Thankfully waiting….

While trying so very hard to conceive, it is easy to get caught up in all of the pain, loss and hurt we have been put through. Between the ultrasounds, blood work and injections, the 3am Google searches, and the constant envy, I find that I often overlook all of the wonderful things I have in my life and that this journey has brought me.

There is more to life than babies (as hard as that may seem to believe!), and I am lucky to be blessed with many other gifts that have made my life, and this past year especially, fulfilling. So, with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I would like to take some time to reflect on what I am thankful for:

  1. My husband Nick – Nick has been my rock throughout this entire process. He manages to make me smile and laugh every day and he never forgets to tell me what a strong and beautiful woman I am (even amidst full on temper tantrum). He appeases my every superstition and fertility trick an he assures me that all will be right in the world if we just continue to think positive. He is my everything and I am so thankful that he makes up the other half of my whole.
  2. My parents and in-laws – Their positivity is a force to be reckoned with and their support has been astounding. They have gone above and beyond their parental duties. As much as I know this process pains them too, they manage to wear a smile day in and day out and to help me through my darkest hours when I think nothing in the world will ever go my way. They make me want to be a parent even more with every day that they show me their love, and they help me to believe that I can do ANYTHING.
  3. My puppies –  The two furballs of cuteness make my everyday a blessing in so many ways. Their unconditional love and devotion melts my heart. They seem to know exactly what to do to cheer me up and their constant companionship keeps me sane. They have made me parents in a less traditional manner and I love them as though they were human babies. Together with my husband they have taught me the meaning of family.
  4. My friends & family – I could not do this with out their support! They put up with my constant complaining and crazy TTC methods, they understand and forgive me for saying things in the heat of the moment that I certainly don’t mean, and they continue to pray for us. They take me out when I need to let loose, stay in with me when I’m feeling extra emotional, and send me positive thoughts on a daily basis. Through all of the ups and downs they treat me the same as they did before my diagnosis. Which is just what I need to keep me grounded.
  5. That my close friends have not had to experience infertility to the extent that we have. I am thankful that they remain naive to the process and unscarred by the pain. I would not wish this upon anyone.
  6. Those who are going through this journey. On the flip side, I am thankful for the women I have met (and those who I already knew who have reached out) that are going through IVF and similar situations. They can relate to my emotions and help to provide a sense of normalcy in my life. These strong, courageous women are a blessing in my life and I cannot wait to watch all of them become the mothers they were meant to be.
  7. My beautiful home that provides a cozy (and exquisitely decorated, I might add) setting for spending time with family and friends, laughing until I cry and even crying until I can manage again. I always feel safe here.
  8. The doctors and nurses at IVF Michigan –  they are helping me to realize a dream. They are always reassuring and eager to answer my texts and calls at all hours of the day. I feel as though my future is in the best hands possible and I am thankful for the knowledge and skill that they bring to the table. Science is amazing and these experts know what they are doing. I trust them.
  9. My job –  I am lucky to have a job that I love that allows me to work flexible hours and offers another support system in my life. They are so understanding and are rooting for our success as much as anyone else.
  10. My health & the health of those around me. I may be suffering from infertility but my general health is fantastic (minus the anxiety, of course), as is that of most of my close family and friends. I am blessed to have my parents and both sets of grandparent still in my life, and Nick to have both of his parents as well. We have a bright and healthy future. A healthy life is a gift we often take for granted.
  11. My faith in God. I do not pride myself on being the most religious person on the planet, but throughout my journey I have found myself becoming closer to God. I am slowly building a relationship with Him and I know He has a plan for me and my family. I have faith that my life will turn out exactly as he planned it.

I could go on and on about all of the things I am thankful for, but my fingers are getting tired of typing. As I sit here and review the list I just compiled I realize just how lucky I am. This list is proof that if a child is not in our future that we CAN and WILL find happiness and purpose in all of the beautiful blessings that already surround us.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!!

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If at first you don’t succeed….

Try, try again!

Sorry I have been MIA for a couple of weeks. I have been trying to relax and focus on myself. Easier said than done when everyone around me is popping out babies or pregnancy announcements.

We had our follow-up appointment on Wednesday to discuss why our first IVF cycle had failed. My RE explained that there are often three reasons why a given cycle fails:

  1. Uterus environment
  2. Sperm quality
  3. Egg quality

All results seem to point to egg quality being our issue. Although, prior to our next transfer I will undergo a small surgery called a hysteroscopy where the doctor will examine the lining of my uterus using a ‘hysteroscope’. He will check for things like fibroids, polyps, scar tissue, etc. and remove anything right then and there. While the quality of my eggs transferred was decent, the lone ranger egg we have left frozen does not look so hot.

My RE has decided to up my meds and we will begin a second fresh IVF cycle later this month. I will also be put on an ‘implantation failure protocol’ during the transfer to help prevent possible implantation failure.

We have elected to be part of a clinical trial that would allow us to have Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) for free (this is normally a $7k cost and we did NOT have this done during the previous cycle). The goal of the trial is to prove that transferring ONE genetically screened, high quality embryo has better results than transferring ONE embryo without PGS (this would be the best quality embryo I produce during that cycle). We would be put into one of two groups:

Group 1: All embryos receive PGS and the best quality embryo will be transferred

Group 2: Transfer the highest quality embryo before PGS is done and send the remaining embryos (God willing there are some) for genetic testing.

We hope to fall into the first group obviously, but if we do not, all of our frozen embabies will have been tested and we can use those in a next cycle, or hopefully for a second child down the road. The only two downfalls that we can see of this trial are that we are limited to transferring only one egg (in future transfers we could transfer two) and because the eggs must be frozen and the upcoming holidays, we are looking at about a 9 week time frame from start to finish. So fingers crossed for an October 2016 baby (hard to believe that would be a year from my first procedure….all the waiting)!!

For more information on the Illumina study follow the links below.

Illumina Chooses IVF Michigan Fertility Center as New Location for Study

PRWEB; October 19, 2015

IVF Clinical Study

IVF Michigan

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