Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bad Blogger

Yikes, it's been a while!

Thankfully, our company has gotten very busy. We were at the verge of having the "closing our doors" talk if things hadn't picked up. Sadly, I had to lay off my sales guy and cut my shipping guy's hours so DH and I are working overtime: him blowing glass and packing and shipping orders and me doing all the accounting, business stuff and making all the sales calls. Between that and the puppies, it has been crazy around here.

I felt kind of bad because my sister and her family came to visit last week and I didn't get to spend any time with them. But, I'd rather not lose our company so the fact that we are busy is a Godsend.

In some ways, I am relieved we aren't cycling right now. I don't know how I would fit monitoring appointments in. Not to mention all the fun emotions that come with meds and stimming. I certainly don't want sales to get slow again but I am hopeful that I'll be able to find a way to balance everything once I am used to doing two jobs (well three if you count the puppy care).

In other news, the puppies are doing great! They are eating puppy baby food and are running around and playing with each other; they are so freaking cute!


We had to build them a new area because they were outgrowing their box, so now they have a puppy apartment. It's a pain to keep clean but they're so cute it's worth it. Here's a picture:



DH and I are keeping one of the pups, her name is Tully and she is a cutie. I absolutely adore her and carry her around everywhere (that won't last much longer)!



They tackled each other now and chew on each other, it is quite cute!


We've gotten deposits on all of the pups, except for three of them, we've had some inquiries on the chocolate female that is still available but none on this little cutie


Hopefully, we will find her a home soon, although they still can't go to their forever homes for a month so there's plenty of time! 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sad Day

About an month ago, our sweet Pygmy goat, Grace, started falling down a lot and seemed to be wheezing. We had a big fire in the area and there was a lot of smoke from the fire lingering, so while we knew that Grace was getting old, I was  hopeful she just had a respiratory infection. (DH thought she was just getting old and was on her last legs) We brought her in the house and cared for her and dosed her up with B vitamin injections and Robitussin for a week/ She improved a great deal so we put her back out with the rest of the herd. The problem we encountered, though, is that they weren't being very nice to her. (DH was concerned that the rest of the goats were trying to thin the herd) They were constantly head butting her and chasing her away from the feed. So, like a good husband, DH built a pen next to the yard where we keep the goats. That way, she could be near the herd but wouldn't be bullied.

After a week, she was so much better, we started letting her back in the yard with the herd for short periods of time and no one was bothering her, so I moved her back in, full time. Things seemed fine, although sometimes she seemed a little less energetic than usual. Yesterday, I noticed that she was moving kind of slowly, but she wasn't wheezing or acting sick in any way so I didn't bring her in the house (with the puppies in the house it didn't seem like a good idea to bring a potentially sick goat inside). But sadly, this morning, when I went to feed everyone, she wasn't with the herd. In fact, she wasn't anywhere to be found. I called for her and called for her and looked everywhere. Then, I thought that maybe, since it had been raining, she might have gone under the shed that's in their yard (it's built on a hill so there's a clearance of about 4 feet). Sadly, that is where I found her. She looked like she was just sleeping, but after climbing under the shed, I realized that she had passed in her sleep during the night. I am thankful that she seemed to have gone peacefully but will miss her immensely. She was my favorite goat and always wanted love and affection from me at feeding times and whenever I went in the yard (as opposed to the other goats who are just interested in whether or not I have food).

My Sweet Gracie Girl




Monday, November 10, 2014

We missed O but... puppies!

For a long time, I have suspected that I only O one or two good eggs a year. While I get occasional cross-hairs on FF and positive OPKs, I never get any other symptoms of O (i.e. it's usually as dry as the Sahara down there at O time). Last year, I think I had a strong O in July and in December which was unmedicated and resulted in a CP. Wouldn't you know it, the day after the puppies were born I had a strong O? It was like a slip and slide down there ya'll. And wouldn't you also know it, we missed it due to momma's labor, delivery and complete exhaustion on our parts. DH fell asleep and I couldn't bring myself to wake him up because I knew I had to stay awake until he got up at 2 am to relieve me from puppy duty. I knew that if I woke him, he'd sleep later than 2 and I would have to stay awake longer! Now of course I am bummed and wish I had woken him but hindsight is 20/20.

Sigh.

On the plus side, we have puppies. Lots of adorable puppies. I love them, I love snuggling them. But I will say that it's a damn good thing they are so cute because when I have to get up to supervise feedings three times a night and look around our house and see that it looks like a bomb went off, I am none too pleased with them. But then I see these little faces and my heart melts!






Thursday, November 6, 2014

Puppies


The puppies have arrived! Dakota went into labor yesterday (11/4) but didn't start popping out pups until 10:00 this morning (11/5). We were told, by our vet, to expect eight pups but I kept looking at that x-ray picture and was sure there were nine in there. When we got to eight, I started to doubt my counting because she certainly wasn't acting like any more were coming but low and behold, a half hour after the eighth, a ninth arrived. Certain she was finished, I got her whelping box cleaned out, changed her blankets and settled all the pups in for a feeding. I was shocked when she started pushing again and out came number TEN!

So we have ten, adorable, healthy pups and one tired but content momma. Even though I will have to be up every two hours for the next week, to supervise feedings, I am overjoyed. I love caring for all the pups and keeping a record of every milestone for their family's to have. It makes me happy to know that we are going to be able to give other's the same joy and happiness we have experienced due to having our own fur babies in our lives.

This time around I am particularly excited to be passing on this joy to one of our soon to be fur parents. We ask any perspective fur parents to fill out an application and then I end up corresponding with them via email for a while before they come to meet their pup. I like to be sure that every puppy placement is truly a forever placement so I like to get to know the new owners. Obviously, people are also interested in knowing about DH and I, so I'm never surprised when they find my FB page or find out some detail about us by googling us. This time, one of our perspective parents came across my public IF blog. She emailed me to tell me she had found it and shared her story with me: she wants a puppy because after many failed attempts to have her own child, including surrogacy, she is now living child free, not by choice. While we always encourage people without children to adopt a dog from a shelter, we sometimes make exceptions to our rule. This is one of those times. I get to spend the next eight weeks, raising her fur baby who will be her child. It may sound silly, but I feel pretty honored to be able to give her a little bit of something she has longed for.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

***Canine Pregnancy Warning****

Oooo! I am just so excited! We just got back from the vet, we had Dakota x-rayed so we could find out how many cute, adorable, labs to expect next week and it looks like we are expecting EIGHT!

I am so excited :) Without further ado, her x-ray


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Not IF Related but Super Good News!

****Canine Pregnancy Mentioned****


For years, DH and I have raised, trained and bred Labradors. We breed pups for families with small children and for people who use them as hunting dogs, as our dogs come from good hunting bloodlines. I always encourage every person we interview to get a dog from their local shelter first but since there are circumstances in which that isn't a good idea, we select those applicants to give our babies their forever home. We have, at most, one litter a year and raise the pups in our home as if they were our own. I am excited to share that our chocolate lab, Dakota, is definitely pregnant! She is due some time between November 2nd and 7th. I will be taking her for an x-ray next week to find out how many pups she is having and narrow down the due date a little bit.

I absolutely love breeding and training labs and while some of our litters have been more successful, financially, than others, I am super hopeful that we will have a bit of extra money to move us towards being able to do IVF next summer. I am so excited to be able to look at their cute little puppy faces all the time, I can't wait for these little pups to be born!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reflections and looking forward

One of the girls on my discussion board asked me some interesting questions this morning that really got me thinking. She was wondering about how I feel about moving on to IVF and how I stay positive about everything so I thought I would share my answer here, as I spent a long time reflecting on all of our cycles, disappointments and feelings about the future, last night.

I would be lying if I said I am forever hopeful. I would like to be, but truthfully, there are days when I dissolve into tears and curse the world. Looking back, I always kinda knew that the IUIs were just a shot at a miracle. I never completely believed they would work, so I always looked at them as a way to see how my body responds and the disappointment was easier to handle. I absolutely believe IVF will work so it is easier to stay positive about it working. The thing I have a hard time with is waiting while we save. I had hoped that we would be able to get a lot of money together quickly but every avenue fell through. Dealing with the disappointment of each failed attempt to get the funds what heartbreaking, but I still tried to remain positive. Now, I just try to focus on the fact that I can't control everything and that IVF will happen eventually. When I start to get really discouraged, I tell myself that I may not happen when I want it to, but it will happen eventually. DH is really good at helping me not focus on the waiting and instead focusing on the end game. I also have a playlist that is full of positive songs about hope that I listen to whenever I am feeling particularly down! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day


Tonight at 7 pm I will be joining in the International Wave of Light (https://www.facebook.com/events/194459270597226/) and will be lighting a candle for Petey, Rowan, Meagan's angel baby, Connor, Ninja, Oscar, Bella, Tittle and Firefly, my mom's angel babies and my aunt's angel babies. 



Also, I invite you to read the most recent post on my public blog as Meagan tells her infertility story in order to raise awareness, by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ugh. Pain.

***Warning, venty post***

For most of my life, I have had to deal with abdominal, back and leg pain and pressure. It was the reason my mom took me to my first gynecologist appointment at 13 (after she had to take me to the ER for what turned out to be a bursting cyst). It was also the reason I started taking BCPs at age 14. Since coming off BCPs almost six years ago the pain has been uncomfortable but seemed worth it because there was a reason to suffer (TTC) and a light at the end of the tunnel (a baby).

Lately, I have been having a difficult time coping with the pain. Due to our having to wait for what seems like an indefinite amount of time (due to finances) to be able to do IVF, I feel like there is no purpose for this ever constant pain. At the beginning of my cycle I have debilitating cramps, followed by pressure and back pain, followed by intense bend you over O pain, after which the pressure and upper thigh pain comes back for a day or two and then I get a small window of painless days before AF and her evil cramps return.

The pain makes me sad and grumpy. It's an ever constant reminder of what will not be without medical intervention. It reminds me that something that for so many people "just happens" isn't going to "just happen" for us. I am so sick of the pain and sick of IF. No matter how hard I try to wake up with a positive attitude, the awareness of my pain is like a physical expression of my emotional state. IF sucks. This pain sucks.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fun at The Walk of Hope

Well, I did it! On Saturday, I went to the Nor Cal Walk of Hope and it was an awesome experience. I had a little bit of a hard time leaving the house Saturday morning, as I have been having a bit of agoraphobia/anxiety lately as a result of the massive fire near our home. Knowing that DH would be home to take care of our animals and that I would be meeting my sister and a new friend at the walk got me moving though.




***pregnancies, babies, loss and children mentioned***

I got to the State Capitol at 9am and met up with my sister and niece, checked in and then walked around a bit. There were booths for the local IF clinics and they were giving out all kinds of free gifts; water bottles, t-shirts, pens and paper, reusable grocery bags with their logos on them and Resolve was giving away free FRERs and OPKs! (I may have taken more than just one of each, not gonna lie) There were also booths for support groups, a raffle for an IVF cycle and acupuncture (sadly I didn't win) and a booth for The Art of IF.

 

 



Then, a new friend Janell, met up with us. Janell is an acquaintance of my sister, who happened to see all of the posts of mine that my sister shared on FB. Janell contacted me about a month ago, through my sister, to offer up her extra meds from her first IVF cycle. Unfortunately, although her first beta was ok, her numbers never doubled and she got the call Saturday morning that they were back to zero. It was really nice to meet someone in real life who is going through all this crap!

Around 10am the Resolve staff and MC for the event started the rally and the Sac State cheerleaders got everyone warmed up for the walk. There were prizes awarded to the team with the most people, best dressed fur baby and the team that raised the most money for the Resolve. Then it was time for the walk to begin. Everyone lined up with their teams and walked through a big group of cheerleaders cheering us on. It was like at a football game, when they announce the players and they run through the double lines of cheerleaders - pretty cool!


One of the cool things was that there were women with babies and pregnant women there as well. When I saw the first pregnant woman, I thought it was kind of weird but then I saw her shirt that read: "5 Years and 4 Cycles of IVF" it was written across her baby bump. The back of her shirt read: "Don't ever give up." I love to see that those who have struggled with IF don't just leave the rest of us behind. We are still supported and cheered on by those who have finally had success.

It was a really cool experience and a well attended event and I am so glad I was able to be a part of it. While I did expect that maybe the organizers would have petitions for changing IF coverage laws, there weren't, so I passed out all of my little cards for my own petition and people seemed genuinely interested in signing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Resolve, Walk of Hope


I am so excited to be participating in Resolve's Walk of Hope on Saturday! At first, DH was going to go with me but with the massive fire close to our home on Saturday and another huge one that started on Sunday that still isn't out, we have concerns about leaving our home and animals and have both of us two hours away from home. Instead, I asked one of my sister's to go with me and my niece also jumped at the opportunity. I had business cards made up to pass out to get people to sign my petition to change the infertility coverage laws here in California. It feels good to be able to do something, besides blog and post on facebook! I will be posting an update and pictures next Monday. :) 

Also, my clinic is doing a raffle for a free IVF cycle and you have to participate in the walk to be included in the drawing, so that will be a huge plus too! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lots of studies and Info for Pregnitude, DHEA, PCOS and Androgen Levels

A while back, my friend Kate had asked me to share with her the research I had done regarding elevated androgen levels, DHEA, PCOS and Pregnitude. I put this together for her and since the topic keeps coming up in a lot of groups and discussion boards, I thought I would include all my research here too. Some of the studies also include information on increasing your AMH which I have heard from a few doctors isn't possible but since it happened to me and a few other ladies I know, I tend to defer to the study, rather than the doctors.

Read it all now or bookmark it in case you need it later. Either way, I just wanted to share my findings in case someone else out there finds themselves in need of the info!

It was actually my PCP who tested my androgen levels. He had just been to a conference about PCOS and excess androgens so with all of his patients with IF, he was running those labs prior to sending them to an RE, because he learned at the conference that RE’s don’t usually run those tests. I was his first patient to come back with elevated androgens. What my PCP told me was that my elevated androgen levels were affecting egg maturation. He said that since my temping was confirming ovulation, he suspected that I was O-ing but the eggs weren’t mature because my excess androgens were messing with maturation and were causing the eggs to release too early. My PCP had directed me to this study: http://www.rbej.com/content/9/1/116 to explain what he suspected. It has info about excess androgens and DHEA. When I went to the RE, and told him what my PCP said, he confirmed that excess androgens of a certain type can cause that to happen but said the other possibility is that the excess androgen is actually a result of improper ovulation (http://members.tripod.com/helpful_info/helpfulinformation/id155.html ). My RE commended my PCP for running those tests, he said they wouldn’t have normally looked for that. At that time, my RE also confirmed my PCP’s PCOS diagnosis. When researching PCOS and excess androgens, I came across this: http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=134668 Which mentions the use of Inositol in polycystic women and spearmint for reducing hair growth and balancing hormones (I ignored the cinnamon part because I have hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, not diabetes) When I did a search for Inositol, I found Pregnitude. Info on Pregnitude: http://www.pcosdiva.com/2012/07/what-is-pregnitude/ http://www.femalepatient.com/PDF/037040001s.pdf http://www.graceformoms.com/pcos-part-3-getting-pregnant-featuring-pregnitude-a-new-natural-supplement/ (European version of Pregnitude and studies) http://www.inofolic.it/drupal/?q=node/45 While researching the use of spearmint for excess hair growth and hormone balance, I came across this: http://www.mypcos.info/1/treatments/natural/spearmint/ This resource says that it is not proven to balance testosterone, but does have anitandrogen effects, it helps with LH, FSH and oestridiol levels, which can combat excessive androgens. (Here is another resource about spearmint that also mentions DHEA http://www.raysahelian.com/polycysticovarysyndrome.html I do not take DHEA due to the fact that I also heard it can cause excess androgens and I have enough already, so I figured the best route would be to try and reduce androgen levels naturally while also trying to improve egg quality. Also, when I brought DHEA up to my RE, he said his concern with my taking it was that it would counteract the effect of the Femara, which blocks estrogen production since some studies have shown that DHEA increases estrogen. http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/dheahormonelevels.html My RE wasn’t too supportive of my use of Pregnitude, but the cycle after I started it, I had the best follicles of any cycle and during my break cycles, I was O-ing around cd 14 when I have always O’d around cd 10 or 12 at the latest, which pretty much convinced him that it was working for me. This last cycle that got cancelled, I ran out of Pregnitude and Walgreens was backordered so I went a whole week without taking it. I either O’d on cd11 prior to my monitoring appointment or the follicle just plain collapsed with no O and I was cancelled. I think it has everything to do with stopping the Pregnitude for a little while. Mr. Idon’tthinkitwillhelpbutitcan’thurt RE scolded me for stopping it for a week!

Nothin Doin in my Barren Ute

My life as far as IF goes has been pretty boring (hence my posts being few and far between). I am currently cd 32, haven't gotten a confirmed O date on FF and am crampy. Beyond that, there's just not much going on IF wise.

In other news, I am sure I've mentioned on her before that my DH and I breed Labs (purebred hunters and family dogs), and on Saturday, we mated our dog Dakota and her boyfriend! We are hopeful it worked (she's had a litter before so at least she doesn't struggle with IF) and should be having an adorable litter of puppies in the beginning of November! Woot woot!

Dakota with a pup

I've been trying really hard to come up with some good ideas for posts on my public blog. I like to post to raise awareness as well as to keep people reading and possibly donating. So far, I am having a hard time coming up with new ideas, so if anyone out there on the interwebz has one they wouldn't mind me using, lay it on me!

Would you like to tell your story? I also like to spotlight others who struggle with infertility and their stories. I have a list of questions to guide you but you can also just give a little blurb. If you would like to remain anonymous but would like to be spotlighted, that works for me too! I would be happy to use only your first name or change your name entirely. Interested? Comment below or email me at more.than.just.a.fur.momma@gmail.com 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Wonky Cycle

I didn't expect that after being on BCPs for two months to have a perfectly normal cycle the first month off but I had hoped it wouldn't be too off. Silly me for being hopeful! I am currently on cd 21 and according to my temps, I still haven't O'd! I usually O between cd 10 and 12. I thought maybe I had O'd on cd 18 because I had a lot of pain and pressure on my left side but my temps just aren't reflecting that. Sigh. I guess I just need to tap an extra vein of patience and wait it out!

In the meantime I am starting up all of my holistic stuff again. I kind of went into a "what does it matter, we can't do IVF anytime soon," phase and wasn't paying attention to what I was putting in my body! Kind of pouty and immature, I know, but I really needed to just throw my hands up! (I was even slacking on our fund raiser promotion) Now I am back on my healthy diet and spearmint tea regiment, along with PNVs and pregnitude. Hey, my AMH went up on this regiment so I was obviously doing something right! Whenever we are able to get our IVF on, I want my body to be prepared!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kind Gestures

Since we have been at a standstill for moving forward with IVF, I find myself in funks more and more often. But yesterday, a good friend offered something that really brightened my day and made me feel like I can look to the future with more positivity and hope. My tattoo artist (yes, I have a lot of them, see pics below) texted me yesterday to say that he and his girlfriend have been talking a lot about how to help us out and then offered to throw us a fundraiser at his shop and art studio! He said they have been throwing ideas around for weeks and are thinking of BBQ and auction!

I was completely blown away by such a kind gesture and am excited to feel like I am actually doing something to help move us towards our goal. Although people do read my public blog and we have gotten quite a few donations, they have tapered off, so this feels like just the thing to give us a boost. We don't have a ton of friends in the area but I am hopeful that some of our out of town friends will make the trip AND my tattoo artist has offered to pass out fliers and promote the fundraiser on his FB page (he has 800+ followers)!


**Welcome everyone from ICLW, if this is your first time visiting my blog, please feel free to look around**




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Heart Aches

*********Warning, Children Mentioned, not IF related***********



My heart is aching today. As I have talked about before on my blog, my DH and I used to be a huge part of his nieces' lives. The oldest's dad died when she was young and DH and I always tried to fill that space in her life. The younger one's dad (who was my SIL's dealer) was in prison for the a few years and even after he got out, he has not been a part of her life. Up until last summer, we were a part of everything they did, saw them almost every day and even had our older niece at our house at least one weekend a month. Last summer, we discovered that my SIL was using drugs again (after six years sober) and found out that it was pretty bad. We decided that, rather than call CPS, we would take the girls for a few days, in an attempt to get my SIL to see that she needed to get clean again. The girls were grateful. My SIL was not. Although she told me she understood why we did it, she stopped all communication with us (once she was clean and we returned the girls to her) and has not allowed us to see the girls. It has been very hard on me, especially during bad IF times. Prior to losing them, I always told myself that at least I had them. Now that I don't, bad IF days meld together with missing them and it makes it especially difficult.

Although we missed our younger niece's birthday last year due to this whole debacle, we assumed that my SIL would get over it soon and it wouldn't be long before we got the chance to see the girls again. Now that it's been over a year, I am taking especially hard that I won't even be able to wish her a Happy Birthday on Friday. I miss both girls so much it makes me tear up and my throat starts to feel like it is closing up, whenever I think about them. I am sending her a birthday present, that I have been shopping for all day, but I'm having a hard time even picking something out, because I don't even know what she likes anymore and I am afraid that my SIL will intercept it and not tell our niece the present is from us.

At this point, I feel like at least if I send something, *I'll* know we sent her something and maybe one day I will be able to tell her (if her mom does indeed intercept it). My heart just hurts today. :(

Friday, August 15, 2014

Remembering Petey

Almost every day I think of what my friend Chickin went through and continues to go through after losing her Petey Nugget. To me, it feels like it was only yesterday, it is hard to believe that today would have been Chickin's EDD.

On this day, and every day, I continue to remember Petey and all of the angel babies and carry them in my heart. I'm sending all my love and prayers for peace to Chickin, her husband and all the mommies and daddies out there with angel babies.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Going off the pill

Well, after two months of being on the pill and enduring nausea and headaches every single day, I decided go off it. Last Monday, I started having breakthrough bleeding that just won't let up and since we don't know when we will be able to start IVF, it seems silly to keep suppressing and enduring the side effects for no reason. I called my RE's office this morning and they said it was ok (good think cause I took my last one Friday night).

The only problem is, I have no idea which day to call cd1 since I have been bleeding for a week! I guess I will say Saturday since I stopped the pill on Friday.

I can't help but allow a little hope to creep in that maybe being on the pill for a little while will jump start my body. Logically I know that if the eggs couldn't pass through my scar tissue on medicated cycles, one isn't going to on a natural cycle but, I would rather have a tiny bit of hope each month than just be on BCPs!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Maybe a little crazy...

Well, I might be going a little crazy but that's ok! I've had a light bulb moment!

Mahatma Gandhi said: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

He was right. If you want things to change, you have to find your voice and make the change. 


For a long time I have been complaining about the fact that the law in California that mandates the coverage of infertility treatment, specifically excludes the coverage of IVF. It makes me angry and it's unfair. How can a medical procedure not be covered by medical insurance?


I have complained, and complained and COMPLAINED about how ridiculous this is. We do not want to do IVF (it's not exactly a bag of laughs). We are not opting to do IVF rather than have a child naturally. We have no option to be able to conceive except through IVF because I have a medical condition I have whined and moaned and obsessed about the fact that IVF isn't covered by insurance, but have not actually tried to do anything about it because..well...how? How can one person make a difference?


Then I saw a news story on change.org and a light bulb went off. I CAN make a difference. I CAN be heard and I can make sure that others are heard as well.


I have created a petition to change the law that excludes IVF from coverage. You can be the change and sign it and let your voice be heard too! For those of you who are in states that don't mandate the coverage of infertility, you can be the voice of change too and start your own petition at change.org


Here is my petition please feel free to sign it no matter where you are from. Signatures from those within California hold more water with California's representatives but the more signatures there are the more likely change.org will feature the petition on their website. 

You've got to be kidding me!

We can't catch a break! I was finally getting to a point in which I was ok with the fact that we are going to have to put off IVF for a while. I reworked our budget and was able to find $500 to put away this month and decided on Friday to just take the cash out of our account and put it in our safe so we aren't tempted to spend it and then what happens? My horse colicked.

A little horse 101 for those who don't know: Colic is horses is a general term that describes abdominal pain, usually from some problem in their intestines ranging from simple gas to severe twisting of the intestines and can lead to death.

In the past, when one of our horses has been colicky, we walk them for hours to get things moving and don't let them lay down or roll until we can get them to drink lots of water, eat a special feed and get their bowels moving. Occasionally we have had to call the vet. This was one of those occasions. After staying up all night, Saturday night, walking her and trying to get things moving, we had to call the vet Sunday morning because she was in too much pain for us to manage her on our own. I'll save you from the gory details but basically treatment involves a rectal exam and a tube up her nose into her stomach and lots of water and oil. Not pleasant. And guess where all that money I just set aside went? Yup. The vet bill.

Apparently Marabelle has learned from our rescue Mustang, Kenda, that eating rocks is a good idea and her gut is full of them. Since it was so hot here on Saturday, she stopped drinking water, the rocks settled causing her pain and then she was trying to roll around to dislodge them but in reality all that does is get her intestines all tangled up. She is doing better and although we have to give her some new foods and medications, the outlook is good.

This is the responsibility we agreed to take on when we got horses. It's part of being a horse owner but it's just very frustrating for me right now!

Marabelle on the left and Kenda on the right

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Better

Wow! I am so appreciative of all the thoughtful and compassionate responses I received on my last post. You ladies are awesome and knowing that other people have the same frustrations or feel the same way, sometimes, helps me feel so much less alone. Your comforting words really mean a lot to me.

Due to all the awesome comments and my attempt to change my ways of thinking, I am doing better today. I am still sad and frustrated but at least I don't feel like the world is falling in on me!

DH received a phone call from his Uncle today, with whom he doesn't speak that often. His Aunt and Uncle never had children and have never said why (until this phone call) but apparently they dealt with IF and ended up deciding to live child free after all the treatments they tried didn't work. DH said they talked a lot about how stressful it is to be a supportive husband in this situation and while DH didn't go into a lot of details, he gave me a big hug out of no where this afternoon which I think was related to their talk. Since all of our friends have children, DH doesn't have any guy friends who can relate to our situation. The call from his Uncle was a Godsend, it was totally unexpected and thoughtful and really lifted his spirits!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bad Wife

Infertility makes me selfish and being selfish makes me a bad wife.

This morning, I had a major meltdown. It wasn't actually due to not being able to have a baby (I mean, it always is but it was a different trigger this time). It wasn't due to the fact that we have to hold off on IVF for financial reasons. It wasn't even due to the fact that business is very slow during this time of year and I have to consider laying off some employees seasonally. My meltdown was based around the fact that we pay almost $2000 a month for health insurance that doesn't cover my health. It is so infuriating that it makes me want to scream. Need an abortion? No problem. That ish is covered NO (extra) CHARGE. Want to get pregnant and have a legit medical reason you cannot? Sorry, can't help you. It's enough to make a girl crazy and when I was doing the math in my head this morning, I realized that if we hadn't been paying for this stupid insurance, we could have done IVF three times by now. THREE.

So during my snotty, messy, sob-fest, I actually said the words: "I feel empty and have no more hope. My life basically sucks right now." to DH. I did not consider how that would make him feel. I did not think about the fact that my breakdown and angry rants (that have been going on for weeks) about our lack of coverage, would make him feel. I didn't think about the fact that in staying that my life sucks, it would make him feel crappy because my life is his life too.

I was selfish.

I would like to just blame IF but really? I need to think before I speak.

As DH held my puddle of a former self, he didn't say what he normally says to comfort me. Instead he said, "You are being mean."  And at first I thought, WTAF!?! But then he explained (in soft, sweet tones so not to provoke things being thrown) to me that when I dissolve into a puddle of tears over anything IF related, and say things like; I have no hope or my life sucks, it makes him feel like he isn't good enough. It makes him feel incompetent, like he can't make me happy. I sometimes forget that I am not the only one going through this. Just because I am the only one with a diagnosis doesn't mean that he isn't sad, he just deals with it differently and he never says anything about his life being horrible or empty because of it. He always says that it's ok because he has me. And here I am crying and complaining all the time because... because what?

My life isn't horrible. It doesn't suck. I have a great husband and tons of animals and beautiful property and I get to work from home. There is food on the table and a roof over our heads. I don't have a terminal illness, no one is dying. Things are good enough.

I think that the only way I am going to get through this is to focus on all of the positive things in my life. This girl needs to check herself. I mean, yes, IF is hard. Not being able to do IVF right now is hard. But my life isn't over because of it and it doesn't give me the right to say things that make my wonderful husband feel bad. I've been in this funk before and I'll get through it. I'll get through it without making someone else feel bad because I feel bad.

Monday, July 21, 2014

ICLW

Well hello there and welcome! I just realized that today is the start of ICLW!

If this is your first time here, here's a little info about me: I am 34 and DH is 37. We have been TTC for 5 1/2 years (this last year with an RE) and are planning on moving to IVF sometime soon. For now we are in fundraiser mode since we live in a state in which there is a mandate against coverage for IVF. So, I am in twiddle my fingers mode!

So, come on in and take a look around! I haven't been posting as much as normal because we are just biding our time on BCPs.

IVF...

Will it EVER happen?!?! At this point I don't know. We were all set to cycle in August. Even without being able to qualify for the loan due to being self employed, we've had a lot of donations and my parents were willing to help as well. Then some health issues came up and the insurance didn't cover it all. They just got the bill for the difference and need to pay that. I can't complain, they were offering to give us money and right now they aren't able to do it. I am just disappointed. I felt like we were moving towards something. Now I just feel defeated. Again.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Anniversary and The Generosity of Friends

DH and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary yesterday! Go us! We've been together now for 14 years and I am happy to say: We are good. :) It's a nice feeling to have, knowing that you still love one another and still choose each other.

Sadly, I was sick. Food poisoning or something, so we didn't do anything special but DH made me breakfast in bed anyway (french toast) and we had a relaxing day together. Thankfully, I am on the mend today and getting back in the swing of things! :)

No news on the IVF front, I am still biding my time on BCPs but I have big news on the fundraising front! Caroline, from In Due Time very kindly and generously offered to help with our fundraising! She is a Personal Stylist with Stella & Dot and offered to host a trunk party for us and 20% of the proceeds are going towards our fertility treatments! I am overwhelmed by her offer and kindness. And guess what? You are all invited! You don't have to be physically present to attend and you don't have to wait until the 1st, you can start shopping today! Just click the link below. If you aren't a big shopper but know someone who is, share this link: http://www.stelladot.com/ts/0j206 on your blog or facebook page.

Samantha Lane's Trunk Show

Friday, August 1, 2014 | 7:00 PM

Let's Shop & Raise Money For Fertility Treatments!

Hosted by Samantha & Caroline

Friday, July 11, 2014

I am SO not an AW!

I have never been one to run around, talking about myself and updating everyone on my life as if to say: LOOK AT ME! I AM SO IMPORTANT! So I find it increasingly difficult to self promote and get our fundraiser out there.

I keep getting emails from Deposit a Gift saying how important it is to email everyone and Facebook at least once a week to keep our fundraiser at the forefront of everyone's minds and I have been ignoring them until today. Today, I actually spammed everyone in my address book! It took me three hours to write, edit and then get up the courage to send the email, but I did it.

What prompted me to do it was that I reached out to a woman who was able to fundraise her entire first cycle of IVF in four months and asked her how she managed it. She gave me a lot of the same advice that Deposit a Gift was giving me, but she also gave me this little nugget of truth: "People may be annoyed that you emailed them asking for donations, but they won't hold against you forever and even if they don't donate, they will probably pass your email on to other people." It's a simple thought but one I really needed to hear. I was worried people would side eye their computers and talk crap. But so what? They are entitled to their opinions and as long as they don't say anything mean to me, it's allllll good. But if at least one of those people passes it on to someone else, that is one more person who is hearing our story and may consider donating. You just never know.

So, now that I am on a roll, I will ask all of you lovely ladies, would you mind sharing the link to either my public blog: http://thequestforbabylane.blogspot.com/ or Donation Site: http://thequestforivf.mydagsite.com/
Feel free to share it on your own blog or FB if you are out of the closet. If you just want to side eye your computer, that's cool too, I promise I won't take it to heart! If you are doing your own campaign and don't want mine to suck up your resources, I completely understand that too but I am just doing my best to get it out there!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Takin' It Easy

Since things have been so stressful, DH and I decided not to go anywhere or do anything this weekend! I mostly succeeded in the not going anywhere part but had trouble with the not doing anything. Everywhere I looked, there were things that needed to be done; gardening, laundry, dog hair that needed to be swept up. But overall I did pretty good and we watched a bunch of movies and just tried to relax. He has also been very stressed by his parent's divorce and his dad trying to rope us into it, so we just needed some unwind time.

Obviously, since I am on BCPs, I have no IF update, I am going to re-up my efforts at fundraising this week so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Monday, June 30, 2014

*vent* Feeling Down - Only slightly IF related

The BCPs are still kicking my butt. The nausea has passed but my breasts are huge and tender and I am one moody woman. It feels so counter intuitive to be on BCPs in order to try and get pregnant and although I totally understand the rationale and know I cannot get pregnant on my own, it is driving me nuts to be on these anti-baby pills! There is also this nagging concern in the back of my mind that we won't raise enough money in a month to do IVF, so I am worried that I am on them for nothing. What if they screw my body up even more?

I have been under an enormous amount of stress lately and I just have to get it out, so be warned there is a whiny, depressing venting session coming right... now. (I won't be offended if you want to skip this post)

My mom had foot surgery on Friday and is not doing well. She couldn't stop vomiting and couldn't keep her pain meds down so she was miserable and ended up in the ER on Friday for dehydration. My poor dad is trying hard to take care of her but apparently she is being difficult which is very unlike my mom. It's scaring me.

My MIL is being a pain in the butt about her divorce. It seems like everyone in my life just expects me to take care of everything for them and help them through all of their trials and tribulations, without a second thought as to what it means for me. I understand that divorce is difficult and that she really only has me as a sounding board but she overreacts about EVERYTHING and jumps to the worst case scenario immediately, in a complete panic anytime anything happens with her divorce. It is very hard to handle. I am trying to be patient and understanding and calm her nerves but at the same time I want to scream, Just because he asked for it doesn't mean he's going to get it (in regards to my FIL's demands). UGH!

We are in the slow season for our business and it is terrifying. We are just barely squeaking by and each new bill that comes in is stressing me out. I know that things will pick back up in the fall but it is hard to wait out the slow times. My husband's proposed solution to this is to just cancel our health insurance because "it doesn't cover your infertility stuff anyway." Um, what about our regular healthcare? This is not a solution. It poses more of a problem for me. I wanted to hit him with something when he suggested it.

***Children mentioned*** In DH's strange mind, inviting our neighbor's toddlers over should somehow make me feel better about my infertility. He's got it stuck in his head that having children around should cheer me up. Guess what? It doesn't. It's just annoying and I end up babysitting these kids while DH hangs out with their dad outside. All it does is remind me that we don't have kids.

I have long suffered from depression and recently realized that I am in a pretty serious slump. Last week, I only washed my hair once and I haven't cleaned the house or done laundry or made an actual real dinner in two weeks. I BBQ'd on Friday but that doesn't really count since I made no side dishes. These are signs to me that I am slipping, especially since I consider it to be a huge accomplishment to have done the dishes and taken a shower over the weekend. I had planned on cleaning the whole house but that didn't happen and neither did the yard work I had planned. I have a heart problem (SVT) and when I get stressed it really acts up. Even though my heart rate was only elevated twice this weekend, I used it as an excuse to basically do nothing all weekend. I recognize that sitting around and moping will only make things worse but I don't care. I'm stuck in a rut.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Remembering Tavin Sara and Casey Elizabeth



Two wonderful women (partners) from TB who fought long and hard to achieve pregnancy, lost their twins last Wednesday. While I did not get to know these women very well, my heart aches for them as they go through this difficult time. Today they are holding a vigil and the LGBT on TB is holding a virtual vigil as well. If you have a moment please take the time to say a prayer for them or send loving vibes their way.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SSG and ready for IVF

I had my repeat SSG yesterday and while it went well, the test took a long time and was very uncomfortable. I told my RE, when it was over, that the three words you should never say while looking inside someone's ute are "What is that?" which is exactly what he said! Everything was looking good until he saw a bulge at the back of my ute that measured 4cm x 7 cm. He and the nurse were baffled because they said it didn't look like a fibroid but there was definitely something there. He would push on it and it would go away. Look from other angles and couldn't see it. But every time he went to a certain angle, he could see it. After about 20 minutes of pushing, prodding and changing views, he had me change the position of my hips and the bulge disappeared. The only thing he could figure was that, in the position I had been in, I was somehow pushing my bowls or intestines up against my ute and it was causing the bulge. So, I have been cleared for IVF!

I also had my AMH bloodwork yesterday but won't get the results for a few days. Once the results are in they will give me my protocol so I can apply for the compassionate care program (they wouldn't process my app without my protocol) and look into donated meds.

I am getting a little discouraged about our fundraising, again, but had some good suggestions from friends about how to continue to promote it and even had a few ladies offer to share their stories so I can get more information out there and make the whole thing more personal. I like the idea of having other ladies share their stories while I promote our fundraising campaign so people can understand what we infertiles go through. I have found that while I am easily able to share my thoughts and feelings on this blog, it is a different story on my public blog. I often find myself at a loss for words out of the fear that people with judge me or will just plain not understand. I also don't want to be the person who clogs other's news feeds and makes people roll their eyes!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Liebster Award


Well! My good buddy, PackerFan4Life nominated me for the Liebster Award, a sort of GTKY-super special-blogger-chain-letter award and not only am I excited to get it, I am excited to pass it on and read everyone else's responses. I think it's nice to be able to get to know our fellow bloggers a little more, since we are so familiar with what goes on with one another's utes, ovaries and husband's sperm. So here we go!

The Rules:

1) Post 11 random facts about myself.
2) Answer 11 questions the awarding blogger has asked.
3) Nominate 11 blogs with less than 200 followers, add their links to this post and let them know they have been nominated.
4) Create 11 questions the nominated bloggers have to answer.
5) Post The Rules!

11 Random Facts About Myself

1) I love disaster movies. Twister, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, etc. I have an obsession. It stems from storm chasing with my dad when I was little. We would drive around the Detroit metro area chasing every possible tornado spotted and it was crazy fun. Most little kids would have been terrified but I am intrigued with the power of nature and love the adrenalin rush that comes when a big storm passes through.

2) DH was supposed to be a one night stand. I had to just moved from Ohio back to California three days before I met him and since I had just gotten out of a long term relationship, I just wanted to have fun. No such luck on my part, after our first night "hanging out" we were inseparable and became engaged six months later.

3) I am a fantasy novel junkie. Vampires, middle earth, the supernatural, I love it all. My favorite is when an author mixes it up and throws some vampires, werewolves, witches and magicians all in the same series. I'm often embarrassed to tell people because most people would think that since I am a former English teacher, I would prefer Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy to Charlaine Harris or Ilona Andrews but that is not the case! I think it's mostly because I read to escape so I want something entertaining.

4) I will not eat any creature that has lived in water. I find the idea of eating a creature that has spent its entire life living in (and sometimes eating) its own feces (and probably ours too) repulsive. I watch the shrimp in my fish tank and cringe at the idea of one of those little poop eaters coming near my mouth.

5) I am a recovering alcoholic and am proud to say I have six years sober. I went to a major party school for college and carried on partying long after. Six years ago I woke up to realize that I didn't like the person I had become and decided enough was enough. I quit drinking on my own and have not touched a drop since. 

6) I am a huge proponent of medical marijuana. I do not choose to partake myself but we have a dog with epilepsy and tried every possible medication to stop her from having seizures. Nothing worked, she was having two and three seizures a day, and we were to the point of discussing putting her down. Since our vet recommended trying edible treats (without THC) twice a day, she hasn't has been seizure free. If she misses a dose, she has one. I probably wouldn't believe it if I weren't a witness to it!

7) DH and I are considering moving to Montana and lately the possibility is what gets me through tough moments. I love California but it might be time for us to say goodbye to The Golden State. BUT I will forever be a Niners (oooooh Packer, I know you are cringing, lol) and Giants fan no matter where we live!

8) My all time favorite TV show is Grey's Anatomy.

9) I went to an all girls Catholic high school and LOVED it! If we have the option (assuming we have children some day) I will absolutely fight my husband to the death (ok, not really, I'd just withhold BJs for a while) if he objects to sending our children to same-sex high schools.

10) When I read things people write, or listen to them speak, I often find myself reciting relevant movie quotes in my mind. i.e. someone wrote "As you wish" on FB the other day and I went off for five minutes, quoting The Princess Bride, in my head! 

11) I make up songs about my animals and sing to them. My chocolate lab, Dakota, gets SUPER excited when I make up songs about her and prances around, wagging her tail like crazy.

The Question and Answer Section

1) Why do you blog?
I blog to get all the thoughts out of my head! I also blog to share with everyone research I have done and (I hope) to help others feel less alone about their struggle with IF.

2) What is your favorite way to relieve stress?
Honestly? Sex. I have found that if I am freaking out about something, a good roll in the hay will relieve tension and leave me feeling a lot more loved. Maybe it's just the connection with my DH or the physical activity involved, I don't know, but it works!

3) If you could choose one thing that you wish you could be better at, what would it be?
Exercising! I get a good workout taking care of all the animals on our ranch but I have a hard time getting motivated to do anything extra even though I know it would be better for me if I did.

4) What is your favorite thing about your life right now?
That I am married to such an amazing man. Despite everything that is happening in our lives, he is always right there with a hug or a supportive comment or just there to tell me I am beautiful. I don't know what I would do without him.

5) If you could quit your job for a year and do anything, what would you do?
TRAVEL! I would go back to Hawaii and Grand Cayman and even travel to Russia!

6) What is your favorite food?
Buttered popcorn with lots of real butter and salt. And a diet pepsi to wash it down. I would eat it for lunch and dinner every day if I didn't think it would eventually kill me.

7) What is the one thing that you really want to do, but you've been putting off?
Write a book. I have hundreds of ideas and many, many short stories that I could easily turn into a novel but I've never set aside the time to do it. Wait, maybe I should take back my answer to number 5!

8) What is your next travel destination (either for real if you have a trip planned, or a dream destination if you don't)?
We don't have a trip planned but I would love to go to Russia or Africa. DH and I have discussed it often and I hope some day we will get to go.

9) Do you have any pets, if so what pets do you have? Bonus points for pictures.
Oh yeah. I have 21 animals. Five dogs, six cats, three chickens (we used to have six but a fox into the hen house), five pygmy goats and two horses.







10) What technology could you not live without?
My iPhone! I do everything on it and use it at least fifty times a day.

11) What is your favorite book?
Right now I would have to say, Jodi Picoult's Lone Wolf. It was incredibly thought provoking.

Questions for the Nominees!

1) What is your favorite movie?
2) What is your best memory?
3) What is your greatest accomplishment?
4) Who do you admire?
5) What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?
6) What is the first thing you notice about someone when you first meet them?
7) Would you rather watch sports or play sports?
8) If money was no object, what would you do all day?
9) What is your greatest strength?
10) Do you prefer summer or winter?
11) If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?

And the nominees are:
I'm thieving this idea from Chickin! Packer and I have a lot of the same blog friends so rather than nominate the same blogs she did, I have fewer than 11! 










Wednesday, June 18, 2014

ICSI and a Rough Few Days

My nurse called last Friday with the news that I would need to have a repeat SSG to check everything out and to let me know that my RE is recommending that we do ICSI due to my endometriosis.

I am not excited about a repeat SSG. My first one wasn't much fun (I know they aren't supposed to be "fun") and I am not looking forward to the painful uterine contractions again but what can you do? The doc wants to check out my insides, I drop my pants and say, "Check it out!" So, my SSG is scheduled for Monday. I do like that I feel like we are getting the ball rolling on IVF, so at least there's that!

As far as the ICSI, I was completely taken aback. I had completely disregarded the idea because we don't have any sperm issues so I balked when the nurse told me. She said that my RE was recommending it because of my endometriosis. Apparently, according to what she said, eggs from women with endo have what they refer to as "harder shells." Not the scientific term but a good way to describe it, I suppose. So, I spent most of the night Friday researching the use of ICSI for endo. I found some excellent resources (here's one) and am now convinced it is actually a really good idea for us. Obviously it adds more expense to our cycle, which stresses me out, but I believe it's worth it (or at least hope it will be).

The fundraising is going ok, donations have slowed down a bit, but the donations we have received have been such a blessing (and have been received by some AMAZING people), that I couldn't be happier with our results so far.

NIFR:

On a different note, I have been having some really difficult days. My in-laws are divorcing because my FIL is an adulterer. We have always known that he had an affair early on in my IL's marriage but he swore that he was a good, faithful husband ever since. Yeah, right. He's been carrying on with this woman for almost 20 years and my MIL found out. We also found out the age of the woman when the affair first began and it puts him in pedophile territory, which is horrifying. I am sick over it. All I have to say is that he will never, ever be around our children, if we are able to have any. Sadly, we also found out that he is including us in his divorce response and is trying to sue us for repayment for improvements he chose to make on a house of ours they lived in. He won't win, the laws here are very clear about improvements made on rentals without written consent for repayment but I am just beside myself. I don't know why I expected more from him, considering that he is a lying adulterer, but I did. It's just adding more stress to our lives that I don't need.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fundraising Response

Well! The fundraising is going a lot better and I even decided to open a Zazzle shop at the suggestion of someone I don't know who sent me an email saying it worked for her! It's amazing how many people out there, who I don't even know, want to help out or at least share our story and offer encouragement. We even got a donation from someone who found my blog through TB and wanted to help out. When I got her donation, I actually cried. Pretty freaking amazing and thoughtful. I'm hopeful that if I keep at it, we will get there or at least get close enough to try and figure it out. My sister's are being really helpful too. They are trying to encourage people to donate just a little bit because if everyone does (they have massive FB friends lists) then we will reach our goal in no time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I'll tell you what, though, these BCPs are kicking my butt! I am so nauseated and I have a headache and my ovaries are freaking out! So I hope we can get the money thing figured out soon!

We did apply for a financing program and got denied because we are self employed. It really sucked. We were hoping that if we could get the loan, we could at least move forward sooner rather than later. The finance company was very nice and tried to help but even DH's stellar credit and our home and business ownership doesn't negate the fact that proving our income as owners is difficult. C'est la vie. Hopefully we can raise enough with our fundraising!



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Day 1 - Fundraising

Day 1 of fundraising for IVF netted us a total of a lot of sweet, wonderfully supportive comments and love and a whole five dollars.

Truthfully, $5 is nothing to scoff at. That's $5 someone took out of their pocket and handed over to us because try want us to succeed. It is the most concrete way they can show us support and that means a lot to me. I am truthfully grateful for any donation. The person who donated it chose to remain anonymous to the world, although we know who it is from because they sent us a message, but I am sad that they want to remain anonymous because I would love to be able to thank them publicly! 

The best thing that has come out of my sharing my blog, so far, is that a friend from childhood shared her story with me and said she feels less alone in knowing my story. That's pretty amazing and wonderful and although it sucks that she has gone through hell alone, I'm happy that she knows there is someone else out there going through it too. I don't have any friends IRL, they've all lapped me and have moved on to find friends with kids or spend time with one another, so it's nice to know someone IRL who understands that. 

I am, however, disappointed with myself because I feel like a failure for only raising $5. Was I not self deprecating enough? Should I have spammed Facebook? Emailed my blog and campaign to my entire address book? I keep telling myself that I am not a failure, that it's has only been one day since I began my fundraiser but still, I can't help feel like I fail at everything right now. And I'm scared. Scared that we are losing time by my going on BCPs that might be all for naught if we can't raise the money for IVF. I'm scared that we will fail before we even get the chance to try. 


Monday, June 9, 2014

Straight to IVF

Well, we have decided to forgo IUI#4 the repeat, after all. My insurance company is being weird and didn't give approval for the repeat IUI. Instead, my RE wants me to start BCPs in preparation for stimming for IVF in August.

I am kinda trippin out. They called in the BCPs and said I will get a call from my new coordinator (sad face because I love my current nurse) for IVF, next week and we will find out if we need to redo any blood tests or anything, at that time. Obviously, I need to get poppin' on this fundraising thing. Sooooo, I am going to go with Cici and Packer's recommendations and call my new blog, It Takes a Village: The Quest for Baby L and share it on facebook tonight or tomorrow.

For fundraising I am going to use DepoitAGift.com. They are reputable and their rates are reasonable and they have the fastest cash out time. I considered PayPal and GiveForward.com but PayPal deposits into our account on a schedule and doesn't allow for a way to keep a running total of how much have been raised and GiveForward's rates are a little higher.

I am a tad bit disappointed that we can't do IUI#4, the repeat, but overall I will be happy if we can move on to IVF.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Arg! I've used up all my creativity!

Well, I have now confessed my deepest secret to: My parents, my sisters and my Aunt. Everyone who needs to know now knows. One sister responded via text and the other texted and called. Both are being very supportive.

My newest dilemma (because I always seem to have one) is trying to find a good name for my new, public blog. I used up all my creativity in naming this one and I LOVE the name, but obviously cannot use it twice! Everything I have come up with just sounds too common or not very "us."

I've thought of:

It Takes a Village: Our Quest for IVF

Dreaming of a Family

One Day Closer, Our Infertile Journey

Infertility Wasn't Part of The Plan

The Story of Us: Striving for IVF


But I just don't really LOVE any of them! I just can't think of anything clever.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Nerves

I've kinda stalled on the trying to fund our IVF front, for one reason: I am so nervous about telling my sisters!
My mom was so supportive and really kind about the whole thing but my sisters? I am just not sure how they will respond. My biggest concern with them is that they will be upset and hurt that I didn't tell them sooner.

My mom suggested that I just email them both, so no one is getting more or less info than the other, in case I accidentally omit something during conversation. I know that one of my sisters hates getting news via email, but I just couldn't get up the nerve to call her this weekend. I picked up the phone three or four times and just couldn't do it.

DH also says I should just email them to avoid the drama and three hour long conversations that would ensue but I haven't been able to pull the trigger! I've been at this alone for so long, it feels weird to think of actually being open about it.

I am oddly calm about, not only having our cycle cancelled, but about moving onto IVF in general. I think it's definitely a case of the more you know the less you worry. If I didn't know of the experience of the gals on TB and IDOB, I think I would definitely be more scared but it feels like the right thing to do. I am actually more comfortable with the idea of IVF than I was with IUIs. I never thought I would feel this way.

Perhaps it's my mind recognizing what my body already knows; IVF is our only positive option. It probably has been the whole time and deep down, I've always known it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Plans for Funding IVF

As I have mentioned, my mom suggested trying to do some online funding from IVF. Honestly, I feel pretty uncomfortable asking people for money, but I am trying to swallow my pride and find the least tacky way to go about asking or we will never be able to do this. Although my parents have offered to help, it's a lot of freaking money we are asking for, so I'd like to try some other avenues before I just allow them to take the full brunt of the financial responsibility. We are also looking at financing options and the compassionate care meds program.

So, my plan is this: create a new blog about our journey and within that blog, as for money. I'll "come out" on facebook and post the link to the blog. I feel like this is way less tacky than just posting a link to our funding site. Below is what I have for the blog so far and I would appreciate it if anyone has any insight, if they could leave a comment. I am trying to not give too many specifics, and am also trying to address a lot of the things I know my very religious Aunts will bring up. Also, I have mentioned on here that DH does not want to adopt but I really don't want to have to explain his family situation to everyone, so we just opted with our answer below in anticipation of the question. I also I plan to link a page with our actual treatment history for those who are interested.

Here it is:

S and I have been blessed in many ways. We have 23 amazing animals (dogs, cats, horses, goats and chickens) and live in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s in Northern California. We have our health, we are happy and life is good. There is, however, something missing. There has been for quite some time, and I am sure many of you have noticed: we have no children. There are no little voices, echoing in our hallways, no toddlers trying to ride any of the dogs and when we watch Disney movies and I dance around the kitchen, singing along, it is very much alone (have you seen S dance?).

So, why don’t we have kids?
Well, we want children, very much. Unfortunately, due to my endometriosis and Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome, we haven’t been able to realize that dream.  We have been working with a Reproductive Endocrinologist and have been undergoing fertility treatments, but nothing we have tried so far has worked. We have now come to the point in our journey of trying to create a tiny human that IVF is our only option. (For those of you who like details, click here, to read about our journey so far)

What is IVF?
The very short, non-scientific version: IVF or in vitro fertilization is a process in which eggs are retrieved from the mother and fertilized by the father’s sperm in one of two ways, using traditional IVF: putting the sperm and egg together and letting the sperm do their thing, or ICSI: the doctors choose the best sperm and inject it into the egg. The egg is then left to incubate and become an embryo. After a few days the embryo grows and is placed back into the woman’s uterus to grow and be nourished and come back out, nine months later as an adorable tiny human.

So, why don’t you do IVF?
Sadly, IVF is very expensive and is not covered by our insurance. Until recently, we have been fortunate enough to have some insurance coverage for my infertility treatments, however, due to recent changes in the health care system, we will no longer even have the coverage that we once did.  While our policy says that it covers “50% of the diagnosis and treatment of infertility” there is a large list of exclusions including: medications for the treatment of infertility, artificial insemination and IVF. So basically, it doesn’t cover anything at all. While the little coverage it does offer is somewhat helpful for testing, it does not help people like me with blocked tubes and scar tissue build up from endometriosis.

What about the risk of multiples with IVF? What do you want, a litter?
Yes, there is an elevated risk of multiples with the use of fertility medications and IVF but there are ways to prevent multiples by only transferring one or two embryos (depending on the embryo quality).  There are a lot of dangers associated with carrying multiples and doctors do everything they can to prevent HOM (high order multiples). Most often, people who get pregnant with a “litter” do so because they go against doctor’s orders. For example, there is a very well known television family who went through fertility treatments (IUI or Intrauterine Insemination or Artificial Insemination) who responded too well to the medications. She had far too many mature follicles (eggs) and her doctor cancelled that treatment cycle. She and her husband were told to abstain or use protection to avoid HOM. They chose to ignore doctors orders and voila: a litter of children.  In the case of Octomom, she went to a very irresponsible doctor that choose to implant far too many embryos. Thankfully, we go to a reputable clinic that works in conjunction with UC Davis. Our doctors are ethical, well educated and well practiced.

What happens if you have lots of embryos? Would you just throw the ones you don’t use away, or leave them in deep freeze forever?
Absolutely not. We believe that life is created the second sperm meets egg. Just throwing away or freezing our embryos forever would be like throwing away a tiny human or freezing one forever! There are a few options for us: Any extra eggs retrieved, that we wouldn’t use during this cycle to achieve pregnancy, can be frozen for us to use to be able to give our potential child a sibling, later. The cost of a frozen embryo transfer is much less that the full cost of another cycle of IVF. Also, if we were to have more embryos than we wanted to use for ourselves, we could donate the embryos to another couple struggling with having a child that has egg quality issues. 

Isn’t there something else you can do?
There is a surgery, called a laporoscopy, that helps with the removal of that scar tissue. I have had this surgery twice and while it has helped alleviate a lot of discomfort, the doctors cannot remove the tissue surrounding my ovaries or blocking my tubs without the risk of damaging them and creating further problems with my fertility. Hence my doctor’s recommendation that we do IVF.

Why don’t you just adopt?
That’s a good question and some day we might, but for now, we would like to try and have our own biological child. Plus, adoption is very expensive (more so than IVF) and the wait time to adopt a baby in the US is four to five years.

I think you two will be excellent parents. What can I do to help?
Well, we are asking people to help fund our IVF procedure by donating here (HERE will be linked to our funding campaign).  Any amount will help.  At our clinic, we have been offered a discount and one cycle of retrieval and embryo transfer costs $9,500 (an additional cost for ICSI is $1,500) plus the cost of medications, which is an additional $6,000-8,000. We are trying to fundraise the full amount of $17,500. While we have the means to care for a child, we don’t have such a large amount of money at our disposal and financing options for treatment have high interest rates. We are applying for grants and discount medication programs, but there is no guarantee we will receive them. 

I would like to help, but don’t feel comfortable donating through a website.
Please feel free to email us at (I'll insert my email address) and I would be happy to send you our address and you can mail us a check or money.

I’m sorry you’re going through this. I don’t know what to say.

Battling infertility is hard and people often don’t know how to comfort their friends and loved ones who are going through this difficult journey. Here is a great resource to help you know what to say, and what not to say, to people struggling with infertility: http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/for-family--friends/infertility-etiquette.html