Happy Transfer Day! NOT.

Transfer day was Thursday, January 21, 2016. We went into the day super excited, and I was especially excited for a four day weekend of binging on Netflix and napping. We would be transferring one embryo at 10:45 am and 11 days later our pregnancy test was scheduled.

This time Nick came with me, there was no way I was going to let him miss the big moment again. We goofed around in the waiting area (thank goodness I didn’t wet myself because a full bladder is required for transfer) and once again it took the nurses a good three tries before they were able to draw my blood for testing. Nick looked very dapper in his hospital gown and hair net (see below) as we prepared to see our little embie on the big screen.

Once in the operating room the embryologist checked my bladder and actually let me get up and let a little bit out in the restroom which was AMAZING. When I returned they showed us our little cell blob on the big screen and then transferred it right on into its home for hopefully the next 9 months. As I laid there for about 10 minutes after the procedure, the nurse brought us a picture of the embryo and one of the ultrasound after the transfer had been made. We were SO excited.

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Then the bad news came. A nurse handed me a piece of paper to sign, and being the good girl that I am, I actually read it. It was a form stating that we had one embryo left frozen from our October cycle. Immediately my heart fell. One embryo? I thought there were 5 left, total? One from the October cycle and 4 from this cycle. After all, five had made it to freeze back in December. A great number. I asked the nurse what this meant and she told me she wasn’t sure.

We went back to my waiting “room” where I was to lie down for another 20 minutes or so. I asked the next nurse I saw why I only had one frozen embryo listed on my sheet of paper. She too was unsure and said she would call back to the lab to ask. After about a half an hour we were FINALLY visited by a representative of the lab.

If you recall, our cycle was part of a clinical study where the embryos (either all of them, or all but the best looking one, would receive Preimplantation Genetic Screening). Apparently all 4 of the other embryos tested from our December retrieval came back genetically abnormal and were thrown out. WHAT!?!?!

Well what about the one in me? Was that one normal or abnormal?? Because of the study, we were not allowed to know what group we were in, so there was no way to tell. Four out of five were for sure abnormal. All I could think of were, what are the odds that one out of five was normal, IF it have been tested? I was devastated. Basically this was our only shot because we did not have any genetically normal embryos leftover. Yes, we have our little guy from October, but the quality was weak and probably not worth an FET on its own.

I spent the entire drive home crying, and convincing myself we were going to have to either start all over from scratch or begin pursuing adoption. The clinic sent over some paperwork explaining what was abnormal about the other four embryos but it didn’t make any sense to me. I was just for sure that I did not produce any good eggs and that I would never have a baby of my own.

As much as Nick tried to get me to think positive, I could not. I spent the next week plus depressed, sporadically crying, researching infertility grants and seeking information on adoption. I am nothing if not prepared. But nothing could have prepared me for the miracle that happened next.

There can be miracles, when you believe…

It is with great joy, but also with a heavy heart, that we announced to the world that we are pregnant with not one, but two miracle babies!

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Joy because it is finally our turn to have a family. Joy because we have seen two lines, heard our baby’s heartbeats and allowed ourselves to look to the future. It is with a heavy heart because I know there are so many well deserving people out there still being crushed by the weight of infertility and a dream lost. For every tear of joy, there has been a tear of sorrow. For every moment I have not quite believed, there is another living with the reality of infertility. And as much as my heart has broken, it has also been repaired.

We cannot begin to explain how incredibly blessed we feel. In our wildest dreams we did not imagine that this would be our story. We are so thankful for this journey we have been through. For all of the wonderful people we have met, for all the lessons it has taught us, and for the gift that we have been given. It is true that God works in mysterious ways, and that He has a plan.

I look forward to transitioning this blog from one of infertility, to one of pregnancy, and (God-willing) eventually to one with a focus on family. But I promise to never forget where I came from. To never discount someone’s journey or struggle because my own took a turn for the best. I will never forget the pain that came with each month, the fear of the unknown, or the feeling of being broken. I understand if it is too difficult for some of my followers to continue this journey with me, and I wish you all the best of luck. A family is waiting for you all, one way or another. I just know it.

Baby A & Baby B are due to arrive on October 8, 2016. However, because we are having twins, my doctor said that I would deliver at 36 weeks, which puts us at around September 10th. We found out the wonderful news on February 1, 2016. I have since posted a couple of blogs, but none have revealed our news. I have continued to write about our journey, and I plan to post my entries from the first trimester in the coming days/weeks. These will include pregnancy test day, the day of our first ultrasound, and a reflection on the first weeks being pregnant.

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We hope that you will continue this wild ride with us and we cannot wait to see what the future has in store!

What’s with the socks?

If you are traveling the road of infertility and are involved with any of the several online TTC forums, you have probably seen your share of women posting images of their sock adorned feet, before or after a procedure. When I first began browsing these forums, I myself wondered, “What the heck is up with all of these pictures of socks?”

As it turns out, women are very particular about the socks they wear during infertility procedures, especially during IVF retrieval and transfer procedures. Women wear socks of various colors, patterns, and styles. Some may wear the same pair for each procedure, others may prefer to switch it up and rock a different pair of socks each time. These socks are worn for good luck, to make us smile and to keep us feeling hopeful. The procedure sock purchasing process is often a fun experience amidst all of the shots, scans and emotional chaos.

But why SOCKS? Why not lucky underwear, or t-shirts? Essentially, socks are the ONLY article of your own that you are allowed to wear during such procedures. Most clinics require you to strip down and put on one of those attractive hospital gowns that tie twice in the back, along with a pair of paper slippers and a hair net. Where is the fun in that? While your bra and undies must go in a bag while you undergo one of the most important procedures of your life, the socks are allowed to stay. And that is why we infertile women like to find the most crazy, fun, or inspiring pair to wear!

The types and combinations are endless. I have seen unicorn socks, tie dye socks, mismatched socks. Socks with frogs, socks with words and socks with toes. I even bought a pair of Ellen socks because I thought I might post a picture of them to social media and tag Ellen. Then maybe she would have me on her show and let me talk about infertility, IVF and the right to a family. I chickened out on that one though, for some reason I felt selfish doing that? Like what if Ellen saw the photo and paid for my next cycle? I would feel guilty. But I still wore them and took a picture, because we all know how great Ellen is at making people smile.

Whatever pair you choose to wear, make it one that will help you to think positive, and to feel extra lucky. After all, even a positive mood can help create a positive outcome. Below are a few of my personal “sockie” (like selfie…I may have just made that up) photos from the past several months.

 

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The “I have hope” and “I am strong” socks are from a website called Notes to Self and they have a variety of what they call “Positive Affirmation Socks” that would be great for more than just infertility treatments.

Ladies, I recommend you all go out and splurge on some fun socks, I promise you won’t regret it.

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Moving on after a failed IVF cycle

As I reflect upon my first IVF cycle this past October, and dealing with the negative results, I feel that it is important to share with you how I was able to move past the grief and hurt. Though I am still grieving the loss of those two beautiful embryos today, I am stronger and more determined than ever to have a family. The tips below apply mainly to an IVF or fertility treatment cycle, but many are relatable on a TTC level as a whole. Just remember, you are strong. God wouldn’t put you through anything he didn’t think you could handle.

  1. Don’t place blame. When faced with a negative HPT, it is often easy to think back through the cycle and blame the results on something, or someone. My advice? Don’t. It just wasn’t meant to be this time around. That sip (or two) of wine you had during stims? That’s not the reason the embie didn’t stick. All that soy sauce your husband has been consuming? That didn’t impact his sperm enough to make your cycle unsuccessful. All that stress you felt during the TWW? That didn’t keep you from getting pregnant either. It just wasn’t the right embryo, or the right time. Just know that you did all of the right things, and keep doing them.
  2. Prepare for your follow up. I cannot emphasize this enough. Go into your follow up session with a list of questions ready, because odds are the visit might be overwhelming. Here are a few of the questions I would recommend asking:
    • What is the reason this cycle failed? Egg quality, OHSS, poor response to stims, genetics, implantation, semen/fertilization, etc.
    • What are the odds that a second/third cycle will be successful?
    • Are there any additional tests I can perform?
    • Is there anything I can do to improve my egg quality?
    • Is there a new protocol we can try?
    • Are you participating in any studies?
    • What are the success rates for a fresh versus frozen cycle?
    • What about surrogacy? Egg/embryo donation?
  3. Allow yourself to FEEL. Cry in the shower, throw your shoes at the wall, and scream as loud as you can. You deserve it and you need it. Take a day or two off of work, take a hot bath, watch the movie or listen to the song you know will make you cry. Do this for as long as you need, you have suffered a loss. And you just spent a shit ton of money! Let your partner hold you (or vice versa), pray, write in your journal. GET. IT. ALL. OUT. You’ll feel better after you do, I promise.
  4. Treat yourself. Go out and buy a new outfit, or go to a special dinner with your spouse. Get a massage and a pedicure to help you to relax. It helps, if only just a little bit.
  5. Take the time that YOU need. There is no right amount of time to spend grieving the loss that comes with a failed IVF cycle. You might need a day or two, a week, or months! When you and your partner are ready, then you can discuss next steps together. Some people find that diving right into another cycle helps them, while others might want to take a few months off to try new supplements, therapies, etc. The point is, that is up to you. Don’t let outsiders influence when and IF you want to try again.
  6. Be proactive. Start a new diet, new supplements, or anything else you think might help increase the success of a new cycle. I find that being proactive and organized helps to ease my mind and the fear of a new cycle. Try eating avocados, or starting acupuncture. It might not help, but it certainly won’t hurt, and it will make you feel like you are doing SOMETHING while you wait for that next cycle to begin.
  7. Remember your relationship. I know you are upset right now, but your partner may be too! Be sure to check in on them and make sure they are coping as well. Also, try not to let the pain interfere with your relationship. It is important to remain close and in love, even during these dark times. Go on a date, see a movie, put together a puzzle, or go grab a drink (you’re not pregnant, so you might as well take advantage of it). You’ll find that closeness with your partner not only serves as a distraction but helps you both to feel better as well!
  8. Talk about it, or don’t. If you are like me, talking about issues really helps you to feel better about a situation. So confide in someone close to you and let them know how you are feeling. If you are the type who likes to keep to yourself, that’s ok too. There is no right or wrong way to approach the subject of a failed IVF. If someone asks you about the cycle and you don’t want to answer, don’t feel bad about it.
  9. Don’t give up. This is not the end of the road for you, there are still several options available to help you start the family you have always dreamed of. You can try a few more IVF cycles. Look into egg or sperm donations. And there is always adoption. There are so many children in our country and around the world who deserve a loving family just as much as anyone. You WILL have your family someday, right now the “how” is just up in the air.

 

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Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t

Over the past 15+ months, I have done some pretty nutty things while trying to conceive. Unfortunately for me, none of them have worked (yet) but I have heard some amazing success stories about most of them. When you are facing infertility, you will do anything (ANYTHING) short of making a deal with the devil (I don’t recommend that) to get pregnant. Each time you see that negative test you think “what could I have done differently?” The list below outlines some of the crazy (and not so crazy) things I have done in the name of TTC. The truth is, it can’t hurt to try them, as none of them are dangerous. If you find yourself struggling to conceive and are in need of control and the feeling of being proactive like me, give one these the old college try!

1. Pineapple Core

Yes, that’s right. The CORE of the pineapple. The part we usually all throw away. It is very fibrous and chewy, and it definitely doesn’t taste GREAT, but it isn’t all that bad. The theory behind this is that pineapple core contains bromelain, which has been said to aid in implantation. Just cute a pineapple into five equal parts (remove the outside, of course) and eat one slice per day starting the day after ovulation (1 DPO). The core is the most important part, so make sure you eat that. You can toss the rest if you aren’t a huge pineapple fan. I have also heard of some ladies blending the core in with their smoothies. If you really don’t like the taste, you can by bromelain capsules!

2. Hips/Legs Up

I’m sure we have all tried this one once or twice! I always laid down after intercourse for 15-20 minutes to hold the swimmers in place. Several people told me to try elevating my hips (I put a couple pillows underneath) or putting my legs up on the wall. I even went so far as to roll on my back and hold my hips up with my legs straight up in the air. This was not comfortable.

3. Grapefruit Juice

This stuff is nasty, but it really helps with cervical mucus! Around ovulation your cervical mucus (CM) should be of “egg white” consistency, slippery and stretchy (this helps the sperm travel to the egg). Well mine never was. Until I found out about the grapefruit juice trick. I drank a glass a day from CD1 to ovulation and my CM was never stretchier! Be careful though, grapefruit is known to have interactions with several medication, so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist prior to trying this one out.

4. Mucinex/Robitussin

These medications are used for the same purpose as grapefruit juice – to thin out and increase CM. Be sure to get the kind that has guaifenesin as the only active ingredient (not Mucinex DM!), other active ingredients can have the opposite effect. I took this for the 4-5 days prior to anticipated ovulation and quit as soon as ovulation was confirmed. This didn’t work as well as the grapefruit juice for me.

5. Chiropractor

I visited a chiropractor for a couple of month to see if he could “adjust” my uterus to optimal baby making status. They also do a lot of work with the nervous system that can help to regulate certain processes that are essential to TTC. While I loved having my back cracked and finding out my hips are lopsided, I don’t really think this did much for me. But then again I didn’t really stick with it too long to find out. The appointments began to be too much especially with all of the infertility/gyno appointments I was having.

6. Pre-Seed

If you love lube then you will love this sperm-friendly product! This genius substance is meant to mimic that coveted “egg white CM” so if you don’t make it, no problem! It can also be used as just a regular lube. Apply some directly into the VAJJ prior to sexy time and you are all set. The product can be found at most drugstores (que Target trip) and comes with a few applicators. I do not advise that you use the recommended dose, that was way too much and way too messy. Start small and add more if needed. I used this starting 5 days before ovulation, through a day or two after O. Visit www.preseed.com for more info!

7. Softcups

This was one of my crazier remedies. Softcups are women’s menstrual cups, used to collect your flow during your period. Softcups are a flexible little cup inserted into your vagina and around the cervix. They are nice because they can be kept in for 12 hours with little to no leakage and it is not linked to TSS. I tried them for my period, and actually liked them. But the REAL reason I used these bad boys was to “hold the swimmer near my cervix”. I knew I had a very small cervix (the passage way from the vagina to the uterus) and I thought if I could just keep those little guys near the door they would have to get in eventually! After sex I would basically (while still laying down) insert the cup while scooping in the semen (I know how gross this sounds!!) and voila – no mess and I could walk around for hours just knowing they still had a fighting chance.

Warning: the first time I used these I almost couldn’t get it out. I suggest practicing once or twice, because the retrieval process is very strange. Follow the instructions to the T!

8. CoQ10

AKA Co-Enzyme Q10. This is an antioxidant naturally found in the body, but production decreases with age (peak production is around 21 years old, and then slowly declines after that). CoQ10 is said to be great for improving egg quality and egg health, and maybe even sperm motility and quality! I take 100mg, twice daily. Nick takes the same.

9. Acupuncture

For the past three months, I have been getting acupuncture on a weekly basis. Not only do I find it extremely relaxing, the placement of the needles can help to increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, among other things. It is also said to help treat PCOS and thyroid disorders. Here is a short article for more insight into acupuncture for infertility.

10. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Another natural infertility remedy that I have been incorporating into my diet is Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. I try to drink a cup of this a day, but only prior to ovulation (I do not use after ovulation because the tea is also used in late pregnancy to help induce labor, and I don’t want any uterine contractions keeping that egg from sticking). The tea can be used to help with the following: recurrent miscarriage, heavy menstrual bleeding, poor egg quality, uterine trauma, and for general female reproductive health. I use the Alvita brand and usually order online because the last time I tried to purchase at the Vitamin Shoppe they were sold out (and they did not carry it at my local GNC) – everyone must be jumping on the bandwagon!

11. Rooster Under the Bed

This is the newest bit of crazy I am trying out. My hairdresser told us of an old wives tail that states “if you sleep with a rooster under your bed you will fall pregnant”. One of her coworkers tried it and it actually worked! As far as I know, this does not have to be a real rooster, so my mother bought me a cheap vintage rooster at the antique store this past weekend (only $4.00!) and it has been under my bed since then. I guess we will have to wait and see if there is any truth to this!

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In addition to the above, I have also taken to touching every elephant statue or image I see for good luck. I also plan to eat Brazil nuts around implantation time this round as well. I am sure there are several other things I have tried, but these seemed to be the most interesting – and I do believe some of them actually helped, even if I didn’t get that positive! Good luck fellow TTCers, I hope one of these is your miracle solution!

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2015 TTC Lessons Learned

In the spirit of the New Year, I thought I would compile a list of things that 2015 taught me. I hope some of you find these helpful if faced with a similar journey.

  1. I am not alone in this. 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. That statistic was astounding to me! I know more than 8 couples, and therefore I know of other women going through similar journeys. I have connected with so many women over this issue – friends, friends of friends, women met in the waiting room, couples on infertility forums, etc. What sets us apart from other couples is what brings US together. Sharing my story and hearing theirs reminds me that I can do this.                                            1in8.jpg
  2.  I picked the right partner.Not that I didn’t already know this, but my choice to spend my life with Nick has been reconfirmed this past year. He has stuck by me through all of my crazy (and there has been some REAL crazy) days, without judgement. He holds my hand when I am sad, knows not to touch me when I am angry, and always manages to find the silver lining. He helps to keep me from falling apart and I can’t imagine going through this with anyone else!me+nick
  3. It’s OK to FEEL. Throughout most of my journey I have tried to put on a brave face wherever I go. I tried to hide the pain I was feeling. But over the past couple of months I have come to realize that it is OK to feel emotions, and to be open about them. I am allowed to have bad days where I don’t want to talk to anyone. It’s normal to feel jealousy after a pregnancy or birth announcement. Who cares if I want to sit in the bathtub and cry for 20 minutes uninterrupted? It is better to let the emotions out than to keep them bottled up inside. I will not let anyone else tell me how I SHOULD be feeling or how I SHOULD be coping. This is my journey, and I will go about it as I see fit.
  4. It’s OK to talk about it. The world is always evolving and infertility is not as taboo as it used to be. Thanks to activists and celebrities (shout out to Chrissy Tiegen) talking about the subject more openly, I now feel free enough to share my own story. Starting and sharing this blog has been some of the best therapy for me. We should not be ashamed or scared to talk about this disease. Letting others in has also provided a great support system filled with people praying for us on a daily basis.
  5. Not everyone is as lucky as we are. Nick and I are lucky enough to be able to fund our dream of having a family. No it hasn’t been easy, we have emptied our savings, received help from our parents, and had to cut back on our spending. But we are able to do this. There are so many others in the same boat that just cannot afford the ghastly expenses of infertility treatments. I hurt for them, and hope that someday soon employers will offer full coverage for infertility treatments. No one should be denied the right to a family.
  6. Your body will change, even if you aren’t pregnant yet. If you are going through fertility treatments, your body is bound to experience some changes as a result of all the medication and stress. I have gained weight, lost sleep and broken out like a hormonal teenager. And don’t even get me started on the ever-fluctuating size of my boobs. I am trying to embrace these changes (as hard as it might be to buy “fat pants”), and to look at the big picture.
  7. Enjoy the time before baby. Most of my time is spent completely consumed by the idea of having a baby, but I won’t let that dictate my life. I have still found time to take vacations (Mexico!), go out on the weekends with friends, splurge on the cute purse I want and take advantage of being spontaneous. Once a baby does come along, opportunities like that will be few and far between. I am going to enjoy it while I can!                                                                                                  IMG_1414            IMG_1411
  8. This is not the end of the road. Finances aside, we still have several more options to consider, and one of those options will bring us our child, biological or not. We will have a baby.
  9. Don’t let the lives of others dictate how you are living yours. For the longest time, I set my expectations for my family based on those around me. Most of my friends have already had children, or are currently pregnant, and I felt so far behind in life. I didn’t want to be the last one to have a baby! I thought if I was last, it wouldn’t be as special, or would be overshadowed by all of the existing babies and pregnancies. But now I realize this is my life to live, and we can write our own rules. I am married to a wonderful man, we have a home, two dogs and great jobs. What comes next, and when, is up to us. In the meantime, we have so much to be proud of and thankful for.
  10. Don’t let “trying” (or lack of) impact your relationship. I will admit, there were times when the planned baby making seemed like a chore (OK, it was all the time). It was not fun, and it was so scheduled. There were a few months when we had scheduled it for every other day! Now we are faced with not being allowed to “try” because of surgeries, transfers, swollen ovaries, etc. But we do not let that get in the way of our relationship. Besides my occasional bat shit crazy moments, I don’t believe our relationship has suffered at all. We love each other more, still spend a lot of time together, and are more open about our feelings. Just remember to always be there for your partner, because a strong relationship is very important. It could be the one guarantee you have throughout the entire process!

2015 was quite an eventful year for us. We went through four rounds of clomid, had an HSG, two semen analysis, met with our RE for the first time, had a cervical dilatation, went through our first round of IVF and began our second round of IVF with egg retrieval for FET. It has been so busy and I have learned so much. I look forward to the New Year, with (hopefully) fewer procedures and more ultrasounds (because there will be a baby on the way, of course).

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Cheers to a fruitful 2016 filled with babies, love & laughter! xoxox

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“Home Inspection” aka Hysteroscopy

This past Tuesday I underwent a procedure called a hysteroscopy. A hysteroscopy is a way for the doctor to look inside of your uterus, and provides a better “picture” than an ultrasound. A small viewing tool called a hysteroscope guided into the uterus through the cervix and is used to check the uterine lining and to look for and remove growths such as fibroids and polyps. It can also be used to diagnose abnormal bleeding. For me, the procedure was done to check for anything abnormal that could be keeping me from getting pregnant, or keeping the embryo from implanting into my uterus. It is like a “home inspection” for the little embryo waiting for us at the end of the month!

The night before the procedure I had to take Cytotec. Cytotec comes in pill form (three pills to be exact) and is inserted into my you-know-what to help “soften” the cervix prior to the surgery. I have to say it was pretty strange to do this, and they caused some pretty severe cramps that evening. But anything for future baby, am I right? The procedure itself was pretty painless and performed under anesthesia. I have had a bit of spotting since then and some cramping, but nothing to write home about.

Of course the doctor came back to tell me how things had gone while I was using the restroom, fortunately my mother was there. He said that “everything looks good and we are good to go”. So I take that as I passed my home inspection and our closing date is scheduled for the end of the month when we have our Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)! Now all baby needs to do is continue growing and nestle in when the time comes.

  
I have started injections (Lovenox) as well as low dose Aspirin, Estrace 3xs daily and an estrogen patch this week. After about 10 days of that I will begin the dreaded Progesterone in Oil (PIO) shots again. I bought a weekly pill organizer (no, I am not a senior citizen) with both AM & PM compartments to help keep me organized. The protocol with this FET is very different from my fresh transfer back in October. Knowing we are doing something different provides added comfort and hope. I look forward to sticking myself with needles again, as it means we are one step closer to getting that baby of ours.

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I will continue with my weekly acupuncture appointments and am going to attempt a much healthier diet (the holidays sent me downhill fast) with a focus on eggs, avocado, and nuts/seeds. I am hoping to get in a serving per day of each of these items. Other than that, I will try to avoid fried foods and sweets. There is no time like the New Year to try that out I’d say!

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Sleep is for the birds

The past two weeks have been rough for me. I haven’t slept well at all, and my days have been filled with mini panic attacks, headaches, hot flashes and more. I lie awake at night, extremely exhausted yet extremely alert. My days feel normal but as soon as my head hits the pillow I can’t seem to turn my mind off. I’m not sure I am thinking of any one thing specifically, I just know that I am thinking. My mind races and as soon as I feel myself drifting off I seem to catch myself and subconsciously say “hey look, you weren’t thinking, that’s not allowed!” and I jolt awake with a racing heart pumping adrenaline throughout my body. One of the main purposes of adrenaline is to keep us alert. It is that “Fight or Flight” defense mechanism that kicks in and I can’t seem to control it for the life of me.

This goes on for hours, until I either finally drift off, drink a glass of wine to help calm my nerves, or I get out of bed and just do things. So many people have told me that a glass of wine to help me sleep is no big deal, but I am so afraid of becoming dependent on that! Which adds to my anxiety. I am also starting my meds for our FET this week and I do not want to drink on them, I want to give them the best chance to work. So now I’m sitting here, anxious about not sleeping, anxious about starting my meds, anxious that by not sleeping I will ruin my chances of this cycle working, anxious that I am failing. It’s no wonder that I can’t sleep at night!

I’m not sure what triggered these feelings exactly, I was sleeping like a baby for most of December. I think it was a combination of the Lupron Depot shot I was given on 12/18 (apparently side effects include headaches, hot flashes, potential worsening of anxiety/depression) which lasts about a month, the influx of pregnancy announcements over the holidays, and the fact that the holidays are now over (I no longer have a distraction or anything to look forward to before treatment begins). All I know is that my emotions are heightened and I wish I could pop a Xanax every few hours. It’s not fun and it is definitely not how I wanted to be feeling going into my FET.

But this is the hand I was dealt and I need to make the most of it. I am going to try to stay as relaxed as possible when awake, and make the most out of my time lying in bed. I will try to think positive thoughts, or better yet, not think at all. I know this phase will pass. Maybe not today or tomorrow, or even next week, but it will pass. That is what I keep reminding myself…normalcy will return and be welcomed with open arms.

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A letter to my future child…

A letter to my future child:

 

If you are reading this letter, that means you are ours. 100 percent totally and completely our child. I am not sure how you got here, but you are ours. Perhaps you were the result of IVF #2 or #3. Or maybe you are the product of an egg donor cycle. We may have even handpicked you from an adoption agency. At this point in my life I don’t know. All I know for sure is that I have wanted you for my whole life, not just today, or yesterday, or beginning August 10, 2014. But for a long, long time.

I have wanted you since I had my first baby doll as a child, since I saw my mother taking care of me and my siblings. Since the day I first played house with friends or read a book about a big happy family. You have always been in the back of my mind.

Though your name changed often, you always made me so very happy. I remember once your name was Emily, and there was a time it was Caleb. You were even twins named Katrina and Sabrina! Today, I am not sure what your name is, what color your eyes are or if you look like me or not. But I am certain of this: I love you.

I am writing this letter to you to ensure that you never doubt that love. There will be times when we disagree, when you are punished, and when you feel like we don’t care about you at all. That is not true. Not even a little bit. We love you more than life itself, and we want for you to always be happy and safe. We waited what felt like a lifetime for you, and we never want to experience those days without you again. You are our everything, you have made us complete.

There will also be times in your life when you face adversity, and when you have questions. We hope you will embrace those differences, because those are some of the very reasons why you are so special. Your mommy and daddy went through a lot to get you here, and you weren’t brought to us in the most conventional of ways. But because of that, you are all the more important to us. We prayed for you. We fought for you. And here you are. You are our miracle.

We cannot wait to see what the future has in store for you. We are confident you will do great things, large or small. We hope that you follow your heart, do what you love and never give up. We wish you a love like your father and I have for one another, and a lifetime of happiness. But most of all, we want you to have hope. When the future looks dark, and you feel like there is no end in sight, have hope. When you make mistakes, get hurt or feel lost, have hope. When your heart breaks and you feel like giving up, have hope. After all, it is HOPE that brought us to you.

 

 

 

Embaby its cold outside!

Guess who had FIVE embryos make it to freeze……this girl!! Words cannot describe our excitement! (Get it, embaby its “cold” outside….because they are frozen)?

We had our egg retrieval last Tuesday where 9 eggs were collected, 6 mature and 6 fertilized. I was actually pretty upset by this news. Last cycle we had 13 eggs collected, 11 mature and 9 fertilized! In my mind this cycle was worse because the odds seemed to be against us. More eggs = more fertilized = more embryos, right? Wrong.

We spent the week following the transfer waiting for news. Our clinic does not provide daily embryo updates, so it was an extremely long week. I thought we would find out on Monday, but Monday came and went with no news. And so did Tuesday. I was convinced all of my eggs had died and that I would receive horrible news. Like pregnancy test day.

Wednesday afternoon, just when I thought I might have a panic attack from the waiting, the clinic called me with the wonderful news that 5 of our 6 fertilized eggs had made it to freeze. Three were frozen on Day 5 and two on Day 7. Can you believe it? I still can’t! Those are great odds considering last cycle only 3 of 9 were good enough (two were transferred and lost, and one was frozen). So we have 6 frozen embryos, total. That means 6 tries for our little human. One of those will be our take home baby, I just know it.

We have nothing else scheduled for the rest of December, which will be a nice little break. I look forward to spending the holidays with my family and drinking wine. Come January we will dive right back into the meds, ultrasounds and bloodwork, in preparation for our FET. I can’t believe I am saying this but I am actually excited. I feel positive that this will work. 🙂

 

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