunteered for an early deployment in order to get home in time for celebrating America’s birthday with me. How special it was for us this year to celebrate America’s independence with him freshly home safe from war!
Within 24 hours of Ryan coming home from deployment, we were packing up the car and driving straight to Maine (22-24 hour drive). (Did I mention how much he loves me?) We couldn’t fly because it is the Army and the second you try to book something, plans will change. However, he was blessed with good leadership that allowed him to leave so quick after a deployment. As always, even a long and traffic filled road trip is a blast and filled with so many memories!
We got to see most of our family members while we were in Maine and definitely hit up some sightseeing. My parents have a camp on Loon Pond in Maine and I always wanted to move back home after my Dad retired from the Army. Sadly I never got the chance, but Ryan has fallen in love with New England as well and even claims it as his home (who wouldn’t??) Since his Dad’s side of the family is from Conn, it counts, right?
While at home we also got to tour Fenway Park and catch a Red Sox game…and a little bit of a thunderstorm/tornado watch. Hey, we always keep it interesting! Touring Fenway has always been a dream of mine and it was so cool seeing the stadium from every view possible and from behind the scenes. 🙂 Also, Cask 'n Flagon has the BEST Fish 'n Chips this side of Ireland! 😉
Best of all we got a lot of history lessons/sightseeing in as well. We visited Concord, MA and the Minute Man monument and even caught sight of the actual lantern used in the Old North Church during Paul Revere’s ride. We climbed Bunker Hill in Boston since he’s never gotten to do that part of the Freedom Trail. Unfortunately the USS Constitution was closed (yet, again!) so we still haven’t been able to see that! Lastly we visited a few of my favorite lighthouses in Maine! I may be biased, but I have lived and visited many places in the US and the world…Maine is the most beautiful: hands down! I will say from the pictures, Michigan may run a close second 😉
With everything that Ryan ends up missing out on with his job, I am so thankful that we got this much needed time with family. It was so great having my hero home to celebrate Independence Day and New England is most beautiful in the Summer. 🙂
~A very happy, Melissa Grim
It has been a LONG and crazy few months! Now that Ryan is home, I figured I’d catch everyone up on what’s been up with our family. Ryan left a few months ago on his 2nd deployment and 1st with this unit. As always, I try to keep myself busy and do the traveling that we don’t have time to do together with his crazy schedule. Staying as busy as possible (with a little down time is the key to getting through any separation.
In May, I took our puppy child (Yawkey) back to Ft. Bragg/Fayetteville since I had to spend some office time for the company I consult for. We got to spend some quality time with my parents and Yawkey loved his first road trip! Sadly I wasn’t able to meet up with some of our family there and that is always difficult. The next weekend we (Yawkey and I, again) drove out to Ft. Benning to see Ryan’s and my little brother graduate from High School. It was so good to visit with the family that we hadn’t been able to see since Thanksgiving! It was so hard being there without Ryan and I know he misses his family bunches, but I am so thankful that I have such a good relationship with mother-in-law and her (now my) family. I am blessed in so many ways.
Ryan had some exciting moments of his own, but the most worrisome for me was his that he got pretty close to when he came home. I was beyond thankful that he was not hurt any worse, but I absolutely hate not being with him to spoil and take care of him when he’s hurting. It placed things into perspective for me though as I thought of all of the soldiers who had been through way worse and how terrifying that would be for their families. I know his injury was minor and i’m so thankful for everyone who has paid tremendous sacrifices for our freedom.
He is now home safely and we’re excited about what’s in store for us in the next few months. There is never a dull moment with us and I love my life with our little family!
Deployment #2: DONE!!!!
Do you ever watch scary movies where the kid is trying to tell the parents that he’s seeing ghosts and no one will believe him until it’s too late? I get so caught up in being frustrated for the child that I can’t even focus on the movie. It’s the most frustrating thing to know something that people won’t believe the truth when it is right out front. This is what gossip does…besides destroy lives and relationships. For me, I hate when people believe gossip and lies about me or my family without bothering to find out the truth. However, I’ve learned that this only speaks to that person’s character and has no bearing on me or who I am. I can’t change anyone’s view of me and that doesn’t make me a bad person that people choose to believe things that aren’t true.
I am a firm believer in constant growth and development. I believe that each of us should always be working on improving things in ourselves and trying to be better people. Not one of us is perfect and realizing that is half of the battle. This is one of the reasons why I love the study of psychology so much and believe that everyone should attend counseling at least once. This is not a sign of weakness…it is a sign of strength that you’re willing to recognize and battle your weaknesses.
One of the life lessons that I’ve been learning lately is that it’s okay for people not to like me. I’m not saying that I’ve mastered this, but i’m definitely working on it! See, I love with my whole heart and I always put everyone else before myself. My relationships are important to me…especially with family members/close friends. This can be a very positive and very negative thing for these relationships because I set my expectations too high. These high expectations brought me the most amazing man on the planet who gives me such a happy life and make me feel so loved and appreciated every day of my life. However, this can cause a lot of pain when you “expect” others to love you like you love them.
I have learned that not all families are as I’ve seen and stick together through thick and thin and it is truly sad when your eyes are opened to this. If you have a family that always has your back…cherish it and don’t look down on others if theirs isn’t that way. Chances are, that’s not their fault and it pains them more than you will ever be able to comprehend. Remember that when a person talks to you about others…chances are they’re talking to others about you.