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Going to WV

We're heading out to West Virginia to spend the weekend with Aaron's family. John seems to be recovering quite well; it looks like he'll be dismissed from the hospital tomorrow, several days earlier than we were told. Thank you for all of your prayers for him and for the family. Please pray that we would have safe travel this weekend and that we would be able to serve Aaron's parents during our time with them. Thanks!


Pray for Aaron's Dad *updated*

I'd like to ask you all to pray for my father-in-law, John. He is currently having emergency open-heart surgery to bypass five blocked arteries (the blockages were just discovered this morning and the doctors needed to operate immediately). They began the operation earlier this afternoon and don't expect to be done until late tonight. It has caught the entire family by surprise and shaken everyone. Please pray that John will be sustained through the surgery and that the procedure would be a success. Please also pray for Aaron's mom, Carolyn, and for the whole family to have peace. We're grateful that God has preserved John's life and allowed these blockages to be found before any sort of heart attack occurred, but we're also all tempted to be anxious. I will update here as soon as we hear more news. Thanks for praying; I feel privileged that I can marshal so many people to pray all at once on this dear man's behalf!

We just got the call that Aaron's dad is out of surgery, much sooner than expected. He ended up "only" having quadruple bypass surgery (instead of bypassing five arteries as doctors originally thought was needed). Carolyn will get to see him in recovery soon. John will have a four to five day stay at the hospital, and then a long recovery at home. We'd appreciate your prayers for his continued health!


Fifth Doc's a Charm (Bullet Style)

  • RE #5 is an affable, grandfatherly man; henceforth, he shall be known as Dr. Werthers.
  • Dr. Werthers called our religious convictions about not freezing or discarding embryos "laudable."
  • Dr. Werthers also seems to have a subtle, sarcastic sense of humor. I never knew for certain if he was joking or not, but he peppered his remarks with little asides (with his nurse as straight man). For example, while running through my history of doctors, he said something to his nurse about how many women like Dr. [Ego], how Dr. [Ego] is very handsome and knows it.
  • Speaking of the nurse, she also seems caring and personable.
  • The intake questionnaire, consultation, and exam were far more thorough than the other two clincics' were; my appointment lasted at least an hour and a half (not including time in the waiting room before the appointment even started).
  • Dr. Werthers actually engaged in dialogue and took my opinions and preferences seriously.
  • The doctor and nurse are hopeful that we can do egg freezing in conjunction with IVF and will do all they can to get insurance approval.

  • During the ultrasound exam, Dr. Werthers saw what could be a fibroid in my uterus. He'll look into it further once he has seen my X-ray films from last year's HSG.
  • Every doctor I've seen now has offered a different explanation for our infertility. Dr. Peppy attributed it to a luteal phase defect. Dr. Owlish called it unexplained, possibly caused by mild endometriosis. The possibilities Dr. Werthers threw out: PCOS (!?... I have none of the normal indications for that), elevated male hormones (!? again... not exactly what a girl wants to hear), this potential fibroid, poor egg quality, etc. Now I know he's just brainstorming and wouldn't actually diagnose any of those things without further testing; but still, it doesn't inspire confidence that no doctor has agreed about the reason we can't conceive.
  • Dr. Werthers still recommends transferring no more than two embryos for a woman my age, even with our history of failed IVF. He'll study our previous embryology reports, but his initial recommendation is to fertilize 3-5 eggs and then make a decision about how many to transfer based on embryo quality. We'll have to keep negotiating to find the right balance between being cautious (no, I don't want octuplets) and aggressive (I don't want to squander our remaining 2 IVF cycles, so I want to fertilize more eggs, but we are firm about transferring all living embryos).

What's Next
  • Track down remaining records to fax to Dr. Werther (embryology lab reports, HSG X-ray films, most recent semen analysis).
  • After they review those records, the nurse will call about any further testing needed.
  • Figure out if egg cryopreservation is a viable option (will insurance cover the IVF cycle that yields the eggs? how much would we have to pay for cryopreservation and subsequent fertilization and transfer?).
  • Do IVF, possibly adding heparin as a can't-hurt-might-help medication.


Chicken Roulades with Sage and Bacon

I haven't posted any recipes in a while, so here's one for your weekend enjoyment! I adapted this from a recipe in The Silver Spoon.

Chicken Roulades with Sage and Bacon

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp dried rubbed sage*
8 strips bacon
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Cut each chicken breast in half, then pound to about 1/2" thick (place the chicken inside a plastic bag or between two sheets of wax paper to keep from splattering). Lightly sprinkle sage on one side of each chicken breast half; season with salt and pepper. Roll up each piece of chicken, and wrap one slice of bacon around each roll. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place the roulades in the skillet so that the ends of the bacon are on the bottom. Cook, turning every 2 minutes, until browned all over. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, adding 1 tbsp hot water if skillet gets too dry.

*The sage has a strong taste; sprinkle sparsely, as you need less than you think. You might need slightly less or more than 1/2 tsp.