Monday, November 2, 2015

19 weeks 2 days

For the moment, things are going well!

I can feel baby girl move a ton and my bleeding turned to brown and then vanished! For the past three days I have felt comfortable enough to stop wearing pads and due to the fact that I can feel baby, I don't use the doppler anymore :)

We have our anatomy scan on Friday so I am anxious to see our LO and know that things are going ok. I am also anxious to see my cervical length because I have had a ton of pressure down there and lost some of my mucous plug during and towards the end of the bleeding. I know it regenerates and my OB assured me that all is well but I worry anyway!

We have started purchasing all kinds of baby stuff including cloth diapers, clothes and decals for the walls of the nursery. I had really wanted to paint a mural myself but I am on bed rest until my appointment on the 13th and after that will probably remain on modified bed rest so it would just be impossible. 

Instead, we ordered the cutest tree, flowers, butterflies, fairies and grass decals for the walls. Grass will line the bottom of the walls and the tree will be on the main wall of the room. It is very exciting. We can't start decorating until after my family visits at Thanksgiving because we will still need the nursery as a guest room but after that it's full speed ahead! I will post pictures when we finish :) 

My nausea has subsided so I am on to my newest symptom: pregsomnia. Thank God for netflix! I re-watched half the second season of TWD last night!

That's all I really have to report for now. I'll come back with an update of our anatomy scan after Friday!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

17 weeks - Pregnancy is Scary

I made it all the way to 16 weeks 4 days without any problems or freak outs regarding pregnancy. I have kept my IF brain quiet and have just enjoyed being pregnant. I even kept my mind away from all the scary what-ifs and just lived in the moment, happy that all was well.

Last Sunday at 16+1, we even went for an elective ultrasound and found out that this little one is a girl! All was well with baby girl and she looked excellent on the u/s. We even watched her play with her hands and face for a bit. It was awesome. On Monday, I ordered a huge lot of girl clothes, cloth diapers and a Giant's onesie. Everything was happy and good and I was feeling so comfortable with how things are going.

Things changed on Thursday. I did a lot more than I normally do, because everything is all good. I went grocery shopping, carried a 30 lb bag of dog food, pulled orders, made lunch and then felt super tired.

I decided to veg out on the couch for a bit and after an hour some cramping started. Mild at first and then getting worse and worse. My the time DH came home a few hours later I was in a ton of pain. I got up to go to the bathroom, thinking that as long as I didn't see blood I was ok. And what did I see? Blood. A lot of freaking blood. I panicked and yelled for DH to take me to the hospital, now.

The hospital was crazy busy and we couldn't see a doctor for a while but the triage nurse took pity on me and dragged an ER doc out into the hallway to talk to me. He said that regardless of what was going on, there was nothing they could do because I'm under 20 weeks (which was incredibly upsetting to me) but, he said we could start with an ultrasound to see if baby is still viable and that he could order the u/s even before I got a bed in the ER. Dh and I said "Yes please" in unison.

When we got into the u/s suite, the tech asked us what was going on and I filled her in. She was so nice and after putting the wand on my belly, she turned the screen towards us and said, "you didn't see this from me!" And there was put little girl, heartbeat strong, moving all over the place and even playing with her little feet. The tech went on to do a full anatomy scan and said that baby looked awesome in every way. We were so relieved.

We went back to the waiting room and waited for the doc to call us back. When we were finally called back after hours of waiting, we talked to the doc and he said that because baby looked so good and because my cervix looked good on the u/s, he didn't see the need in doing a pelvic because it could cause more problems. Because I am A- he wanted me to get a rhogam shot so we were gonna be stuck there for a while. I asked to use the bathroom and was allowed and when I was in there thw bleeding has worsened. A lot. It was a steady stream of blood coming put of me. I. Was. Horrified. Scared for me and baby girl. Worried this meant something had changed, it was terrifying. I went back and told the nurse and she got the doc. He said he needed to do a pelvic to be sure my cervix was closed. Thankfully it was and was high and thick, which was a big relief. At this point he said we had a 50/50 chance of things continuing to be ok. He said baby looked great and my cervix was closed and that was the best we could ask for. As to whether or not things would stay that way? Only time will tell.

I was instructed to call my OB in the morning and ordered on strict bed rest, up to pee only, given the rhogam shot and sent on my way with best wishes.

Dh and I were exhausted and after caring for the ranch (well after he cared for the ranch) we were off to sleep.

In the morning, I didn't want to get out of bed, even to pee. I told dh, I was scared to see more blood and scared to move and hurt the baby. Really, I was just plain scared. After hugs, kisses and reassurance from dh, I got up and found I was only spotting old blood, thank God. I called my OB, left a message and waited for them to call back.

After a few hours, I decided to call them. I still can't get over how that conversation went. The short version? The nurse told me she had no plans to call me back because the doctor wasn't there and wouldn't be in until November. My WTF was on so many levels. I practically had to pry out of her that I should try and call another practice. Yeah, I'd be calling another practice all right. And finding a new doctor's office. 

So that's what I did and got in to see George Costanza ' s look-alike that afternoon. The nurse had to do a little fibbing to get me in without an intake appointment but she is an angel for making it work. The doc was great and has worked with lots of IVF mom's, he kept saying, "You are a special mom and everything you feel is important. This may be the only shot you have so we are going to make it count." It was such a relief to have a doc who understood that we weren't just in the position to make another human if this didn't work out. He GOT it.

Overall he said that it could be SCH or it could be something else and that we may never know what caused the bleed but that it was important to focus on the positives: baby looks good and so does my cervix. He also said all we can do is wait and see but he seemed confident that everything looks good for now. He Also made it clear that I could call and come in anytime. He said he'd rather see me for nothing than have me worrying. That was a huge relief. Huge. It was so nice to hear that he would be accessible. So far, with the other OB, I was not given that impression. He said to take it easy and take bed rest precautions. If the bleeding returned, bed rest for two weeks, if not, just a few days and then pelvic rest and no exercise or anything strenuous until told otherwise. I went home, still worried but feeling like at least we are in good hands.

Cue Saturday morning bleeding. I woke up at five to pee and when I wiped? More blood mixed with old blood. Damnit. I headed to the living room to tell dh, who promptly set me up on the couch near him. The doc had said the call if it filled a pad but it was no where near as bad as Thursday and never filled a pad but it was still terrifying. Not ER worthy and not even doc phone call worthy but still, just no. No good. I listened to baby girl with the doppler and she sounded good so I went back to sleep. What else could I do? When I woke up a few hours later I did what any good IFer does; I researched. What is going on with me and my baby? Is she gonna make it? Did I do something wrong? Is there something is can do to make it right?

How do I protect my little miracle who I love more than I ever thought I could love anything who I haven't even met yet?

After hours of reading, I am fairly convinced this is an SCH. Now, I know I am no doctor, but I can read and identify symptoms and I have every single one. It all makes sense. What is really concerning thpugh, is that while most SCH resolve on their own and things end up ok, sch in 2nd tri offers a less optimistic outcome. They often end in stillbirth or miscarriage. That being said, I haven't had an u/s since 9 weeks so it's possible it's been there the whole time as opposed to having just developed. Either way, it's scary and I'm terrified things are going to keep going downhill.

I'm so scared I'm gonna lose my little girl.

So here I lay, on bed rest, knowing that there are no studies that say it helps but knowing that it is the only thing I can do to feel like I am doing something to help my little girl. I listen to her quickly every day (DH asked the OB if it was ok and he said it was) just to reassure myself that she's still with me because now, every flutter, every twinge is terrifying. Things that used to reassure me that she is growing, now make me scared that something is wrong. Everything freaking scares me and it sucks. I can't get back to my happy place. :(

Pregnancy is freaking scary.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

13 weeks 4 days

Well, I am just about to the 2nd Trimester and we announced my pregnancy on FB this weekend. It was pretty exciting and we got tons of love and well wishes, which was really nice. My MIL dragged me down by stopping by the house and mentioning that she was surprised so many people commented on it. As if we aren't liked enough to have people excited for us! That woman. In the same visit, she started talking about DH's siblings, which he has asked her, repeatedly, not to talk about with us and DH ended up going off on her about how we do not want them in our lives because they are drug addicts. Now she's not talking to DH. Sometimes it is hard to tell who is the parent and who is the kid. So, it put a damper on our announcement weekend.

Ok, sorry for the non-sequitur! Since our announcement does not have our faces in it, I figure, what's the harm in posting it here? :) I love it and I am so excited to share!

I made all the signs myself in photoshop and DH got them to sit while I took pictures. They were so good, they all sat there for about five minutes!

Update on Pregnancy:

Symptoms: Thankfully, the morning sickness is much improved, I only get brief bouts of nausea that pass pretty quickly. The exhaustion has improved too! I actually feel like doing things and moving around more, which is really nice because I've felt like a sloth these last few months! My boob are getting even bigger, I've now gone up two cup sizes!

Bump: Yup, I have one. It's small but noticeable enough that a few neighbors and close friends have been asking this past week if I am pregnant. It's kind of fun!

Update on our OB appointment:
I was really nervous about the OB appointment because we live in a small town and there is only one that takes our insurance but I am happy to say, I really loved the nurses and the midwife that I met. Everyone was nice and congratulated us over and over after finding out about the IVF. I had also been worried that they would insist on using my LMP date but they went with my FET date so that was awesome! I meet the OB on October 26th and we will be scheduling my NT scan at that appointment :) Everything looked great with baby and we got to hear the heart beat on the doppler. We also got to hear baby swooshing and moving around a ton!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Pregnancy Update!

Well, today I am 11 weeks, 4 days pregnant! I got to stop PIO on Sunday and this coming Sunday I will stop my Crinone and I couldn't be happier. The PIO wasn't too bad, I mean it hurt and my upper butt was looking like a chocolate chip cookie due to the welts and poke marks but it is no where near as bad as the Crinone. I HATE CRINONE.

I have a very sensitive va-jay-jay and get a BV like response to even the gentlest lubes. If I change tampon brands, I get BV and I've had a BV like response (TMI alert: clear, runny discharge and fishy smell) the entire time I've been on it. It's embarrassing and makes me want to puke every time I use the bathroom, which is really fun when already suffering from morning sickness. So, I am extremely happy to be done with the stuff.

Onto the fun stuff, I guess it's best to do this in a list:

Symptoms: I am so sick. I've been taking diclegis for a couple of weeks and while it helps with the nausea, it sometimes does not stop the actual vomiting. Last week, I had one day in which I couldn't keep anything down. Nawt fun. I've been told that it should start easing up soon but honestly, it just seems to be getting worse. I throw up, at least, every other day.  My boobs are gigantic and my waistline is expanding. I'm tired, of course and have started getting headaches in the evening. BUT, I've read that the more harsh your symptoms, the better the baby is doing, so I am embracing them.

Bump: I do have the start of a bump. DH thinks it's because I am so thin, the baby has no where to go but out! It's not noticeable in a picture, yet, but I can definitely see and feel it!

Other info: We have an OB appointment next Tuesday so I will update after that and let everyone know how I am doing!

Monday, August 17, 2015

8 Weeks, two days

****Pregnancy discussed, warning****

I am not totally sure yet, what I am going to do with this blog. Much like in other areas of my online life, I don't want to be a reminder to my friends of what they don't have yet, which is why I have been pretty quiet. But, I also don't want this to be one of those blogs that just ends. So, for now, I think I will just continue to silently root on my fellow IF friends and bloggers and occasionally update what is going on here. There is a good chance I will create a blog separate from this one for my pregnancy but I have yet to do so.

Without further ado:

How far along are you: 8 weeks, 2 days

Recent appointments? Yes, on the 10th we had our first u/s and baby was measuring perfectly with a perfect little flutter beat that we got to see! Next appointment is the 24th at which I will get my weaning schedule for crinone, estradiol and PIO. I don't mind the PIO and estradiol so much but I hate the crinone so I will be glad to be done with that!

Symptoms: Nausea, like all the time. I don't get hungry any more, I get nauseous and then when I eat, I get nauseous again! My boobs are also huge and I am tired all the time. With the nausea, I just try to remind myself that it is a good thing. There have been a few days here and there when I've gone the whole day without feeling sick and I panic and welcome the sickness when it returns!

Bump: DH thinks I already have one but really it's just bloat from the PIO. I look like most ladies look at 12 weeks!

Cravings/Aversions: I want all the carbs, ALL of them! And I cannot stand the sight or smell of meat, especially uncooked meat: YUCK. I try very hard to eat it anyway but it is tough. Mostly I drink shakes (kale, spinach, yogurt, banana, berries, melon, juice etc.) and eat egg, cheese and bagel sandwiches and eat lots of crackers and chips.

Anything fun or interesting? DH makes me breakfast in bed, every day. He is so cute!




Friday, July 31, 2015

3rd Beta and more

Just to be sure everything is progressing, my doctor ordered a 3rd beta for this past Monday and it came back at 18,671 which is a doubling time of 34 hours! :) We are pretty excited that things are moving right along and have ultrasounds scheduled for the 10th and 24th of August. After that, I'll graduate from my RE and move on to an OB.

I've been surprised at my ability to push out all the scary thoughts. I decided, once I saw the first test with a second line that I was just going to celebrate my pregnancy. I was not going to dwell on fears or what-ifs, I was going to be happy that I am pregnant, take good care of myself and think positive thoughts. So far, I've only had a few scary thoughts creep into my mind and I've managed to push them away. I am pregnant, happy and excited.

We told my parents and sisters and my BFF (mostly because my parents were here during IVF and FET and both of my sisters knew what was going on too) but haven't told DH's mom yet. TBH, neither of us trusts her to not tell other people so we are waiting until at least after the first u/s to tell her. It's kind of hard because she lives down the street but I've been avoiding any talk about IF treatment with her and DH has been intervening as much as possible. Also, DH has decided that he no longer wants anything to do with his drug addict sister and brother and she is still in contact with them and he doesn't trust her not to share our news with them.

In other news, we've decided to do a DNA test for DH to find out his heritage. He is adopted and what little info his parents were given, they've never passed on to him. I am Irish to the core and celebrate my heritage and DH doesn't want to have to tell our baby(ies) that they are Irish and who knows what else. TBH, I have always thought that DH is Cuban. He was born in Florida and most definitely is not a white boy, it's the only thing that has ever made sense to me. We are both really excited to find out his background. :)

So, that's all my news for now! I am still adjusting to not being a part of the IF community anymore, which has been a bit of an adjustment. I miss my girls and am rooting for them like crazy but from a distance now, which is hard. I pray that they can all join me on the other side, soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cramps are a good thing! ****BFP WARNING*****

My clinic likes to torture people and not give you your results until after the second beta comes in. But my nurse is not a masochist so she actually called me yesterday and said that my first beta was 110 (at 8dp5dt)!

I was super excited but also nervous because what I really wanted to hear was whether or not the numbers were doubling! I knew I was KU because I POAS obsessively:


So finally, this morning, my nurse called and said my second beta is "wonderful" at 661 (11dp5dt)!
I am so excited and so totally knocked up!!! I cannot believe it! I'll be back after I've had time to process but I just really wanted to share the good news!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

PUPO!

On Thursday we transferred two beautiful hatching embies that melted my heart. The transfer went perfectly, my lining looked fantastic and I almost peed on the table! LOL When they had me lay back at an angle after it was over, I had to pee so bad, I was holding myself and DH went out and got my nurse and asked for a bed pan. I just couldn't hold it! So, I relieved myself in the bed pan and then went back to relaxing for a bit.

DH and I just stared at the frozen image of our transfer on the screen, held each other and cried. DH is too cute, he made me a bed in the back of our SUV so I could comfortably lay down the whole drive home (2 hours) and I immediately hit the couch when we got home. My RE says bed rest for three days so I am binge watching and laying around which is harder than it sounds. I'd love to get up and go for a walk!

Late Thursday night I got some pretty severe cramps that freaked me out and woke me from a dead sleep but after about 20 minutes, they went away. Yesterday, I just felt twinges but today, the cramps are back with a vengeance and feel like AF cramps.

What scares me is that today is the day AF would normally arrive. So having AF cramps is scary. I am absolutely terrified and every time I go to the bathroom I am afraid I am going to see blood. I think all these meds (PIO, Estradiol, Crinone) should keep my period away but why have I been cramping all day? I am gonna loose it if AF shows today before my embabies have even had a chance. I'll feel like I killed them. :(

Please send me prayers and sticky vibes, I am kind of freaking out!

FET is a go for 7/9!

*****I wrote this post a week and a half ago and somehow only save it as a draft, rather than posting it!

On Monday I went for my lining check and everything looked great so I guess I am doing my estradiol shots correctly which I a relief because my butt looks nothing like the butt in the little diagram they gave me and I wasn't sure I was doing them in the right spot. Blood work on Wednesday confirmed all is well so I start my PIO on Saturday, z-pack and Medrol on Monday and transfer is on Thursday!

For the past few days I have been both excited and nervous but today I am just plain scared that it isn't going to work. I'm scared my body is going to kick my little embabies out and I'm so worried that DH is going to take it really hard.

Throughout this journey he has been supportive but not really hands on. He never asked questions about things and wasn't the most sensitive about how I was feeling on meds. Then it was like a switch was flipped when he saw the pictures of our embryos. He wants to know every detail and constantly talks about "our babies." He's even bothered by the fact that our embryos are in a lab two hours away. Apparently that's too far ;) it's cute and sweet and terrifying. He is so attached and so full of hope, I'm scared he's going to be crushed. At this point, I'm so jaded I'm used to the failure. It's hard and it hurts but in my mind and heart, failure seems more likely than success. Part of that is just me protecting myself but the scary thing is, he's not used to doing that.

With prior failed treatments, he says he wanted it to work for me but for him, it didn't matter either way; he'd be happy with kids or happy with just the two of us. Now, he REALLY wants this, he keeps saying he will be really sad if it doesn't work. It's just scary to have to think of both of our emotions in all this.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Drumroll please

Introducing, five of our six embryos!


On Friday, I went in for my baseline and got the all clear to start FET prep. We also got to see pictures of our embabies (somehow my doc didn't have a picture of the 4th day 5 blast, but that's ok). We were both in awe and completely blown away by how in love we are with our little bundles of cells. We had to wait a bit for me to be shown how to do my estradiol injections and while we were sitting there, I told DH that I missed them already. He jumped up and went and told one of the nurses that I was already having separation anxiety and asked her for copies of the pictures. I was so excited and the whole way home I kept staring at our little peanuts.

They are grade 2 (on a 1 to 3 scale) expanded blasts and my RE said all of them look great, especially the first one which he said was beautiful (it takes after me ;) )

At this point I am doing estradiol injections twice a week and next week I'll start my doxy and shortly thereafter my medrol and progesterone. Transfer is tentatively scheduled for 7/9!

Monday, June 15, 2015

SIX!

On Wednesday, my nurse called to inform me that only four of our embryos had made it to blast on day five and were frozen. I was pretty sad. She said they were going to let the rest continue to grow to day six, just to see what would happen but she didn't sound very optimistic.

Four is under the projected average for my age. Four means only two FETs. These four are our only shot. We can't afford another round of IVF, this was our only chance.

Thankfully, my nurse called back on Thursday morning and said that two more had made it to blast over night and were frozen that morning. PHEW! I don't know why I am so relieved by six instead of four but I am. I am so happy with our six!

The only thing I am unhappy about is that we have never spoken to the embryologist and we have to wait until my baseline appointment, after I get my period (hopefully today) before we find out the grades and quality of our frozen little peanuts.

But for now, I am reveling in our six and hoping that these cramps mean AF will be here ASAP.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

10 Little Peanuts

I wanted to blog right after ER and all weekend but this OHSS is no joke, ya’ll. I have barely been able to move and have been in some serious pain, even while on pain meds. But right now, I can finally sit up for about a half hour at a time so I thought I’d take this time to get an update up!

Friday, ER DAY!  Doc came in before our ER and very cutely rubbed my leg while he told us the risk of OHSS is too high to do a 5 day embryo transfer. He said we needed to do a freeze all but promised that I could do my FET the very next cycle. I cried, DH consoled and they shoved the IV in my arm and knocked me out. J 45 minutes later, they were done and we had 21 beautiful eggies.
On Saturday we got the call that of those 21, only 15 were mature (probably due to the fact that I had a 5000 iu trigger, rather than a 10,000 iu trigger due to my OHSS). Of those 15, all were fertilized with ICSI but only 11 fertilized normally. I was sad for the loss of our four.

Yesterday, we got the call that we still have 11 peanuts but that one of them is a slow grower and it doesn’t look good. So for now, we have 10 beautiful little embabies, growing away. We will get another call on Wednesday afternoon, after the freeze, with our final total.

When my nurse calls, she said she’ll set up a phone consult with the doctor for Thursday and he’ll go over all the grades and we’ll discuss my FET and how many we will transfer. Right now, we are set on two but if quality is an issue, we will transfer up to three, unless my doc can make a compelling case as to why it would be beneficial to transfer more. Hopefully, we have quality on our side and will just be able to stick with two.


I was pretty devastated that I don’t get to reunite with my embabies tomorrow as planned but I’m still so uncomfortable, the idea of a full bladder right now is terrifying so I know it’s for the best. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

An update on our cycle!

This is a long time coming, sorry I haven't given any updates yet. To recap, we're in the midst of our first IVF cycle. I've been taking 225 of Gonal F and 75 of Menopur (oh the burning!) along with 10 of Lupron, every day for the last 12 days.

Last Saturday I went in for my first monitoring appointment. There was a lot of activity on my right side but none of the follicles were very big. I think my largest on the right side was only 12 at that time and l the left side was rocking some 13s and 14s. So the nurse practitioner decided to cancel my Sunday appointment. I was kind of bummed because we had decided to stay in Reno for the whole weekend due to the fact that I had appointments on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We talked about just going home but since we had already paid for our room, we decided to just stay til Monday.

As far as the Reno trip went it was pretty fun, we didn't do a lot of gambling because we don't have a lot of extra money but we each had $20 for the weekend and played a lot of penny slots and pretty much broke even. We each lost and then won enough to make the $20 last the whole trip! :)

At Monday's appointment the NP upset me because she seemed to be suggestimg, at first, that nothing had changed on my right side. She should have kept her mouth shut until she finished checking all of the follies! I had 14 on my right side between 10 and 15.5! A bunch of smaller ones had grown a lot so she thought the first few that she measured were the original larger follies from Saturday's scan. On my left side I had 6 between 15 and 17. By this time I was already pretty uncomfortable and the discomfort along with the inability to sleep in the hotel beds made me pretty emotional. I was also really upset by the way the nurse had, at first, made it sound like things weren't going well. Plus, Monday was supposed to be my trigger day and I was sick if poking myself, I just didn't want to do it anymore, so by the time we got to the car I was sobbing. I couldn't contain myself, I just cried and cried. Poor DH was shocked because the overall tone of the appointment was that things were going great!

Since we only had the hotel room until Monday and we really needed to get back for our company I had to drive back to Reno on Tuesday morning for another scan. Things were still progressing great but my RE wanted to give it one more day so we could try and get every last follie. So it was back home, (two hours) only to return again on Wednesday. Thanks to some donated meds, I had enough of everything to get through Tuesday but not enough Menopur for Wednesday so the clinic gave me a vial instead of making me order it. I was SO appreciative! The cost of driving back and forth all the time has really added up and we are down to only pennies left.

At this point I am SO uncomfortable. And emotional. And a bit overreactive. But I made the drive again, early this morning and it was worth it. My RE was super excited and kept saying that everything is perfect during my scan. He even said that he wished all of his patients' ovaries looked like mine. He said I have 16 ready to go and another eight or nine that could be mature by Friday morning. This was praise and news I really needed to hear! I am finally ready to trigger!

My nurse brought me into her office to go over trigger instructions, douching instructions, when to take my medrol, doxy and when DH needs to take his cipro. When she looked at my chart she said, "holy crap! have you seen these numbers? All of your follies are between 16 and 20 you've had a textbook perfect response!" She said she has only very infrequently seen a response this good. I was grinning ear to ear! It felt really good to hear because I was still (stupidly) clinging to the negativity of the NP on Monday. Which, btw, I know is ridiculous but I just haven't been able to shake it.

Insert total side note here, the NP on Monday, also insinuated that I was smoking while stimming. Which, I most certainly am not. I only smoked socially but quit when we started TTC. DH was in the room and still smokes. He is quitting and only smokes a couple cigarettes a day (down from two packs a day). He has an annoying habit of smoking half a cig, putting it out and then putting it in his pack to save for later. It STINKS but I don't say anything because he is working really hard and it's something I am just sucking up because he's been smoking for 20 years and he's having a rough time quitting. Anyway, he had one of those in his pack in his pocket so I'm sure she smelled that but it's pretty obvious it was him and not me. She went on and on, while measuring my follies about how smoking while stimming ruins your eggs, stunts their growth and makes ER almost impossible for the doctors. I told her four times that I don't smoke and quit years ago and she just kept giving me a look that said, yeah right. Grrrrrr, can you tell it's still bugging me?

Anyway (I just needed to get that out), back to today! I'm triggering in a half an hour and ER is at 8:30 on Friday morning! I am excited and anxious to get these eggs out of me. The crappy part is that when my nurse called, she said that my E2 is through the roof. She said it's in line with what they would expect, being that I have so many follies but that they are concerned about OHSS.

OHSS terrifies me. Scares me shitless. So I've been banned from drinking water until further notice, clan only drink gaterade and whey protein shakes and I had to run out to the pharmacy to pick up cabergoline, which I'm to shove up my hoo hah, starting tonight. Hopefully, all that will keep the OHSS at bay. So say a prayer for me or send me some non-OHSS vibes because I am really scared!

Final thought of the night before I run off to trigger. The loss of Rosa Kimberly is weighing heavily on my mind and heart. I pray that her mom and dad find comfort and strength to get through this tragic loss.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Words aren't adequate

******warning, loss mentioned********


I was planning a post for today on our cycle but something much more important has come up. I am sad to say that one of my dear friends lost her beautiful daughter, Rosa Kimberly, yesterday and delivered her today. I ask all of you to please say prayers to lift Rosa up to the Lord and to pray for peace and comfort for my dear friend and her husband during this unbelievably hard time.

The loss of a baby is not something anyone should have to experience. Ever. I am so deeply saddened by their loss. This woman is absolutely amazing and has been battling infertility like a true warrior for years, with her husband right there by her side. She is always there with encouragement and is always thinking of others and their journeys (even while in labor to deliver Rosa). She is a dear friend. She invited me to our FB group and helped to make it the amazing safe haven and support network it is and the difficulties that have surrounded my infertility journey have been made easier to handle because of her. The idea of her having to go through this, to have to feel this pain, is unbearable and unfair and just wrong. I want to be able to take some of that pain away, to shoulder it, just for a moment to give her some relief because I can't even begin to fathom how difficult this must be for her and her husband. 

I just keep shaking my head in disbelief and thinking, Why? Why could something so awful happen so such an amazing person and her amazing husband? How is this fair? Why, after having gone through so much with infertility, are she and her husband burdened with this pain too? I just don't know. I have no answers to those questions, except that it is just unfair.

One thing I do know for sure is that Rosa Kimberly is loved, cherished and will be remembered forever. I will always carry her in my heart and I hope you all will too.



I also know that all women who go through a loss can use support, and I know that sometimes it is hard to know what you should and shouldn't say to someone who is going through the loss of their baby so I wanted to share with you all two articles I found last year, when another friend lost her baby, that give suggestions on how to be the most supportive people we can be to our friends who have lost a baby. They are: 







Monday, May 18, 2015

Observations and Ramblings

Last night I took my last BCP and am waiting for a bleed that may or may not come. My doctor said I may spot or have a light bleed but during my HSC/Polypectomy he removed my lining so there may not be much to shed. Regardless, I have my baseline on Friday at 8:30 a.m.! That means I have to leave my house at 6:30 so I'll probably have to get up at 5:30.

Normally, that wouldn't be too much of a problem but I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping, which I just today, realized is from the Lupron. I usually don't get into bed until I am tired and fall asleep within ten minutes. For the last week it has been taking at least an hour for me to fall asleep. Last night I got back up and watched TV for a while and then went back to bed because I was sick of tossing and turning.

At first, I didn't think I was having side effects from the Lupron since I had no headaches and didn't seem to be bloating much. But yesterday, I freaked out over something really small and today my jeans don't fit because of the bloat. For some reason, this is really bothersome to me. I was mentally prepared for side effects that didn't really seem to come last week. Now that they are very noticeable, I am very grumpy about them. (Also probably from the Lupron!)

I am also running out of injectable real estate. Years ago, I was 70 lbs overweight and worked very hard to get down to where I am now but where I am now means I don't have very much flab which means I don't have a lot of places to inject. Since I nicked a blood vessel yesterday, I have a huge bruise on my left side, taking up most of the flabby area I normally inject into. I don't know what I am going to do when I start stims on Saturday! I'll be doing three shots a day, where I am going to poke myself!?!

Despite those little worries, I am looking forward to my baseline and am staying positive that everything is going to look great and I will be able to start stims on Saturday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's a Bench Burning Party!

Exactly 351 days ago, I was benched. I had an odd cycle in which my former RE had me take my entire femara dose at one time because I already had a follie on each side at 11 at my baseline appointment. I thought it odd but went with it because at that point we knew we were on the IVF track and we were just trying one final hail mary IUI. 351 days ago, I went back for my monitoring appointment and had already ovulated. My RE pulled the plug and said IUIs weren't working and that IVF was the only way to go.

I remember being devastated. I didn't think we would ever get to where we are today. Our business was slowly growing, I didn't even take a paycheck at the time. I couldn't foresee a way for us to afford IVF but I was determined. I let go of my pride, came out of the IF closet and started fund raising and saving. We cut back on EVERYTHING. Cut the cable bill, stopped going out to eat, created a strict budget and stuck to it. We completely changed our lives and looking back (although some times it was really hard) it was so worth it because today, I did my first Lupron injection.

TODAY I AM OFFICIALLY BURNING THE BENCH! After 351 days I am finally cycling again. Finally moving forward with IVF. I'd be nervous if I wasn't so excited. As of this moment I am just letting go and going with the flow. I am not stressing about the what ifs, I am not worrying about whether or not it will work, I am just living in the happy excitement that we are finally doing this!

In other news I got to see the pictures from my surgery today. I had 6 polyps and two of them were pretty big. Also, I had a bunch of extra tissue in there. Apparently my body hasn't been expelling all of my lining each cycle and it's been building up like crazy. It was crazy to see the before pictures, my uterus looked like a mess but the after pictures were amazing, it looks all clean and smooth now! Pretty cool! Hopefully this will give any embies the chance to snuggle in nice and tight and enjoy the cleanliness!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Surgery is done!

Surgery went well and I'm so glad it's over. My anxiety last week leading up to it was out of control. Apparently I work up a sobbing ball of pain so they kept me longer to administer extra pain meds and gave me a prescription to take home.

I feel ok today, there's still cramping and pressure but no where near as bad as yesterday. I don't remember anything the doctor said except that he'd show me pictures of everything at my appointment on Tuesday. Hubs was just so happy to hear I was ok, he forgot to ask any questions so we'll have to wait and see on Tuesday what my cervix looked like and how many polyps I had. At least it's over!

Now, I am on to focusing on my lupron injections, doxy and baby aspirin which all start on Tuesday. Yipee!

Thank you to all of you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

AW: Obligatory Meds Pic

So this happened today: 


I am excited and nervous and it is all starting to feel very real! :)
As long as everything goes well with surgery on Friday, I'll be heading to Reno on Tuesday for injection training and for DH to provide his backup sample. Then we're off! I'll start Lupron, baby aspirin and doxy. Our second fridge looks like a pharmacy and it is very exciting!



Friday, May 1, 2015

1 week to go!

I had my pre-op blood draws today and took DH with me so he could get his HIV/STD panel done. They took NINE vials of blood from me, the vampires, and although the phlebotomist was really good, my arm is killing me now! 

I'm getting nervous about my hysteroscopy and polypectomy next week. I have this crazy irrational fear that the polyps are going to come back cancerous. It's worrying me so much I made DH promise that even if the polyps come back as cancer, we'd still go through ER before treating it. I have no idea why this is weighing so heavy on my mind, there's no reproductive organ cancer in my family history but I had an abnormal pap 12 years ago and had a cone biopsy done that came back with precancerous cells. Ever since Dr. W mentioned that the cone biopsy was probably the reason for the calcification on my cervix, I keep thinking about those damn pre-c cells. I also keep worrying that the calcification might lead to an incompetent cervix if I do get KU! I'm a bundle of worry!

DH just keeps saying we will know soon enough and then gives me a little pat on the head and says, then I can move on to worrying about lack of response or arresting embryos. He's right, there's always going to be something to worry about. The key is not allowing it to take over my every waking thought. So, I am going to try really hard to just go with the flow and not stress too much about anything but that's easier said than done!

I just keep trying to focus on how much fun I am going to have stabbing myself with needles! On a pretty awesome front, my parents were already planning on coming out from Texas for one of my neice's graduatiions and offered to come stay with us to help around the ranch during ER and ET. I'll be going to Reno a lot for appointments and then I'll have to rest up after ER so DH will have a lot of his plate, running the business and taking care of all of our animals so it will be really nice to have them here. I know my mom will do all the cooking and cleaning and dad will do all the heavy lifting (DH has degenerative disk disease so the heavy lifting is usually my job) so I will be grateful to have them here. Plus, DH can't do needles (he will literally pass out) so I thought I was going to have to do my own PIO injections, but my mom said she'd do them for me. She'll finally get a few jabs in as payback for my teenage years ;) 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tuesday's Appointment

Yesterday I had my SIS, calendar overview and financial review.

The SIS was pretty painful because apparently I have a lot of calcification on my cervix as well as scar tissue and it was difficult for Dr. W to get the catheter in. He ended up having to kind of shove it in there and it wasn't fun but at least that's over! The calcification is probably from a cervical biopsy I had in my early 20's when I had an abnormal pap. I've never had another since so I've always assumed that they got out whatever abnormal cells there were when they did the biopsy but apparently, they didn't do the greatest job and my cervix is blocked up with the calcification and scar tissue. Also, my RE found polyps when he did the SIS :( So, I am scheduled for a hysteroscopy on May 8th to remove the polyps and he is going to see if he can remove some the scar tissue and calcification from my cervix. Good times! On the plus side, this will make things nice and pretty for an embryo to implant and I'll have three or four weeks of healing time before ET.

My calendar overview went well, although I still don't know exactly what meds I will be on because we have to wait to hear what my compassionate care discount will be. I'm definitely starting 10 untits of Lupron on the 12th and will start stims on the 22nd (I will be on a Lupron protocol). I'm a little bothered by not knowing which meds I'll be using for stims but hopefully I will know by Friday. I know for sure I'll be taking baby Asprin throughout and will be taking Medrol before ET so at least there is something for certain. My nurse said something about ganirelix and menapur but then said "Don't worry about it though, we'll figure it out when we know which discounts you are going to get." I wanted to say, "Have you every met anyone with IF? Don't worry about it?" But I just nodded. I feel a little frustrated because I don't know enough.

I'm also kind of scared and what usually helps me with being scared is when I can be in control and the way I feel in control is if I am armed with knowledge and understanding. Right now, I have a bunch of appointment set up and dates to start different meds but with no idea what those meds will be, I cannot research and feel like I understand everything.

Since we received the grant (YAY) our financial appointment was kind of nice. We're getting a discount of $3k and the discount even applies to cryopreservation and storage so that is pretty cool.

Overall, even though there were a few bumps in the road, everything went well and I am so freaking excited to be moving forward, I wish I just knew a little more!

Monday, April 20, 2015

You Are Not Alone

It is National Infertility Awareness Week and I would like to share this post with you, my long time readers as well as those who may be coming here for the first time. Those who may not know a lot about infertility and those who are suffering in silence. Today, I am taking part in Resolve's Blogger's Unite and am sharing this post for those who are just starting out in their journey or those who are just looking for a hug and the knowledge that, you are not alone.



I have this impossible dream. I dream that I wake up one morning, feel kind of sick and realize that my period is late. I have to run out to the store to buy a pregnancy test and later that day, on a whim, I decide to test and discover that, surprise! I am pregnant. Why is this an impossible dream? Well, it’s because I am infertile. I will never get to experience a surprise pregnancy, I will never know the shock, fear and excitement that comes with rushing out to the store and peeing on a stick to have two lines instantly appear. For me, everything is planned, right down to the day and minute. For me, conception may still be a shock but only because the odds are against me and while I still hold out hope, I realize that my chances of becoming pregnant aren't great.

I am not the only one. 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. Many of them silently, I know I did at first. I didn't want to believe that we couldn't have kids on our own and later, I didn't want to share my pain with anyone else. I already have to be so strong for myself and my spouse, the idea of having to be strong in the face of well-intentioned but hurtful statements was an unbearable thought. We went through our journey for four years, alone, without reaching out to any one. 

It wasn't until our doctor recommended, for the third time, that we go to a reproductive endocrinologist that I even started doing research into infertility. What I found then was a lot of scariness and a lot of love and support. The treatments, the possible risks and failures, the disappointments, those were all the scary things. But what I learned is that there is a good side to infertility, the community. While researching, I came across this amazing support network, this web of infertiles, who come together to support, encourage and educate one another. I found that discussing my infertility and treatment options with my peers not only helped me process everything but it gave me an outlet for the stress I was feeling about facing infertility alone.

Eventually, we did come out to our families and have found a lot of support as well as well meaning but hurtful comments and statements but through everything, I had my girls on Then Comes Family and IDOB and it helped take the sting away. Without that support network, I would have lost my mind and now that we are moving on with IVF, I am more grateful than ever to have them; as a sounding board, a source of support and encouragement and a resource of endless knowledge.

Thankfully I learned that I am not alone and neither are you!

You can learn more about Infertility here:
http://www.resolve.org/about-infertility/what-is-infertility/  (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)

And more about NIAW here:
http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About NIAW)


Thursday, April 16, 2015

And We're Off!

AF arrived on Tuesday, a bit earlier than expected, but I wasn't temping this month so I didn't know for sure when I ovulated. I called my nurse and realized as it was ringing that they close at 4 on Mondays and it was (of course) 4:02. So, I left a message and was shocked when she called back a little while later.

I expected to have to go in for an STD panel but was happily surprised when she said that since we just had it done in July, they were going to let us skip it :) Yay! She called in my prescription for BCPs which I am starting today and got me all set up for an SIS, financial consult and calendar overview next Tuesday. The ball is officially rolling, folks!

I wish I could say I am excited but I am not. Now, I am plagued with worry and what ifs. I am excited to be able to join the IVF checkins. I am excited to be moving forward. But I am have this little voice in my head that keeps saying, what if you get a cyst? What if no eggs are retrieved or what if a ton are retrieved but none of them fertilize or none of them make it to 3dt or they make it to 3dt and we decide to wait til 5dt and they all arrest?

I am sure this worry is normal. I have heard many of you express the same concerns. It's scary to do something this big (and this expensive).

DH has a weird calm. He is certain that it is going to work. Absolutely positive. With all of our IUIs he would say: well, babe, if it happens it happens. But not this time. This time he talks about it as if it's a sure thing. At least one of us is feeling excited!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Moving forward, FINALLY!

Well, on Monday afternoon, we pulled the trigger and started the ball rolling on pulling money from retirement. I called my clinic first, just to be absolutely sure they weren't accepting any other last minute patients for the trial and they said they weren't. I also submitted our grant application and we should hear about whether or not we can receive it in a few weeks.

Then, this evening, I got the most exciting email I have ever received. It was from my IVF nurse and included all the info on med discount programs, my tentative schedule, when I'll start BCPs, need blood draws, my SIS... all of it! I was so excited, I just kept staring at the screen with my mouth open and this shocked looked on my face. DH kept saying, What? What are you looking at your screen like that for? until I came out of it and told him. He was excited too!

After a little while, I got kind of a nagging "this isn't really happening" type feeling that replaced the excitement, but I think that's just my brain's way of protecting my heart. Like a defense mechanism, my brain seems to be saying: remember how let down you were when you couldn't do the study? If IVF doesn't work you'll be devastated if you get your hopes up too high. Sometimes I get sad when I think of the person IF has turned me into, one that can't even get excited to be moving forward without having reservations. Worries. Fears.

But, hey, I'm kind of used to that by now, onward and upwards! I AM ACTUALLY GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO IVF!!!!!! After 10 months of saving and begging and praying and hoping, we're actually gonna do it! YAY!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Phone Consult with Dr. W

Well, today I had my phone consult with Dr. W and it went pretty well. He was very apologetic about the study closing earlier than he expected and said that when they found out, he immediately thought of us. It doesn't make it any less disappointing but it is nice to know he cares.

He said that we may qualify for a grant that the clinic offers, which reduces the cost of cycling by 25%. It's not a ton of money but it's better than nothing. Of course, that does nothing to reduce the cost of medications but he suggested the Compassionate Care program and others like it to help reduce our medication costs. They will be sending the forms for the grant to us tomorrow and I'll probably complete them and get the back in the mailbox the same day I receive them!

Unfortunately, due to the fact that my last SIS was in July, I would have to have another one before we could move forward and the cost is $515 plus, we need to have our STD testing redone because it has been over a year. Thankfully, our insurance may cover the cost of the STD testing so at least there's that.

He said that he thinks we have an excellent chance of being successful at achieving pregnancy with IVF and suggested that we move forward as soon as possible with retrieval and transfer at the end of May, beginning of June because he's concerned about my age and endometriosis. So, we have some decisions to make: pull money from our retirement or try for a loan we probably won't get. I'm really torn. I really don't want to pull money from our retirement. It scares me. I've always thought of that money as money that doesn't even exist, money that we need for our future that is not to be touched but really, how else are we supposed to do this? It makes me sad that money has to be such a big factor in our ability to conceive a child. I hate it.

Overall, I am happy with our conversation. I feel like we are finally going to be moving forward and hopefully we will get the grant from the clinic and will be able to cycle next month. This time, though, I am not getting my hopes up or even allowing myself to get excited. It just hurt too much when I was let down last time. So for now, I will be incredibly cautiously optimistic that things might work out!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Second Job and IF Brain

Well, I finally got the audio to work for my afternoon orientation meeting and have been working non-stop to prepare for my job assessment on Monday. Basically, I have been spending this whole week learning what my job entails and trying to figure out how to do it properly! I have been doing a ton of sample tasks and created a massive binder, filled with all the information I need to master every part of this new job. On Monday, I get tested on everything and as long as I pass, I will have my second job on lock. If I don't pass, I'll get a second shot but that's it. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I pass on the first try. This job will really speed up our timeline because I'll be able to put all of that income towards IVF.

I'll be talking with my RE on Wednesday to see if he can offer any discounts or has any ideas on how we can decrease the costs of IVF. DH told me last night that I should just tell the RE that we are going to move forward and we'll just pull the money out of our retirement. Part of me wants to just do it but part of me is really nervous about pulling money from our retirement. Plus, I keep thinking, why am I going to work a second job if we are just going to pull money out of retirement? Ugh. We'll figure it out. We always do. I am so looking forward to just being able to do IVF and try for a baby.

The other thing that has been happening is that I have had NO sex drive at all. It's been since we found out that the study was closing early (back at the beginning of March). Sex just reminds me that for us, sex isn't for baby making. I feel bad about it. DH and I have always had a very active sex life and I know that it's frustrating for him to go from sex every day or every other day for 14 years to sex once a week. He is so good though, he hasn't said anything, except for a couple of comments about being able to tell that I am sad, so at least I am not being guilt tripped about my lack of interest in sex! I plan on making an effort this weekend to focus on us, rather than relating sex to babies in my mind. Isn't that funny? Most people worry about sex getting them pregnant, I'm avoiding sex because I know it won't! IF brain just makes everything so complicated. :(

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Study: Closed

Well, I talked to my nurse today and the study is closed. I am disappointed but ready to move on. My nurse talked me into a phone consult with my RE next Wednesday because she said he is really good at figuring out money saving options for IVF. So, we wait until next Wednesday. We've decided that regardless of what happens during that conversation, we will be cycling with NCRM no matter what. Yes, they are further away than my former RE but we really liked this doctor and facility better and it is a tiny bit cheaper than our former RE. Plus, they have higher success rates that I trust more because they are through SART. My former clinic just published their success rates on their webpage but didn't participate in SART reporting.

In the meantime, I started my orientation for my second job today and was immediately faced with the problem of not being able to hear the audio. I bought special headphones just for this occasion and nothing would work! Thankfully, there's another orientation today at 1 pm. Hopefully, I will have the audio situation figured out by then.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Update: Spotting

Houston, we have spotting!

I've never wanted to see a bleed so freaking much in my life. Finally, I am getting closer to AF and will be able to call Monday morning to find out for sure whether or not the study is closed. I fully expect it to be, but I just need to hear it.

I've taken a step towards moving on from the study and decided to apply for a second job. It's kind of crazy because it's not like I don't already have enough on my plate with running my own company and taking care of our ranch and all our animals, but I decided that the only way we are going to get closer to doing IVF at the speed in which I want to get there, is to do this.

It's a work-from-home job, so I can simultaneously run my company while working four hours a day for this new company. It's not an easy job but the hours are very flexible and it will help bring us closer to being able to afford IVF AND I just found out that I not only got the job but was offered a position that is a step up from the one for which I applied! I start training on Monday and I am pretty excited. I had to sign an NDA but I can say that it is for a major internet search engine and I will be doing back end search engine analysis type stuff.

Things are looking up!

ICLW - I'm Back at it!

"Blogging is a conversation and comments should be honored and encouraged." - Stirrup Queens

Today is the start of March, 2015's International Comment Leaving Week or ICLW.

Welcome, if you have never been here before, and welcome back if you are joining us again! I haven't participated since October, because my blog reading and writing died off a bit. We weren't cycling anymore so every post felt like I was regurgitating the same things. Also, I had to lay off my sales manager and take on his duties which took some getting used to!

So, where are we now? Well, we tried to get into an IVF study, but after getting preliminary accepted, we found out they were closing the study early. Truthfully, I was heartbroken; it seemed like that would be our only chance, but as it always goes with IF, I carried on. We are still saving and fund raising to try and save enough money to do our first IVF cycle. We try on our own, every cycle, but with a blocked tube and scar tissue from endo and my laps, we don't get too hopeful. In fact, I don't even prematurely test anymore, which is probably a good thing because it was getting to be an addiction.

So, welcome! Take a look around, check out some posts and leave a comment so I know you were here and can follow your journey as well!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Come on AF

So, my hopes are not high. I am protecting my heart. But a little part of me is praying that AF shows up on time tomorrow and that the study hasn't closed when I call as soon as she gets here. I wish the nurse that called a few weeks ago could have given me a definitive answer because I've kind of been a grumpy bitch since I found out that it is likely the study will be closed before AF's arrival. Poor DH, I've just been kind of slumpy and I know it is hard for him. He hates that he can't fix this for me.

I'm also a little scared to call. I'm scared to have this one shred of hope taken away from me. Half of me just wants to know for sure that it is closed and that this avenue is definitely not available to me. Half of me is bargaining with God and praying that it isn't closed. Can't I just catch one little break? Puh-leeze!?!

Keep everything crossed for me that AF shows up tomorrow. At least then we'll know.


Friday, March 13, 2015

PSA: Then Comes Family

A while back I wrote a draft post about all the drama that happened at The Bump (hereafter and forever known as The Dump or TD) but it was chalk full of expletives and high emotion. I meant to revisit and edit the post but never got around to it (bad me)! I wanted to share with you all what happened (briefly) and let you know where you can find an awesome support network.

So, a quick recap for those who don't know: A little over two months ago I jumped on TD, what I considered to be my biggest support network in addition to IDOB, to chat with my girls and read updates on where everyone is on their journeys. Upon logging on, I realized that our ever wonderful leader, NariaDreaming, had been banned. I was shocked, as was everyone else. A pillar of our community, just gone? Upon doing some sleuthing, I discovered that other beloved mods had been banned as well. I had an idea of where to find Naria so I tracked her down. Basically, (the totally short and incomplete version) TD decided that they didn't appreciate constructive feedback from their mods and banned them and some members without warning. It caused a huge uproar in the community and prompted a mass exodus across the entire forum. A few weeks later, those that stayed behind and straddled both boards to help direct members to our new place and to offer support to Newbies, also let completely when TD had some kind of glitch that changed some screen names to people's IRL names. The place that we all trusted and considered home had betrayed our trust and hurt our own, so we left!

Where did we all go? Well, due to the amazing foresight and awesomeness of Naria, she created a new home for us on ProBoards, originally called GCBC or Goodbye Cruel Bump. Literally thousands of women jumped ship. For people like me, who don't do change, it was an oddly smooth transition because we all moved together.

Now, this community, which is 7500+ strong is becoming permanent and even has plans to build a website with community driven content to offer information, advice and support to everyone. The new name? Then Comes Family. You can find it here: www.thencomesfamily.com/community It is a fast growing online community for everyone from people just thinking about starting a family to parents and those living CLNBC and everything in between. There are literally boards for everyone. So if you haven't already, come join us!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Disappointment

It's kind of par for the course when dealing with IF. There are so many ups and downs, so many opportunities for hope and for disappointment. When it comes to participating in the study, I thought I had prepared for every possible disappointment; my blood test results could disqualify me, I could get my period super late, lupron suppression might not work, I could get cancelled for too few follies, I could get cancelled for too many follies... the list went on and on. I was prepared for the possibility of failure. What I hadn't thought of was the chance that I might not ever get to start.

On Friday, I got a phone call from our new clinic. When I looked at the caller ID, I got excited because I figured they were calling me to give me more info to get the ball rolling. I was wrong. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hello?
Clinic: Hi! This is Pamela from NCRM, how are you?
Me: Great!
Clinic: I am calling to let you know that we've reached our cap for IVF patients for March.
Me: Oh, ok, well Dr. W told me to call when I got my period at the end of March, is that still ok?
Clinic: Yes! But it looks like you were interested in the IVF study, I just need to let you know that you'll probably have to consider doing IVF in April without the study.
Me: Wait, what? We can't afford to do it without the study!
Clinic: I'm so sorry, it's just that we just received word that they are planning to close the study early. Me: It's not going to close on the 30th? (quiet tears)
Clinic: Well, you can still call after your next period to see but the study will most likely be closed before the 30th.
Me: Oh my gosh. (totally crying and can't get any other words out)
Clinic: I'm so sorry.
Me: Ok (because it was all I could get out)
Clinic: Still call though, ok? Just be prepared that the study is closing early.
Me: Ok, thank you.
Clinic: You're welcome, sorry for the bad news.

And that was it. I felt like someone put a vice grip on my heart and DH just grabbed me and held me while I cried. For a long time. I spent most of the day Friday crying. I just couldn't stop. I cried because I was sad, I cried because I was mad at myself for not considering the possibility of the study closing early. I cried because I lost the chance to try.

Saturday morning when I woke up, I thought I felt a little better but the feelings of missing out on the study came flooding back and kinda ruined my day. I was better but not back to normal. I was still grieving. In the evening, DH suggested that we watch Horrible Bosses 2, which was hilarious and lightened both of our moods.

Sunday morning, I decided I needed to get my head back in the game. There is a tiny chance we could get in the study and if we can't, I just need to get back to my pre-study chance frame of mind. This is not the worst thing that could happen to me. So many of my friends have been through so much worse. This is just a bump in the road.

The only thing that keeps lingering is that fact that we have so far to go to save up for treatment. Saving for IVF has been so frustrating. At one point we were up to half of what we needed and then a horse got sick and we had a 1k vet bill, then another horse got sick and then a goat. Having the vet out to the ranch is really expensive and each time they came out, or savings took a hit. Then, we lost our dog, Saphira and then we loaned a small amount to a family member, who will pay us back but still, it's gone for the moment.

For now, I am holding my head up high and moving forward. It's all I can do. I'll keep saving and fund raising and maybe we'll get there someday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

So far, so good!

I'll cut straight to the point and then give details, at this point, I'm in the study!!!!!!!!!

It took a full two hours to get to the clinic but DH and I rocked out to an 80's playlist and talked a lot. Used to the disappointment of IF, I had convinced myself that my PCOS would disqualify me from the study and that I wouldn't be able to move forward. Fortunately, that was not the case because my PCOS fx is based on elevated androgens and excessive hair growth, not the standard string of pearls which would disqualify me from the study.

But I digress, I'll start at the beginning. Our first impressions of the clinic were mostly positive, the building is new, the receptionist was very nice but not in a fake way and the waiting room is large with comfy couches. There were only two negatives: *****babies briefly mentioned**** there were two babies in the waiting room (grrrrrr) and they were running behind. The running behind worried us a lot because at my former clinic, they often ran an hour or two behind but, it turned out that they were only running twenty minutes behind and my new nurse apologized profusely for the delay, which we appreciated. When we were called back, my new nurse introduced herself (she is very nice) and took us to Dr. W's office and told us he'd be with us shortly. We immediately noticed no fewer than sixteen diploma-ish looking things on his wall (DH counted). He's an RE and OB/Gyn, board certified in both and has some other accreditations I didn't get a chance to inspect because he came in so quickly! 

First off, Dr. W is a HOTTIE! With beatiful blue eyes, nice! He was very friendly and said straight away that he had read my chart (sent over by my former clinic) but that he wanted to hear our story straight from us. Immediately I liked him and realized at that moment just how little my former RE (Dr. G) actually listened to me. I could tell DH really liked him because he actually talked to him, he never talked to Dr. G, DH later said that he really like that Dr. w didn't talk down to him. So, I told him our whole story and he asked lots of questions about our life in general and told us about himself (he and his wife were actually married in the town next to ours). The only thing he found odd about my prior treatment was my cancelled iui in which Dr. G had me take all 10 pills of Femara on one day. After I told him everything, he agreed that IVF with ICSI is a good recommendation for us and explained the study in great detail. We asked a lot of questions and he answered all of them with detailed explanations. He also told us the pitfalls of the study but said that his clinic has been involved in the study for two years and he had no safety concerns. His biggest dislike is that the study protocol requires all patients to start out at 400 gonal f/afolia (it's a double blind study so some women get gonal f and some get afolia) and he can't change that dosage until day 6 of stims. He also doesn't like that the protocol requires the use of crinone gel for progesterone, PIO cannot be used, this is a problem because crinone is messy and causes vaginal bleeding which makes patients very worried and stressed (I love that he is concerned about his patients getting worried) although it is just as effective. The final thing he doesn't like is that the study requires a three day transfer, he prefers five but he said that if we had extra embryos, they can go to day five before freezing so that is a plus. 

After we finished the discussion, he said that he wanted to do a u/s and as long as everything looked ok, they would enroll us in the study! The u/s went well, he and the nurse noticed my cock (rooster) socks that were from the Christmas exchange (thanks Tiko!) one embarrassing thing that happened was that he pointed out calcification at my cervix (which it turns out is from rough sex! We had a good Valentine's weekend! Ha!) which means it is healing *blushing*! He could see scarring from ends around my right ovary but he said the way was clear for the needle so it should be ok for ER. I o'd this month on my left side, which I knew because I felt it and he said I had a perfect follie count for the study. In the end, he went and got me the protocol for the study, consent paperwork and said, Congratulations, so far, you're in the study!" And shook both of our hands. 

Then we went over timing. AF arrives next week, too early to start the study because I won't turn 35 until the following week and I have to be 35 to be in the study. So, when I get my first period after I turn 35, I will go in on cd 2 for a u/s and bloodwork. As long as my FSH is below 12 and I have between 10 and 20 follies, I'll start bcps to prep for ivf! He said that based on past u/s results and bloodwork, he thinks I should be good to go! YAY!!!!!! Since yesterday I have read the study paperwork six times! Lol

The study covers all ultrasounds, bloodwork, SA's (which we don't need because DH's counts have never been lower than 78 mil and that was with no abstaining), semen prep, most of the ER, ICSI, ET and the study drug (gonal f or afolia). It doesn't cover all of the ER ($2500) anesthesia ($500) cryopreservation and storage ($1000) or BCPs, lupron, ovidrel and crinone so we will be OOP on those (if you know anyone who has extras, send them my way). 

I am excited and am feeling optimistic. And I feel at peace, I feel like this was the way it was supposed to go which is a really nice feeling. We have one more hurdle to cross so I'm praying hard everything looks ok at the end of March (my March AF should be March 23rd or 24th). 

Sorry for the novel! Thank you all for your love and support, it means a lot to know I have people pulling for me!!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Anxious

Thank you, ladies, for all your support and encouragement about my attempting to get into the study! I vacillate between being super exited and optimistic to being nervous, anxious and certain I won't get in. I've sought out some blogs of women who were accepted into the study, so I know what to expect (I need ALL the knowledge), and have found that unfortunately the first appointment is just the first step to approval. Isn't that how it always is with IF?

I am glad I read about it though so I know what to expect. The first appointment will determine whether or not I have the proper diagnosis to be included in the study. Thankfully, I've been through all the initial testing before so I should be ok unless there is some surprise in the notes from my first RE that I don't know about. If all goes well at that appointment (Tuesday), they will have to do another SA for DH and cd3 bloodwork and a u/s for me. They'll be looking at my FSH levels and I will have to have between 10 and 20 follies at my cd 3 u/s. Fingers crossed I will be ok there too because they are looking for an FSH under 12, which I have always been, and the fewest follies I've had at a cd 3 u/s is 11. If everything looks good at that point, I'll be accepted into the study and will get started with my protocol immediately because the study ends at the end of March.

At the moment, I am excited and optimistic but that usually changes every other hour so I'm sure I'll be back to worrying in no time!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

AW: Consult Appointment for Clinical Trial

This morning, while moping over my coffee about the fact that I am going to be 35 soon, a thought popped into my head about a clinical trial in a neighboring state (The Ivy Study). A few months back, I sent an email to the clinic requesting info about the trial but because I was 34 at the time and the trial is for women between the ages of 35 and 45, I never got a response. BUT, I am going to be 35 soon, maybe the trial is still open, I thought.

I looked up the trial and called the clinic closest to me about the trial. The receptionist asked me a ton of questions, put me on hold forever and came back and said that she talked to the person in charge of the trial and that she said to get me a consult appointment right away! The first appointment they had available that I could make is the 17th, so the 17th it is!

It turns out that the clinical trial ends at the end of March so, if I qualify, I would start Lupron in a couple weeks and then start stimming right after my birthday! Of course, I am getting ahead of myself. First, I need to be sure I qualify for the trial. I have read over the disqualifications and I think I will be ok, but obviously that will be up to the doctor and study people (I am picturing a bunch of people in white coats, standing around holding clipboards). The cost of stims is covered and the cost of IVF is halved if I am able to participate, which we could almost manage with the contributions we have had so far and our savings. My mom and dad and sister have offered to help with what we cannot manage.

I'm trying not to get excited. I keep reminding myself that this is by no means a guaranteed shot. I may not qualify. If I qualify, things might not go well, what if I don't respond to this medication? What if I overstim or am cancelled? But excitement keeps creeping in and I can barely contain myself at the thought that we might actually get a chance to have our chance!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Just saying HI!

I am trying really hard to get back in to blogging and blog stalking now that I have my office under control. It's not been easy, getting used to doing the accounting AND the sales, but I have a better handle on it.

So, HI!

DH and I are still trying naturally, although it's cd3 so obviously it hasn't been working, and I'm diligently taking all my vitamins and supplements and have managed to stick with the ISWTE diet for the most part.

My 35th birthday is coming up in a month and I am not looking forward to it. Everyone keeps asking me what I want for my birthday and all I keep thinking is: a few years back? For my eggs to stop aging? For me NOT to be 35? I try not to think about it but I'm about to be welcomed into the AMA world and I'm not looking forward to it.

At least I have gotten over the fact that we aren't doing IVF before I am 35 like I wanted. It's just not gonna happen no matter how much we scrimp and save. Hopefully, the things that I have planned in the next six months will bring in the income we need to be able to do IVF this summer. Hopefully.

So that's really it in my world! Work, take care of my animals and husband, try to have a miracle baby and save for IVF.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Liebster Award


I can't believe it's already that time of year again! My friend PackerFan4Life nominated me for the Liebster Award!

The Liebster Award is passed along from blogger to blogger in a way to recognize bloggers with less than 200 followers and get to know one another better. Each blogger answers 11 questions, tells 11 random facts about themselves, nominates other bloggers and poses questions to the nominees. So let's get started!

Questions posed to my by Packer:

1. What is your favorite thing about your life right now?
I would have to say that I  am self employed. It is difficult because everything falls on me but it is rewarding because when we are doing well, it's all because of my hard work and that is very satisfying. Plus I work from home!

2. When you're having a bad day, what is the one thing that is guaranteed to lift your spirits?
My animals! They are so sweet and loving and I always know that when I am having a bad day I can just snuggle up with one of the dogs on the couch and they will give me love and comfort. Tully isn't very cuddly, but she's always good for a laugh when she runs and trips over her feet or frolics around chasing bees or butterflies :)

3.What is your main purpose in blogging?
At first it was just to keep a timeline of events. After a while, it evolved into a way to try and stamp out the stigma that surrounds IF. I also use my blog to provide information on different supplements people can use in conjunction with treatment.

4. What is your favorite book?
My all time favorite is Tess of the D'Urberville's by Thomas Hardy. I had to read it in college and fell in love with it. It was one of the required reads that I read in two days (I barely slept) because I found it so interesting.

5. What is the last thing you bought for yourself?
Burt's Bees shampoo and conditioner, face wash and night cream! I threw away all of my products containing phthalates and parabens and have been slowly replacing them. Btw, their face  wash smells so good, I want to eat it!

6. If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
I would go to Ireland. My grandparents were born there and came to the US when they were young so I still have family living there. I would love to go meet them and see my country of origin :)

7. You have 20 extra minutes before work, what do you do?
I go on FB to check in with my IDOB ladies and of course hit up GBCB on proboards!

8. What is your favorite animal?
Sloths. Definitely sloths. I want one badly!

9. What is your best trait?
My eyes. They are blue, green and orange (around my pupil) and I think they are stunning!

10. We all have them, what bad habit can you not seem to quit?
I bite my nails. I used to bite them down to nubs but I have gotten a lot better and they are actually pretty long but when they get too long, I bite them down rather than getting nail clippers. DH hates it!

11. If you could push through any political reform, what would it be?
I would push through the mandate that requires insurance companies, in all states, to cover treatment for IF, including IVF. I think it's ridiculous to pay over a thousand dollars a month for insurance that doesn't cover the one illness that I and many others have.

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. I currently have 14 animals (dogs, cats, horses, goats and chickens)
2. DH and I got kicked off our local golf course for racing the golf carts.
3. I love brussel spouts and eat them at least one day a week.
4. I am obsessed with the snowman song from Frozen. I sing it all the time and have for months! I usually dance around when I sing so the puppy has associated the song with playing. When it comes on, she runs around and jumps up and down.
5. My favorite dinner is breakfast. I love a good scramble or some waffles for dinner and it's my go to when I don't really feel like cooking.
6. My original career choice was teaching. I have a master's degree in education and a teaching credential for high school English.
7. I lost 70 lbs three years ago and have kept all the weight off.
8. I like to dye my hair funky colors. I started going grey when I was 25 and since then have died my hair every "natural" color there is and have even died it purple and blue.
9. I really want a pig as a pet but DH won't let me :(
10. I grew up in the city (SF Bay Area) but have always been a country girl at heart. We now live on 24 acres in the Sierra National Forrest.
11. I'm a prepper!

And the nominees are:
Packer nominated the other people I would have chosen!

Questions for the nominees
1. What is your dream career?
2. Who do you always turn to when you need support?
3. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
4. Big or small, if you could change one thing that is wrong with the world, what would you change?
5. Who is your hero?
6. What is one thing/person that has had the most influence on your life?
7. What is your favorite food?
8. What was your favorite thing to do as a child (trips, games, activities, etc.)?
9. Would you rather read a book or watch a movie/tv show?
10. What is the most exciting or out of the ordinary thing you have done?
11. If you could travel to any place in the world, where would it be and why?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Healthy Eggies

Lately I have been making some big changes in my life to help my body produce better eggs. I figure that while we are saving for IVF, I need to do something and I definitely want to go into our first IVF cycle knowing that I did everything I could to contribute to a successful outcome. This all began when I read, "It Starts with the Egg." There were tons of things I didn't know about egg development and I am thankful the book was recommended to me by a friend.

Since reading the book, we have eliminated all plastic cups and food storage containers, changed all of our cleaning products, changed all of our personal care products including makeup, soap, shampoo and deodorant and changed our diet. I'm also taking the right kind of CoQ10 in addition to my PNVs and Pregnitude.

Overall, the changes haven't been too hard, changing our diet meant learning a lot of new recipes but that is actually fun. The only real challenge I have had is with Shampoo. I went super crunchy and in an attempt to save money, I bought castille soap online and made my own shampoo. I do not recommend this. My hair was ok after the first washing and I figured it wasn't a big deal. I could handle it. I could not. After the second washing, my hair felt coated in wax. By the third washing, it was a waxy tangled mess. If I had short hair, I could probably get away with it but my hair is very long, down to the middle of my back long and my castile soap shampoo was not gonna work. So, I ordered some Burt's Bees shampoo and it is much better. My mom promised me some honest company stuff for my birthday too so I'll have that as an alternative.

I'm on my way to making good eggies for IVF. Even if these changes don't make a huge difference, at least I'll know I did everything I could!