Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A second miracle is in the making!!

Yepp!  I am pregnant!!  Our frozen embryo transfer was a success!!  To be completely honest, I am pretty shocked.  I was preparing myself for the moment they told me it was negative.  I just haven't had any distinct symptoms like I did last time.  

I actually didn't get the call until today because for some reason they never received the fax yesterday.  I was sick to my stomach about it but refused to take a urine pregnancy test because I knew that since it had only been 7 days since my transfer that it probably wouldn't register on a HPT.  

I accidentally left my numbers at home but I do know that my hCG was 31 (anything over 25 is considered a pregnancy.  My hCG was 26 with Avery on the same day) and my progesterone was 30 which she said is great.  My estrogen was also in the 400's, I want to say 419.  All of these numbers are higher than they were with Avery, so I am praying for another healthy pregnancy!!!  

The amount of support has been INCREDIBLE.  This news is out in the open as we had SO many people supporting us, and I just couldn't expect them all to wait months to find out.  Not to mention, I believe in prayer and the more prayers we have, the better.  

I will go on Friday for more bloodwork to make sure my numbers are going up.  What an AMAZING Christmas miracle!!!

Thank you everyone!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Transfer is complete!

This has been SUCH a busy week for us!  Though, I will say that it is better this way.  It makes the 1 week wait a lot easier.  

The transfer was on Tuesday.  We left on Monday afternoon after visiting our dear friends calling hours.  The drive was fairly easy and we didn't run into any traffic at all!  We only made 2 stops, one was to eat and the other for gas and a restroom break.  We made it there around midnight however we didn't get to the hotel until about 12:15.  Let me tell you, the roads there are CRAZY!  Thank goodness for our GPS!  We literally had to drive passed the hotel about 4 different times on 4 different roads to get there, it was the strangest thing!  This time we stayed by the airport because a great friend was able to bless us with his friends and family discount.  Once we got there, we got settled in and went straight to bed. 

We woke up and it was our 8 year anniversary!  Perfect timing, eh?  We went downstairs for breakfast and got ready.  We were able to catch the hotel shuttle to the airport, we then had to catch the train from there.  We got off at our usual stop, New York Penn Station.  We usually get on the subway there to head to the clinic but we decided to just go up and walk for a bit.  It took us right around Times Square and we were able to see the huge Macy's!  We had originally planned on having an early lunch at our favorite diner there but since we changed our plans, we didn't really have enough time.  We just grabbed a donut and bagel from a cart along the street (SO GOOD!) and went to the clinic.

We arrived a little early but I was taken up and had to change into the gown, booties, and hairnet.  I had to wait quite awhile because I guess there was some sort of emergency situation holding the doctor up.  There was one lady ahead of me.  Once it was my turn it was super quick.  I got into the room, got on the bed, put my legs in the stirrups (seriously, I haven't had any modesty for about 5 years), and they showed me our little embryo on the screen.  I had to verify that my name was correct.  The doctor came in and told me what a beautiful embryo it was.  He thought I had a normal delivery however I told him I had to have an emergency c-section and he said that it could potentially lower my chances of conceiving due to the scaring from the surgery.  

He inserted the speculum, put the ultrasound want in, and it all started.  It was amazing to watch them take the embryo in the catheter and put it into my uterus on the screen.  The technology is incredible!!

Afterwards he told me that he "expected me to get pregnant".  He was incredibly nice and he was actually the same doctor who did my transfer with Avery.  I got off of the table immediately after and went and laid back in a chair for 30 minutes.  After that, I received a shot in my buttox of HCG. The nurse also commented on what a beautiful embryo it was.  She told me to continue my medication (1 Estrace pill per day and 3 Prometrium suppositories per day) and to not make myself bedridden for the next week and that walking is the best medicine!  

I will be having my blood test on Tuesday.  Which is now only a day and a half away!  Being so busy has really helped keep my mind off of it, which is good.  Tomorrow might be a little harder because it is back to the usual routine of work.  It was awesome having the last week off.

Anyhow, after I was done there we went to our favorite diner to eat and went back to the hotel.  We rested for awhile and then later ordered in dinner and it was SO good!  It was a pretty amazing anniversary if I do say so :)

Thank you all for your prayers along the way and PLEASE keep them coming!  

I'm not really noticing any symptoms but I'm not worried about it. I'm feeling crampy on and off but that could be from anything.  When I was pregnant with Avery the only symptom I really noticed myself was a metal taste in my mouth the day before my blood test.  Ross noticed a few different things on my chest last time but I won't mention those, LOL.  This time he claims he does..but he's always the positive one!

I will post on Tuesday once I know something! Thank you!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tentative Transfer Tuesday!

Yepp, you read it!  Things have progressed perfectly so far and I am tentatively scheduled for our embryo transfer on Tuesday!  This is provided my blood work Monday is okay.

Tuesday is going to be an incredibly special day.  First off, it will most likely be our embryo transfer.  Secondly, it is our 8th wedding anniversary!!  Is that not crazy timing?? Amazing.  It will certainly be a special day.  The only thing that is bothering me about the day, is that we will indeed miss the funeral for someone very special to us.  
I have tried to think of people that could possibly just go with me so that Ross could stay back (as he was asked to drum for the service).  I haven't had any luck..I mean, really it is short notice and people DO have lives! :o)  I even asked Ross if I could just go alone..but he definitely wasn't for that.  

I will start 2 medications tomorrow:  Progesterone and Estrogen.  The Progesterone is going to break me in the bank.  It is almost $300 for what looked like only 20 days :(  It will be worth it though, it's one medication that can really help keep a pregnancy.  
So, that is it in a nutshell.  We will probably leave Monday evening after our friends calling hours.  Please pray that my blood work comes back as it should and that we have safe travels.  Also, please pray that the transfer goes well!
Thank you ALL!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Your prayers and kind words are appreciated!!

I wanted to take some time to say thank you to all of you who have sent positive thoughts, kind words, and prayers.  You don't know how much they mean to us!

When battling infertility, a lot of people battle it alone or just with their significant other.  A lot of this is from keeping the battle on the down low and not being public with it.  We were very quiet about all of this for a good 3 years or so.  First off, it's rather embarrassing.  Not that it should be embarrassing, but you aren't really sure who WANTS to hear about that intimate part of your life??

We REALLY made this journey public when we started the clinical trial.  We had asked for prayers at church and shared our journey prior to, and our close friends and family knew, but that was really it.  I will never regret letting the world know that my female anatomy isn't up to par, because not only am I NOT embarrassed of it, you wouldn't believe how many people that have come to me who are/were battling it themselves.  To me?  That made it all worth it.  

I am so thankful that people feel comfortable enough with me that they can come to me and either ask for advice or encouragement.  I feel like God put this roadblock in front of me (us) for a reason, and by golly, I will make something of it!   

Really, that isn't the whole point of this post.  My point is how thankful I (we) are to all of you who have supported us along the way.   People we haven't talked to for years have chimed in with such nice things to say, people whom we are very close to, coworkers, etc.  All of these things have had a lasting impact on us.  Whenever we feel down or stressed, we have been able to count on all of you and we will forever be grateful.  

I know that so many of you are praying for us as we are on our 2nd journey to having a baby and let me tell you..your prayers are being answered!!  

Today, we realized we are hurting a little bit financially because a check (for a rather large amount, mind you) hasn't come that we were counting on a few weeks ago.  This check was to cover the majority of my monitoring appointments as we have to pay out of our pocket for everything.  We had planned on having 1 appointment to pay for this week, however it turns out I have to be seen again tomorrow..which means more $$.  Of course NOW my body wants to hurry up and do what it's supposed to ;o)

Our account is currently negative but we aren't going to worry about it because we know it will work out.  Our biggest concern was how in the world we were going to pay for my appointment tomorrow.  Was I going to write a check and hope that it didn't go through until Friday?  We had NO idea what to do.  Last I checked (which was about a week ago), I had $98 on my HSA card and our savings was down to $80.  This wasn't going to pay for my appointment.  So, Ross asked me to check how much was in my HSA account and what do you know?  We have the EXACT amount plus about $7!!  SERIOUSLY??  Our prayers and all of your prayers have been answered.  It just worked out like it was supposed to.  THIS is why we aren't letting ourselves get stressed.  This is costing us a lot of money, but we know (and hope and pray) that it will be worth it.  

Let this be a lesson that your prayers go A LONG way!!  Even just a few minutes of your time is a true blessing to us.  

Going forward, I ask that you pray for us emotionally (this can get VERY stressful at times and heartbreaking), physically (that my body does what it is supposed to do and the transfer works out), financially (that we don't have to do too many more monitoring appointments), timing (that we are able to be here for a dear friends funeral on Tuesday), and also for our safety (we have to travel to NYC for the transfer itself).  And of course, please add to the list if you feel necessary :o)

Thank you again to all of you who have supported us, talked about it with us, cared enough to ask about it, prayed about it, and who have just loved us.  I tear up when I think about how many people truly love us and are praying that this works out for us.  Thank you, and we love you ALL.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our 2nd journey is officially underway!

Ross and I have made our 1st trip of our second journey to New York!  This was for my Hysteroscopy that pretty much kicks this cycle off.  This was an eventful yet relaxing trip, and I can honestly say that it is my favorite trip there ever.  The hardest part was leaving Avery for a few days, but I know she was in excellent care and we called to check up on her every few hours.

We dropped Avery off Saturday evening and we hit the road early Sunday morning. It started out rainy but about 2 hours in, the sunrise was absolutely beautiful.  Not only was it beautiful, but it was almost calming.

The drive there seemed to fly by.  We arrived in Newark, NJ around 3:15 which was about the exact time we had planned on getting there.  We checked into our hotel, freshened up a little bit, and then head into the city.  We had made the decision to stay overnight because I was due at the clinic at 7am on Monday, and the thought of another driving through the night trip REALLY didn't sound appetizing.  

We had decided to go to Times Square.  We had been there before but not for very long and we thought there would be a little more to see there.  It was amazing (as if it could be anything else)!  We went to Toys R Us, The Disney Store, American Eagle, ate at the Shake Shack, and finished up by going to Dylan's Candy Bar..or so we thought!  Right near Dylan's Candy Bar was this beautiful park set up with little shops, an ice skating rink, and a carousel.  It ended up being Bryant Park, which isn't a park I had ever heard of.  It was too cool!  Let me also mention that the weather was in the 60's and absolutely gorgeous!  Anyhow, we walked through the park and peeked into a few of the shops.  Ross insisted that I get a head wrap type thing that I had been really wanting so I did get one of those.  We didn't buy anything else except for a Mickey Mouse from the Disney Store with an I <3 NY shirt on.  I hope one day that little girl knows how special NYC will be to our family.  

We decided to try to make it back to the hotel rather early since we had to be up at 5am the next morning.  We knew it would take awhile to catch the train and Subways to the clinic.  We got back and were in bed by 10pm..which I thought was great! Right?! Well, it WAS great until I was woken up at 1am by an alarm going off in the hallway of the hotel and flashing lights outside!  We had to be evacuated from the the middle of the our pajamas.  This was lovely!  We were outside for about a half hour and we never really found out what the problem was.  It wasn't a fire or anything, but we were told something about a wedding party and some of the guests got into a room they weren't supposed to be in..who knows.  For the rest of the night, Ross and I were never really able to go back to bed.  5am came awfully fast!

We were quick at getting ready, we had JUST gotten to the shuttle right before it took off, and we caught the train into the city..all in great timing!  We navigated on the Subway like it was just yesterday that we were there for our first journey and ended up to the clinic about 15 minutes early.  I got signed in and was given a paper that I needed to be seen by billing before any services were provided.  I crossed my fingers that it wasn't something serious.  It just ended up being that I had to pay for the Frozen Embryo Transfer and the months since June for the storage fee.  I was then told that I WAS AT THE WRONG CLINIC!!!  The girl was like "you didn't know to go to the Columbus Circle office?", I was like "no, I didn't even know anything about the other office" and she proceeded to say that the person who scheduled it may have just assumed I was a regular patient there and just would have known.  Luckily she just called over and told them we were on the way and told us to get a taxi.  It didn't take long to get there and it was our FIRST NYC cab ride!  It was pretty uneventful (thankfully)!

We got to the clinic for my Hysteroscopy and I must say, it was beautiful! Much different than the other one we had always been to.  Not that the other one isn't nice, this one is just much newer and more modern.  I was called back, I changed into my gown, booties, and hair net and waited to be taken back.  The anesthesiologist then called me and walked me back.  I got on the table, and while she was putting my IV in the doctor was just talking to me.  Next thing I know, she told me to enjoy the Bahamas and I was OUT!  After that, I slightly remember getting shaken and then walked to the recovery area.  I was feeling pretty crampy.  She came back in to check on me and said I didn't look so hot so she gave me a shot of some sort of pain medicine in my IV and then I felt wonderful!  I was in recovery for probably 45 mins to an hour.  I got my paperwork and had my FMLA forms filled out and we were on our way!  We made it back to the hotel around 11:45 and checkout was at noon so we made perfect time.

The ride home felt like forever even though I slept for most of it.  Ross was a true champ driving all of the way home..granted I couldn't have even if I wanted to.  I was SO tired I could barely keep my eyes open.  The last time I had it, I was the same way.  The BEST part was picking up our Aves :)  She LOVED her Mickey!  

I am feeling okay now.  I have been bleeding pretty heavily which they said can last for 7-10 days.  I'm not cramping too bad but I have had a few dizzy spells, and earlier at work I felt absolutely horrid and sick to my stomach for about 45 minutes.  I'm not really sure what that was about but I'm thinking it could possibly be from the antibiotic I am on.

Our next step?  Monitoring this coming Monday.  We have decided to do the monitoring here so please pray that everything works out smoothly.  Also, they will especially be checking my endometrial lining to see if it is thick enough to proceed with the transfer this cycle or if we will have to wait for keep your fingers crossed that it works out! I will keep you posted!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Oh, to NYC we will go!

It's true!  Ross and I will be beginning another journey to NYC!  We are proceeding with doing a frozen embryo transfer this month (provided all goes well)!  We decided to do this officially a couple of weeks ago.  It has been a little stressful coordinating things from a different state but I know that if we did it before, we can do it again!!

Thankfully, this time around there won't be as many trips necessary and we are even able to do some of the monitoring here in Ohio if we choose.  We are trying to decide what to do because it will cost us more money to do it here in Ohio, but of course it will be a lot harder to travel back and forth.  

We decided to do this because we have one frozen embryo left and felt it was the right time.  I am a giant ball of emotions right now about it all.  I am excited for the journey, I am nervous, scared, hopeful, etc.  This could potentially be our last shot at having another child. I want this so badly for Avery, I feel like she deserves a sibling.  Words can't express how much I love her!  

I will go into more depth at another time, but we will be traveling to NYC on Sunday for a Hysteroscopy on Monday.  I had one of these while doing the clinical trial for our IVF.  They pretty much clean out my uterus and give it the best possible environment for an embryo to attach.  They are doing this because I have endometriosis and also since I had a c-section, they want to make sure they remove any scar tissue that may be present.  I am praying I have an easier time this time around as I had a lot of pain and bleeding a few days after the procedure that caused me to go to the emergency room.  

We decided to make a little (very little) getaway out of this trip.  We thought since I had to be there so early on Monday it would be best to stay overnight rather than drive over night like we did in the past.  We are hoping to go into the city for the evening and see a little more than we did before.  What better time to be traveling to NYC than around the Holidays?!

We are both excited for this journey, and we ask for all of the prayers we can get.  They worked last time and I pray they work this time!  Stay tuned..our next month will be busy!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Avery Hope is 20 months!

Hi everyone!

I figured since it has been awhile I should update on my miracle, Avery Hope.  I always vow to stay up to date and to post consistently but I am REALLY going to make an effort.  

Avery amazes me every single day.  She is talking like crazy, sweet, adorable, smart, fun, etc.  I could go on and on for days!  I know of course I am bias but she seriously amazes me at how smart she is.  There isn't one day that goes by that I don't look at her and think about how lucky I am to have her in my life.  It makes every bit of our journey worth it and words can't express how much I love her!!  

On Friday we put up our Christmas trees. Yes, plural.  We have our own tree and Avery has one.  Last year she didn't really care about it, but this year? OMG.  She LOVES it.  When I mention going downstairs, she said "Tree".  When we pull into the driveway, she says "Tree".  She LOVES it!  On Friday all we had on it were the lights and every time the lights weren't on, she made us plug them in..LOL!  Today we bought a few more ornaments for her tree.  I handed her a clip on butterfly that we bought and she went straight over to the tree and tried to set it on a branch!  I just sat and was amazed that she had any idea on what to do!  Her tree is decorated with pink and white LED's with mostly pink ornaments with some other colors like orange and blue.  

Life isn't ALWAYS beautiful.  She throws her occasional temper tantrum, but that is certainly to be expected :)  I just try to enjoy every single bit of parenthood that I can, good AND bad.  I'm just thankful I get to experience it.  

This week is Thanksgiving and I am SO excited!!  Last year Avery was just beginning to eat table food so I am really excited for her to enjoy it this year.  We went to Sams Club today and they had a ton of samples and one she REALLY liked was pumpkin cheesecake!

We have really enjoyed Christmas shopping for Avery too.  I have a feeling she is going to be spoiled, just as she was last year :)  I seriously can't help it though, we waited SO long for this and she is just so special.  I'm anxious to watch Christmas shows with her.  She already loves Christmas music..we play it in the car.  The other day she got mad when I turned the channel! LOL!  It's amazing to see her personality come out and see what things she really loves. 

Avery still loves Mickey Mouse and has started watching a new show called Bubble Guppies.  It could quite possibly be the cutest TV on, LOL.  She loves to do puzzles, "read" books, color, etc.  She REALLY loves dogs.  Any dog she sees she wants to pet.  Actually, she really loves all animals.  We have now acquired 3 fish and a tank due to her, LOL.  We went grocery shopping and she wasn't feeling that great so she wasn't too happy so daddy took her to go look at the "fishies".  She didn't want to leave them, so we decided to get her some.  They still haven't gotten old to her! She loves to feed them each day and watch them :)  

We also have been doing a Mommy and Me gymnastics class every Saturday morning.  She has done SO well there!  She is able to now do a somersault on her own now and can walk across the beam without slipping off.  All in a matter of 6 weeks!  SO cute!

Well, I know that I missing a ton but I have to run.  I'll keep posting :)  Here are a few updated pics of our little miracle.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

He was a Daddy before he was a Daddy

In honors of Father's Day, I wanted to take the time to recognize my husband and what a great Father he is and WAS even before we were physically parents.  

I am truly blessed to be married to a man who is so dedicated to his family.  He is an amazing Father.  Our schedules don't allow us to have much family time but he is home everyday during the day with Avery.  They go for walks, he takes her shopping, they bring be surprises at work, he bathes her, he cuddles with her, he LOVES her.  As much as I hate that we don't see each other through the week, I KNOW that out of all of this, AVERY is the one who is blessed.  She is with 1 of her parents literally every hour of the day.  These days, I just don't trust anyone to keep a babysitter.  

The title of this entry is "He was a Daddy before he was a Daddy".  I think this stands true for any couple who battle infertility and go through treatments.  I see how dedicated Ross is to our family now and it was no different before we had Avery.  He went to EVERY single appointment when doing treatments including blood draws, he watched the screen closely during ultrasounds, he held me when I was in tears because a cycle didn't go our way or had to be cancelled, he took time off of work when he needed to, he took a class on how to give me injections, he gave me my injections and reminded me to take my pills, he held my hand through ALL off it.  As I look back, I knew then that he would have been a great Father..but those were amazing signs at how he was going to be with our daughter.  He did what it took while battling infertility PLUS more and it never stopped.  

Father's Day and Mother's Day used to be 2 of the hardest holidays when battling infertility.  Now? They are incredibly amazing and we cherish the opportunity to be able to celebrate them as parents.  He always made it a point to still get me a gift and a card from our future sweet is that?  He always seemed to have more hope than I did, and looking back I appreciate it..then? Not so much :)  

This is a short post, but I knew I needed to take the time.  I am so blessed and I am so thankful that Avery has such an amazing daddy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week: A harsh reality of what goes into a cycle

I am going to go ahead and put a disclosure on this post and say that it MAY be graphic, so if you don't want to read, DON'T.  But, this is a harsh reality of what may occur during a cycle when you are going through infertility treatments. 

I am NOT kidding, don't read if you can't handle it..I'm not going to hold back.  It is National Infertility Awareness Week, so I am going to make you aware :)

First off, in order to suppress cysts (if they are present) you may be put on birth control pills.  This may not sound like a big deal, but it's just the start of getting pumped full of hormones. 

The dreaded Aunt Flo.  When she comes, that is when your cycle starts.  We call this Cycle Day 1.  When she is present (generally cycle days 1-5), this is when we pretty much pop Pamprin, are bloated, wear mattress pads, sleep with heating pads, and feel like we could throw up from the cramping. 

Sometimes in a cycle we are put on a tiny pill called Clomid.  This pill is generally taken for 5 days (it is the doctors discretion as to when it is to be started) and it helps with producing eggs for ovulation.  This little pill has a HUGE affect on you mentally.  Never in my entire life have I ever experienced such mood swings.  I called these "the Clomid Crazies" and I am not kidding.  You can also experience hot flashes as if you were going to menopause.  Nothing looks more crazy than driving down the road with your head out the window when it's 20 degrees out.

Injectibles are often times used as the step AFTER Clomid.  These stimulate your ovaries and produce eggs (and yes, eggs is supposed to be PLURAL).  There is a much higher chance of multiples with injectibles.  These are once again started at the discretion of your doctor and what days they feel necessary.  ALSO, they will decide what dosage you are to be given after monitoring (which will be discussed next).  One medication for example that may be used is Follistim.  You are given a "pen" looking thing and you load it with what you receive from the pharmacy.  I ordered these through my mail order pharmacy and it came equipped with a sharps container, gauze, alcohol pads, tons of extra needles, etc.  My medication had to be given in the stomach at least 1 inch away from my belly button.  These are given according to the size of the eggs you are producing, once they are mature you discontinue.  By the end of this time, your stomach is full of dark bruises and someone might think you have been punched in the gut one too many times. 

During a cycle with injectibles (whether it be with IVF, IUI, etc) you may be monitored by your doctor.  Generally this starts with getting blood drawn and heading down to the office at the butt crack of dawn.  Once you are taken back to the room, you have to do the typical "dress from the waist down" and cover up with the not so covering paper sheet, the doctor comes in (mind you, it may not be your doctor..just whoever had the early shift that day) and your feet go into the fabulous stirrups.  You scootch your butt to the edge of the table and an ultrasound wand (aka "wandy") gets shoved up you to see how thick your lining is and how many follicles/eggs are there and their size.  This is the moment of either continue with the meds, you are ready to go, or your cycle is cancelled all together because you have been overstimulated.  If you are to continue the meds, you are told to either come back the next day to repeat it all (which means MORE blood work..we pretty much look like we are heroin addicts at the end), you proceed with the next step, or you go home to sulk and cry because the 7 shots you gave yourself in the stomach didn't matter.

The next step is probably another shot.  This shot though, can be a mother of a shot.  I had to give mine to myself in my leg, however when I did Invitro they gave it to me in my butt.  It is NOT always a small needle.  This shot is an hCG shot which is given to you generally 36 hours before the doctor wants you to ovulate.  This is used whether it be for timed intercourse, IUI (intrauterine insemination) or for IVF (which would be for an egg retrieval). 

Intrauterine Insemination could be done next.  Your partner goes in, does his "job", and they "wash" the sperm to get rid of the bad ones.  You put your legs in the fabulous stirrups, the doctor inserts a catheter into your uterus, and then puts the sperm into the catheter which puts it into the uterus.  They have you then lay there for a little while to let the sperm swim around and hopefully find your egg.

IVF (invitro fertilization) is another option.  I won't go too much into depth but you generally go through an egg retrieval (where they take your eggs out of your ovaries).  They then do what they need to do in a little petri dish and you then have to wait a certain amount of days (depending on your doctor, if your embryos have fertilized, etc) for them to be put back in.  Once there are (or IF) viable embryos that have fertilized well, they will then be placed into your uterus.  You then go though the dreaded 2 week wait.

Last up is a beta..which is a pregnancy test by blood.  Once again, more blood work...once your arm is healed from all of the drawing, there's MORE!  This is then the fate of your future..think you could focus on anything but waiting for the results that day?  Right. 

This is just general information and information from experience.  Not all cycles are the same and not all of the same things happen in the same order.  I just wanted to put into perspective of what we might be going through during a cycle, when you wake up 1 day pregnant and all it took was a night out at the bar. 

I hope you learned something, and until tomorrow!

(by the way, disregard things that don't make sense, I am SO tired!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week: The PAIN associated with Infertility

Bear in mind, that I am SO blessed and SO lucky to have finally been given a beautiful daughter.  But, the PAIN that is associated with infertility is unforgettable.  I post these so that you can either A) relate to the pain and be assured that you aren't crazy for feeling that way OR B) UNDERSTAND what a friend or family member may be going through and try to be supportive of their feelings.  Some of the feelings WE feel both physically and mentally:

Angry:  There are SO many times we feel angry.  We feel angry when a long awaited cycle is cancelled (because your body is yet again not working right).  We are angry when we sit and ponder WHY this has to be happening to us. WHY our bodies aren't working like everyone elses.  We are angry when we are given bullshit diagnosis's.  We are angry when friends and family aren't supportive, etc.

Annoyed:  We get annoyed when "fertile" people complain when their back is hurting from being pregnant.  We are annoyed when you complain about ANYTHING relating to pregnancy!!  We wish that you would see how LUCKY you are to be pregnant and we would give ANYTHING to be able to experience the morning sickness that YOU are complaining about.  We are annoyed when you don't realize what a true blessing that baby keeping you up in the middle of the night is.  WE WOULD TRADE YOU PLACES ANY DAY.

Bitter:  We are bitter at pregnancy announcements.  It happens.  It's hard to see pregnancy announcements day after day on facebook.  MANY of us cancel social networking accounts because of this.  Put yourself in our shoes, please.

Disappointment:  This happens A LOT.  Imagine this:  Walking into your doctors office after shooting yourself in the stomach for 7 days in a row in the stomach, only to be told that the medication wasn't working the way it should and your cycle has to be cancelled.  The disappointment is have worked SO hard only to be told to "forget it". 

Discouraged:  We feel discouraged often and we constantly need reminders of "hope" from our fellow infertile friends that it WILL happen. 

Miserable:  There are SO many ways we feel miserable.  Physically we feel miserable when our ovaries feel like they are the size of grapefruits after being pumped with a crazy amount of drugs to make eggs..this sometimes even results in having to go up a size or two in your pants because of being so bloated.  OR, there are the times you are so miserable and bruised on your stomach, legs, butt, and arm from being "shot up" every day.  Giving yourself shots every day and getting blood taken every other day for monitoring makes us look like we are heroin addicts.  It HURTS.

Guilt:  Whether the infertility be because of the man, woman, or both, the guilt can cripple a relationship if it's not talked about.  For example:  I felt SO guilty for not being able to provide my husband with a child.  I felt like I was keeping him from his dream.  I honestly thought about leaving him because the guilt was so terrible.  Who was I to keep this man who would be an AMAZING father from being one?  This weighed heavy on my heart, and I know that it does every single person who is battling this right now.

Indecisive: Do we keep trying to conceive? Do we attempt IVF?  Is adoption for us?  Should we use donor sperm?  Should we use a donor egg?  Do we live childless?  SO many decisions that affect your lives. 

Embarrassed:  We feel embarrassed because our bodies don't work right.  We feel embarrassed in the beginning when we have to open our legs to 5 different doctors in 1 week because THAT'S who has the early shift.  We feel embarrassed to talk about it because it seems like we are the ONLY ones who are going through this hardship.  That is what this week is about..getting the word out so that we don't have to be embarrassed any more!

Skeptical:  We are skeptical if a procedure or medication is going to work.  Cycle after cycle  we see a negative sign over and over again, yes we are skeptical. 

Lost or Alone:  We feel lost in this world.  We feel that our calling to be parents has been lost.  We feel lost because we have no one to talk to.  We feel like we are the only ones.  Did YOU know that infertility affects 1 in 8?  Indeed we are NOT alone..but it certainly feels like it.  We feel alone when it seems NO ONE understands.  Not your best friend, not your friends, not your mom, not your siblings, NO ONE..including your significant other.

Pessimistic:  I can honestly say this was me more times than not.  The WORST thing you can say is "it will happen when the time is right".  Pretty much anytime this was said to me, my eyes rolled.  My doctor would think "this is the month" but do you think I did?  Absolutely not.  5 years later I knew better.

Fatigue:  You wouldn't believe how tired the stress and medication can make you!  It is EXHAUSTING to go through the testing, the meds, the 2ww (two week wait before your period after ovulation), and not to mention if it's a failed cycle..when you're PMS'ing.

Frustrated:  We are frustrated because no one seems to understand or know the right thing to say to us.  We are frustrated because our cycle is another bust.  We are frustrated because our bodies aren't working the way they should.  We are FRUSTRATED.

Terrified:  We are terrified at the fact that we may NEVER be parents, can YOU imagine never getting something you are working SO hard to get?  Terrified at the proposed procedures or medications your doctor wants you to try next. Wouldn't you be terrified to give yourself a shot every day?  I guess this is worse for some people than others..but it's VERY scary at first especially!

Anxious:  During the 2ww (two week wait) after ovulation, we are SO anxious.  Anxious for our beta (pregnancy test by blood) or the date you are supposed to take a hpt (home pregnancy test).  These 2 weeks couldn't go by any slllooooowwwweeeeerrrrr. 

Crushed/Heartbroken:  Nothing hurts worse than seeing a negative pregnancy test.  ESPECIALLY when you thought for SURE that this month was it.  This was the first time I physically could feel my heart HURT.  You spend the 2 week leading up to the big day by thinking every single pain or twinge is a sign that you might be pregnant..only to realize you couldn't be less pregnant.  We feel our hearts breaking also when we realize that the baby we have finally conceived is going to miscarry..I have seen this happen to WAY too many of my friends.  My heart aches for them.

Offended:  We are offended by insensitive comments.  It's not cool to say things like "so, are you pregnant yet?" or "it will happen" because here's the thing..YOU don't know DON'T give us false hope!  We are offended by your complaints of your kids keeping you up at night, we are offended at your insensitivity to the fact that we can't conceive what we want most.

Grief:  I am SO lucky to have not suffered through a miscarriage, BUT, many of my friends have and grief is something they have to deal with for a VERY long time.  Too many of my friends have tried to conceive for years only to it result in losing the baby.  Grief fills MY heart for I can only imagine how they feel..Lord willing, I will never have to feel that.

I have made a pretty decent list, but you all need to know that this doesn't even cover HALF of what we feel.  This week is for Awareness, so that's what I'm doing, I am making you aware of infertility and how it affects those going through it. 

Remember that infertility affects 1 in 8, so chances are you KNOW someone who is feeling all of the things listed above.  PLEASE be more aware, choose your words wisely, and be there for us!!


It's National Infertility Awareness Week!

Yepp, you read it right, 1 week dedicated to spreading the awareness for those battling infertility.  I feel that this is such an important week and we need to make those going through infertility know that they aren't the only ones!!

If you don't know me, here is quick bit about OUR battle with infertility:

My husband and I started trying to conceive (now) over 6 years ago.  After about a year and I half I just knew that something was seriously wrong.  I was referred to an OB, had an HSG (showed clear tubes) and did 4 rounds of Clomid after he decided there was no more he could do for us.  We were then referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) who then did more testing, I did 2 more rounds of Clomid (added a trigger shot), injections (Follistim and trigger), had a Laparaoscopy (diagnosed with stage 2-3 endo), and Follistim + trigger + IUI (artificial insemination), ALL with NO luck.  This was all over the course of about 2 and a half years.

I was then diagnosed with 'unexplained infertility' (i.e the biggest bullshit diagnosis in the WORLD) and was told that IVF would be our only option.  We had NO way to pay thousands of dollars for IVF so God worked his magic and placed an IVF trial study in our hands and there it happened!

Reading this, it doesn't sound so bad...right?  THINK AGAIN.  There are so many more things to say but if you want to know more about our journey (as far as the IVF trial study) please feel free to read back on my previous posts. 

This is the start to my posts, stay tuned as I'm about to blog another :)


Friday, March 11, 2011

Houston, we have an embryo left!

Well, you heard it!  We finally heard back from New Hope and we DO indeed have 1 frozen embryo there!  We have been trying to get in touch with the clinical research coordinator for nearly a year to find out the status.  We wanted to know so that we had some closure if they ended up destroying it.  It's kind of interesting on how we finally found out!

I searched for New Hope Fertility Center on facebook just to see if they had a page and there ended up being one, so I 'liked' it.  I left a comment on their wall stating my appreciation for the clinic and everyone who worked there because they were all so fabulous.  The next day I got a message from the administrator of the page thanking me for leaving such a nice comment and that the clinical research coordinator was also appreciative for me saying those things.  He proceeded to then ask me if I would be interested in doing a video interview for the clinic!  They are putting together positive stories, I'm assuming to show patients or those interested in the clinic.  

I immediately said yes and said that I would be willing to make a trip back to NYC to do so.  I just try SO hard to give others HOPE that are going through the same thing, and I REALLY owe the clinic that.  Infertility is a heart wrenching thing to go through and I HATE seeing people go through that kind of pain.  I want to put my story out there for them so they hang on and see the beautiful outcome.  

I told him that we will be vacationing in Florida in April and that I would like to come in May for the video, so he wants me to get in touch a little closer to then and he said he will make it work.  I feel VERY flattered to have been asked to do such a thing.  I will never TRULY understand the reasoning God chose me to be infertile, but what I can do, is help others through it as best as I can.  And who knows, maybe that's why he chose me.  

At any rate, we still have an embryo so we need to decide shortly on if we plan on leaving it banked in NYC or if we want to bring it back to a clinic here and PRAY we will one day have enough money to do a Frozen Embryo Transfer.  It's amazing the things that we will do for our kids, both future AND present :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My little miracle is 1!!

Hey everyone!!  

Well, I know I've been MIA lately but life here has been SO crazy!  We moved into a new house in February and then only had about 3 weeks to get Avery's 1st Birthday party all together.  The move went great and her birthday and party went even better!!

On Friday (her actual birthday), we did a few errands to finish up getting ready for her party..but not before I made her a pancake breakfast!  In the evening we went and had dinner with Ross's family to celebrate and finished the night by coming home and letting her tear into a cupcake!  (For practice for the big party, of course!)

On Saturday we had her actual birthday party and it was GREAT!  We had over 50 people come and it went as smooth as it possibly could with that many people in 1 house!  The theme was "1 Big Apple Birthday".  For those of you who don't know, New York City is VERY special to us, as that is where the clinic was to where we traveled back and forth about 15 times for an IVF clinical trial.  We figured we would chose it this year since it's one of the birthday's we actually get to choose :)

Here are a few pictures:

So, there are just a few pics!!  I will post later about how Avery's doing :) Which, btw, she is doing GREAT!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Avery is almost 1!!