Life Lately

Our IVF cycle is starting to turn 3rd base and we are sprinting toward home base!  Last week we had our egg retrieval on Friday and since it has been the craziest rollar coaster ride.  I expected IVF to be emotional and I though ceasing hormone injections would help decrease the crazy, but I was oh so wrong!

Post egg retrieval you go into this pattern of waiting.  Waiting to see how many eggs were retrieved, waiting to see how many eggs are viable, waiting for the fertilization report, waiting for your ovaries to feel normal again, waiting for the bloating to die down, waiting for embryo updates, etc.

In addition to waiting on EVERYTHING, you also begin progesterone.  This is no joke!!! I will be sobbing out of control, then be immediately happy, then tired, then starving, then irritable.  It is like your PMS symptoms on steroids.  My poor husband; I really do feel bad for him right now more than ever.

While we are still waiting for transfer and a Day 5 update, followed by the intimidating 2ww. (2 week wait to find out if it worked), we have certainly learned this is a statistics game.  Higher top numbers, typically mean higher embryos that are good to transfer.  I support the skates function at my job, and they are always talking about a funnel for metrics.  This is the same thing.  Who knew those nut cases actually had a value add to my life without even knowing about it!! That being said, we like to shake it up in our house and are basically doing everything off of the bell curve.

The average cycle consists of 10 eggs retrieved, 8 mature, 6 fertilized, 4 day 3 good quality embryos and 2 day 5 blasts.

Currently we stand at 21 eggs retrieved, 15 mature, 11 fertilized and 8 day 3 good quality embryos.  Most declination happens between day 3 and day 5 so I am a nervous wreck. But what is crazy is when we initially got our fertilization report only 9 had fertilized (que pity party), this morning another 2 had, they were just late to the party! I was so excited!!!

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Our final injection(trigger shot) and my egg retrevial

I am sure I will be posting and rambling post transfer but today, I am emotionally shot.  I wanted to wrap up by certainly giving glory to God.  He is so good to us, and has blessed us in this process beyond measure.  And for those who have stood with us in hope and faith and prayed for our embabies before they even existed, my sincerest thanks.

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Infertility

Today I thought I would dive a little deeper than normal and share my thoughts about supporting a woman undergoing infertility treatments.  When your friend/ sister/ neighbor/ co worker shares with you her battle with infertility, she is confiding in your deepest sense of confidence and support.  She has/ or will endure stress emotionally, physically and financially.  Yours words, while their intent is uplifting, can crush her.  I am sharing the phrases to never say to your infertile friend, that unfortunately we hear all the time.

“I’m sure if you just relax and stop trying, it will happen” I hear this ALL the time and it is by far the most annoying and ignorant thing you can say to someone who struggles with infertility.  Waiting will not cure her endometriosis, increase her husband’s sperm count, make her ovulate, etc.  This is not an issue of patience, and she is spending each day waiting, telling her to wait longer will only upset her.

“Everything happens for a reason” This statement just makes me angry.  Are you telling me I caused the infertility my husband and I suffer from? Or that I was purposefully made ill?  What reason does anyone have for suffering infertility?  Do not say this!!! It is not my destiny to be infertile, so don’t make it sound that way.

“I know how you feel, it took us 4 months to get pregnant” Nope, you don’t know how I feel.  Not even close.  How many injections have you administered?  How many doctors have you visited? How many negative tests have you looked at? How many surgeries have you endured?  How many thousands of dollars have you paid?  Our situations are not equal and you are currently demeaning mine.

“Maybe you aren’t ready to be a mother.  God needs more time to work on you” Me: you insensitive bitch!!! Then why are people addicted to drugs popping out babies left and right?  Very inappropriate.  I can’t imagine how women who have spouses with male factor infertility relate to this.

“This is God’s plan for you”. My God has plans to prosper me, not plans to harm me.   This sickness is because we live in a fallen world, not because God has deemed me to suffer.

“You could just adopt” If I wanted to adopt then I would.  Also, adoption is expensive ($30k plus).  Many couples can hardly afford fertility treatment so could not possibly afford adoption.  Again…ignorance.

If you are supporting a woman struggling with infertility, the best course of action is to say nothing at all. Often she wants you to listen, pray for her healing, or sit with her as she cries.  While words are said with the best of intentions, they tear apart our soul one piece at a time and I’ve learned very quickly, everyone has an input and opinion or words of advice for how they conceived. What she needs is someone to be vulnerable with and encourage her to persevere and move forward.  She is looking for you, her trusted friend to supplement her strength when she is weak and nothing more. Your support means more to her then she can tell you!

Because posts are not complete without photos…here is a glimpse into her week!

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The Great Debate

Given this time of year, I know most of you must assume this post is somehow related to these two nut jobs..

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But, it’s not! It is actually concerning the great debate between myself, my husband and our fertility doctor, who might as well be family at this point.   We need to decide if we plan to transfer a single embryo or two.  Under no circumstance will we transfer more than two.  This is causing me major anxiety, and I’m asking for help and advice from those who have been thru IVF before.

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If we transfer a single embryo, and achieve pregnancy, then it is a win all the way around.  However, this gives us a 42% success rate and this shit is expensive!  And time consuming!!!  If we transfer 2 embryos, our success rate bumps up to 65%, which is great but then there is the concern of a twin pregnancy.  Oh, and have you heard of embryos splitting, while rare it does happen creating an identical twin set like with this family or this family.  Both are precious families and blogs I feel encouraged by, but wow…it seems scary!

Enough rambling, any advice?!?!?!?!?

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Holy Drugs!

So today is day one of our IVF cycle, which feels like every other normal day, except I started birth control, which blows my mind.  It seems counter productive right?  Like we want to get pregnant, not prevent pregnancy! But, I am following everything the doctor says to the tee.  However, I wanted to share the current state of my kitchen and what is to come…

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CRAZY!!! I was shocked when my meds started arriving.  Completely and totally intimidated…and excited.  Pretty much I feel ridiculously conflicted, all day, every day.

I also picked up some of the cutest gender neutral goodies at Target this weekend.

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Baby Gear

Like I said, feeling crazy!  For all the TTC ladies out there…sending hope & baby dust!

 

 

Another Bump in the Road

It has been a while since my last update, and honestly I have been feeling totally and completely defeated.  During our original vist to the RE, Dr. Kevin identified a cyst on my left ovary.  He scheduled an appointment three weeks out and let us know that most cysts are a result of failed ovulation and most often resolve themselves.  Unfortunately, at our follow up appointment last week, we found out my cyst had not grown, which is good, but it also is not any smaller which is VERY bad.  It was beyond obvious that he was totally surprised.  My cyst is just over 5 cm (blueberry sized), which I thought seemed small, but on an almond sized ovary makes it a little scarier.

We go back for an additional follow up appointment on July 15. If no progress has been made, I will need to have it surgically removed, which adds additional months to our timeline and quite frankly breaks my heart.  I anticipated that this journey would not be seamless, but putting treatment on hold after already trying for 566 days, is beyond frustrating.

However, enough of my negativity, at least we have an action plan and we still have the hope of success, which is a blessing in itself as I know many couples would gladly trade places. So, our journey continues, one day at a time.

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We have started taking selfies in the car each time we visit the RE’s office.

1 in 8

Infertility affects one in eight couple trying to conceive…hello, I am part of the one!  Where to begin?  I never saw myself as the nurturing type and was not overly concerned with babies or starting a family until around my 28th birthday, and boom it hit.  It was like someone flipped a switch inside and it began to consume my thoughts.  Of course, being a planner by nature, I began getting all my ducks in line to present the best possible environment, financial situation and home to welcome baby.  You can read about it here .  Obviously, it has not gone to plan.  June 1st marked 18 months of no success, and June 2nd marked our first visit to the Reproductive Endrologist.

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Dress (currently 40% off)

Talk about nerves!!!  Blood test, dye tests, DNA analysis, sonograms, etc.  The hunt is certainly on and I had no idea the emotional toll or financial implications of all the testing before we even begin our actual treatment plan.  I have 3 more tests before our next appointment on June 23, where hopefully we will receive a diagnosis and firm treatment plan.

Along the way, we started collecting children’s books with written sentiments inside, so our children will know they were loved and prayed for before they were in existence.

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I plan to document our journey, the medical jargon, emotional outburst, etc. There is comfort in numbers, so instead of being 1 in 8, I like to think of myself as part of the 39.87 million people affected by infertility in American.

Remaining Hopeful!

I’m Alive…

And have lots to share.  First and foremost I will be 29 in 4 days, gulp!!! I might as well be thirty, it has been a little wake up call to get it moving so here are some updates…

To date, in regards to my 2015 goals, I have made progress but not quite where I want to be yet. As far as homes go here is our second contender.  It sits in the 2nd highest ranked school district in DFW so big plus there, plus in an established neighborhood near a HOMEGOODS!

I am LOVING this kitchen, but the yard is teeny tiny and there is no play room. 😦

Moving right along, it has been 25 days since my last caffeinated beverage and I have pretty much kicked that habit to the curb, but instead have replaced it with cake pops…yikes.  Next week I will find out my ranking at work and I am EXTREMELY hopeful to come in at the top 10% but more to come there.

On the baby front, not much to report.  We do not fall in the 20% that conceive in their first cycle.  I will admit I am a little disappointed.  I assumed if I aligned everything, along with providing the optimal health conditions ( no alcohol, no caffeine, regular folic acid, etc.) I would easily conceive. Not so much the case.  I will admit I had some tears, but realistically know it was a long shot.  So back to it.

Anyways, if ever there was something to put things back into perspective for me it was seeing American Sniper.  This is an excellent movie.  It is a reminder of the sacrifice made by our armed forces.  It renewed my appreciation as well as my patriotism. I feel so honored to be an American and so very thankful for the freedoms I enjoy in life and for those who make it possible.

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Those are my ramblings for this evening….a new capsule for Spring/Summer coming soon.