Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas everyone! I can't tell you how much I have been thinking of you all through the holidays. I'm currently on the way to Jamaica to ring in the new year with my family... I promise to update with what's been going on with me when I return. But for now, I leave you with lots of love and well wishes for the upcoming new year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Standstill

*Before reading - please know this post is not about ANY of my fellow blogger friends. I LOVE you guys so much. It's referencing people I have met in my real life that experienced infertility and/or went through treatments that are now pregnant.



Standstill - that's where I'm at. I just feel as though everyone else is speeding past me, moving forward..making progress...enjoying their lives. And here I am - just still here.

Sorry I haven't been blogging more. When I'm not in treatment, I really just feel as though I don't have much to say. I'm waiting on AF. I am supposed to call my RE's office on CD1 to make an appointment to come in at some point between CD5 and 10 for another hysterosonogram (oh joy) and more recurrent pregnancy loss testing ( blood work).

Then the plan is to start birth control for IVF #3 in January. I cannot believe my "break" is almost over already. That's what I mean when I say a standstill...I feel as though I haven't moved an inch since my last miscarriage. In the same exact spot and some days feeling worse than ever (emotionally).

I'm sure the good 'ol holidays have something to do with it. Or maybe my pregnant friends who feel the need to post something on FB about their pregnancy daily?!?!? I know ..I know..I should just hide their feed already. I plan to. It's interesting to me that many of the women who tend to hurt me the most are women that have experienced infertility. I guess it hurts me that once they made it to the "other side" that it's so easy for them to forget where they came from and that they are the ones making the CONSTANT pregnancy posts. Yes, I know - it's a VERY happy time for them and they are blessed and deserve to be happy! Yes - but don't tell me that they don't remember how much it hurt to read the daily posts & complaints about pregnancies?!?! I pray, pray, and pray that I some day make it to the "other side". But when I do, I will NOT forget where I came from. I will NOT forget about OUR community. I WILL think of others and their feelings and BE considerate & sensitive to the many women out there that may be struggling with infertility on a daily basis. I can promise you that!

I know they've struggled and deserve happiness more than anyone! I am happy for them, I really am. I wouldn't want anyone to have to continue to go through this misery, day after day. But I wish they wouldn't lose sight of how much they hurt before their dreams came true.

There are many of us out here that are still hurting and are still dreaming...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Praying to be Led

Some weeks are easier than others...and unfortunately this last week was not good. I had some traumatic things happen with a few of my students and to top it off ...there was yet another pregnancy announcement at work.

This one really stung as it was this woman's 2nd pregnancy. I couldn't help but remember how hard it was for me when she announced her first pregnancy. It's not that I resent her. It's more that I resent that I am still in the same damn spot as I was when she made her first announcement...nearly 3 years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To think that I have been "trying" that long.. just really, really hurts. I don't know how else to say it.

Part of me feels in shock..I have lost 2 babies in the last year and a half. That is hard to handle when I take a step back and reflect. I put all the treatments aside and just think...I've lost two precious lives.

Another part of me feels stuck...I have options, but yet the problem is - I'm not excited to do any of them. Right now none of them feel "right"...not a 3rd IVF, not taking a break, not adopting, not pursuing donor eggs or embryo adoption.

I pray every night that God will guide us as we try and plan our next steps towards building our family. I need some direction from up above. Please God, help us find our way.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thoughts....Long Term Effects?!?!

Hi ladies...question for you today that is on my mind.

Do any of you repeated IVF'ers worry about the long term effects the drugs may be causing?

I've been doing pretty well lately, just an occasional melt down here and there. But my most recent meltdown was just freaking out about doing IVF all over again for a 3rd time. I was just crying and telling hubby how I am scared of putting my body through it all again. I know this is/was the fear coming through, but I can't help but wonder what damage these large quantities of hormones could potentially be causing?!?!

Of course I immediately thought, a child would far outweigh the potential risk!!!! But then I have to be realistic and my chances of this working are actually very slim. Let's be real here. There is a chance that I may continue to move forward with fertility treatments and in the end, still not end up pregnant.

Oh and I'm sure coming across this blog post today has fueled my fears.

I guess these are conversations that I need to continue to have with the hubby. But I would really welcome and appreciate any of your thoughts as well. Sending all of you well wishes and lots of love!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Resilient

re·sil·ient
Adjective:
(of a person or animal) Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

A dear and good friend of mine recently told me she viewed me as resilient. At the time, I said thank you as she was offering it as a compliment and the more I thought about it...I am resilient and so are those of you in the blogging community. Through the support of my family and friends, I am able to recover from difficult conditions and find the strength to move on. It's definitely not easy...as many of you know. But the way I look at it, as hard as it is emotionally...I don't really have a choice. I yearn to be a mother and the only way that will happen is if we keep trying. With that being said, the plan is to move forward with another IVF cycle early next year.

I ended up having my "wtf meeting" last Thursday at my follow up ultrasound. My doctor had a cancellation, so was able to meet with me to discuss our options. After reviewing the cycle, she is still giving us a 15% chance of IVF working. The quality of my eggs is what is impairing the likelihood of it working. She reminded me that I do still have some good eggs left...it's just a matter of finding one of them. She will change my protocol a bit for next cycle - by starting me on the maximum dosage of Follistim/Menopur right from the start. Last cycle, my ovaries really took a LONG time to get started (treatment was almost cancelled), therefore, she wants to see if we have a better outcome by starting on a higher dosage right away.

A bit of good news was that we only used about $8,000 of our IVF insurance money. I have a $30,000 lifetime max of IVF coverage. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that we only used roughly 8 grand. That means we technically could do 2 more fresh IVF cycles and have them fully covered. I originally thought I would only have enough coverage left for one more (to be fully covered). I found out that ALL of my ultrasounds (and there were a lot of them since I stimmed for 13 days) and ALL of my bloodwork was covered by my regular insurance, not the IVF portion. At first I was really excited about this...and then I was rethinking it and was wondering if it would just be delaying the inevitable. I'd hate to make it through another 2 rounds of IVF and still be sitting here in this same damn position. It may be time to start accepting the fact that my eggs are just not cutting it....BUT I'm not there yet. We have definitely discussed other options and are obtaining information about each in case we were to decide to travel another path in the future. But for right now, we are both content with trying another cycle. If that doesn't work, we will then reassess where we're at...emotionally & physically.

Since I've had 2 miscarriages now, my RE would like me to have all the recurrent miscarriage workup done. She doesn't think we will find anything..but just wants to rule anything out before starting my next cycle. So I will be working on that the next couple of months and doing a lot of relaxing. Depending on when my period comes, I will be starting birth control for IVF#3 either in December or January. Right now it seems like a long way off, but I know it will fly by. When I'm not doing treatments, I'm amazed at how quickly the time passes. I actually lose sight of the date since I don't have to keep track of anything.

In regards to the ultrasound on Thursday, she did not see any more of the sac left. She did see a few remnants floating around. Therefore, she would like me to come in for weekly HCG blood tests, so we can track my levels down to 0. It was nice to confirm though that the majority of everything was gone. It did provide a bit of closure that it really is over.

That's where we're at.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

REDBOOK's No Shame Campaign

For those of you who haven't heard about it yet...REDBOOK has started a No Shame Campaign. REDBOOK's mission is to end the shame and secrecy of infertility.

I found the following article to be insightful:
"The Invisible Pain of Infertility"


I can also relate to SO many of these women in the following videos:
"The Truth About Trying"

Are you ready to come out of the closet? I'm not sure I'm quite there yet. Like the article says, I find myself feeling ashamed, even though I know I shouldn't be. It's a hard weight to carry knowing I can't do something that I "should" be able to. For some reason, I am embarrassed to be completely open about our struggles. I wonder why...I really do. Is it that I don't want the pity card? Is it that I feel others will perceive me as weak? Will others consider me a failure? Maybe I'm afraid others will act differently around me? Or is it I don't want to have the pressure of letting even more people down after a failed cycle? It could be a combination of these things. Why am I so worried about what others would think or how they would react?

I have been blessed with an IMMENSE amount of support from my parents, sister, and friends that I have met along this journey (through blogging and my RESOLVE support group). I'm grateful to have their ongoing support and encouragement!!! They really do give me the strength to keep going and face another day.

But, I just don't think I'm ready for the "rest of the world" to know yet (ie: coworkers, other family members, the facebook community). I do realize me staying in silence is simultaneously fueling the secrecy of infertility. I'm sure there are a few people in my life that are also struggling through this and by me keeping it a secret, I am preventing myself from connecting with them. As much as I want to be there for anyone in my life that might be going through this, I'm just not feeling ready to "come out" quite yet and I have to follow what my heart is feeling right now.

Have any of you felt this way or have any insight?

Thinking of you ALL day in and day out. I never stop hoping and praying that we will beat this someday and make it to the "other side", as I call it. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Appt Postponed

Well, my appointment today has been postponed. Something came up work related and I could not make it to my appt by 4:00, so I had to call and re-schedule. Thanks for all the good luck wishes - I just wanted to update you and let you know I didn't go today.

I now have the follow up ultrasound scheduled for Thursday and the wtf appointment scheduled for Monday. It's only fitting that they couldn't find room to schedule both appointments on the same day, oh well.

Good news is that after almost 2 years subbing...my hubby signed an official teaching contract today! The contract is to teach high school math and will definitely give us some more stability. It's quite a jump in pay too, which is a nice lil perc! We're hoping that this good news may be the start of what's to come!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sorry...

Sorry for the lack of posting ...I just really don't know what to say. :( It's been hard to move on when I have had the damn bleeding taunting me for the past three weeks! As of yesterday, I think (knock on wood) the bleeding has finally stopped. I have a follow up ultrasound tomorrow to make sure everything has passed. We will also be having our "What the fuck?!?!" meeting with my doctor tomorrow. We will be able to hear her thoughts on the last cycle, ask questions, and develop a plan for what's next (whatever that may be?!?!?!?!).

I've been doing a lot of praying that God will grant me peace with what has happened. I'm trying my best to trust in Him, even though it can be really hard at times. Thank you to our family members and dear friends who have been continuing to pray for us. We appreciate every single thought or prayer you have sent our way.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Heavy Heart

I would like to start off this post by saying thank you to every single one of you. I cannot express how grateful I am for your unconditional love and support. EVERY comment, text, e-mail, card, phone call, and/or visit brought me so much comfort.  I am blessed with amazing family members and friends.

After getting the news on the 22nd, hubby and I had quite a difficult weekend. I was feeling more emotional than ever and finding ways to blame myself. Not blaming myself necessarily for the actual miscarriage, but blaming myself for keeping hubby and I from having a family. It's a heavy weight to carry knowing that the reason we are having so many difficulties getting pregnant is because of my poor egg quality. (at least that is the only thing the RE's seem to find wrong) No matter how much hubby consoles me and reminds me that it is not my fault - I still find myself feeling responsible. I know I'm in a low place right now - but I actually felt guilty about hubby marrying me. If he would have married someone else, he most likely would be experiencing the joys of being a father by now.  I'm sorry if that sounds irrational...but I'm carrying around this uncontrollable sense of guilt since this has happened.

I changed my mind back and forth numerous times in regards to miscarrying naturally or having a d&c. I'm glad I waited it out a bit...six days after stopping the PIO I miscarried naturally. I was up all night Tuesday night with some intense cramping and by early Wednesday a.m. the worst part was over. I ended up going to work a couple hours afterwards as I needed something to occupy my mind. I am just shocked as to how quickly it happened, considering my last miscarriage took a couple weeks to complete.

I can't believe I am not only a woman who has trouble getting pregnant...but now I'm officially a woman who struggles staying pregnant too.

It makes thinking of the future very hard to face.

My heart is heavy....
I'm "still dreaming" of brighter days ahead.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Not This Time

Ultrasound did not go well this morning. Talk about an empty sac. There was a fetal pole, but that's it. RE said according to measurements it looked like it had stopped growing 3-4 days ago. Next step- decide if I wanna miscarry naturally or have a d&c.

My worst nightmare has become the reality in which I live.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In God's Hands

Sorry I haven't posted since my last beta. I am here and so far everything is going well! I guess I haven't posted because this all just doesn't feel real yet. My previous miscarriage has definitely tainted this experience for me. I can't help but wondering every day if my dear little miracle is still growing. I am trying my absolute BEST to remain positive and enjoy each day. It is really difficult though remembering how this gift of life was once ripped out of my hands (and heart) before.

I've been sorrounding myself with positivity and asking God to grant me peace. I've done all I possibly could to bring this baby home...I've fought hard! And at this point, it remains in God's hands. God has a plan for us and it all lies in His will & His timing. I'm trying very hard to cast my fears onto Him and let go of this worry.

Symptoms wise I am just feeling very tired. I am "out" on the couch every night before 8 o'clock hits. I also have this queasy feeling that lingers in my stomach. It makes this gurgly noise, but it's not associated with hunger. I've had some lower back pain that tends to come and go.

I'll be 6 weeks on Monday and my 30th birthday is Tuesday! Praying with every ounce of my heart that the big 3-0 brings the gift of life.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

3rd Beta

514!!!!!! I can breathe again!

Now back to the 2ww....First ultrasound scheduled for September 22nd!!!! (two days after my 30th birthday)

I only have one birthday wish. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

2nd Beta

First of all, thank you SOOOOOO much for all the kind words of support and encouragement. I feel so loved and just incredibly grateful to have such an incredible support system. Thank you for your prayers and positive vibes!

Today went really well. Beta #2 was 224!!!!!!! It more than doubled from Tuesday's 82.6!

We have beta #3 early Saturday morning. I will be sure to update as soon as we hear the results. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cherish Each Day

Hi everyone! I don't even know where to start. Hubby and I did indeed decide to do a HPT on Labor Day. We just decided we wanted to find out together and didn't want to anticipate the phone call any longer. So we decided I would wake up that morning and we would test. So of course I woke up at 4:30 a.m. needing to pee bad. Well, the plan was I was going to pee, take the dog out, and then hubby and I would go back into the bathroom to check the result together. I peed on the stick and stood to clean myself up. Damn splattering! Anyways, I glanced over about 30 seconds later to check to see if the test was "working" and it actually said "Pregnant". I went into the bedroom literally SHAKING and told hubby the news. We ran back into the bathroom just to look again and make sure! It was the best feeling in the world to go back to bed and just hold each other and feel HAPPY. Of course we both couldn't fall back to sleep - so it was off to an early breakfast. Right before we left, I peed again on another stick and sure enough that one was pg too. No fluke.


So today was the official first beta, which also came along with an official pregnant. When the nurse was drawing the blood, I asked her "What kind of number are we looking/hoping for at this point (10dp5dt)?" She replied with "Well, we would be happy with any number but anything over 50 at this point is considered good". I got the call about an hour later that my beta was 82.6. So, yes this definitely confirms I am pregnant, but I know the second beta is even more important than the first. I am over the moon happy to be pregnant and to have made it this far! Remember, this was the cycle that I was told I had a 15% chance to get pregnant...and the same cycle that was almost cancelled because my ovaries weren't responding. The fact that I am pregnant is SUCH a miracle. I can't even begin to express how grateful I feel.

But I know all too well what infertility does to a person. And here I sit worried sick about my second beta on Thursday. I NEED this number to not only rise, but to double (or come close to). It's a very hard position to be in, because I have been in this place before and it ended traumatically. I can't help recalling feeling this joy before, to only be devastated when it ended in a miscarrige.

At the same time I want to be HAPPY and celebrate how far we've come...embrace it...cherish it! A few of my friends have reminded me.. "Live for today" and today I am pregnant. :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lumps

Hi ladies -
Do any of you have any home remedy suggestions to break down these lumps I have from the PIO injections? My nurse suggested using a heating pad at various points throughout the day to try and break up the build up. It hasn't been helping yet. I now have one on each side and they really, really hurt.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.



Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quick Updates at 7dp5dt

- I went back to school on Tuesday and the students returned on Thursday. The first two days went just okay. I was shocked that some of my kids were willing to try testing the waters already on the very first day. Whatever happened to a honeymoon period? So it's nice to have a three day weekend to regroup and re-energize for next week.

- 2WW is going okay (I guess as good as could be). The anxiety hasn't been too bad yet as I've been so preoccupied at school.

- About 4 days past transfer, a yeast infection decided to pay my body a visit. The doctor said I could do a Monistat treatment (as safe during pregnancy) but I am still hesitant. She said if I can cope with just external cream and yogurt, to try that so I don't have anxiety about putting something up my hoo ha. I know the treatment gunk wouldn't get up in the uterus, but I think I would just prefer to wait it out. So far, the external cream and yogurt have been keeping it at bay. It definitely hasn't progressed.

- My ovaries have finally started to feel better. The only pain I'm experiencing is where we have been injecting the PIO shots. I've been trying everything to alleviate some of the soreness, but not having much luck. I can't seem to get rid of a lump that has clotted on the left side and still incredibly sore from the blood vessel we knicked on the right side. Once again, I limp around like an elderly person and people at work keep asking me what is wrong. Not to mention every time I sit, I seem to forget and then shriek as the injection sites rub up against the chair.

- 7days past 5 day transfer has me starting to think - should I take a home pregnancy test or wait til Tuesday for my beta? Hubby and I keep going back and forth.

- Still praying NON-STOP here! Holding onto hope for just a few more days...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 6 Report

I hope you all don't mind that I've been SUPER active on all of your blogs for the past few days. Your posts have been keeping me busy as I follow my doctor's orders of relaxed bed rest for 3 days! For those of you that know me in real life, you can imagine just how hard this is for me. I am going nuts. I would much rather be working on projects in the house, cleaning, playing with the dog outside, doing laundry, or be at school working than sitting HERE on the couch. I've watched movies, I've watched my favorite comedies, I've read, I've blogged, I've planned for school, I've caught up on blogs, and I've responded to past due emails...I've done it ALL! It wasn't as bad Saturday and Sunday with hubby here..but now that he is back to work today..I'm about to lose it! Buckwheat keeps looking at me with confusion in his eyes as if to say "You're really gonna just lay there all day?!?"

I know, I know. I shouldn't be complaining..sorry. I am SO grateful that we had three lil embryos to put back in on Saturday!!!!!

The embryologist called yesterday with the Day 6 report of my other two embryos. Remember one of them was on track cell wise, but the other one was lagging. It was only at 3 cells on Day 3. Well, they DID make it to the blast stage!! However, they were not of good enough quality to freeze. :( BUT the embryologist said if those two made it to blast stage, it was a good indication the ones inside of me would make it too because they had picked the best three to put inside of me. I was absolutely shocked that they had made it to blasts, considering how behind the one especially had been. This news definitely gave me a lil more hope.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Not Sure How I Feel


Leaving the house this morning...on the way to the transfer!

We transferred 3!!!

Now, let me tell you the details. Well, this mornings transfer could of been worse and it could have been better too!

We arrived at 7:45 and prepped for my first round of acupuncture. It went well and after he took the needles out the embryologist came right in with her report and recommendation. She started by explaining to us that none of our embryos had made it to the blastocyst stage yet. But the good news was that they all still were progressing! Our go-getter (the lead) was compacting and she said she felt as though he/she was close to an early blast stage. If the go-getter continues she thinks he/she would make it to that blast stage by tomorrow. The other two were just starting to show signs of compacting. Since they weren't quite there yet, she did perform assisted hatching on all 3. *For my family members and non TTC friends who aren't familiar with this term, assisted hatching is when the embryologist thins or makes a small hole in the zona pellucida that surrounds the embryo (a protective layer). Before an embryo implants into the uterus it must hatch from the zona pellucida. There is some evidence that in some women the zona becomes toughened, restricting the embryo to hatch. By making a small hole in the zona using a micromanipulation, this may make it easier for hatching to occur and there is some evidence that assisted hatching may improve implantation rate.

So like my title says, I don't know how I feel. Part of me was really disappointed that they were not text book and at that blast stage yet. Then another part of me was extremely grateful that they have continued to progress and are showing signs of making it to that blast stage. I could have showed up and been told they all arrested. (worst case scenario) The embryologist could tell I was having mixed emotions. She assured me that she would not put anything in me that she did not think had a chance and also shared with me she has seen many pregnancies happen with embryos similar to mine. The fact that they weren't at blasts yet doesn't mean they aren't strong embryos, she said they could just be growing at a lil slower rate and taking their good ol time. :)

Okay - details from the actual transfer...
Once again my bladder was killing me! The nurse came in after the embryologist had discussed everything with me and said "Are you ready?" We went back to the procedure room and she did an ultrasound to check if my bladder was ready, full enough. I was already dying and thought for sure it may even be too full. Nope, she said I needed about five more minutes even though she could actually see my bladder bulging out of my lower abdomen. Ahhhhh! Dr. Hayes came in a few minutes later and checked again and she said the bladder was perfect, so we proceeded. She put the speculum in and did another trial transfer to get everything measured up just right. Keep in mind, during this the nurse is pushing down on my bladder with the ultrasound so Dr. Hayes can properly see what she is doing. My legs were shaking and I couldn't barely breathe it hurt so much. My embies flashed up on the screen with my name across the monitor and the embryologist had me confirm they were indeed mine. Then she brought them in and Dr. Hayes inserted them. The embryologist went to check that they all had made it successfully out of the tube. Nope! 2 of them had stuck in the catheter. OMG...they have to go back in again. Dr. Hayes went back in and said the placement of them really was perfect. They were not touching and there was some room between them and the first one that had been placed.

Dr. Hayes did say it was VERY rare for this to happen (the embies sticking in the catheter). Then, I told her that this also happened last transfer and her face just lit up in shock! I asked her how rare was it and she said it usually only happens once every FEW years!!!! And here it happened to me twice in the past six months!!!!!!!!!

So after all three of them were finally in ...I had to lay there for an other ten minutes. I was laying there going nuts and poor hubby's hand is probably severely fractured. She came back ten minutes later to release me to the bathroom. She said "I have good news for you". I was thinking in my head the only good news right now could be getting my ass to the toilet! I was ready to just push her out of the way and make a run for it. The good news was Dr. Hayes went and looked in her records to find the last patient she had who had their embies get stuck...and sure enough that woman got pregnant! They wanted me to know as they felt it was a good omen. Hallelujah! Now please watch out before I piddle all over these damn stirrups!

Afterwards, I had my follow-up acupuncture appointment and then needed to stay laying down there for a total of 2 hours. They wheeled me out and I had hubby pick me up my favorite Chinese on the way home. YUM! Then, I passed out for about 3 hours. What a day! What a day!

2nd round of acupuncture

What's next? Just those wonderful PIO injections each night for the next 10 days, lots and lots of waiting, and an abundance of PRAYERS. My beta is scheduled for September 6th.

Friday, August 26, 2011

His Timing

I found this quote tonight on a new blog that I came across. :) I love finding new blogs!

"God's sense of timing will confound ours, no matter what culture we're from. His grace rarely operates according to our schedule."

I am praying so hard that a pregnancy is in God's plan for me right now. I struggle to let go of "my plan" and leave it all up to God's grace. I have to accept that a child will come into our lives when God is ready to bless us with one. With that being said, I am hoping His Timing will bless us with a beautiful blastocyst (or 2) waiting for us tomorrow morning.

The worst case scenario that could happen is finding out tomorrow when we arrive that nothing progressed to transfer. If that is God's will, I would rather come to terms with it tomorrow morning than in 2 weeks. If these lil guys (or girls) aren't going to make it inside of me I think I'd really like to find out tomorrow than go for 2 weeks thinking I might be pregnant. Yes, I would be DEVASTATED if we came out empty-wombed tomorrow, but I know how much more it would hurt to go through that 2 week wait hoping, praying, and dreaming of actually being pregnant and then being faced with a BFN.

The past few days I've been trying really hard to shed a positive aura. I've read some blogs about how this won't happen unless you are positive and mentally ready for a pregnancy. Not thinking, what's the plan if this doesn't work? Like I've said before, this is REALLY tough to do when all you have ever experienced is heart ache. I am definitely trying though. I want those lil guys to have the best possible chance of becoming our miracle. I'm praying that I have a happy post for ya'll tomorrow. Lots of love to all of you and thank you for being here for me. I can't express just how much it means to me. I am not alone.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 3 Report

The embryologist called around 11:30 this morning. She explained to me that their clinic does an Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor rating system. On Day 3 they want to see them at 6-8 cells. After a fertilization report (I had 5), they expect only 30%-50% of them to keep progressing to a blastocyst, so she said what we are seeing here below is pretty typical.

I have 1 - 8 cell graded Good. It has minimal fragmentation and the cells are all similiar in size. The go-getter!

I have 3 that are between 6-8 cells and graded Fair (more fragmentation than the one graded Good and cells not as similar in size).

I have 1 lagger that is only at 3 cells.

She seemed pretty confident that the 8 cell would make it to the blastocyst stage and said the other 3 have a chance and that it was good that they were all at 6-8 cells. Only time will tell...it could go either way.

She said even if they are not quite to that blastocyst stage we can discuss putting them in anyways (as long as they were progressing). If none of them make it to blast, she explained we could talk to Dr. Hayes and consider putting 3 in. If we have 1 or 2 blasts, she would recommend just putting 2 in.

I am definitely pleased that we are making it further this time than last IVF. Remember last IVF, they put two in me on Day 3 - one was a 6 cell and one was a 5 cell. I've never had an 8 cell at this point before, so that excites me. And I've definitely never had a chance at a 5 day transfer before either, so also grateful about the possible chance. I'm just praying that they keep progressing and that I have something to transfer on Saturday. I would be over the moon happy if at least one made it to a blast, as pregnancy rates really improve when they make it to this stage.

The nurse called later this afternoon to schedule the actual times for Saturday. I need to be there at 7:45 a.m. I will have an 8:00 acupuncture session and a 9:00 transfer. Then I will have another acupuncture session immediately following the transfer. The embryologist will come in and speak with us before the transfer to discuss grades and make a final decision as to how many (God willing) we will put in.

So what do you ladies think?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pins & Needles

Hi ladies (and Daddy) - I am just dying here waiting to hear how our 5 lil fertilized eggs are doing. I want to be so excited, but then I just worry it could come all crashing down in a matter of hours. The crashing down part is what I am used to. THIS is so hard...trying to fight off the dreaded feelings of failure with hope. I really feel like an emotional wreck...I have been crying at the drop of a dime, literally. I just don't know how the hubby puts up with me.

I thought being at work today would be a good distraction. Wrong! While I got a lot of work done, my mind just could not let go. I just couldn't stop thinking of them! It was good to see most of my co-workers today, although there were a few I could have went without seeing..ha! My room is pretty much up and ready for the first day. I just am waiting on my official class list, so I can do some labeling of notebooks, journals, mailboxes, etc.

I was at school for 8 hours (most work I've done all summer) and I am exhausted! I'm already on the couch with my feet up and I don't plan on moving. Hoping I get the call early tomorrow. Til then, I will remain on pins and needles.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fertilization Report

5 of the 6 fertilized! I was real pleased to receive the call at 9:00 this morning. (not like last cycle with old doc ... being notified at 8pm) Hubby and I are beaming - but realize this could all come crashing down at any second. It's really something you just are expecting when going through infertility ...it feels as though you can only be on an "up" for so long.

But we will continue to pray, pray, and pray. The embryologists will leave them undisturbed tomorrow and check on them on Thursday (Day 3). So I will be waiting patiently til then (yeah right).

In other news, I had my first PIO shot this evening. Not too painful, but for some reason had some blood this time.

I'm a little bummed I couldn't make a family camping trip that everyone is leaving for tomorrow. Hubby can't go either - he has to work and I just didn't feel comfortable being 7 hours away from home right now. So the plan is to go into school for the next few days and try to stay busy and distracted there.

Thanks for all of the comments and words of support. You all really are the BEST! Thanks to waiting and wishing for the Hugger award! :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Retrieval Day...Take Two

Today's retrieval went pretty smoothly. I was there by 6:30 a.m. and the procedure started promptly at 7:15 a.m. The valium before was a nice touch and the anesthesia worked wonders. Again, I remember being in the procedure room for like a minute before being completely "out". I remember my doctor saying "Okay Christie, I'm going to put the speculum in" and I didn't even feel it. I woke up and heard my doctor whisper in my ear that she had retrieved 10! I was pleased to hear the double digit number as last time I had 8 retrieved.

The embryologist called at about 2:00 p.m. with the maturation report. Out of the 10, 6 are mature. 3 were immature and 1 was degenerative. So 6 have received an attempted fertilization through icsi this morning.

So now I wait until tomorrow to hear the fertilization report. Please, oh please, let it be good.

Oh and yes, the before and after pictures...

Good morning!!!

2nd time is the real charm, right? :)

Yes, hubby still loves me even though I sleep with my mouth open and look like this!

The love of my life, who holds me afloat in so many ways. Love you hubby!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I sure did it!

Yeah..it's true. I triggered last night at 9:30. Hubby and I will be going in for the retrieval tomorrow a.m. We have to be there at 6:30 a.m. and the procedure will begin at 7:15.

At my ultrasound yesterday, doc measured 7 on each side. I asked her how many were "contenders"...haha and she said 5 on the right and 4 or 5 on the left. She said with how high my fsh is she is pleasantly pleased with how many follicles took off. Now PRAYING those lil guys make it and come out nice and mature and healthy!

I am not one bit nervous for the retrieval part this time around...just excited! Thanks for all the well wishes! I can't believe just a week ago we were facing a cancelled cycle and now here we are going into a retrieval tomorrow. I'll be sure to post an update tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We're Getting There...

Hi ladies!!! I had another ultrasound and blood draw this morning. Things are moving along well - I still have 5 growing follies on each side. The lead is now at 13 mm. Whoo hoo! I am to continue the same dosage and will be going back Friday morning for another follie check. My doctor said she is predicting that I will be triggering on Friday or Saturday, which would be a Sunday or Monday retrieval. WHOO HOO! She also said my uterus looks fantastic and the lining is thickening up nicely. After my ultrasound, I had an extremely relaxing acupuncture session. I fell asleep again and woke up feeling very refreshed. A few hours later I received a call from the nurse and my estradiol is up to 966! This is all starting to feel real again...can't wait for retrieval day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

They Woke Up!

So I was back to the doctor this a.m. for another ultrasound and blood draw. I have to say I walked into the ultrasound room feeling kind of numb. This past week has had so many ups and downs...I just didn't have a clue where this appt was going.

The doctor took a lil looky with her magic wand and was really pleased with what she found. She measured five follicles on each side, with the largest around 9mm. She was really excited that they had started to take off and that they were much more visible this time. We waited for the bloodwork to come back and my estradiol has risen to 479...whoo hoo!

So this means I will continue stimulating. Dr. said I can probably plan on it for the rest of the week. I called the pharmacy and orderered two more cartridges of Follistim (900 & 600) and 5 more vials of Menopur. I'll go back Wednesday morning for yet another ultrasound and blood draw. Who would of guessed I would be stimming for a full two weeks? It really doesn't matter though..as long as we get there. I'm just relieved those ovaries finally woke up! All of your prayers are working - so thank you very, very much! :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Get Me Off Already!!!

I want to start today's post by thanking so many of you. After what happened on Thursday, so many of you offered me advice, prayers, your love, and support. Every day I say to myself I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends/family who continuously offer me comfort through this journey. Thank you!

Before walking into the ultrasound this morning, I felt as if my body was telling me it would be cancelled. I'm not bloated at all and I really don't have much ovary pain so I had figured things weren't progressing as they should be.

So we went to the ultrasound this morning and things indeed looked kind of quiet on the ovary front. The doctor measured the two largest follicles on each side and both sides measured around 6mm. He said at this point we would at least want to see them around 8 or 10 mm. So hubby and I walked out of the office feeling defeated and as though things were over. Walking out we already started talking about what's next? Where do we go from here? How do we move forward? We both felt comfortable with trying again and using a different protocol and wrote down some questions we had for Dr. Hayes for our wtf meeting.

Then I met up with one of my dear friends Megan at A.lter.ra. I told her all about the cycle and how defeated I was feeling. About an hour later I got a call back from the nurse with the results of my estradiol levels from the blood drawing this a.m. Remember we were looking for the estradiol to be up to 200. It came back at 214. The nurse said the doctor would like you to continue on with your meds and come back for another follie check Monday morning. I was like "Uh, oooookay". I expressed to her that I for sure thought my cycle would be cancelled due to the ultrasound. She said the doctor was hopeful that my ovaries just needed a lil kick start. She said since the estradiol level was finally improving, we might still have a chance that the follies could take off.

I got off the phone and ran back to tell Megan what the nurse had said. I was sitting there and all of the sudden I was like Oh crap - I only have enough Follistim left for one more night (tonight). On Thursday, my doctor didn't want me to order more quite yet because we weren't sure if I was going to need it and she mentioned that if I did need it, they could bridge me over. So I called the nurse back and I am really thankful she will give me a supply to cover Sunday and Monday nights dosage. Thank you!!! This stuff is very pricy, so I appreciate their willingess to help. I can then order more Monday morning and will have it for Tuesday (if needed).

So here we are...Day 8 of injections and continuing on. I think Monday's appointment will really determine if we will make it to a retrieval or not. For now, I'm grateful the estradiol went up & hopeful that things continue to progress; however, I'm also prepared that it could go the other way too. I felt like I've been on a never ending emotional teeter totter ride these past couple days. Up...Down...Up....Down....Up....Down! I'm ready to get off already! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wasn't Expecting This One...

Well, I thought my ultrasound went well this morning. My doctor measured some follicles on each side (about 3 on the left and 5 of the right). Not as great as last time ..but hey, a start. There were some other smaller ones too, so I was hoping they would take off. Gave my blood sample and I was out the door with a smile. I was on top of the world this morning ...literally daydreaming in the car counting my blessings.

But, then it all came CRASHing down. A few hours later I received a call from one of my nurses. My estradiol level which we were hoping would rise after the increase in medication, actually DROPPED! It went from 62 to 55. I really don't understand what is going on with my body. I was finally starting to feel more optimistic about everything and now this. She said if it did not rise a great deal by Saturday - they would be cancelling this cycle. :( I asked well what do we need it to be by in order to keep going and she said around 200. My stomach sank when I heard the words 'cancel the cycle'. I was driving, so I pulled over and called the hubby. Luckily he was able to answer and I just lost it.

Have any of you ever experienced something like this before or know of someone else who did? My friend Makelle shared a similar story with me where they wanted to cancel her cycle due to low estradiol levels and she refused. She is now pregnant with twins...but, the only difference is her level never actually dropped, like mine. I really don't know what to say..I don't want to come on here and be all negative - but I think it's looking pretty glim for the continuation of this cycle. Two more nights of the same dosage (525 Follistim & 75 of Menopur) and then back on Saturday morning for ultrasound/bloodwork. I should know by Saturday afternoon whether it's a go or a bust.

I have so many things running through my head...primarily that... I guess this new protocol was not the one. Maybe back to the first protocol or back to the drawing board?

I'm trying to be positive here guys...I really am. I am fighting with every ounce of my heart, body, and soul to not give up on this cycle.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Mellow"this time around

Well, after 3 days of stimulation, my doctor could see some follies starting to grow at today's ultrasound, but they were really small at this point. (as to be expected) She measured a couple on each side to gauge future growth.

My bloodwork came back and my estradiol was lower than she would have liked at 62.9. Therefore...she increased my dosage of meds. Instead of 375 of Follistim, I will be taking 525 of Follistim in addition to the 75 of Menopur each night. The Follistim pen doesn't even go that high - so I will need to do two seperate injections to get my full dosage. So that brings me to officially 5 pokes a day.

Am: Micro-Lupron
Pm: Micro-Lupron, Follistim x 2, and Menopur

Acupuncture has been going GREAT! I was so relaxed in both my sessions so far this week, I actually fell asleep! My acupuncturist said my body is in another whole state than it was for IVF #1. He said I wasn't nearly as stagnated as last time and overall I seem much more refreshed & mellow this time around. I'd have to attribute this to not being in work right now. My days consist of sleeping in, putzing around the house, laying out, reading, and laundry...which is a lot less stressful than being at work for 8-10 hours managing 30 children. Just him saying I seemed like a whole different person this time around, gave me a sweet glimmer of hope.

At dinner tonight, I was telling hubby how blessed I feel to have met so many amazing women through this journey. I feel as though I have a growing support system and I couldn't be more grateful. EVERY e-mail, text, FB message, blog comment, phone call, and card that I receive makes me SMILE from ear to ear. Please know how much every one of you means to me..thank you!

Follie Check #2 scheduled for Thursday morning!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Guarded

I started the Micro-Lupron injection this morning. Easy as pie!

I also had my CD3 ultrasound this morning and it went really well. I am waiting for the phone call this afternoon to hear what my estradiol is at. As long as it is low, I will have the go ahead to start the Follistim & Menopur injections tomorrow. It's pretty crazy to think I will be having my retrieval in less than two weeks. This is all going really fast.

I was telling a few friends that I just don't have a good vibe yet. I guess you could say I'm feeling guarded. It's like I don't want to let myself get excited because I know the grueling pain (first hand) I could experience if this doesn't work. I'm hoping once I see those follies growing next week, that it will spark my excitement & make me more optimistic!

I will say going through this while on summer vacation helps, when considering the endless appointments. It's a bit less stressful when you don't have to worry about asking your principal to leave school for an "appointment" and you don't have to plan extra lessons for someone to teach while you are gone. And I sure won't have to plan for a sub for my retrieval and transfer days. That part is nice.

Thank you to everyone who has offered me their support going into this new cycle. I can't tell you how much it means to me. It really does give me strength knowing I have so many wonderful women cheering me on. Ya'll mean the world to me!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trial Transfer

I have had a few dear ladies text/email me to ask how my trial transfer went. Thank you ...that really means a lot to me!!!

It went really well! For my non TTC friends, a trial transfer is when the physician inserts a tiny plastic catheter into the uterus. This allows the physician to measure the depth and direction of the uterus in preparation for the actual transfer. I needed to have a full bladder so the doctor could better visualize the placement of the catheter.

For some reason for IVF #1, this trial transfer KILLED! I remember my sister was standing next to me holding my hand and I was lifting my rear off the table because it hurt so bad. This time around - barely felt a thing. My new RE was really concerned as to why it hurt so bad last time. She said its possible she used a thicker catheter than necessary. RED FLAG!!! Also, last time my old doctor did not make sure I had a full bladder, which could have affected the execution of the actual transfer. UGH! Anyways, just really happy that it went well this time around. My RE said my uterus and ovaries looked perfect!

I'm going to leave you today with this short lil video clip A Miracle 4 Us posted. I enjoyed it as it captured what so many of experience on a daily basis. But I want to know, where are the other 1 in 8 couples that are going through this in my real life? I swear i don't know 1 couple in my real life (outside of the blogosphere/support group) that are experiencing troubles trying to conceive. Not that I want anyone else to struggle as we do...but hey it would help to know someone going through this to relate to in my everyday life. I might not feel as "ashamed"....working on that.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tentative Schedule

Hubby went back to work today. A friend of mine asked me if I have big plans for the month of August. I sure do! Come on...this is every girl's dream right? I LOVE spending the last month of my summer getting poked, prodded, and shooting myself up. Can you tell today is one of those bitter days? Here is my schedule for IVF #2:

Microflare Lupron Protocol
*These dates could change (+/- a couple days) based upon how my ovaries respond to the Follistim & Menopur.

7/13 - 8/2 Birth Control Pills

8/1 Injection Teaching (review) & Mock Transfer

8/2 Consent signing

8/3 Begin acupuncture (2-3 times a week)

8/5 Day 3 Labwork & Ultrasound
Start Micro-Lupron Injection (10 units twice daily 12 hours apart)

8/6 Day 4 Start Follistim Injection 375 units every PM
Start Menopur Injection 75 units every PM

8/7 - 8/14 Multiple Ultrasounds and labs to observe/monitor growing follicles

8/15 Administer hCG shot to trigger the follies to go through the last stage of maturation before retrieval.
STOP micro-lupron, Follistim, and Menopur injections

8/16 Begin Doxycycline antibiotic twice a day with food

8/17 Egg Retrieval - 34 hours after hCG shot
Begin Progesterone injections 2cc daily

8/22 Embryo Transfer
Begin Estrace 2 mg tables twice a day

8/31 Lab draw to check progesterone and estradiol

9/6 Lab draw - Pregnancy Test

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Where We're At

After the return from our trip, hubby & I decided to go visit my Grandmother. She was just recently admitted to a nursing home and I hadn't been there to visit yet. We had about a 2 hour drive there and had a GREAT talk on the way. As you go through this journey, its natural for your feelings to change about the treatments. When I first began working with an RE, for some reason I NEVER thought we would have to do IVF to conceive. Now going through IVF, my mind allows me to think that this might not be God's plan for us. Hubby tried convincing me that I am feeling this way because of how much I've been rejected over the years. He said he thought it was natural to feel this way considering how many BFN's I have experienced. I asked him how many rejections can I possibly take before considering & accepting that this might not work????
He went on to say he is willing to keep pursuing treatments. However, he did say how much he's noticed they are affecting me and would be okay moving onto the next step if I felt as though I couldn't keep doing this. He doesn't want me to have to live this way. He wants me to be happy. I really appreciated that he is putting my well being and happiness at the forefront of our decisions that need to be made. That means a lot to me. I/we decided that I'm not quite ready to move on to further steps quite yet. I'm going to use my response during IVF #2 to better gauge what should come next. My heart is still 100% committed towards having a biological child..don't get me wrong. I just keep asking myself - how long can I continue to live this way? I wonder..maybe God wants us to adopt and is just saving the most beautiful child for us..until we're ready. I really don't know. But, I do know the desire I have in my heart to be a mother & and that is what keeps me going day after day.

Huge congrats to my friend Abbey! She works with my doctor and found out yesterday that IVF #2 was indeed successful! I don't know all the details yet of the retrieval/transfer - but am absolutely ecstatic for her. This was such a long time coming!

Oh and thee meds arrived today - confirmation that this IS really happening. When my meds arrived for my last IVF, I had no clue what was in store and I was extremely nervous. When they arrived this time around, I became pretty upset. I just looked at that box and knew all the heart ache that was associated with that box last time around. At least this time, the anxious feeling is not there since I've had experience with these meds before, but I'm not sure if it's going to be any easier emotionally.


Check out the cute lil Hershey Kisses that came in the cooler! I thought it was a sweet touch. Thanks Mandell's Pharmacy!


Meds for IVF#2

Also, a huge shout out to thank my employer (school district)! $5,768 of my medication was covered by insurance leaving only $682 due out of pocket. It may be unfortunate that we're struggling...but we are blessed to have such amazing benefits!!! Hubby went back to work today as he teaches at a year round school. Wow..was I lonely on my first day home without him. But, my appointments will be starting next week which will keep me plenty busy. Mock transfer and consent signing on Monday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Feeling more like a "Debbie" today

Home safe and sound. Hubby and I had a really nice trip out west with his junior team. At one point, we had 13 teens staying with us in our condo- what a challenge! We were faced with some pretty serious issues while out there and I'd like to say we came out of the experience even stronger. The road trip ended up being 28 hours ..each way! Our lovely Armada's AC decided to stop working which made for an excruciating ride home with this heat wave. Being on the road for that long left A LOT of time for me to think, think, and think some more.

I want to write on here that I am positive and feeling good going into IVF #2, but that would be a lie. The truth is I am feeling pretty defeated, hopeless, lost. A friend of mine reminded me that God has good things in store for hubby and I. Why is that so hard for me to believe, to trust? I definitely don't want to give up, but at the same time I feel as though I am just going through the motions. Just when I am starting to move forward from the first failed IVF, it's time to start all over again. I'm not ready for the countless injections, blood draws, ultrasounds, appointments. I'm not ready to be a hormonal bitch again. I'm not ready to walk around limping because my butt is so sore from the PIO shots. It would be a different story if I were going into this with better odds, but really - 15 percent?!?!?! If the weatherman said there was a 15% chance of rain today, you would plan on it NOT raining. The chances of it raining would be very slim...unlikely. And here I go...walking into another IVF cycle with those kind of chances.


So sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I can't come on here and fake that I am alright..I'm not. I need to find a way to pull myself out of this. I will come out on the other side...just don't know when or how I'm going to get there.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Here We Go Again

So today marks the beginning of IVF cycle #2. I am starting my 21 birth control pills today. Hubby and I had a great talk yesterday and decided to move forward this month instead of waiting another month to begin. My nurse gave me a tentative calendar to work with and it looks like the retrieval will be around August 17th (hubby's birthday) and transfer on the 22nd. (God willing)I will have plenty of time to rest before heading back to school the first week of September. We felt this was a better decision to start now since I am on summer vacation and wouldn't have to leave work for the countless ultrasounds, blood drawings, and appointments.

To be honest, I didn't know if I wanted to jump into another cycle right now. I used the excuse I wanted to "enjoy the rest of the summer". But the reality is...I AM SO SCARED. If these next two cycles don't work - I am done. I will have exhausted the treatments that would allow me to carry my own biological child. It's like I want to hide from this reality and push off the treatments. But, I can't. I need to move forward in this journey and face my fears. If God (for some reason) doesn't want these treatments to work - I have to accept that and realize he has other plans for me, for us, for our family. But WOW is that hard to face. :(

Fears set aside, hubby and I are really enjoying ourselves in Idaho. The kids are a lot of fun and are getting excited for their competition. Some of them race on Thursday and the others on Friday. Here is a pic of us w/our junior team at Mount Rushmore.


And hubby and I :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Checked OUT!

Hi Ladies - Yes, I have been "checked out" for the past couple weeks. In a way this has been okay for me as I've had lots of distractions. I'm sure a big reason as to why I have mentally checked out is because of the news I received from my doctor after my testing month. The tests basically confirmed that my FSH is pretty high. What does this really mean? Well, it basically lowers my chances of conceiving through IVF down to 15%. She brought up the whole option of donor eggs and it all hit me very hard. I think I cried harder than when my first IVF cycle failed. I just couldn't seem to get over it. That's hard to take - that WITH IVF my chances are still only 15%. I'm not sure how a person is hopeful with those kinds of odds...but the fact of the matter is: there is still a chance! A chance that I am damn sure ready to fight for! So that's where we stand. My insurance nurse got back to me yesterday and confirmed that I have full coverage for two fresh IVF cycles...so that's what I am going to do. Using donor eggs is not covered by insurance and is extremely expensive, so at this point - I would like to continue trying my own (especially since its covered).

Where does a girls mind go with this news? Definitely a lot of thought about using donor eggs and definitely a lot of thought starts to go into adoption. Luckily, one of my friends is going through adoption now so I get to see her experience it and ask questions along the way. So yes, those thoughts are in the back of my head - but the next step right now is another IVF cycle. It looks like I will hopefully get started on my birth control in the middle of July..haven't decided if I'm ready to begin again or if I need another month to continue processing this and heal.

Girls - if you have any high FSH success stories - PLEASE SHARE! I need all the hope I can get!

Other than that, I have just started to enjoy summer. My husband is a Junior Cycling coach and we are taking 10 of the Juniors out to Sun Valley, Idaho to compete in the National Championships. It's great because I have been involved with a lot of the planning, which completely keeps my mind "busy". We've had riders staying with us from South Africa and California (hosting is another distraction).

Oh and here are a few photos from the beach yesterday. Buckwheat was in his element - fetch & water. Looks like he "checked out" too after his fun in the sun.

Miss you all - I've been thinking of you!



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer At Last

I have to apologize once again.  A few of my friends have been asking me ..why haven't you been posting?  It's simple - I have just been incredibly busy with the closing of another school year.  Yesterday was my last day with the kids and today was a teacher work day to finish records, cleaning, etc.  I am officially off from work til the end of August.  I have been counting down the days like crazy for summer break - now it's here and I am sad.  How can I be sad when I don't have to go to work for 2 months? (you might be thinking)  I don't know - saying goodbye to my students is really hard on me and it seems to get worse each year.  When I think of it - taking care of my students is the only opportunity I have to nurture a child.  Being able to nurture children brings so much joy and fulfillment to my life.  Now that they're gone - I feel even more like I have nothing.  No one needs me...no one relies on me...no one looks up to me.  Therefore, I am feeling even more empty than normal.  Here is a photo of me and some of my students on the last day of school. 

(silly face photos are always the best)


I've also been busy with some family events - out of town last weekend to celebrate my nephew's 15th birthday.  It was really nice as I was able to spend some time with him, my sister, and my other nephew.  I've been really lucky because this nephew has been staying with us for the past couple weeks.  He is here to train with my husband, to get himself ready for the mountain bike national championships that we are traveling to in July.  I love having him here!  We just play around a lot and his presence definitely lights up my mood.

my nephew on his birthday - such a cutie

The weekend before that was my lil brother's high school graduation. Even though we are 11 years apart, we are super close.  I can always be silly with him, which allows me to completely take my mind off of things.    I am really looking fwd to having him close by in Milwaukee next year for college.

Lil brother & I at his h.s. graduation

So what's new with me in the trying to conceive world?  Well the saga continues and nothing really!  I was at my  doctor's office last week to do some CD3 bloodwork.  I have one day left of Clomid.  Then, back to Dr's office on Saturday for more bloodwork.  The results of this testing should give us a better of indication of my ovarian function.  The follow up appt will be sometime next week and I will be sure to update as soon as I find out. 

Even though I haven't been updating much - I have been following all of you very closely.  Thinking of you all and praying you find the strength to keep going. I sure am struggling with this.  Also, a huge wave of good luck to my friend Makelle.  She is going to take a hpt on Saturday morning to find out if her first IVF worked.  Praying for you dear!   

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The title "boring" would be an understatement

Sorry everyone - there is just not much going on with me.  I took this last month completely off and I know this sounds crazy, but I don't even know when AF is actually due.  I remember I had AF in May before my RE appointment on the 11th... that's all I can remember.  So basically it should be due within the next few days.  Once it starts, I will call RE and make an appt to have blood work done on CD3.  Pretty exciting, hey?  Ha!

Officially one more week of school!  The days have been pretty treacherous in the classroom as we have had temps reaching 95 degrees here in Milwaukee.

Best wishes to my friend, Makelle. She her day5 transfer tomorrow!  I am praying that God blesses her and her husband with a successful cycle.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I Want to Make her an Auntie!!!!!

Today is a very special day  - it's my sister's birthday!  Some of you may be thinking, wow - well that's nice, but so?!?  This sister of mine is not your average sister here.  This woman is my go-to-girl, my rock, my best friend.  She has always been there for me, even on my most ugly days (I know, yuck). I think to myself, how can she possibly put up with me?  She is the first person I call when:  I'm upset, I had a doctor's appointment, I'm sick, I'm happy, I'm excited, or when I just need to vent.  Why?  Because she always understands and knows just how to find a way to make me feel better.  I don't know how she does it...really.  She has provided me with the utmost support while going through infertility.  She has educated herself about infertility, high FSH, IUI's, and the IVF process so she can understand what it is I'm going through.   Heck - when I had my mock transfer she even assisted my doc with the procedure (long story, but funny).  I know she feels bad at times thinking she can't fix this for me or help me solve my problem as infertility is just completely out of anyones control.  But what she doesn't realize is that she DOES help me, every single day, just by being there.  Simply being there.  I could not do this without you sis.  I love you so very much and I hope this year is your best yet.  I hope this is the year that you finally get to be an auntie!  XOXO!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm gonna knock out the next insensitive person who tells me to relax!

The end of the school year is approaching...I should be really excited, right?  WRONG!  This time of year is really making me sad.  Last year at this time, about 10 days after the end of the school year, I found out I was pregnant.  The change in season, the upcoming change in routine is making it all come back to me. 

My husband and I are also currently planning a trip this summer.  My husband is a coach of a junior mountain bike team and every summer we take the juniors to nationals.  Well, last year it was in Colorado, which is where I miscarried.  This year it is in Sun Valley, Idaho - which is a relief.  If it were in Colorado again, I would definitely not be able to go.  The planning portion alone is getting to be too much to handle. 

A lot of things have been bothering me lately..my latest tweet was "Yeah, I'm moody.  So????" I'm sorry if this post offends anyone...but really, this is my blog and it should be a safe place to let it all out.  It's unfortunate infertility has become a means of finding out who your real friends are.  I've been having problems with a friend (who knows everything).  She has not asked me how things are going ONCE since my failed IVF.  She doesn't even know I switched doctors!!!  Instead of alleviating stress in my life - she has been causing me stress.  She has been arguing with me about petty things, which really are the least of my worries! I'm not saying it's all about me - but really, I would do anything for anyone of my friends going through this.  I would do all I could to make them feel better, not worse.  I have definitely taken a step back... I'm sorry, but right now I need friends in my life that love me for who I am and who will hold me up.  At this point in my life, I just don't have room for anyone who brings unnecessary drama in my life - I just don't have the emotional capacity at this time. 

Annoyance #2 - A friend of mine's husband had the nerve to say to my husband that I should "just relax".  I really wanted to bitch this friend out and her husband, but hubby begged me not to!  He said this friend said this to him in confidence and I respect that.  BUT, it's also kind of like how I shared my struggles of infertility with my friend and NOT her husband.  I get that couples share things with each other.  But wow does it make me feel uncomfortable when we hang out with this couple.  I can't help but imagine what he's thinking of me, how I should just "relax".  Maybe my friend should inform him that I "relaxed" the first three f'en years of my marriage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  How's that for relaxing?  Is that long enough for him?  Does three years meet his relaxation prerequisite?  I wish people with no experience going through this would keep their insensitive comments to themselves!

On a much more positive note - I want to thank all of you who have shown me unconditional love.  I don't want things that upset me to supersede the blessings I do have in my life.   I have SO many wonderful family members & friends in my life - who love me, even when I'm moody.  Your constant love & support reminds me that I have the strength to keep going.  When I feel myself about to lose all hope - one of you finds a way to pick me right back up again. 


Thanks sis!  I know you get the brunt of my moodiness and I am sorry.  :(

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shout Out

Sending out lots of love to my friend Makelle.  She is one of my only friends that completely "gets me".  We literally talk every day and I consider her friendship a blessing.  I can tell her anything ..vent, vent, and vent some more and she will completely understand.  Why?  Because unfortunately she has been down a rough road too and has experienced many heartaches.  She deserves to be happy and I hope this IVF is the answer to all of her prayers. 

There is really nothing else new here in Milwaukee.  I am just waiting for my next cycle to start so I can continue moving forward with the ovarian reserve testing.  I am feeling anxious to get some answers and even more anxious to get on with IVF #2. 

The end of the year countdown has started at school..only 14 days left. 

Oh and still no word from my old doctor as to when they will be refunding me the fees I paid upfront for freezing.  I'm shocked (insert sarcastic tone). 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Roberto

I can imagine that it has to be really difficult to be friends with an infertile, like me.  What do you say? How do you show your support?  How do you remain sensitive to your friends struggles? And the questions go on and on... 

I would like to thank all of my friends who have shown their support over the past few months, well actually years.  But today, I would like to send a special thank you to my friend Erin.  Erin and I met in college and went through the School of Education together at UW-Milwaukee.  We had a blast getting to know one another while pursuing our student teaching experiences.  She is now a teacher and soccer coach in Minnesota.    Over the past year, there have been times I found myself creating distance between us.  For example, when I miscarried while she was pg this past summer or when I was going through treatments around the same time her first daughter was born.  She always found a way to not only forgive me, but to understand.  I miss her every single day.  I pray that one day I can find peace in my own life and make up for all the lost time my infertility has caused.  I hope someday I can be half of the friend she has been to me. 

Even though we're hundreds of miles apart Erin can always find a way to make me smile...whether it's a silly text about Becky from Blockbuster who misses me, a shout out to Timothy (our imaginary friend from our old neighborhood who is infatuated with burritos), or a surprise visit from Roberto (our traveling stuffed snake).  Erin - Thank you for never giving up on me, or our friendship.  Your unconditional love & and support holds me afloat.  

And don't worry...Roberto made it safe and sound. 

(Roberto arrived on my door step on Wednesday via UPS...special delivery to bring me a smile...and as you can see, it sure worked!) 


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

For All the Hubby's Out There

I came across these clips today...I appreciate a piece of literature written from a man's perspective and also intended for a male audience.   Most literature out there is written for the female audience and as we all know - this is just as hard on our dear husbands. 

 I was shocked to hear that the author's wife went through 16 artificial inseminations & 10 IVF's.  Gotta love the happy ending though..take a look.

What’s a guy to expect when she’s not expecting?

&

A "We" and "Us" Issue

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New RE...New Hope

I had my first appointment with the new RE on Wednesday.  What a HUGE difference!  I do not in any way want to "dis" my old doctor.  I really did like her character and the amount of time she was willing to spend with me.  It's crazy how I didn't realize how much greener the grass is on the other side, until I actually went to the other side.  The new RE's office is much more organized!  I was very impressed!  First the nurse met with me, then the doc, then an insurance specialist, and then the nurse one more time.  I was really fond of the doctor and her support staff.

There are some things in my records that aren't quite lining up and my new RE would like to dig a bit more.  So this is what the plan is looking like:
June cycle - Additional ovarian reserve testing.   There are some discrepancies with my FSH levels in my records.  The results of the testing will  affect the IVF success rates.  If my levels fall in the normal range throughout the cycle, I will have a 50-60% of IVF working.  If the results come back not normal, my chances for IVF working will drop to about 30%.  Quite a difference...
July cycle - BCP for 21 days
August - Stimming, retrieval & transfer

I'm actually quite happy with the timeline.  My first failed IVF cycle hit me harder than I could ever imagine.  I'm looking forward to having some more time to heal.  We may be doing a lil bit of traveling in July, so it will be nice not to worry about shooting up and just have the freedom to enjoy summer.  I'm also relieved that it looks like we will be able to do IVF #2 before I go back to school in the fall.

The insurance front had some good news & eh news.  The good news was now that my provider has changed my insurance has "reset"...meaning I have the full $30,000 to work with again for IVF treatments.  The eh news was that the insurance specialist said they have a really hard time convincing the insurance company that the patients absolutely need IVF to get pregnant.  Luckily, I have history to show that I do indeed need this procedure, which she said will definitely help my case.  ( 6 unsuccessful Clomid cycles, 3 failed IUI's, and 1 failed IVF)  She will be working on gaining my pre-approval.  Hopefully my history will provide sufficient evidence!!!

I definitely walked out with a renewed sense of hope.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Yes, I'm Still Here!

I survived Mother's Day!!!!!  I'd have to say it went pretty well, considering.   On Friday, I was pretty sad for a few reasons.  It started at the end of the work day when one of my friends said to me "Have a good weekend" as she left my classroom.  REALLY?!?!? (Keep in mind this friend knows everything I have been through)  I may just be overly emotional, but I thought this was extremely insensitive. 

Insert sarcastic tone... Yeah, I'm going to have a great weekend - celebrating the fact that I still am NOT a mom.  Oh and even better, I'm going to celebrate the fact that if I wouldn't have miscarried - I would have been having my very first Mother's Day with a three month old.  Yes, I'm going to have a GREAT weekend.

I don't know why - but this really bothered me.  But, my Mom & sister came to visit Friday and Saturday and we had a great time.  We went out to eat a couple times, saw "Something Borrowed", and went to a dancing horses show.  Then on Sunday, I spent the day with my mother-in-law and brothers.  It's amazing how much brothers can take your mind off of things.  I played basketball for like the first time in five years and realized how out of shape I am!  My heart was literally pounding out of my chest - major indication that I need to start exercising more. 

  Sunday brunch

Sunday dinner

Once again, my family held me up and helped me make it through the weekend.  Thank you all!  I love you more than you could ever imagine. 

Oh and big day tomorrow...my first appointment with my new doctor!!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Next Year?

What's new since Monday? 

Well, my records have officially been transferred over to the new RE's office.  What a pain it was dealing with the old RE's office staff.  Since I've requested my records, the Dr. has called me two times with about four different excuses as to why she didn't return my phone calls with answers to my questions.  These were the questions I asked almost a month ago when I found out my first IVF cycle failed.  (mostly insurance related) 

My latest question is - When will you refund me the $650 I paid up front for the embryo freezing?  ( I didn't have any that made it to the freezing point)  The secretary said she will leave a note for the doctor.  Ha!  How many times have I heard that before?!?!?!

I have mixed emotions about the upcoming holiday...I am really excited about spending the next couple days with my mom (and sister).  I don't get to see her as often as I would like to ...so definitely looking forward to our time together.  But then of course, there are the other emotions that come along with Mother's Day.  The most obvious & depressing one is every Mother's Day that comes along, I think to myself - "Maybe next year you will be a mom".  It hit me kind of hard today when I was printing out all the typed letters my third graders wrote to their mamas.  I couldn't help but thinking that I might never be the recipient of one of those sweet, thoughtful, precious letters. 

Sending love to all the mothers out there.  I refuse to lose hope.  I hope I can join the celebration...next year.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Decision Made

After not receiving a call back from my doctor's office in a timely fashion (again), I have decided to make the switch.

I have an appointment with my new RE Wednesday, May 11th.

I had to sign a release today for the old office in order for my records to be transferred....awkward. 

Other news - I had a great meeting with my RESOLVE friends this evening.  Such a great group of girls that actually "get ME" and I "get them".  Simply refreshing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Hey everyone - Sorry I haven't been posting much.  I am currently on day 18 ( I think) of bcp..so nothing exciting going on ttc wise.  

I called my doctor's office yesterday and left a message about a couple questions I have (insurance & protocol related) for IVF #2 and I still have NOT received a call back.  I have to admit that I am becoming frustrated.  I feel that I am always the one checking in and begging for return calls.  Even after my retrieval, I was constantly waiting for phone calls and always ended up calling to obtain the info (daily).  I love my doctor, but I strongly dislike the office staff.  I don't know what to do.  Is this a sign that I was supposed to or that I should switch? I over analyze everything and I just don't know....

Who knows?  Maybe this month will just be a "healing cycle" (literally and emotionally).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Let Him Roll Away Your Stone

Happy Easter!  I found this post at  Pregnant with Hope extremely uplifting for today....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

be in



I AM INfertile...

But I am so much more "IN" than that...

I’ve been tested. I’ve been probed. I’ve been injected. I’ve missed work for appointments. I’ve researched. I’ve asked questions. I’ve worried. I’ve made phone calls. I’ve prioritized...

I AM INcessant...

I’ve gone to baby showers. I’ve smiled at other‘s “big news“. I’ve purchased baby gifts. I’ve babysat. I’ve missed chances. I’ve lost sleep. I’ve lost hope. I’ve lost embryos. I’ve lost babies...

I AM INdestructible...

I might be a mother. I might not be a mother. I might come to terms. I might never quit. I will survive...

I AM INvincible...

I am INfertile.  I am INcessant.  I am INdestructible.  I am INvincible.  I am IN.


A special thanks to Megan for for sharing this!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Trying to find me

I really did used to enjoy my life.  I think back to even a year ago at this time - I was much, much happier!  I hadn't started to work with an RE yet and I hadn't lost a baby either.  I used to just have fun.  My mind wasn't taunted with the thoughts of "you might never be a mother".

Before, even the simple things in life were just so much more enjoyable.  I would go out to dinner with my family and actually have a pleasant time.  Now I go out to dinner and I sit there and think to myself, "What pill do I have to take?  What appointment do I have tomorrow?  I wonder how many follies I have. Why am I cramping? I wonder if this will work.  I need to get home for my injection.  I can't believe I'm still not a mom. Will we ever have a family?" and it goes on and on and on....  I know this is sad but those thoughts NEVER leave my conscience.  They flow in and out of my head all day, every day.

Infertility has sucked the life right out of me.  I need to find me again.  I NEED to start enjoying life again and actually embrace all the blessings I do have.  I realize they exist and I am truly grateful.    But how do I do it?  Especially when I don't even know who it is I am anymore?  It seems as though all the other things that I used to be have been washed away.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

bcp... day 7 of 21

Here I am - day 6 of birth control. Not much else to report.  I actually don't mind this part of the process.  All I have to do is take one simple pill a day.  No ultrasounds, no injections, no blood work, no acupuncture.  Yet, my mind is at ease because I am taking the steps necessary to move forward and pursue IVF #2.  I actually get to feel somewhat "normal" for 21 days.

I have some good news too...
Good News #1-I'm on spring break until April 26th!!!  Good News #2 - I have an incredible support system.  I could not get through this without my dear family & friends.  A huge thanks to all of you & a special thank you to the Murray's for the gorgeous flowers this week!  You definitely have brightened up my days!!!