Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

For our Anniversary this year, Bryce and I got a babysitter to watch the kids and we went to dinner and a movie. We ate at Applebee's, where we both had steaks and mashed potatoes. Afterwards, we watch Sherlock Holmes II. The first half was slow, but the last half picked it up. It was nice to spend the evening together. I am thankful that I have been married to such a wonderful man the past 11 years. The kids and I are blessed to have him in our lives. We have survived our up and downs the past 11 years, and I am happy that I have had Bryce by my side the whole time. Love you Bryce!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sledding in a Winter Wonder Land

The morning after Christmas, we took the kids over to Bear Lake to stay in Steph's condos. On the way, we stopped at Peter Sinks and went sledding with the Merrills. There was a constant breeze which made it chilly, but the boys stayed pretty warm once we got them bundled up and they started moving around. This was Clayton's real first experience with snow clothes and boots. This was also his first time to go sledding. After we got him dressed, he looked like the little boy on the Christmas Story. He looked like he couldn't move in his big jacket and boots. Bryce took Cooper down the hill for his first and his last time. Bryce didn't have his boots on the sled all the way, so Clayton got "dusted" from head to toy with snow all the way down the hill. He didn't think that was too great! When he got to the bottom, he had lost a boot, a glove, and his binki. Needless to say, he was done sledding after that experience.
Cooper, on the other hand, had a complete blast. He would just cruise down that hill whether he was forwards or backwards or sideways. And he would go way down to the bottom. I didn't think he would like it because of the hike back up, but he kept going over and over again.As soon as Paul pulled out his snow mobiles, Clayton got excited about that. He went on a few rides with Bryce and Paul, but decided it was too cold, so he spent most of his time in my arms. He let me pull him around on the sled for a few minutes.I went on a short snow mobile ride with Shaylee and Brittney. It was too cold for me and I did not have a helmet or a mask on. Bryce enjoyed riding the snow mobile. He used to own one back before his mission and would go all the time, so it was nice for him to have the chance to go again.Jaden, Addey, and Cooper had a great time going down one of the smaller hills. They would go over and over again. They were riding on a big sled, so all three of them would go down together. They would always crash at the bottom, but it was fun to see their faces as they raced down the hill. When we got to the condos, we got everything unpacked and headed over to Stephs condo for dinner. After that, we took the kids over to the pools. I sat by the baby pool while Clayton played and had a good time. Bryce took Cooper into the big pool where they played and had fun. Bryce would toss Cooper and Jaden across the pool. They thought it was great! The boys really enjoy swimming so that was fun to give them that opportunity, especially during the winter.That night, we went back to the condos and played games. We played "What If" with Paul, Steph, and the teenagers. The kids had a great time playing the "Cat in the Hat." The boys were tired when we got back to our room. As soon as Clayton hit the pillow, he was out! It was such a nice and relaxing day spent with our kids!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas....

I really was wishing we had snow for Christmas, but there wasn't one flake this year. In fact, its been one of the driest Decembers' Utah has ever seen. This year, Christmas was on Sunday and we had church at 9 am. I got up a little early so that I could get showered and ready before the boys woke up. I noticed that Cooper was awake in his bed. I asked him if he could wait till I got out of the shower. He said, "Of course, I will just lay here and play my DS." What a good boy!!!
At about 8:15 we woke Clayton up and told him that Santa had come to visit our house. After a family prayer (new Christmas morning tradition), we headed downstairs to see what Santa had left for us. The boys were so excited!
Clayton really loves trains right now, so Santa brought him a "Thomas the Train" train and tracks. He can control the train with a little joy stick. He also received a train movie in his stocking, which he has watched almost every day. He had a great time going through his stocking and "unwrapping" presents. He kept saying "more presents?" He mostly just wanted to unwrap so he ended up unwrapping for Bryce and myself.Cooper came downstairs to find 2 baby frogs in a small ecosystem. He also got a transformer and some video games. We got him a bean bag to sit in while he plays his games. We also got him a rock and gem kit. He loved using his tools to chip away at the block of plaster to find 12 gems. Cooper received a journal in his stocking. Its a nature journal and he likes to write about things he learns about animals. After the boys opened their stockings and one gift, we had to hurry to get ready for church. We had a great program at church. The choir sang and the bishopric talked about the birth of Jesus. I was worried about going to church because many people knew about our failed pregnancy....and my emotions were still sitting on my sleeve. I tried to get out of their ASAP, but my neighbor caught up with me and I lost it. I cried so hard and it was great...Back home, we changed our clothes and continued to unwrap the rest of the gifts. Bryce got me a Home Base for my Ipod and some wind protectors for my four wheeler. He also got me some clothes and a running sleeve for my Ipod. Bryce received some clothes, a jacket, and some new basketball shoes. We had a good Christmas morning. It was fun to watch the boys and the excitement in their eyes.
At noon, we headed up to grandma and grandpa Coopers. We were able to visit with them before everyone else got there. We ate a light lunch with them, and then went to the Douglas' for the rest of the day. Its the first time we have all been to the Douglas' in a long time. It was nice to have almost everyone there and to be able to spend time with each other. We ate lots of yummy food and played games. Afterwards, we stayed at steph and pauls that night. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Results

For those of you who have done IVF, you know what the last three weeks has felt like to me. It's very stressful and its a constant worry, and waiting, and wondering. And then internally, you are trying to have hope and faith, but also protect yourself in case your expectations aren't met.
And no matter how hard you try to focus on other things (like the upcoming Christmas holidays) , in the back your mind, you have a weight tugging on your heart and mind and body....
and you feel like you are literally holding your breath for a few weeks...and then there's the emotional part of it....when you just can't take any more and you break down a cry for a few minutes....then your back on your feet again ready to face it all over.

Last Sunday was our big day to go back to the doctor to get my blood drawn and to find out if I was pregnant. They drew my blood at 8:45 am and then we headed home. Bryce and I paced the floor while we waited and waited and waited for the phone call. The call finally came in at 11:30. Our nurse, Heidi, proceeds to tell me that they like to see HCG levels be around 100, but that mine was at 67. She told me that I was pregnant and not to be discouraged. She said that they thought it might be the beginning of a pregnancy and that I needed to go get blood work done again in 48 hours.

Bryce and I really struggled for half the day. We weren't sure how we should be feeling...happy or sad....joyful or worried.....excited or cautious. We decided later that day that we would try to be positive and have faith. We called our family and told them the news. Everyone was excited. We told Clayton and Cooper and they seemed to be happy. The nurse told us we were pregnant, so that was something that needed to be celebrated.

This past Tuesday, December the 20th, I went to McKay Dee Hospital to get my blood work done. I was pretty antsy while waiting for the results. We were told we would know by noon, but I never received a call, so I called the doctor at 1:30....."I am sorry Jennifer, but I have bad news for you. Your numbers dropped to 30, so something is wrong with the pregnancy. Continue to take your meds and go get your blood drawn again in 2 days, just to make sure."

Well, I was literally shocked. That was completely opposite of the news "I knew" I was going to hear that day. It really rocked my world. I expected that everything would be fine and that nothing would go wrong. When you have these "expectations" that build for weeks and weeks, it is hard to pick yourself up after those expectations have been destroyed.

I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for our family and I really hope that that plan includes more children. I really feel like Bryce and I will be blessed with another child, its just going to have to happen a different way. These past 10 years, we have tried every option, and with this last IVF, we have done everything possible to try to get pregnant. Its out our hands now and we can completely turn it over to the Lord. He will direct our paths and give us the peace and comfort that we need. I don't always understand why certain things happen in this life, but I know that they happen for a reason. Heavenly Father is all-knowing and he has a certain time line for things that happen. Our family has received many blessings and I know Heavenly Father will continue to pour out more blessings on our family. We have the two most amazing boys and we have been blessed with the greatest family and friends on this Earth. Thank you to all of our friends and family who have loved and supported us this past year. We wouldn't be where we are without each of you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Birthday Blues

On the 20th of December, Bryce and I found out that things went wrong with the IVF and pregnancy. It was a very hard week. I really tried to be happy but had a hard time making that happen. The next day was my birthday and while many friends and family sent me happy birthday wishes, it was also a day of mourning for me. I tried to make it a happy day that best I could. Jacqui and Bekka also helped by taking me out to lunch at Jason's Deli. I spent most of the day at Jacqui's and then Bryce and I went to a movie that night. We saw Mission Impossible. It was really good and helped take my mind off everything for 2 hours. Also, Bryce bought me a Polar watch that tracks heart rate and calories. I have been wanting one for sometime now, so I was very excited about that. Its a great watch and a perfect color for me. All in all, it was a good day....just a lot of ups and downs that day. Looking forward to a happier "Birth Day" in 2012!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sorenson Christmas Party

Every year the Sorenson family has a Christmas Party in Smithfield. The Sorenson family is Bryce's mom, Marilyn's, family. We always meet at the club house for sloppy joes and yummy desserts. It's always nice to see some of the family that we don't get to see very often.
We also got to see Brandon and Jill and their kids. In fact, when I sat down on the couch, I got bombarded by all the kids...I still win the award for Most Favorite Aunt....just kidding! But it was nice to sit and visit with the kids. We played the white elephant games, which is a tradition at this party. With there being over 40 people, it takes quite a while and can get boring at times. It was nice to have Kassie and Jaden keep me company. Clayton was excited because he got a Thomas the Train engine. He kept running back and forth between me, Bryce, and Papa. He would drive his train up our arms or legs and then run off to play on someone else. Cooper got a transformer. He played Hide N Seek with the kids. We had a good time that night and we look forward to it next year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gingerbread Homes

In the years past, I have never made gingerbread houses with the boys during the holidays. I guess I never thought to. But this year, we had the opportunity to make these houses three times. The first time was at Freedom Elementary with Cooper. We were allowed to bring our little ones, so Clayton came along to see what the excitement was all about!

They used little milk cartons for their base and they worked perfectly. I helped get Cooper started with the frosting and then he took off and did a great job. He made the front door out of pretzels. He made a chimney out of some soft red licorice. Clayton had a fun time decorating the ice cream cone like a christmas tree. I put on the icing and he put on the candy. They had so many different types of candy for the kids to decorate their houses. Clayton didn't eat any of it until the very end. I was so proud of him! It was fun to sit back and watch them be creative.The second time with made the houses was at Grandma Douglas' house. Cooper and Clayton got to spend time with their cousin, Hunter. After about 10 minutes, Cooper and Hunter were done making their houses, but Clayton worked on his for another 30 minutes. He had such a great time using the icing and putting peppermint candies on like a brick patio. After the patio was finished, he started stacking candy on top of the candy. This little project kept him busy and happy for a long time. I will have to do these every year or maybe a few times a year to keep Clayton happy. He loves to use his hands and he is very meticulous and OCD about how things should be done! Nothing like his mother!The last time we did houses was on Christmas Eve. Clayton was asleep, so me and Cooper headed to Jacqui's to do gingerbread houses with Reese, Jaxon, and Landon.....and let's don't forget Jared! He made a gingerbread race car

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Party in Wellsville

This year we had a Christmas Party at Grandma and Grandpa Coopers on the 11th of December. Everyone chipped in and brought food for a yummy lasagna dinner. After dinner, the kids had a great time playing all the fun games that Steph brought. They played Christmas bingo and everyone won a surprise. Another one of the games was an "elf dress up" activity where the kids were on teams and they had to race to see who could get dressed the quickest. Cooper wouldn't do it because he didn't want anyone to laugh at him. The kids looked so cuteWe also played a guessing game with the adults. It was a Christmas song game. Afterwards, grandma had me read the kids a Christmas story and then she wanted us to sing Christmas carols. It was nice to just sit there and sing songs and enjoys the Spirit of Christmas. Grandpa was having a hard time breathing that night, so he mostly stayed in the living room close to his oxygen. I love that even though Grandma's house is quite small, we can fit lots of people in it and everyone still has a great time!

Friday, December 9, 2011

All Aboard!!!

Two Sundays ago, we took the boys to the Ogden Train Depot. There was an old steam engine that we wanted to show the boys. Clayton is so into trains right now. He plays with them all the time. He loves to put the tracks together and take them apart over and over again. He also is OCD about making sure every last track is used. He also gets upset if anyone touches his trains.

Anyway, both of our boys had a great time at the train depot. It was cold outside, so we didn't stand in the long line to see inside the steam engine, but the boys played on some of the old, "retired" trains and they thought that was pretty cool.We will definately have to come visit this place again when its not so cold and we have more time!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Day of Transfer

On Tuesday, November 29th, I went in for an ultrasound. The doctor wanted to check the lining of my uterus and make sure it was thick and healthy. It is supposed to be at least 7 mm thick and mine was at 17 mm thick. That night I stopped doing the Lupron shot, decreased my estrogen, and started the progesterone shot.

One week later, on December 6th, Bryce and I headed down to the hospital for my transfer. They took us into a special room where I was prepared for the procedure. We had Dr. Petersen doing the transfer that day. He walked into the room, handed us a card with a picture of our 3 embryos on it and said, "Here are your babies." He preceded to tell us about their quality (1 being very low quality and 2 being good quality). He told us that he would feel comfortable transferring 2 or 3. He then told us it was time for a "family meeting" and that he would give us all the time we needed to decide how many to transfer. Bryce and I shared our thoughts with each other and then decided unanimously that we wanted to do all 3. We felt like if we transferred all three, it would give us a greater chance and we also felt like we didn't want to leave one of the embryos behind. I was really emotional during this time and my loving husband said, "Jenn, if it is supposed to work, it will....if it doesn't then we will be fine and we know that we have two boys who love us and we love them." I already knew this, but it was so nice to hear it from my husband.

The doctor walked in and we told him our answer. He said, "I think that is a good decision. I would have done the same thing." He gave me two Valium and then did an ultrasound on my stomach to find my uterus. The embryologist came into our room, had me verify the vial with my name and birthday and then handed it to the doctor. The doctor read my name and birthday to me and then the embryologist took it back to his lab and we got to watch him suck our 3 embryos into a catheter up on the screen. He then brought them to the doctor. The doctor put that catheter into another "guiding catheter" and transferred them into my uterus. They double checked to make sure the embryos were not left in the catheter and then we were finished. The doctor came up to me, shook my hand, looked me in the eyes and said, "Good luck. I will be praying for you." I couldn't stop the tears from coming. I was very impressed with this doctor. He was very caring and made me feel like we were the most important people to him at that moment.

After I rested for 30 minutes in the chair, a nurse (who helped us with our first IVF cycle) came into our room and helped me into a wheelchair and down to the truck. The employees who work there are great and I can tell they love their jobs and helping people like us to have families.

On the way home, my wonderful husband picked up some Little Caesar's pizza and bread sticks for us. We got home, ate lunch, and then I fell asleep till Coop got home from school. I was on bed rest all Tuesday and mostly on Wednesday. I owe thanks to so many people....Jacqui for always being there for us and for watching and caring my little Clayton, Holly for sitting with me for a few hours, Sallie, Rachel, Lori, and Julie for bringing food into our family....and the many, many family and friends' thoughts, prayers, and fasting on our behalf....I received so many nice texts and phone calls. I am so blessed to have so many people that love me and my family. Thanks for being so great to us. You are the best!