Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Christmas


Merry Christmas to everyone!  I feel so very blessed to have an amazing husband, wonderful family and great friends!  Wishing everyone a wonderful day filled with happiness!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

10 weeks

I'm stealing this from another blog I follow :)

How Far Along: 10 weeks

Size of Baby: 2 inches, 0.3 ounces, lime sized (according to my phone app)

Picture of Baby: I'll get another on January 5th.

Maternity Clothes: Nope- though jeans are getting uncomfortable.

Weight Gain:  I've actually lost a few so far due to not wanting to eat in the evenings.
Belly:  Matt gets his new camera for Christmas on Sunday so he said he wants to take a pic then!

Stretch Marks: None.

Sleep:  I'm exhausted all the time. I fall asleep on the couch almost every night!  But I also wake up at least 2 times a night to use the bathroom.

Best Moment of the Week: Hearing the heartbeat for the first time today at a strong 160 bpm.

Movement: Nope, too soon.

Symptoms: Exhausted, nausea, heartburn.

Food Cravings: Nothing really.

Gender: We'll find out at 18 weeks.

What I Miss: Peanut Butter- Matt has severe allergies to peanut butter and I heard it is good to avoid it if you or your spouse has allergies.

What I'm Looking To:  Celebrating Christmas and sharing the news with friends soon!

Nursery: It's an empty room upstairs right now that has been sitting for 3 years...soon enough we'll think about getting to work on it.

Weekly Wisdom: I'm just enjoying every minute of this experience.

Milestones: Kicked out of my RE office and just being a normal patient at my OB office- after 3 years of trying, that seems huge to me.

Emotions: Excited, nerves are calming down, extremely blessed and lucky.
 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

7 weeks

We are officially at 7 weeks today.  Our first ultrasound was yesterday and went very well.  We have one little gummi bear making home for hopefully the next 9 months!  We could even see the tiny flutter of a little heart.  It was amazing and I was bawling my eyes out.  I was graduated from Strong in Rochester and have my first OB appointment on December 21st.  My ovaries are a little enlarged still from the IVF meds but Dr. H said that should continue to get better.  I have to continue on the Crinone until at least 10 weeks as well.  Our approximate due date is July 17, 2012.  We feels absolutely blessed right now!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

4th Beta

I had my 4th and final beta yesterday.  The levels rose from 808 on Monday to 2596!  The nurse said things looked great and we scheduled my ultrasound for November 28th.  I will be 6 weeks and 6 days at that point so we should see something!  I'm feeling a little better and a little less nervous and as I've seen those numbers rise.  I think a heartbeat will really calm my nerves.  I just feel so grateful that this is happening.

Monday, November 14, 2011

3rd Beta

I had my 3rd hcg draw today and my levels rose to 808!  I'm quite happy with that jump since Friday when we were at 218.  The lady who took my blood today was the sweetest thing.  She told me how her son and daughter-in-law suffered through infertility and how it all worked out for them.  She was so sweet and happy for me and said she would keep us in her prayers.  That was just the nicest thing.  I'll be back there on Wednesday for another blood test.  The nurse said my levels looked fine but that Dr. H still wanted another hcg test done.  A friend mentioned that maybe they want to see my numbers get over 1000...so close yet so far away!  No update on any ultrasounds yet. 

I've been absolutely exhausted every day.  Each night I get a bad case of the burps and feel pretty queasy.  Luckily no barfing so far!  The symptoms remind me that this is real and not all just in my head.

Friday, November 11, 2011

2nd Beta

I had my second hcg test today.  We went from an 89 to a 218.  The nurse said that it is just fine (more than doubled) and even said congratulations.  I repeat it again on Monday (this is normal for my office).  I am so happy it went up and just hope it continues.  It would be nice to just think normal and not worry but I can't help it.  It's been too long of a road to get to this point.  Hopefully Monday we'll have some more good news!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Results

I am shocked that I am even posting and writing this.  Our 2nd IVF worked- my hcg came in at 89 this morning.  I started testing positive on Sunday and have gotten 5 positive tests since then.  I'm so nervous and apprehensive but I'm trying to stay positive.  I repeat the blood work on Friday morning.  The hope is to see that my hcg level doubled during those 48 hours. 

To put things in perspective, we started trying to get pregnant when Obama was elected to be president.  We've been through a year on our own 3 rounds of Clomid, 5 IUIs with Femara, 4 IUIs with Bravelle and 2 IVFs.  It's been a long road and we are still cautiously optimistic and nervous about it all.

Even more to my surprise, I actually have some symptoms.  I'm exhausted and have been for a few days now.  Last night I thought I was going to throw up after dinner and had the same feeling again tonight.  I'm burping up a storm after eating too.  I think red sauce will be avoided and ketchup will need to be in moderation.  I'll take all of it. 

Thank you everyone for your support and prayers.  I'm continuing to use this holy oil my mom gave me each day in hopes of keeping things on the right path.  If everything goes well, it looks like we'll be expanding our family in July of 2012.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Are you in there little fetus?

I happened to watch "Friends" last night and it was the episode where Phoebe had her embryo transfer for her brother's babies.  I couldn't help but laugh when she started singing "Are you in there little fetus?  In 9 months will you come greet us?" while sitting with her legs up in the air.  Gotta love "Friends!"  We'll know about our little fetus in one more week.  The wait is killing me.  I've still been crampy each day (we are 8 days past retrieval and 5 days past a 3 day transfer).  I'm getting more nervous for this weekend.  It was around that time with our IVF that I started spotting.  I just keep praying that this will be it and we'll have our own little miracle to greet us in 9 months.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Frosties

Well we got some great news yesterday- we had 5 make it to day 6 to freeze as blastocysts!!  Woohoo!!  I'm feeling so much more optimistic this time around!  That means that we now have 8 one-cell and 5 blasts on stock...although I'd be much happier if this worked this time around and we wouldn't have to worry about those guys for a while! 

Please keep us in your prayers still!  We appreciate it all so much and will keep you in our prayers too!

Monday, October 31, 2011

#644 How to Survive an Infertile Halloween



Taken from: http://www.999reasonstolaugh.com/2011/10/644-how-to-survive-an-infertile-halloween/

This time last year, you were starting your first IUI. So how come, a year later, you are no closer to a pregnancy? Another infertile Halloween. Sigh.

Here are some tips on surviving another infertile Halloween:

1. Dress snazzy this Halloween! Dress up as a bottle of Folic Acid, a broken uterus, a negative pregnancy test or an 8.2 celled embryo fertilizing in a petri dish (note: not all costumes are available at Walmart).

2. When kids ring your doorbell, resist the urge to keep them. Stealing a child is very wrong but thinking in your head that you wouldn’t mind keeping your neighbor’s child is perfectly acceptable.


3. Answer the door sobbing and tell the first kid you see about your last failed cycle.

4. Rent the scary movie about the single fallopian tube and its immature egg quality.

5. Give out raisins for Halloween. Eat all the chocolate yourself because you deserve it.

6. Leave a note on the door that says “Sorry kids. No Halloween candy here because I’m ovulating tonight!”

7. Put on a beard and tell everyone you’re dressed as a woman with PCOS.

8. If anyone in your office dresses up as a pregnant woman, mention to your boss that she asked to work overtime this week.

9. Go to your morning fertility appointment dressed as a positive pregnancy test.

10. Answer the door with a smile on your face and hope in your heart. You may not be pregnant this Halloween but one day you will take your future children out trick or treating.

Only an infertile could despise a holiday that is dedicated to chocolate, candy and sugar. Eat up!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Transfer


Everything went well with the transfer today. We transferred two grade 3 (out of 4) eight cell embryos that were treated with the assisted hatching process. Dr. G was very optimistic, which was much better than our worries from our first transfer after growth had slowed. Along with the picture of the embryos above, we received a picture of the embryos post-transfer. If you look at the right dark spot in the picture, you can see some white specks- those are the embryos and the fluid used to transfer them.  We are trying to be hopeful and could use and prayers to help us out!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Retrieval and Fertilization Report

Yesterday was retrieval.  Everything went well!  We got 32 eggs this time- 28 of which were mature and 21 fertilized.  We are having 5 frozen this morning at the 1 cell stage.  The funny thing is that we ended up with the exact same number of mature eggs this time around but 3 more fertilized.  I'm hoping that is a good sign.  I feel pretty lousy yesterday and that is continuing so far today.  I'm so glad I took off today as well as yesterday. 

I started the Crinone (in place of the progesterone shots) yesterday as well as the antibiotic and steroid for the assisted hatching.  We will be transfering at 11 am on Friday!  My plan for today is just to relax and lose the pain so that I can get back to school tomorrow before leaving Friday for the transfer.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ultrasound #5

I'm done!!  My retrieval is all set for Tuesday morning.  We need to be at the office at 9:15 for a 10:15 retrieval time.  My E2 topped off at 4924 today...much better than last time!  I'm nervous and anxious for everything this week.  I have a bunch of follicles so who knows how many we'll get this time around.  I'd be fine with 2 if it meant they were perfect and would result in a pregnancy.  I take my Ovidrel shot tonight at 10:15 and need to stop drinking water or eating tomorrow before bed.  We are just going to make the drive Tuesday morning, which I think will be better too.  I should have Dr. G for my retrieval again.  I'll get directions for my Crinone and assisted hatching meds at that time.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ultrasound #4

Another day- another ultrasound.  I'm up to 17.3 mm for my biggest follicles.  Dr. H counted about 10 on the left and maybe 20 on the right.  My E2 is now at 4000.  My dose of Gonal-f was dropped to 75 IU and my Menopur dose will remain at 75 IU.  It looks like tomorrow will be it and should be my trigger night.  That means Tuesday for retrieval and Friday for transfer.  I go back again in the morning for another appointment with Dr. H just to make sure everything is good to go.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ultrasound #3

Today brought on day 9 of stims and ultrasound #3.  Most of my smaller follicles spent the past 2 days catching up to be around 13 mm.  My E2 level is now over 2300.  I'm a little nervous about it getting higher and not being quite ready for retrieval yet.  My Menopur was lowered to 75 IU while my Gonal-f will remain at 150 IU for tonight.  Ugg I'm just so ready for the stims to be done.  I head back again tomorrow morning for another ultrasound and another round with the vampires of blood work.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ultrasound #2

I had my 2nd ultrasound yesterday.  I'm still at around 18 follicles with my E2 level being 948.  My biggest follicle is now measuring 11.7 mm.  I return again tomorrow morning for more blood work and another ultrasound.  It's getting closer!

Monday, October 17, 2011

1st Ultrasound

I had my first ultrasound today.  My E2 level is at 236, which is normal I guess.  I had 18 follicles growing- all under 9 mm right now.  I will continue with 150 IU of both Menopur and Gonal-f tonight and tomorrow.  My next ultrasound is Wednesday morning at 7:30.  The travelling back and forth to Rochester is a lot tougher this time around with being back at school.  Oh well!  If it all works, I won't be complaining one bit!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stim Time

I took my first 300 IU dose of Gonal-f this evening- I guess we're back in it for real now!  I continue with that dose tomorrow night.  Saturday and Sunday I drop to 150 IU of Gonal-f and add in 150 IU of Menopur.  So far my doses are the same as the first IVF.  But I am being brought in sooner for an ultrasound (Monday).  I also heard back from the office today regarding the assisted hatching idea.  We are a go for that too.  I'll have to do a few more days of antibiotics and steroids starting on retrieval day to prepare for the assisted hatching.  I truly feel like we are doing everything possible this time around.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baseline

I had my baseline appointment with Dr. G this morning.  He was the same doctor that did my first retrieval back in July.  He remembered my crazy 46 egg fiasco.  The ultrasound and blood work showed that I'm ready to go and I have the green light to start stims on Thursday night (10/13).  I re-confirmed that we would definitely be doing a day 3 transfer vs. a day 5 last time as my embryos starting struggling by day 4.5.  I also asked Dr. G to consider if I should do assisted hatching.  Basically assisted hatching is when the embryologist somewhat "cracks" the "shell" of the embryo.  This makes less work for the embryo.  It would be possible to do this because we are definitely doing a day 3 transfer.  Dr. G said he would definitely look into it and talk to the team about it tomorrow at their meeting.  I trust whatever decision the doctor's make- I just want to do everything possible to make this IVF my last cycle. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Peace out Apri

I'm officially off the birth control (Apri)!  I'm glad that part is over!  The Lupron is going well so far.  I received the huge box of meds in the mail on Wednesday with 4 boxes of Menopur, 4 boxes of Gonal-f (I now have 7 boxes) and syringes and tips.  Of course I had to take a picture of the mess.


I also picked up my 4 boxes of Crinone and anti-biotic at Wegmans last night. I wish their shopping bags were not so translucent so I did not have to walk through the store with a box labeled "Vaginal Progesterone Suppositories!"


Yesterday was a bit of a rough day as well.  My cousin's wife, who I mentioned on a previous post as being extremely nosey about our infertility business, told me she was pregnant.  We work together at an elementary school.  She came to my classroom after school, shut the door and told me.  I felt so cornered and locked in.  The worst part was the she continued to give me advice on getting pregnant.  She suggested "the lube that you kind of inject up in you."  Thanks, I've tried Pre-seed every single month for almost 3 years.  "You need to relax more.  I know I was stressed after a few months of it not working."  Shut up- seriously.  Don't complain about 3 months.  And don't tell me to relax and imply that I'm doing something wrong.  Finally, in a moment of panic and hoping to get her to shut up, I spilled all about our treatments.  She still didn't get it that our chances of natural conception is about at zero. 

I cried a lot last night and was lucky to have my husband there to take me out for a much needed margarita.  My mom suggested that maybe she talk to my aunt (the twit's mother-in-law) and explain what is going on and tell the twit to leave me alone and stop giving unwanted advice.  I think maybe it is time that some more people in our family know for that exact reason.  As Matt said, some family members might already be wondering why we don't have children have almost 4 years of marriage. 


I'm doing better today.  I can't let her bring me down.  We have no reason why this IVF shouldn't work this month.  I have to focus on that and just move forward.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Attitude

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, gift, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes. "

~ Charles Swindoll

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hello October

Well it's October 1st and everything began today.  I had my first dose of Lupron this morning.  I'm as ready as I could possibly be to go through IVF again.  By the end of the month I'll be waiting for results, assuming all goes well.  Six more days with birth control and a week and a half until stims.  This should be a fun month...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A little of this, a little of that

This entry may end up being completely incoherent but I wanted to get a few things off my mind in healthy manner (AKA not flipping out on the first 2 people).

1.  One of my best friends in the world has not been a very good friend lately.  D and I have known each other since our freshmen year of college 11 years ago.  Last summer I was the Matron of Honor in her wedding to her now husband that I also knew in college.  D is aware of the struggles we have faced with trying to get pregnant- I don't tell many but since she is such a dear friend, I wanted to share it with her.  The last time I really spent a great deal of time chatting with her about anything was April- right after my surgery.  It hasn't been for a lack of effort.  I've tried calling and texting and always get the same response- I'm busy but we will catch up soon.  About a month ago after our failed IVF, I spilled my every emotion to her in an email about what had happened.  I got the same busy excuse.  I feel hurt at this point.  I don't ask for much in friendships- just for someone to be there when I need it (which I don't ask for help very often).  I don't know how to handle the situation.  If she can't at least pick up the phone or email me back after me sharing my IVF story, then I don't know how well of a friend she really is.  It breaks my heart to even think that.  A friendship should be a two-way relationship.  No one can be that busy that they can't spend 5-10 minutes checking in on someone.

2.  I am quite furious with my cousin's wife right now.  A little backstory- we mentioned something over 2 years ago about wanting to get pregnant (back in 2009).  That summer she and my cousin got married.  While at her wedding, she drunkenly introduced me to her friend who is a nurse to give me fertility advice.  So inappropriate!!!!  She has been nosey off and on since then but I haven't shared anymore information as we decided to keep the IVF part of all of this pretty private.  Well randomly last week she brings up her friend again and how her friend works at an infertility clinic 5 hours away and we should go there.  Um shut the hell up I wanted to say.  Today I get a call from her saying that she talked to her friend again and she got the pricing on all the fertility treatments from this friend.  Again, so inappropriate!!  I  didn't ask for her opinion or advice or for some random person to get involved with my life.  I swear I almost yelled at her through the phone.  I just told her that we aren't doing anything and we aren't interested in the information.  Uggg- people are so dumb!

3.  I feel extremely fortunate for the friends that I have made through infertility.  It's amazing as to how I feel like I've known some of them forever.  I only wish that I could have made our  circumstances for meeting different.  I would be lying if I said that it is still bittersweet when some have gotten pregnant and I am still struggling.  But I'm trying to just figure it all out the best I can.  It will never be worth losing a friendship over and I, of course, wish them nothing but the best.  I hope I get to be apart of the momma-to-be side of it all real soon and my infertility friends become my mommy friends.  Hopefully, if any of them read this, they won't be offended too!!  

4.  Lupron starts Saturday- let's get this show on the road.  It all kind of snuck up on me this time.  Maybe it's a good thing to be busy with school so I don't obsess over it all.  I'm ready to just do this and hope for better results than this summer.  Three years of TTC is quickly approaching- I hope we can end this journey at 2 years and 11 months.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Schedule- updated

I have my schedule for IVF #2 officially set now.  I started birth control pills on 9/11 and will continue them until 10/6.  Lupron begins on 10/1 and stims will begin on 10/13 and my retrieval will be the week of 10/24- just as was discussed at my last consult and what I expected.  The office has a team meeting on Tuesday to discuss upcoming cases- mine will be discussed at that point.  After that I will get my calendar in the mail and can start re-ordering meds.  The good news is that the Lupron shortage seems to be done so I can order through an approved pharmacy and not pay as much for it.  My insurance approval should be getting run soon as well so we should be good to go soon!  Let's get this show on the road!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

10 years ago is a date that I will never forget- 9/11/01.  I was a 19 year old sophomore in college.  I remember watching the coverage all day in my dorm room with my suitemates.  I had an afternoon class that I went to.  My professor walked in, said that his sister was missing in NYC, and left.  My college had many people from the NYC area and we held a candle light vigil that night.  Today I find myself drawn to the coverage again.  It's hard to believe that my current 6th grade students were only a year old at the time.  They have no recollection of the events.  Life has changed so much since then.  I can only hope that my students and that future generations will never have a day like this to be witness to.

Friday, September 9, 2011

CD 1

Finally my period decided to show up.  It's kind of light right now but enough for me to do my blood test so that I can start moving forward with the IVF.  I'll start the pills on Sunday and should get called Monday about getting a schedule going.  Ahh I'm so happy to be done with this month!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Late

I am 3 days late for my period right now.  I have never been late in my life.  I've always cycled at about 28 days.  I have no idea when I ovulated so I can't use that as a judge of things for this month.  I'm so frustrated about it.  I'm hoping that my failed IVF cycle did not mess with my cycles and everything--that would s-u-c-k.  I am just so ready to move forward with our 2nd IVF and I don't want keep waiting around for things to progress. 

I know some of you might be thinking that I could be pregnant.  Ha.  I highly doubt that!!  Our MFI is pretty bad so I doubt we'd end up with a natural pregnancy.  I refuse to even buy into that idea at this point after probably approaching 35 negative months at this point.  Stupid body- get your act together and bring Aunt Flo to town!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wake me up when September ends...

I really have nothing new and exciting to write about in terms of IVF.  I'm waiting for my period to come soon- hopefully early next week- so that I can start the birth control pills.  Then it is more waiting until early October to start everything else.  I am looking forward to getting my calendar and getting organized once I get my period.

School has been so hectic.  I've been there from 7 am until 5 or 5:30 pm each day and could still spend hours working at home.  I'm exhausted from that.  I'm just hoping that things calm down big time before October rolls around.  My class in interesting so far.  I have 22 lovely 6th graders- 10 boys, 11 girls.  I teach at an inner city school so there is always cultural differences to contend with.  This group seems much less mature (street wise) as last year's crew.  It's a good and a bad thing.  Hopefully it will be mean a lot less drama and a lot more good days.  I know most teachers cringe at the thought of kids at this age but I actually really enjoy it.  You can talk with them and do a lot of fun things for lessons but they are still kids at heart.  We'll see how things are looking in another month or so!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Making peace

I think I am finally feeling at peace with our failed IVF.  I've been able to talk about without crying since letting it all out again on Monday at my infertility support group.  Hanging on to failure is only holding me back in reaching my goals.  It's not like me to focus on the negatives and things that are out of my control.  If anything my new 6th grade class has helped me to remember that.  I tell them all the time to just let go of issues that they might have and that sometimes it isn't worth it to hold onto anger or hurt.  Now I need to follow my own advice.  We are about a week or so away from my period.  I can't go forward feeling sad all the time.  I have to remember that we another chance at IVF soon and this could be it.  I can't control how it all turns out.  But I can make sure that I am in the best place physically and emotionally going into it.

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Space Between

It's been 2.5 weeks since our official failed beta...and about 1.5 weeks until the start up of birth control pills for IVF #2.  I feel lost in this space between failure and hope.  I haven't been able to let go of all of my emotions from our failed IVF yet.  I'm not sure if I should keep or throw out the picture of our two transferred embryos.  I want to move forward and leave that all behind but it is hard to just let it all go.

I'm ready to move onto IVF #2.  This time will be different- a lot less anxiety about how it all works but more anxiety with being in the middle of the school year.  They will hopefully stim less so we won't have a 46 egg surprise.  I won't be on those awful progesterone shots (I still have marks from the allergic reaction).  Everything should, in theory, go better since they know what to expect.  Maybe when we are actually doing something for round 2 I'll be able to fully let go of round 1.

"The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more..." ~Dave Matthews Band

Friday, August 19, 2011

Acupuncture

It's been nearly 2 weeks since we officially got our negative beta on our IVF.  Since then I've been searching for answers and things that I could do to try and make our second attempt a success.  A few women in my support group suggested acupuncture.  After doing a little research with Dr. Google, I learned that their are some connections between acupuncture treatment and infertility treatment.  The idea behind acupuncture is that energy flows through your body along various pathways.  Infertility (or other illnesses) occurs when these pathways are blocked.  The placing of the needles along the blocked pathways allows for the body to restore it's natural flow of energy.

I went for my first appointment this afternoon.  After completing a brief survey, the doctor (I guess he's considered a doctor?) also realized I have headache issues and have issues with sleeping.  Those were things that he could address as well.  I will admit that I was extremely nervous about the whole thing.  But it wasn't that bad- especially compared to all those fertility shot needles.  I relaxed with needles sticking out of me for maybe 45 minutes or so- I was shocked that I sat that long.  Overall I feel good about it.  It wasn't that painful and I'm willing to try anything to help our IVF be a success in October.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

#652 Mark Zuckerberg is not an Infertile

I recently read a post on a blog entitled 999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility.  The post was reason #652- Mark Zuckerberg (maker of Facebook) is not an Infertile.  Apparently Facebook now lets you put "I'm Expecting" in under your family part with a due date announcement and baby's sex and name.  Seriously.  I've already blocked any app that posts information about progress through pregnancies.  I already avoid looking at ultrasound photos and really don't post congrats to friends anymore.  Now I have to avoid looking for that??  I really dislike you right now Mark Zuckerberg.  You are destroying my Facebook obsession.

The blog listed infertility related things that should be posted to Facebook.  I could not stop laughing after reading them.  Here are some of my favorites:

"I just got my period and I'm crying on the toilet."
"We're having timed intercourse so don't call us tonight."
"My embryo retrieval was a lot of fun."
"I'm not pregnant yet so stop asking."
"I don't want your fertility advice."
"I just stuck a fertility needle in my ass."
"I'm not expecting but can I steal your baby?"
"I cried at a baby shower."
"I check the toilet paper 400 times a day."
"I have fertility drugs in the fridge, right next to last night's lasagna."
"I glared at a pregnant woman's belly this morning."
"I cried in the McDonald's bathroom when I found out my cousin was pregnant."

Here is a link to the specific Facebook post.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Making Babies

A friend of mine introduced me to the Making Babies program (book by Sami S. David).  I haven't ordered or read the book yet.  But I did take a fertility survey on the website to see my fertility type.  Apparently I am tired (which completely makes sense to me).  Here is the info I got when I finished the quiz:


Tired

SYMPTOMS:
Often feels weak or lethargic
Prone to getting sick
Gets out of breath and sweats easily, gains weight
Poor appetite
Prone to bloating, gas, and loose stools
Low sex drive
Short luteal phase
Feels cold: hands, feet

WESTERN MEDICINE:
Hypothyroid
Low progesterone
Luteal phase defect
Metabolic disorders

TCM PERSPECTIVE:
This type is called kidney “yang” deficiency in TCM, and reflects a broader hormonal imbalance going beyond reproductive hormones and encompassing the thyroid, adrenals, and pituitary gland.
Weakness in these systems affects metabolism, circulation, and thus reproduction.

ADVICE
More animal Protein
Avoid raw and cold foods
Alcohol in moderation
Consume warming soups and stews, and spices: cinnamon,ginger, cayenne, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, cumin
Regular moderate exercise

SUPPLEMENTS:
Royal jelly
Wheat grass
Chromium (boosts metabolism by enhancing the action of insulin)
L-arginine
Chasteberry (helps sustain post-ovulatory progesterone)

A lot of this sounds just like me as far as the symptoms.  I'm tired a lot of the time, have been diagnosed with low progesterone and a luteal phase defect (a while back) and gain weight easily.  I'm going to try and do some of the things and see if I notice any difference.  I might see about getting the book as well (although it makes me sad that I can't get it on the Kindle).  To be continued...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Goodbye Summer

Today marks my official first day back at school.  This will be my 8th year teaching- my 4th back in New York.  I started summer vacation 7 weeks ago in a completely different mind set.  I was so hopeful and optimistic about our IVF working and returning to school pregnant.  I've been through so many ups and downs this summer.  I've had some really good times with family and friends.  I've suffered one of the biggest heart breaks that I think I've ever had with our failed IVF.  But I go back to school with 99% of the teachers and staff having no clue as to what I've been through this summer.  I am glad for that so that I don't have to deal with questions and explaining how it didn't work.  This is the 3rd time I've returned to school hoping to be pregnant.  It sucks and makes me sad that so much time has passed and nothing has changed.

Stating a new school year is kind of like a chance to start over.  I start with a fresh classroom and a new bunch of students (hopefully better than the last).  I have to look at this as a new start with our IVF and be hopeful for better outcomes. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Plan

I got a call from the doctor's office this morning.  After talking to my insurance company they found out that any transfer would count as one of our 3 covered transfers.  So we've decided to get more bang for our buck and go for a fresh IVF cycle versus a frozen embryo transfer.  We felt this would possibly give us more chances to be successful especially with changes to my doses, doing a day 3 transfer and not using the Progesterone shots. 

I got my period Monday so the plan is to take this month off to be drug free and just be me.  We'll start the birth control pills with my next cycle and take those through October 8th (most likely).  We'd be looking at starting stims on October 15th and the retrieval would be the week of October 24th.

I know that it will be more difficult doing the whole IVF cycle during the school year.  I just don't want to keep waiting.  Plus if it worked in October it would still give us a possibility to have a baby lined up with summer vacation next year.  My plan is to try and lose 10-15 pounds between now and the beginning of stims (I got on the scale today and had gained 4 pounds through this IVF) and get myself as mentally and emotionally strong as possible.  I will probably talk to my principal upon returning to school next week to make sure that this will all be OK (I have plenty of sick hours to use).  So here's to a new beginning and hopefully better results!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Follow up appointment

Matt and I met with Dr. H this morning as a follow up to our failed IVF cycle.  The first thing we discussed was how I magically ended up with 46 eggs and how that could have effected things.  Even up to my trigger day I was only showing 15 or so eggs in the ultrasound.  But I guess my estrogen shot up to over 6000 that day, which was not really good.  So change #1 would be to not use as high doses of stims as we wouldn't want to sacrifice quality for quantity of eggs. Also the high estrogen could have made it harder for implantation.

After the retrieval, everything still looked great and I had the 18 fertilized eggs.  They were growing wonderfully until around day 3 after the retrieval.  Dr. H is thinking that maybe the growth slowed because the embryos weren't responding well to the culture environment in the lab.  Looking back she thinks it would have been better to do a day 3 transfer and have the embryos back in me sooner.  Change #2 would be to do a day 3 transfer regardless of the number of eggs to get the embryos back to the natural environment. 

When it comes to our 3 frozen embryos, Dr. H actually suggested we tried using those first (as long as my insurance wouldn't count a frozen transfer as one of our 3 IVF procedures).  A frozen embryo transfer would require a lot less monitoring and I wouldn't have to do any stims.  Taking out the stims removes the spike in estrogen, which could have made a difference.  I showed Dr. H my lovely reaction from the progesterone oil and it was noted that I can't take that (no matter which route we take) and I will probably go on a progesterone suppository.  She had no doubt that we could be successful and said that many couples who use frozen embryos are successful once the stimming is removed. 

So we are tentatively planning on moving forward with the frozen embryo transfer in October.  I wanted to get through the first bit of school before doing anything.  If our insurance company counts this as one of our IVF cycles in coverage, we would rather do a fresh cycle and save the frozen embryos.  Dr. H was going to have someone on staff get ahold of our insurance company ASAP so we can figure out which route to take and get moving forward.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

And the results are in...

We got our official negative pregnancy test this morning.  As much as I was expecting it, it still hurt to hear the words for real.  Between Lupron, stims and progesterone I've done a total of 61 shots since we started this round of IVF.  It's been a bumpy road that I wish had better results.  I will call Monday to schedule our follow up appointment.

We also realized that I have an allergy to the progesterone oil shots over this past week.  The shots have made me miserable.  I have been itching like crazy and have huge red welts on my back.  I also have a few bruises from it as well.  I am glad those are over and look forward to not clawing at my back soon.  No matter what we will not be using those shots next time (I spoke to a nurse about it today and she agreed after seeing my back). 

So now we move forward...as a friend told me...
"Everything will be OK in the end. If it is not OK, it is not the end." -Anonymous

Thursday, August 4, 2011

2 days until beta

I'm hanging in there.  I feel so lucky to have family and friends that have been so supportive over the past few days.  I haven't cried in 2 days and I'm feeling better in accepting that our IVF may not have worked.  My spotting greatly decreased yesterday and has been basically nothing since last night.  I took a pee test this afternoon and it was, as expected, negative.  Once we get the beta, we will be able to close this chapter if needed and look forward.  I'm hoping that we can meet with Dr. H ASAP and come up with some sort of plan.  What sorts of questions would you ask your doctor after a failed IVF?  Here is what I've come up with so far?
-  Since we have MFI, what were the sperm counts and quality?  Did that have any effect on the results?
-  What was the quality of the eggs and embryos transferred?
-  Should we complete any other tests, especially due to all of the spotting?
-  Should we try using our 3 frosties?
-  What is involved in a frozen embryo transfer?
-  If we did a fresh IVF cycle, do you still think we could be successful?
-  Should any changes be made to our IVF protocol? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Talked to Nurse

I spoke to a nurse a couple hours ago about the bleeding.  She said to continue taking the progesterone and wait for the beta on Saturday.  She also said that it should be too early for my period with the progesterone.  I went over what it looked like and how much (yeah gross) and she gave me possible reasons for the spotting.  I was told to try and relax and take it easy the next few days and wait it out- it could still all work out.  I'm trying to not lose hope with it but it is tough.  I feel better after calling and speaking to the nurse though.  So now it's back to the couch and trying not not cry anymore.

IVF #1 = epic fail

It's over.  I thought the spotting was stopping this morning but I was wrong.  I didn't need to wait for blood work on Saturday or take a test.  I have my period.  Our first IVF failed.  My heart is broken.  I just can't believe it didn't work.  I just want to curl up with Lucky and do nothing until Matt gets home from work. 

I guess the next plan is to call the office to see if I can stop the progesterone shots and get my blood work done tomorrow morning.  Then we'll have to decide what to do next- use our 3 frosties or wait to do a fresh IVF cycle. 

Is it even worth trying the frozen embryos if this cycle failed?  What went wrong?  Will this ever work?  Everything looked so good and I was so optimistic about it all.  Matt and I were talking as if it had actually worked for the first time.  We talked about having our April baby, setting up a nursery and what names we might like.  That's all done now.  My eyes and head hurt from crying.  I don't want to even have to tell Matt or my parents and sister.  I feel completely broken hearted. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Losing hope

Today marks 10 days past my retrieval and 5 days past my 5 day transfer.  Today welcomed me with spotting as well.  I'm crushed.  I've cried so much today.  My faith and optimism in this working is slowly drifting away.  I can't believe that this could be all a failure.

I know, spotting can happen early on in a pregnancy or can be due to the progesterone shots.  But I don't buy it.  I have spotting for a day or two before my period starts usually anyways.  With just about every injectable cycle I started spotting at this point as well and those were all epic failures. 

My beta isn't until Saturday- 5 more days, 5 more progesterone shots.  I almost would rather just find out now and get it over with if it is negative so that I can stop the shots.  We have a family BBQ Saturday and the last thing I want to do is be a complete mess in front of my family who will have no idea as to why I would be upset. 

I'm not sure what we would do next- I guess perhaps we would look into our 3 frozen one-cell embryos and possibly to a FET this fall.  I just can't process this all right now.  I'm hoping and praying that this spotting is nothing but it's not looking good.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

One week of waiting down...

One week of my wait is over.  I think I'm losing my mind already.  I'm over analyzing everything going on.  I've been off and on crampy since my transfer on Wednesday and keep thinking that it has to be my period.  I've sat on the computer, googled pictures of embryos and their quality, and compared them to mine.  I've been optimistic and I've been a pessimist.  I just don't know what to think.  I don't know how I would handle another heart break- especially after all we just went through with the IVF. 

I have tried to keep busy.  I recently finished reading the book "When We Were Friends" by Elizabeth Joy Arnold.  It was a fantastic book and I would highly recommend it to anyone.  I also saw the movie "Crazy, Stupid, Love" yesterday.  It was super funny and cute.  A little retail therapy also helped to pass the time yesterday as well!  I have 2 more weeks left of summer vacation (charter schools have longer school years).  I'm looking forward to a new bunch of students but not looking forward to going back to work and early mornings quite yet. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Transfer

We had our transfer yesterday morning.  Our embryos were a little behind in terms of growth but Dr. H said that is should still be OK and they picked the best 2 to transfer.  It was pretty easy- kind of like an IUI.  I had some cramping for the rest of the day but it was tolerable.  I go for blood work tomorrow to check my estrogen and progesterone level (I get 50 units of P.I.O. each day already).  Our official blood test is on August 6th.  Here is a picture of our 2 embryos:


We did get some disappointing news this morning, however. None of our remaining embryos made it to the blast stage for freezing. I almost started crying on the phone when we got the call.  I hate to feel disappointed but I was really hoping we would have something- just in case. Now I'm worried that maybe the 2 little ones in me won't make it and that scares me to death. We still have the 3 that they froze at the one cell stage and would get insurance coverage for 2 more cycles...I just don't want to think about having to do it again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Waiting

Tomorrow is the big day of the transfer.  I haven't heard any updates from the RE's office since Saturday.  I'm figuring that no news is good news.  The transfer is set for 11 am.  They already froze 3, which is very encouraging.  That leaves 15 of 18 fertilized embryos for tomorrow (assuming they are all still growing).  The plan is to transfer 2 and freeze whatever remains.  It's a weird feeling knowing that somewhere there are little pieces of Matt and I growing together to create a new life.  I honestly feel hopeful for the first time in 2.5 years.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A dozen and a Half

We got a call this morning from Dr. S, the IVF lab director, with our fertilization report.  Of our 46 eggs, 28 were mature and 18 fertilized!!  We are so excited!  We never expected this type of number to work with!!  Dr. S said that we are still planning on going forward with a 5 day transfer on July 27th.  He will, however, keep an eye on things and can change it to a day 3 of growth slows, which would be on Monday. 
I'm feeling better today- not quite as much pain.  Matt did his first progesterone oil injection on his own this morning as well (he helped give it to me yesterday).  It wasn't as bad as I expected and he did a good job!  My plan is to just take it easy the rest of the weekend and enjoy some relaxation, movies and time with Matt and Lucky.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Retrieval

The retrieval went quite well this morning. We drove to Rochester last night and got to the office at 7 am. I went back and got hooked up to the IVs (and bled all over the place but at least she got it in). The waiting/recovery area had places for a few patients and Matt got to be with me for all but the actual procedure. After meeting the doctor, Dr. G rather than Dr. H, I walked back to the procedure room and got my nap. According to Matt I was out for about 20 minutes. He heard me blabbing with doc and nurses, then I got silent. Then they were saying my name, waking me up and got me back out to the recovery.

I have no memories of any of this! I guess I kept asking how Lucky (my dog) was doing (we left her alone last night) and asking about the number of eggs. So here is the big news...Dr. G retrieved 46 eggs!! I am in complete shock right now. I thought Matt kept saying 4 until I was little more with it. I still can't believe it. I'm paying for it some now with quite a lot of pain. I was able to get a prescription pain killer, so that has been helping some. We got discharged at around 10:30 ish so it was a fairly quick morning. Dr. G insured me that the lab was going to have a busy morning doing ICSI on those eggs!!

Now I'm just waiting for my call tomorrow for info on fertilization. The hope is that they will have a good deal of eggs fertilize and in good quality. If that happens, I'll be doing a 5 day transfer and hopefully go in on Wednesday. I'm hoping that the quantity of the eggs doesn't hurt the quality of the eggs and we get some great embryos.  Thank you to all of the wonderful messages of support that I've been getting. It means the world to me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Time to Trigger

Holy crap!  My folicles are good to go!!  I take my trigger shot (Ovidrel) tonight at 8 pm.  Tomorrow will be a joyous day of no injections and Friday will be my egg retrieval!!  I have so many emotions whipping through my brain right now.  Excited about the real possibility of getting pregnant.  Nervous about not having enough eggs or something going wrong.  Overwhelmed on the possibility of it not working.  That's the part that scares me the most.  It's crazy to think that we are actually ready for this.  I am going to try and remain calm and not freak out when this all goes down on Friday!  By the way, here is a picture of my follicle sizes as they measured this morning.  The nurse had a tough time getting some into focus so who knows what will actually come about on Friday. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Update

My estrogen level is now at 3297- I guess that is good!  There were too many folicles to keep track of this morning (at least for me) and my biggest was almost at 15.  Ahh I can't believe how close we are to the retrieval!!  It could be by the end of the week!! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Just keep growing

Today brought on another ultrasound and blood work.  Dr. H did my ultrasound today and said that everything was looking great.  I had 11 follicles on my left side (13 was the biggest measurement) and 4 on the right side.  My blood work level is now at 1200.  I'm continuing on the same doses and return for a repeat on Monday morning.  Dr. H is thinking that my retrieval will most likely be either Thursday or Friday of next week!  I sometimes can't even rationally imagine in my head that we are actually doing IVF.  I never would have, in my wildest of dreams, imagined that we would be here.  And now here we are- a week away from the retrieval and a few days further from transferring real embryos.  I hope that we get lucky this time around- I can only hope for a miracle.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

First Ultrasound

Everything is looking good so far.  I had my first round of blood work on Tuesday and my estrogen level was at 72.  At that point my Gonal-f was upped to 225 IU and Menopur remained at 150.  I had my first ultrasound this morning.  I have 12 follicles (9 on the left, 3 on the right) - all below 10 right now.  My estrogen is now up to 461!  My meds are staying the same and I go back in Saturday morning for another round of blood work and another ultrasound.  Other than a nasty headache the last few days, things are going well.

I did have a slight mishap last night.  I drove to stay with my sister at her apartment closer to the doctor's office.  I did well with remembering all the meds but forgot the QCap for the Menopur.  So I improvised and used the needle to draw up the meds.  I had a slight panic attack with that!  Hopefully it will all be done by next week at this time!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Three Shots a Day

Tonight I added in Menopur to my nightly routine of shots.  As I somewhat expected, it stung some going in.  Other than that, I'm doing ok.  I also had my Gonal-f shot, which was definitely easier than the Menopur.  The damage from tonight is shown below in a photo.  I have a 6:40 am blood work appointment scheduled for tomorrow morning. 


I'm feeling hopeful tonight- a dear friend in my support group found out she was pregnant today!  We needed some good news!  I know I call them the support group but they are dear friends to me now and I couldn't be happier for her and her husband!!  I can only hope to be so lucky with our upcoming IVF!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stim baby stim

Last night I took my first dose of Gonal-f (300 IU).  This med was completely new to me so I was a little bit nervous about taking it.  I watched the video online a few times (yeah, I'm loser) so that I felt more comfortable with doing it.  Everything went well- no bleeding or bruising so far.  I do 300 IU again tonight then decrease to 150 IU tomorrow while I add in 150 IU of Menopur.  I've heard quite a few negatives about Menopur so I'm not looking forward to that.  I go for blood work Tuesday morning and get new directions after that.  So far I'm feeling pretty good about it all.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

CD1

My period started today...yay!  I also had blood work, my baseline ultrasound and mock transfer with Dr. H.  I am happy to report that everything went well.  My ovaries looked great- no cysts!  The mock transfer was fine too.  Dr. H used 2 different catheters and was able to measure my uterus so she will know where to deposit the embryos.  After that Matt and I signed a bunch of consent forms and reviewed the calendar one more time with one of the nurses.  I am so happy and excited to be moving forward with all of this!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Done with the pill

I am officially done with taking the birth control...after 5 weeks!  Woohoo!  I will not miss taking that silly little pill each day.  I'm 6 days into Lupron as of this morning.  I had a couple of mornings with a great amount of redness at the injection site but that seems to have cleared up.  My boobs are sore and I feel bloated too.  At least I haven't had any severe side effects that could come along with it.

As ready as I am to move forward with everything that comes along with IVF, I also realize that I am getting more nervous about it.  I'm not necessarily nervous about the shots or procedures themselves.  I am more worried about if it doesn't work.  We get 3 attempts covered by insurance and that is all we are doing.  It's scary to think that this could be it in our injertility journey.  Of course I am hoping and praying for positive results but part of me can't help but be worried about the future.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lupron Day 1

Well I'm officially back in the game after taking my first dose of Lupron this morning- 10 units.  OK so it's a super tiny needle and not a big deal but I am just so ready for this after months of having no chance of getting pregnant.  I probably woke up 10 times last night with anxiety about doing the shot.  I have to do it between 6 and 9 am each day.  I'm on the 10 units until at least the 7th of July and then it will probably drop to 5 units.  My last birth control pill is Saturday too.  Not too much else going on except complete relaxation and less stress because of summer vacation.  I am so happy we decided to wait until vacation to do all of this.  I'm looking forward to spending time with Matt and family/friends, reading, relaxing and doing things around the house for the next 7 weeks!  We have a much shorter summer vacation than most schools (I work at a charter school) but you won't hear me complaining!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Injectable Teaching Appointment

I've been horrible about writing lately.  I've been exhausted with the end of the school year.  But now their is only a day and a half left!!  I've also had the stress of my grandfather being hospitalized for a few days (he is fine now- medicine interaction) and learning that my sister, her husband and my niece and nephew are moving to Charlotte in August.  It makes me sad that I won't be around the little ones as much anymore.

Yesterday was my injectable teaching appointment.  Everything went well and I'm set to start Lupron on Monday.  My last BC pill will be on Saturday 7/2.  I will have my baseline ultrasound, blood work and a mock transfer on Thursday 7/7 at 3:45 pm.  Gonal-f starts on Saturday the 9th.  I'm hopeful for it all to work out but also nervous about the whole process.  I figure it is best to just take it all one day at a time. 

It was like Christmas yesterday as well as my box of meds got to my house last night.  I can't believe how much there is!  Here is a picture of it all.  The box was so big that Lucky, my dog, could probably live in the box!




Monday, June 13, 2011

Pre-Authorization

Today, for possibly the first time ever, I was so happy to get mail from my insurance company.  It was our letter stating that we were approved for our first IVF cycle!!!  I feel like I hit the jackpot with that!  Now once we get the med situation straightened out, I'll be good to go.  Hopefully my med shipment will come by the end of the week.  Then I go for my injectable class on the 22nd and my first Lupron shot should be the 27th.  I just need to get through the last 9 days left in the school year and then it will be time to go.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2 weeks down...

...and 3 more to go on the birth control.  I absolutely hate it.  It makes me so tired.  I have no energy at night and end up falling asleep on the couch most of the time.  Uggg.  I'm also having issues with getting the Lupron.  Earlier in the week I got a call from Freedom Pharmacy about all the meds I need for the IVF.  They should be shipping it next week.  The problem is that they need to send out the request for the Lupron to a different pharmacy and need to hear from my doctor's office that it is ok to switch to the compound version (whatever that means).  I called the office a little while ago and can hopefully get this straightened out soon.  I don't need it until the 27th but would like to have it all set before then.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Schedule and Protocol

I spoke to one of the nurses at the RE office this afternoon and set up my IVF schedule.  So here it is:

5/29 until 7/2- Active Birth Control Pills
6/22- Injection teaching appointment
6/27- start Lupron injections (following long Lupron protocol)
7/9- begin stims (Menopur and Follistim)
Week of 7/18- Retrieval and Transfer; all eggs will go through ICSI\

So my job right now is to just worry about the birth control.  I am so glad that almost all of the appointments will be once I am on summer vacation from school.  I think that will help so much to not have that stress! I also need to get ahold of my insurance company to check about prior-authorization and drug coverage.

Friday, May 27, 2011

CD1...let the games begin

I got my period today...yay!  This means it is finally time to start our IVF cycle.  I did my blood work this afternoon.  I tried calling the office but they were closed for the day so I will have to call tomorrow.  I know I start the birth control pills on day 3, Sunday.  After that, it is all new to me.  I think the next step is going in for my injectable class, scheduling and getting the meds filled.  I am, as crazy as it sounds, excited about moving forward!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lupron Shortage?!?!

Tonight, at my support group, I was made aware of the lupron shortage!  This is news to me!  I should be starting my birth control for IVF by the end of this week.  The plan was to use the lupron protocol.  Has anyone else had experience with this?  Where have you been able to find the lupron?  Ahhhh!!  I don't like the thought of this screwing up an IVF cycle!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week 3 Completed

Today I finished week 3 of the Couch to 5k running program.  This week was much more of a challenge- both with the running and the weather (rain everyday- seriously).  This week consisted of a 5 minute warm up, 90 second run, 90 second walk, 3 minute run, 3 minute walk (repeat those 4 parts) and a 5 minute cool down for a total of 28 minutes.  Today I went for 2.25 miles with a 14:06 mile- which is definitely an accomplishment for me!  Bring on week 4!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

At the edge

Today I went out to a local high school for a training on their ropes course.  We are taking our 6th grade class there at the end of June.  The facilitator kept telling us to push ourselves to the edge and not to be afraid to take a step further.  I feel like I did that and look forward to taking the kids there in a month.  At the end the facilitator asked us what we would remember most about the day and who we would share that moment with in a post card.  When I shared mine, I started tearing up.  Without going into much detail, I explained that it felt good to accomplish something and push myself past the edge of my comfort zone. 

It made me think of our infertility struggles.  Each step in this journey has forced us to take a step outside of our comfort zones- past the edge.  First it was admitting that there was a problem.  Then it was seeing the RE and moving onto IUIs.  Then it was moving onto injectables.  Now the edge is IVF.  I should be starting my birth control (for real this time) by the end of this week.  It's time to take that leap of faith, trust in those around me (docs, family, friends) and go past that edge.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Week 2 Completed

As mentioned in previous posts, I'm working on completing the Couch to 5k running program.  I completed week two yesterday.  This week consisted of a 5 minute warm up, 90 seconds/2 minutes run/walk for 20 minutes and then a 5 minute cool down.  I brought my mile time down this week!  Yay!  It feels great to be accomplishing something!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Big Giveaway

Last night I met up with some of the ladies from our support group.  We've been together for about 6 months now and I consider them to be some of the most important women in my life.  Anyways, while out to dinner, someone made a comment that maybe we should get Ellen or Oprah on board to do give aways to infertile ladies.  They do wonderful giveaways for pregnant women, so why not us?  Why not  give away an IVF cycle...or even better- everyone in the crowd gets a baby!  I couldn't stop laughing with this one!  But seriously, wouldn't it be nice to get some of the big talk shows involved with infertility awareness?  So maybe I should send a letter to Oprah or Ellen that says the following:

Dear Oprah and Ellen,
I am a fan of your show and have been for a while now.  I've noticed that you have had many wonderful giveaways, especially with your Favorite Things (Oprah).  I'm not asking for a car or money- I don't want to be greedy.  Electronics and houses aren't for me either.  My request is quite simple.  Please send free fertility meds, IVF cycles or babies to us infertile women.  We deserve something nice- just like those expectant mothers that come to your mother's day show (Ellen).  I have some friends I would like to bring along too.  I imagine that we could give your audience with women having the same request!  Thanks in advance!
Lora

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mom Wannabe

Mother's Day is an important day (and I love my mom dearly) but it is a heartbreaking day when dealing with infertility.  Two years ago my sister announced her 2nd pregnancy on Mother's Day.  My nephew is now just about a year and a half old.  We had only been trying about 5 months at the time when she got pregnant...but it's amazing how much time has passed since then.  At that point I never in my wildest dreams would have guessed we would have gone through so much and still not have a child.  A year ago I was so sure that the IUI's would be our answer and yet here were are moving onto IVF.  So here I am, on our 3rd Mother's Day while trying to conceive, trying to hold it together.  Maybe I sound selfish but I don't want to go out and see all the happy Mother's Day celebrations.  I don't want to read all about the happy new moms on facebook.  It all makes me too sad and it makes me want to cry all day.  I can't do that. 

Last Mother's Day I saw this poem posted on another website and it stuck with me.  I wish for all these things. 


I want to be a Mother 
A Mom Wannabe 
By Alison Kathleen Whitney 

I want to be a Mom. But I can't. Instead, I am a Mom Wannabe. 

I want to procreate. I want to conceive a child, naturally, with my husband, in the privacy of our home, in the spirit of love and passion, in the way God intended. But I can't. 

I want to discover that my period is several days late. I want to buy a pregnancy test and pee on a stick. I want to see a + sign. I want to cry tears of joy for the news we'd discovered. But I can't. Instead, I cry tears of pain at random, for no reason and with no warning. 

I want to experience morning sickness. I want my hormones to go haywire. I want the "pregnant glow". I want to have my husband talk to my belly. But I can't. Instead, I try not to look pregnant. I don't buy clearance clothes for next year, "just in case". I try to keep my emotions from going haywire. I dream that my husband talks to my belly. 

I want to take prenatal vitamins. I want to eat for two. I want to schedule my first doctor's visit. I want to sit in the waiting room with other pregnant women and know that I am one of them. But I can't. Instead, I wonder if those pregnant women ever had problems conceiving. I think how cute they look as they waddle with their big bellies. I smile at babies that are not mine. I ache from loving someone I've never met. 

I want to hear the doctor say "You're Pregnant. Your progress is right on schedule." But I can't. I want to surprise my parents with a new grandchild. I want to tell my friends and family our good news. I want my life to change overnight. I want to read "What to Expect When You're Expecting". But I can't. Instead, I have no news to tell. I realize my life hasn't changed in years. I read "When Empty Arms become a Heavy Burden". 

I want to monitor the progress. I want to see ultrasounds. I want to hear the heartbeat. I want to watch our baby grow. I want to feel the kicks, but I can't. I want to decorate the nursery. I want to childproof our home. I want to shop for adorable, soft, tiny outfits. I want to shop at Gymboree. I want to save money for the baby's future. Instead, I imagine a crib in an empty room down the hall. I avoid baby stores in the mall. We spend our money on doctor's appointments, tests and high-tech procedures. We spend our money on a dream. We are left with an empty bank account. We are left with empty arms. 

I want to share the experience with my pregnant friends. I want to compare symptoms. I want to be the guest of honor at a baby shower. But I can't. Instead, I watch my friends get pregnant quickly. I watch their bellies grow, attend their showers, see their pictures and try to be a good friend. I watch their lives change and our friendships change in front of my eyes. 

I want my belly to drop. I want my water to break. I want contractions. I want an epidural. I want my husband by my side and my family in waiting room. I want the pushing. I want the pain. I want to hear the cry. But I can't. Instead, I feel a different pain. I hear my own cry. Yes, I even hear the cry of my husband which hurts more than I had ever imagined. 

I want to hold our baby in my arms, with tears of joy streaming down our faces. I want to experience the miracle of birth, thinking "We did it" but knowing that God did it. But I can't. Instead, I hold my husband in my arms with tears of sorrow streaming down our faces and wondering what God's plan is for us and why we have to go through this. 

I want to pray that one extra special blessing be added to my life. And I do. I pray my 1000th unanswered prayer to God and hope this time He answers. I pray for the miracle of life that only God can give. I pray that someday soon He will give it to us. 

I want to be a mom, but I can't. Instead, I am right where God wants me to be: thankful for our blessings, searching out His will, basking in His grace, trusting in His perfect plan, praying for a change in status... 

From a mom wannabe, to the mom I WANT to be. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Week 1 Completed

This evening I completed my first week of the Couch to 5k program!!  I can honestly say I am pretty proud of myself.  I had to invest in a new pair of shoes tonight.  I've had my last pair of sneakers for probably 2 years and they were killing me with blisters and cutting into my left heal.  The new pair was great!  I felt so much better about running.  Today I did 2.11 miles in 31 minutes- so about 14 minutes, 38 seconds per mile.  That is with the 5 minute walk warm up, running 60 seconds and walking 90 seconds in alternation and a 5 minute cool down.  It was a little better on the time than over the weekend so I'll take that!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Couch to 5k

My goal for this break from TTC has been to get healthier.  I've lost a little over 10 pounds but I want to do more in these 2 months I have until I would be at my first retrieval.  I started using the Couch to 5k program today.  It is a 9 week program that you use 3 days a week.  Over the 9 weeks you build up the intensity of the walk/run so that by the end, you can run a 5k.  That would be a huge accomplishment for me!  I've never been a runner so why not start now?  I enjoy getting outside and walking so I figured why not push it up a notch.  This should also help with the weight loss (I haven't worked out much at all this month because of the surgery).  This morning I did week 1, day 1.  This was a 5 minute warm up, 60 second jog and 90 second run intervals and a 5 minute cool down.  I went 2.13 miles with a 15 minute mile pace.  Yeah that's not the best pace but I hope to see improvement!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Post-op...and moving forward

I had my post-op this afternoon.  The pathology on the polyp came back normal, which was expected but still good to know.  After a quick ultrasound check, Dr. H gave us the all clear to start an IVF cycle!!  Matt and I had already discussed and decided to wait until my next period to start everything so that our retrieval and transfer would be early in my summer vacation.  I should be getting my period anytime now.  So May will be a natural cycle month with no meds.  My next period should come around Memorial Day weekend.  I'll start the birth control pills from there.  I'm so relieved and happy to feel like we are almost done with the waiting.  It's been WAY too long now!  May will probably fly by with state testing and craziness at school so that should help.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kiss my @ss infertility

Today was tough on the infertility front.  It was back to school time from spring break.  The 3 pregnant teachers (2 due in June, 1 in August) seemed to explode with belly in the week away from school.  My co-teacher's wife is due on the 30th and it's all I hear about.  Wonderful.  I'm not normally a jealous person.  Infertility has brought that trait out in me and I hate it.  I hate their enormous bellies.  I hate when they complain about being pregnant and about being fat because of it.  I can't stand looking at them or seeing them pet their belly.  It's ridiculous.  I hate that I am jealous.  To top it off, I drove down my neighborhood street to find "It's a boy" crap all over a house.  I seriously wanted to let my dog, Lucky, go pop and destroy the blue bottle balloon.  That's horrible, right? 

I don't know why I'm so bitter right now.  Most people have no idea what we're going through.  A friend recently "came out" on facebook about her infertility struggles.  It sounds liberating but I don't want the judgement that might come with it.   Although she seems to be getting a positive response and support- which sounds wonderful on the other side of it all.  I think Matt would think that I've lost my mind if I "came out" about our infertility battle. 

Over the last few days I've gotten rid of anything to do with out previous IUI cycles.  It felt great to rid myself of those constant reminders.  Here is a pic of all the shots from 4 injectable cycles.  To some that might not seem like many shots.  But each shot, each injection came with pain.  Not just the physical pain of the needle.  Emotional pain from 4 IUIs with the shots as well as 2 years of trying to get pregnant.  I had to get rid of that pain in order to move forward.  It seems silly but I feel like letting go of those parts of our infertility journey better prepares me for the IVF part of our journey.  That part will always be with me but it's time to move on.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Infertility Awareness Week

Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples.  When we first started to try and get pregnant, I never in my wildest dreams imagine that we would be where we are today- on the road to IVF.  The concept of having difficulties trying to get pregnant seemed ridiculous.  My sister got pregnant on her first month of trying with my niece.  Even after we had been trying for a few months, she was pregnant with number 2, my nephew, within a month or two.  So why was this taking so long for us?

A few months of trying quickly turned into a year.  We had told some friends and family that we wanted to start a family and were getting questioned as to what was taking so long.  Now here is one of those myths that was told to me over and over again- just stop trying and it'll happen.  Ha.  That didn't work either.  It's like people were implying that I was doing something to wreck my chances of getting pregnant by trying.  It amazed me how many times I was told to just go on vacation or get drunk and it will happen.  It still didn't happen.  We started talking about our struggles with fewer and fewer people because we were getting sick of being judged and hearing completely ridiculous "advice."  I use the word advice in quotes because I never asked for advice but apparently everyone had something to say. 

We were officially diagnosed with MFI after about 10 months of trying to get pregnant.  And yes I used the word diagnosed.  Here is another myth- infertility isn't a disease.  It's too bad that many people don't see it that way.  We were given the diagnosis that Matt had a low sperm count and low motility.  Suddenly our private, intimate moments became public knowledge to the doctors we began to see.  We were fortunate enough to have insurance coverage on our first year of treatment with IUI's and numerous meds.  We even switched insurances so that we could pursue IVF with 3 rounds being covered.  It's a shame that most insurances do not see infertility as a medical diagnosis.  Trust me, we did not and would never choose this route in our journey to start our family.

We haven't shared much of our infertility journey with many people.  Our parents and siblings, some friends and some new friends met through an infertility support group are the only ones aware of what we have and will be going through.  Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to share our struggles in a more public way.  I admire those that are strong enough to do so.  I don't want that "advice" from people anymore.  I don't want to be continually asked questions about our treatment.  I don't want pity.  What I truly want to is start my family and for people to understand exactly what infertility is. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

ABC's of infertility

I saw this on another blog...

  • A. Age when you started TTC: me 26

  • B. Baby Dancing or Sex: Sex

  • C. Children wanted: Originally 2 or 3...now I'd be happy with 1

  • D. Dogs/Cats/Fill in Children: 1 dog, Lucky- she is a Westie

  • E. Essential Oils/Vitamins/Snake Oils: Prenatal Vitamin

  • F. Fertility Meds I’ve taken:  Clomid, Femara, Ovidrel, Bravelle, Lupron, Estridal

  • G. Gain: Too much- trying to loose some now

  • H. HSG (Hystosalpingogram): Done in February 2010

  • I. Infertile Pet Peeves: "Just get drunk and it'll happen" or "Just stop trying and it'll happen"

  • J. Job title: Teacher

  • K. Kid’s names you’re afraid will be taken by the time you can use them: Connor Richard for a boy- both of our father's are named Richard

  • L. Length of time TTC: 2.5

  • M. Miscarriages: none

  • N. Number of times you’ve switched OB/GYNS, REs, FSs: One switch of RE so that we could get insurance coverage for 3 IVF cycles

  • O. Ovarian quality: No issues

  • P. POAS or wait for AF: Wait- I don't even by them anymore

  • Q. Quote from an obnoxious fertile: "It's hard being pregnant.  Be happy you don't have to do this."

  • T. Time you tried naturally: 1 year

  • U. Uterus quality: No issues- had a polyp removed a few weeks ago

  • V. Vagina: Fine

  • W. What baby stuff do you already have?: A few Christmas books, one sleeper

  • X. X-tra X-tra Hear all about it! How many people know the ins and outs of our crazy TTC journey? Both sets of parents and siblings, some close friends

  • Y. Yearly Exam. Do you still go in even though someone sees your lady parts most months?: Yes although I skipped last year

  • Z. Zits: Better when I'm off the meds


  • From http://ivf-fiv.blogspot.com/