May 27, 2009

It's about time!!

(Brace yourself for, quite possibly, the most verbose post of my life)...=)

Have you ever had a day where (if you are a blogger) you got on the computer to blog, but all managed to do was read everyone else's blogs? Yes? We me too...about 17 of those days...if you don't count my one post to tell you about a post that was to come. Sheesh! It's about time that I'm here!! =)

Before I get to that post--the one I've been meaning to do for weeks--let me do a quick catch up of some of the fun things that have gone on with us the last few weeks...

~I started going to the gym again. My husband is so glad that I'm going with him, but I'm also going with my mom 3 days a week after school. It is great to have people to motivate me, encourage me, and keep me accountable! I have a goal to lose a few pounds before June 25 (more about why that date is special below!)

~Work has been going well. My mom and I have been pretty busy at school the last few weeks. As a reading tutor, I thought the last few weeks would slow down, but we seem to be the go-to people when anyone needs extra help, need some one to cover a class, or even to manage the acts of a talent show--that is tomorrow! But it is all a bunch of fun--I even got to go geocaching with a bunch of 5th graders today!! (Google it--it is pretty cool!) So I'm very thankful for my job!

~Justin and I went to Fort Worth with his parents on Memorial Day. It is sad that I've lived in the Dallas area for almost 6 years, and really have only gone to Ft. Worth 3 times!! We had such a fun day... pictures to come soon--I have a feeling this post is already going to be on the long side!

~I have a great group of friends that I meet with on Wednesday nights for a Bible study. They are all such awesome women, and encourage me so much! I'm so thankful that God has put so many amazing Christian women into my life!!!





So...life has been busy, full, and wonderful!!! Let me tell you now a little bit more about some of the exciting things happening on the "baby-front" at the Steiner house...





Oh how I wish this could be the line where I tell you that their will be a Baby Steiner coming home in 9 months, but it isn't. But that reality is getting closer!!! Let me go back a little bit to explain our good news.





The last cycle that didn't work, back in April, got me trying to figure out the next steps we should be taking in our journey. It was the end of our 5th round of shots, third since we lost Jonathan, and it seemed like we weren't getting anywhere. Not pregnant, not on the road to adoption, no solution to our incompetent cervix...nothing. So I decided to stop. The nurse was ready for us to come in and start IVF, but I just couldn't go there yet--emotionally or physically.

So I spent some time doing research about adoption, incompetent cervix, IVF--just trying to find an answer of what we needed to do. I came across something called a transabdominal cerclage (TAC). I had heard of a cerclage before--the doctors had told me that for any further pregnancies, a TVC (transvaginal cerclage--where they stitch the lower part of your cervix closed) would be what I would have. But this TAC was new. The more I researched it, the more amazing it sounded. This cerclage is placed around the cervix, right below the uterus--as high up as it can go. It holds the uterus virtually closed, and from the research I did, has a 95-97% chance of holding a baby in to full term! This was such exciting news for me. All the research I had done on a TVC only shows it is 60-80% effective (live baby--but almost always preemie). So I decided to call my OB and see what she thought about it.

She was all for it, and said to go meet with the specialist here in Dallas who does it. So I scheduled an appointment for the next week, and went in, armed with a huge binder full of my medical records, questions, and the research I had done. I felt the need to come prepared, because from what I had learned, there are 3 things that could qualify you for a TAC---an abnormal cervix, a damaged cervix, or a previously failed TVC. I had none of the three, but I felt like no doctor would tell me that I had to have a TVC fail (which really means that I would have to have another baby die because of my failing cervix) to be able to get this done. But...that is exactly what he said--No. I was so discouraged that he wouldn't even consider it. In my heart, I knew that a TVC wasn't right for me, especially if we were really going to move on to IVF, that can have a risk of multiples. Multiples + Incompetent cervix + a TVC does not usually have a positive outcome.

So I stewed on that for a week until I could get into talk with my fertility dr. about IVF and all the details of it. We wanted to completely understand what we would be doing. Honestly, I am just in shock that we are actually even at the place where we have to consider IVF, but it is what it is, and I'm thankful that these technologies are even here for people like me!!

We talked to the dr. about it, and felt pretty good about doing IVF--especially under his care. At the end of the visit, I just mentioned that we'd been talking to a dr. about a TAC, and he said no, but that I'd found one of the top doctors in the nation that does this surgery (who is in Chicago), and I was planning on contacting him. And it just so happens that my dr knows him and is good friends with him!! Can you believe it??? He said that he is the absolute best, and his TACs hold like cement!!! He said to contact him, and see if he would do it, because whether or not I have a TAC will greatly effect the way he does IVF on me. TVC= one embryo implanted, TAC=2 for sure---which greatly increases the chance of getting pregnant.

(I promise I'm trying to give you the short version of this month...if you're tired of reading, just scroll down!! =)

So I email Dr. Haney, who by the way emails me back a personal email 1 1/2 hours after I send my email. He is the head of the whole department at the Univ. of Chicago, and gets back to me that fast!! Wow! He tells me to set up a phone consultation with his assistant, and we will talk more about it then. So I schedule the appointment (his staff are so sweet--they talk to you like they've known you forever!), and wait a week until the call. It was an hour long discussion, ending with him agreeing that this is the right option for me, and that he thinks I would be a great candidate. He does 80-90 of these a year, so he is definitely the expert. He said that having this surgery would almost 100% guarantee me with a full term baby--that there would be no chance with this type of cerclage in that my cervix could fail. WOW!! He said to talk to his staff and they would being the scheduling process.

So just last Friday, I got the email...I'm scheduled for surgery on June 25th!!!!! I just can't believe it, but I am so thankful that I finally found a dr. who understands that a woman shouldn't have to lose another baby before something can be done to fix the problem! The last detail we are waiting for is insurance coverage. This is something that I was very nervous about--that they would somehow find a reason to deny the surgery because I didn't "qualify". But after talking to the staff today, they explained that they hardly ever have any trouble with my insurance company covering it...they put it like this to the insurance--either pay this small amount for a TAC now, or run the risk of having to cover complications that go with a woman on bedrest with a TVC, a preemie baby in the NICU for months, and possible lifelong health problems. I'm praying that they say yes!!! We'll know sometime the 2nd week of June.

So needless to say, we are so EXCITED!!!!!! We are planning, right now, to go to Chicago on June 24, and come home on the 27th. I'll be in the hospital overnight. It is a major surgery (it is done like a c-section) and takes a couple weeks to recover, but oh so worth it if it means a chance for my future babies to grow inside me for 9 months, and to live!!! Then we will start IVF two months after that. YEAH!

And if all that weren't enough, here comes the icing on the cake. Justin has worked at WaMu this past year, and they are finishing the switch over to becoming Chase. This means new insurance coverage for us starts on July 1st. We completed the enrollment process for the rest of this year, and let me tell you what our new plan says under the Family Planning section....something I've never seen before on our insurance plans before...during these five long years of fertility struggles........................... Fertility Drugs: COVERED. Fertility treatments: COVERED.

I could have cried. We don't know all the details yet, but those words bring us so much hope!!

So there you go...the good, amazing, wonderful blessings that are happening right now in the Steiner household. Thanks for letting me share!!!


And thank you Jesus that our life is finally starting to feel like this...

Some sunshine through all the clouds!

Have a great rest of your week!!

PS--will you pray for my friend Jolene and her husband Pete? She is in the hospital tonight waiting to be induced in the morning. Pray for an easy delivery--we can't wait to meet little Henry!!

16 comments:

Christina said...

That's awesome! I am so happy for you:)

Danielle said...

Our GOD is good. Im so happy for you.

Tena said...

Good work! I'm so glad you persevered and found your own way! What a blessing! Thanks for sharing your news.

Marie W said...

Alyson ~ how amazing! The TAC work wonders and Dr. Haney is the best. He also works with your insurance company to get you approved. The TAC keeps your cervix closed and no bedrest necessary during a pregnancy. Dr. Haney (who works with Dr. Davis) also bypasses the rule that you must have a failed TVC first. Trust me - you are in good hands! Congrats!

Suzette said...

What an amazing blessing! Praise the Lord! I am so happy for you I can hardly stand it...

*And yes, I have those days where I never blog when that was my original intent b/c I get sidetracked reading everyone else's blog! I am so glad to read this great update! Still praying for ya girl!

Amanda said...

First of all, PRAISE THE LORD for you amazing news -- for the TAC, for your covered IVF cycle. What amazing things God is doing for you.

I'm so sorry Dr. T said no about the TAC. I didn't know that until this post (though with your teaser a few days ago, I wanted to ask him at my appointment this week). His denial just opened a bigger, better door for you and I really could not be happier for you. Dr. Haney is the expert -- you're in fantastic hands. On a side note, there's a second TAC patient in my OB practice whose placement was done by Haney. She's four days further along than me and doing wonderfully, plus many Abbyloopers were placed by Haney and have similar or better success stories. Really, what a blessing.

I can't wait to keep up with the amazing things I know God must have planned for you. With doors like these, you just have to know He has incredible things in store.

Ronni said...

...trying to hold back the tears! I am so happy for you that things are starting to get rolling :)

Leading Lady said...

I am so excited for you! Praying for you constantly and this is such wonderful news! What a great and mighty God we serve! Will continue praying for the insurance situation...getting ready to start my 1st round of clomid in 3 weeks, so hopefully I'll have good news soon too! :)

Joy said...

I want to cry I am so happy for you guys! Way to research, and way to go, God!!!!! :-) Can't wait to hear some GREAT news come August and September.... :-)

TN Bakers said...

Yeah!!! I'm proud of you for being persistent with those doctors, too.

Tara said...

I am always hoping for the best for you! I am so excited for you and Justin! :-)

CJ said...

I am boo-hooing tears of joy - tears for the amazment of all you're going through - tears of for the thankfulness I have for knowing women as strong as you. I'm so happy for a restored hope. God's amazing.

Cristina said...

Your post gave me goose bumps!! I am so excited about the TAC, the IVF, the Insurance Coverage, the gym, Summertime, EVERYTHING! Please let me know if you need anything while you are recovering! Talk to you soon!

erica.jaggears said...

I am going to have to ask my OB about this on Thursday! I had to have a TVC and it obviously failed after losing my triplets. I was planning on starting IVF again this July, but might have to look at some other options as well. I will see what my OB says about this. I will continue to keep you in my prayers, and when you do begin IVF and you need someone to talk to- I am here. I had someone that I could talk to through my last cycle and it helped me get through the day to day ball of emotions. Have a great day.

Taryn said...

Wow! Such amazing news! I'm so happy for you and your new source of hope. Something to look forward to for sure! I'm so glad you are taking charge of your own healthcare. I was just talking to another new friend yesterday and I told her to research, research, research. Good for you! I will pray it all goes well and that this is the step that was/is needed to continue on your road toward a healthy and full term pregnancy. So happy for you.

Taryn

Joe said...

Hi Ali, this is Cindi Pettit. Just want you to know that Joe and I are keeping you and Justin in our prayers! Asking the Lord to bless you with a little one by next year. Love, Cindi