Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year everyone

Well, it's the last day if 2012 and I am ready to move into 2013 in a major way!!

Our 2012 was rough.

Aaron left his job in February, which took us down to being a one income family for most of the year. It was a tough decision to make but he was very unhappy in the job, it was starting to greatly affect our relationship. We talked long and hard about our options, we decided he needs to do what he enjoys so he started back to school to get his degree in computer programming. He started temp work a few weeks age at a company in the next town and it is going very well. They are planning to hire him full-time and still be flexible with his class schedule so he can finish his degree.

We lost my mother in June, which was a tremendous blow to me and my life. I miss her everyday and it's not something I will easily forget. Our relationship was not perfect, it was often up and down, but in the end she was my mom. I have so many questions about being a mom that I would love to ask her now. I am very sad she she won't be around to see her grandchild grow up in person, but I know she is the guardian angel for the baby.

We did 2 rounds of IVF this summer, it was difficult and painful. We had success with the second round and became pregnant but it lead to miscarriage quickly. We were heartbroken and took some time to recover before moving on to a frozen transfer. It was discouraging and sad, but we pulled together, I am pretty sure it made us stronger as a couple overall.

We then lost Aaron's grandmother, Augusta in September right before Aaron's 33rd birthday. It shook his entire family to the core. She was a strong woman who was the head of the family in so many ways. She loved her children and grandchildren so much, they were the light of her life. Everyone will miss her greatly but now we have another guardian angel.

We did the frozen transfer in October and found out in November, we were finally pregnant!!! To say we were excited was an understatement. We worked so hard and went through so much to get to this point. It was nerve-wrecking to wait for all the tests and ultrasounds to see the baby was doing okay. We reached 12 weeks yesterday and that's an amazing accomplishment for us. Now we are in the second trimester and we have so much to look forward to as we move closer to meeting our baby in July.

Now bring on 2013 and the new adventures it will bring for us!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! I hope that everyone had a great holiday. We went with Aaron's family for the holiday and it was amazing. It's so hard to believe that next year, we will have a new little baby that will be spoiled rotten by the families! It's our last Christmas as a family of 2, by next year we will be a little family of 3. After all this time, it hardly seems real. We have been working toward this dream for so long!

How far along? 11 weeks and 2 days
Total weight gain: might have gained a little from the holiday eating, but at my appointment last week, I was still down over 5 pounds
Maternity clothes? nope, wearing stretchy pants right now to make until I go shopping with my MIL this week for maternity clothes
Stretch marks? No new ones
Sleep: exhaustion during the day, insomnia at night
Best moment of the week: spending the holiday with family
Miss anything? I miss my family that I cannot see
Movement: Nope
Anything making you queasy or sick: still dealing with the nausea that comes on all the time no matter what I eat
Gender prediction: the dreams are still leaning toward girl
Labor signs: Nope
Symptoms: Nausea, Strong smells, Emotional, Having to pee all the time at night
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? the bloat is coming down on my hands so my rings are back on
Happy or moody most of the time? tired of feeling so run down all the time
Looking forward to: coming out of the first trimester on Sunday and hopefully the end of the craziness

Saturday, December 22, 2012

10 weeks 6 days

Okay I am slacking some.

It has been a hectic week to get through the end of the semester and now I am nearly to 11 weeks but haven't done my weekly update.

How far along? 10 weeks and 6 days
Total weight gain: 4 pounds down from pre-pregnancy weight
Maternity clothes? had to buy underwear a size bigger, but trying to make it until I can get some more maternity clothes after Christmas
Stretch marks? No new ones
Sleep: sleeping usually during the day when I have a 100 things to do, but then struggling at night when I should actually be sleeping
Best moment of the week: surviving the week at school! The week of finals is such a hectic one
Miss anything? sleeping at night, I only seem to sleep well during the day
Movement: Nope
Anything making you queasy or sick: ugh, right now just about everything makes me queasy - can't wait for this feeling to go away
Gender prediction: the dreams are still leaning toward girl
Labor signs: Nope
Symptoms: Nausea, Strong smells, Emotional, Having to pee all the time at night
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? the bloat is coming down on my hands so my rings are back on
Happy or moody most of the time? tired most of the time is more the concern
Looking forward to: the holiday break and spending time with our family

Saturday, December 15, 2012

9 weeks 6 days

Not too much to update - getting set for my first regular OB appointment on Tuesday, trying to get through to the end of the semester at school so I can have a few days in a row to rest, and counting down the days until I am off all the supplements (Estrogen and Progesterone).

I have one week left before the semester for teaching and there is so much left to do. We have final exams Thursday and Friday then we are out until the new year! YEAH!!

I will update more after my first appointment with my regular OB on Tuesday - I am not really sure exactly what to expect there.

How far along? 9 weeks and 6 days
Total weight gain: none as of right now
Maternity clothes? going to have to start wearing them more, my puffiness is getting tough to make my pants close and my underwear is getting way too tight
Stretch marks? No new ones
Sleep: sleeping okay, the dreams are still intense and strange
Best moment of the week: getting a hair cut and color to feel rejuvenated finally
Miss anything? after a tough day, I do miss having just one beer to chill out
Movement: Nope
Anything making you queasy or sick: Mexican food and chicken wings are still rough, the smells are always getting me to feel not so good
Gender prediction: the dreams are still leaning toward girl
Labor signs: Nope
Symptoms: Nausea, Strong smells, Emotional, Having to pee all the time at night
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? the bloat is coming down on my hands so my rings are back on
Happy or moody most of the time? tired most of the time is more the concern
Looking forward to: the end of supplements (they are kind of gross), hopefully the end of nausea, and the holidays coming up where I can relax for a few days

Saturday, December 8, 2012

We have been released!

The appointment yesterday went amazing!

We had our ultrasound which was awesome - baby GW has grown and grown! Heartbeat of 167 beats per minute, arm and leg buds growing, and we even saw the baby wiggle around! This was brand new for Aaron because he couldn't be at the last appointment. It will not get old though, hearing that little heart beating away like it was.

The best news is that our RE has released us! We no longer have to go there for appointments. We are sad about this some though because we love our RE and we would not be where we are without them. I am going to miss them terribly because they have been remarkably supportive and answered all our questions without fail. We had to promise we will bring the baby by to see them. 

Now to get set up with my regular OB again - I haven't seen her in over 2 years because we have been with the RE. I am going to call on Monday and hopefully get it all set up.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

8 Weeks and 4 days

Today I am 8 weeks and 4 days - yes I am still counting in days and this will not change until after I am out of the dreaded first trimester and feel more comfortable.

This week has been mild compared to the chaos that was last week.

The nausea is okay - not great. We did find the preggie drops (anti-nausea hard candies for pregnant women) and the preggie pops (lollipops with the same purpose). Those are helping me at school because the Zofran makes your intestines to stop like it's rush hour in construction traffic. Nothing moves.

As promised:

How far along? 8 weeks and 4 days
Total weight gain: not sure, food has been staying down
Maternity clothes? busted out a few to try - I am at an awkward period. My non-pregnant clothes are too tight, the maternity clothes are too loose
Stretch marks? No new one
Sleep: Been slightly better, although the very strange and scary nightmares are getting to me
Best moment of the week: probably tomorrow if I get released from the specialist - we are hopeful!
Miss anything? Mexican food and chicken wings - apparently another thing to go bye-bye at the times
Movement: Nope
Anything making you queasy or sick: Mexican food and chicken wings - 2 of my most favorite things in the whole world and just the smell of them right now makes me run to the bathroom
Gender prediction: Been having dreams that GW is a girl - don't know if it means anything at all, too soon to tell
Labor signs: Nope
Symptoms: Nausea, Strong smells, Emotional, Having to pee all the time
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? Off but just because of the bloat I feel which is apparently normal during the first trimester
Happy or moody most of the time? Depends on the day
Looking forward to: The morning sickness lightening up or going away completely so I can function again.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A scary day I am glad is over

The last 24 hours have been filled with anxiety.

Last night, I started having pretty bad cramps with much red spotting. It wasn't a little amount and it freaked me out tremendously. After a few hours, it was still bad so we called the on-call doctor to see what we could do and their recommendations to move forward. She said that I need to take some tylenol, drink as much as I could and call the doctor's office in the morning to have an appointment set up right away.

Okay, super freak out time.

I sobbed and sobbed because I was so scared that we were miscarrying after everything we went through to get pregnant.

It was a very scary night with restless sleep and anxiety.

At the appointment today, I had another ultrasound. Thankfully, the baby was still there and the heart was pumping away strongly - 149 beats per minute and had grown so much. Little GW was so much bigger than they were last week. I was able to hear the heartbeat loud and clear, it was the most wonderful sound in the world particularly after the way I spent the evening.

The best news is that the hematoma was gone, it was not there anymore!

I sat down with the RE and we talked for awhile about everything, she said that I did the right thing by calling the on-call doctor and coming in early to have a scan to make sure things were all right. She said she wants me on rest this weekend, taking it easy all weekend and calling her on Monday morning. She also said she wants to see me again next week to make sure I felt more informed about everything.

Whew, what an emotional roller coaster day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

7 weeks = nausea and exhaustion

Well now that things are rolling along, someone flipped the switch to the nausea and the strong smells kicking in and I am not feeling good pretty much everyday.

I know that this is what we have hoped and prayed for all this time but I do not feel feel like I am not entitled to feel bad. Many women in their first trimester don't feel well and apparently I am one of them.

People have the best of intentions with happiness for me feeling badly because it means the baby is growing and the hormones are a-flowing. But when it's the 5th time in about an hour that I feel like I could throw up, that's not really comforting.

I am so excited that so many people are excited for us, there have been so many people on this journey with us from the beginning and to be able to finally say that things are going along wonderfully is truly an amazing feeling. I know our little baby (I call GW - our baby names for a boy or a girl starts with a G, so that's my nickname for the baby) will be loved from so many places. It makes us feel the love all time,

So I am going to try to keep up with these every week to see the progress of the baby and how I am feeling:

How far along? 7 weeks
Total weight gain: actually down about 3 pounds - thank you nausea
Maternity clothes? Not yet, but the bloat makes me wish I was wearing them
Stretch marks? Not any ones I didn't all ready have (haha!)
Sleep: Between getting up to go to the bathroom all the time and having nausea, sleep is interesting. Though, I am exhausted during the day and wish I could nap under my desk at school!
Best moment of the week: Sharing the picture with everyone!
Miss anything? Right now - Mexican food, a glass of wine after a day like today, and no nausea
Movement: No way, GW is too little!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Umm....EVERYTHING!!!!!! Thank goodness for Zofran to help with the nausea but I HATE the taste of Saltines
Gender prediction: Not a clue - little GW will be perfect no matter what!
Labor signs: Nope
Symptoms: Nausea, Strong smells, Emotional, Having to pee all the time
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? Off but just because of the bloat I feel which is apparently normal during the first trimester
Happy or moody most of the time? To quote Grey's Anatomy - "I am a hormone casserole!" it depends on the day and what's happening at the moment - I do cry for no reason
Looking forward to: The ultrasound Monday at 8 weeks 1 day and hoping we get released back to my regular OB from the specialist

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Time to share

The best news possible:

That's right! We have a baby on the way!

Today I am 6 weeks 4 days and due July 13, 2013 (approximately, give or take a day either way). The FET was a success!!! We are so excited but have been so nervous to tell until after we had the ultrasound to make sure things were moving along in the best direction.

We met with the RE today, had our ultrasound pictured above, and a blood draw. It was almost surreal to believe when we saw the baby on the screen. We could see the heart pumping away, still too early to hear it yet, but we could see it going (heart rate 124 bpm). My eyes starting tearing up when we saw it because I had spent the whole day being so nervous that things were not going to be going along well - but they are moving along perfectly.

The RE is thrilled with everything - she about made me cry several times as we were talking about the schedule of things to come. We have been trying for so long, have gone through so many procedures, spent so much time and money on this pursuit, it all came tumbling out.

So here is our plan:
-2 weeks til a follow up ultrasound when I will be approximately 8 weeks 3 days
-If everything is going well, I can be released to my regular OB
-I can stop taking the shot and we are switching to another form of progesterone

We are not out of the woods yet, but we have tackled some of the major hurdles before we are at our lowest point for chance of miscarriage that we will be at throughout the pregnancy.

We definitely have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Today is my 32nd birthday

Today I turn 32.

The last year has been quite a ride and although I have come out the other side of it stronger, I am not sorry to see it end. I am ready for a new beginning in my life and I feel strongly it is on the way.

I am sad today although it is a happy day because my mom is not here to celebrate with me. She always made my birthday a big deal - she would send me many birthday cards, post pictures on Facebook, call me multiple times a day to sing to me like she did when I was little. It was important to her that I feel special on my birthday and I have to admit that today, there is some sadness.

I am ready to have a new start to the new year of my life - after this year, I believe very strongly that I deserve a fresh start.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wishing, Hoping, and Praying (Again)

Well the waiting game continues...unfortunately, this is all too familiar of territory for me. I have been down this road for 3 years now and it never gets any easier to manage.

After the early miscarriage in August, I promised Aaron when we did it all again, that I would not test at home. We watched our dream appear, then slowly disappear through the at home tests and it was impossible to deal with emotionally. Now this time, we are just going to wait for the official testing by the doctor's office for the final say-so on it.

That does not mean it's any easier to deal with this time just because we are waiting to find out the results. Nope, not one little bit.

The waiting is the hardest part.

So true.

We always say we will take some time to deal with the results before opening it up to the whole world. Reality is that we end up sharing it all right away because we have so many people pulling for us and know they want to be there to support us no matter what.

Will this time be any different?

Who knows?

We are wishing, hoping and praying to be off this part of the ride - it's a terrible journey that I wouldn't wish on anyone EVER.

I know that the next part is full of different kinds of stressing, but at least then it's working toward something. Right now, we are just working for the hope. At least once it's real, we can start to be happy for a few before the other emotions come flooding in. Right now, we are just sitting on the edge of a pin waiting to be knocked in a direction - will it be positive or negative? We don't know and just have to keep on the waiting train.

3 days to judgment day and counting.

Friday, November 2, 2012

FET complete

We had our FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) one week ago.

The dr said things looked great, the embryos were taken out of their freeze very successfully and even began to grow while waiting to be implanted. The dr called them beautiful.

The FET cycle has been nothing compared the headache that the fresh cycles were and thank goodness for that! I just take a pill 3 times a day for about 2 weeks, went in for a scan and blood work. It did get a little more complicated then though: I had to keep taking the pill 3 times a day, plus add in Medrol which they us to help the embryos implant (nasty tasting uncoated pill that sticks to your tongue and leaves your mouth tasting like medicine for hours), plus a round of antibiotics, and then dreaded progesterone daily shot. That was all leading up to the transfer day.

The day of the scan the poor dr was delayed and it ended up being almost an hour before we could do it from our original appointment time. Unfortunately for me, I had to sit with the full bladder that whole time waiting for the dr to show up!! I thought I was going to die! Then after the procedure, you have lay down for 30 minutes before you can get up. Now they have offered me the bed pan and I have rejected it each time. I just waited until I could go.

The dr said because of how much they had grown, it was pretty likely they would attempt to implant within 24-48 hours so those days were critical on bed rest.

I hate bed rest.

It never fails that because you can't move around, that's the only thing you need to do. Not to mention, I missed an awesome annual Halloween party a friend throws, and missed one of my favorite things to do, take the free Anheiser Busch brewery tour for another friend's birthday.

All for the great good, all for the great good, all for the great good.

It was my chant all weekend. This is was how I managed to make it through without completely losing my sanity.

My test is Wednesday 11/7 and it can't come quickly enough.

I promised Aaron that I would not take an at home test this time after the frustration with the early miscarriage in August. I just can't put myself through that again, I am just going to wait to hear what the dr's office says and that's that.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Been awhile - life is hectic

The past few weeks have been a touch on the hectic side. Teaching has been a busy time, grad school is kicking my brain's in, and life in general has become full. All of this has made the past 2 months since the last IVF move quickly. I think this is great because we haven't been able to dwell on the pain, we have spend much time talking about it all and our feelings.

We are ready to go forward now.

I went Friday to have an ultrasound and blood work to see if we are ready to go for the frozen transfer (FET for short). The results came back in the good area so we are set on the schedule for Friday - we don't know when exactly yet the appointment will be, we find that out on Thursday. Tonight starts the up kick of medications and the dreaded shot of progesterone everyday (seriously, in the butt and it is not comfortable at all - a tragic step that needs to be done, but I really don't like when Aaron has to do it for the 5 minutes or so everyday, I really don't like him very much).

We are nervous to begin it all again, although this prep for the FET has been nothing compared to what it was under the fresh IVF cycles. It's a difficult thing to deal with after the early miscarriage, but we have to focus our attention on the new positive times for our family. Our tentative plan right now is to do the FET, if it does not work we are moving onto another option. We are going to start investigating the idea of using a surrogate to carry our child. We are not sure why I cannot seem to get this done, but that's okay at this point.

I have had a difficult time coming to accept this as a women, but I believe I have gotten there after 3 IVFs I have had to do some internal searching on my feelings. Aaron and I deserve to have a family, we deserve to have our dream, and this may be a good option for us to use.

Here we go again.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Thank you Augusta

Today as we have been at the hospital with Aaron's grandmother Augusta, I thought about how my life would be different without her influence. She has been in the hospital since last week - her kidneys have shut down as well and she has not been awake since Thursday afternoon. Today, her breathing has slowed tremendously and as I write this, her pulse has slowed down to a level almost undetectable.

1.) I would not have my wonderful mother-in-law, Kara in my life. I am so grateful to have her as my mother-in-law and I hope she reads this. Kara, your support from the very beginning of my relationship with your son has been an unparalleled source of support. I am so glad and so happy that we have such a great relationship between the us. I know that no matter what, you are there to support Aaron and me. There are no words for that aside from thank you. You will be a fantastic grandmother.

2.) Without Kara, there would be no Aaron my amazing husband and best friend. I can not imagine my life without him and am beyond thankful everyday for the random meeting at a graduation party. The influence of his grandmother and mother on him and the importance of good relationships between husband and wife is unmatched. He is a great husband because of the women he grew up with all his life.

3.) The amazing extended family of aunts, cousins, and their wives. Marla and Clair, Kale and Katie, Dane an Stephanie - you are my family and all the support from you has helped us keep our sanity through the craziness we have been through. Aaron and I would be lost without you.

A great woman who was in charge of a great family and I have been privileged to be part of it for 5 years.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I think the universe has a sick sense of humor

Last night, my wonderful husband and I were on our way to have a dinner and date night out just the two of us. It had been kind of a rough week (as tends to happen when you are a one income family and the bills pile up and up). We were going to go out to celebrate my pay raise and to do something I have wanted to do for 3 months - get a memorial tattoo for my mom.

As we are driving and about to get on the highway, we get a phone call that redirects our entire life right now.

Aaron's mother calls to say that his grandmother, who is 97 years old, is having gall bladder issues and they are going to have to do surgery. Now the surgery itself is not a complicated in removing her gall bladder but it is dramatically complicated due to her age.

We came to the hospital immediately to be with his family right now.

I had to make sure that Aaron's mother was taking care of herself because she doesn't do that in stressful times, she had been at the hospital since 3:30 am, had hardly eaten much food and was completely exhausted.

We are back here super early because the doctor was going to come in and talk about when they want to do the surgery.

It is very scary due to the potential issues and to watch another family go through something I just recently went through with the serious family trauma.

Why the hell does this stuff keep happening right now??? Can't anyone get a break?

So we are just waiting now to find out what the plan is going to be and here with many items to work on throughout the day with not knowing if they are going to do surgery today. I am made sure that Aaron's mother was not having to worry about driving herself, has eaten breakfast, and is taken care of because she is focusing her attention on her mother.

I would be great with 2012 ending anytime now and being able to move onto something better.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Well a new plan is in place

I spoke to my RE's office last week and we are getting a plan in place for the FET (frozen embryo transfer). We have started on the ins process - getting it all cleared with them to approve the cycle and the medication. I am not interested in running into the same issues we did in the past with them - this hoop and that hoop.

I received my statement of approval from the company today stating that we are approved for the FET. At least that is one hoop we are officially through, hopefully not too many more to go.

General time frame is off of my next period to start the medicine - a pill 3 times a day for about 2 weeks before I go in for an ultrasound to see how the lining of the uterus is developing. If things are looking good, we will come in the next week to have the transfer.

It's much less invasive than the "fresh" cycles because I do not have to go into the doctor's office all the time to have ultrasounds and blood work. I will only have to take off part of the day for the ultrasound and then for the transfer which will be scheduled for a Friday so I can do the bed rest over the weekend and be back at schoo on that Monday. Their success rate is nearly as high as the fresh cycle, so we are hopeful that this will take and we can be done with all this nonsense.

I really hope this is the end of the road for me because I am dwindling at the end of a rope here, holding on by just a few threads of the rope. There isn't enough of the rope to tie a knot to hold onto anymore. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I feel like crud

Well I am pretty sure that my body is angry at me. Months of fertility shots and all the procedures, I am fairly certain that is fighting me back...hard.

I started my period after coming off the progesterone and it is seriously kicking my butt. I feel like this is a terrible period and it seems like the my body is punishing me with the worst period I can remember. It's awful and I want the pain to go away.

This sucks.

It is just a huge reminder of what I had and what is now gone. It feels like a cruel joke.

We had our dream and then it was gone just as quickly. I am sad, angry, frustrated, defeated, and just wanting to have it all go back to being positive again before it was all gone in an instant.

I miss my mom right now so much. I can barely even think about her without starting to cry right now because it's just not fair that she is not here with me as I am going through all of this. I know she is watching, but it is not the same as her being here with me to talk me through all the pain I am feeling right now. There isn't going to be a way to make that pain go away and it hurts so much.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

And now we heal...

Well, now it's time to heal long is that going to take?

Aaron and I went out last night to have a dinner just the two of us. It was nice to have some time just us after this crazy week that we somehow managed to get through. This week was about surviving and that's what we did, we survived.

Now comes healing and time to be able to move forward.

We have to deal with this in our own time and feel as though it's time to move on when that feels good.

I am not sure that we would have made it through this week without friends and family supporting us. It was important to know we had support because this is hard. It hurts tremendously and I know that eventually, I will feel better about things with time passing by.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Well - we officially had an early miscarriage.

Last Thursday, we had a positive POAS and again on Friday/Saturday. This was after we had negative tests Monday and Tuesday so we were of course thrilled.

We told our families knowing either way we would need them. They were so excited and elated for us - it was amazing that our dream had come true. We looked like a couple of overly-happily dopes for a few days.

As the day of my blood test approached, I was excited so I took another test on Monday. Really, it was for the joy of seeing a positive after 3 years of trying.

Much to my shock, it was negative. I woke Aaron up and we just sat on the bathroom floor and cried.

Tuesday was the same and I knew it was an early miscarriage.

Still nothing prepared me for the call from the doctor. She said the blood test was positive but the number was on the really low side of positive. A positive is above 5 on the HCG level, I had a 13. This meant there was a good chance of an early miscarriage and they wanted me to come in to repeat the test in 2 days to see what the number did. Ideally, we would want that 13 to almost double in 2 days but it would still need to be monitored closely.

This morning, I went in again for a follow up test. When the call came in, I was not surprised to hear that the beta number had dropped to zero.

Does that prepare you to know that you were pregnant and it's gone?? No.

Does it make you focus on how far you have come in the process?? No, that doesn't help at all.

Does it make you ready to jump back into the process with the frozen embryos?? Not yet - my poor body needs to rest a little first.

We are heartbroken.

We are hurting and wish it was all a dream. Wanting the positive tests back again. Wanting the good feeling of not having to struggle in fertility.

All there is left to say is - damnit.

Why not us???????

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

6dp5dt - less than a week til blood test

I am 6 days past 5 day transfer and the blood test is coming up soon - thankfully. My time has been spent prepping for the school year which has kept me busy and therefore I am not really thinking about all the waiting.

We found out yesterday that they were able to freeze 4 embryos - which is amazing!! We have never had even one to freeze before so to get the news for 4 is shocking. My RE is very careful about watching them to make sure that they have the best chance of surviving cryopreservation.

This is the best news because we can try 4 more times before having to start over with all the shots again!! I nearly cried at that phone call - not going to lie about that. It was such a relief!

Today has been interesting so far: I have not felt great, nearly threw up in the shower and had to walk out of a store due to the smell of bread baking. I am not normally really sensitive to smells - the last time I had this, we are pretty sure I became pregnant but then lost it since my blood work was still pretty high in levels but was falling fast. While its encouraging, it threw me for a loop because it was so strong so fast! I am struggling not to put too much stock in any of it though because I don't want the let down.

Only a few days to go!

Monday, August 13, 2012

4 Days Post 5 day Transfer - a mouthful to say

Well here I am, 4 days after the 5 day transfer just waiting, waiting, waiting.

We had the transfer Thursday morning. Things were different than we had planned for the 3 day transfer because going that extra amount of time adjusts the schedule.


1. We only transferred 2 blastocysts (what embryos are by the 5th day of growth). According the restrictions, they do not do more than 2 to anyone under 37 years old on the day 5 transfers. According to the doctor this is due to the higher probability of them surviving and that then increasing the chance for multiples, which is not their goal. They want one successful pregnancy, not 3. I understand this theory - I was just annoyed at it because this is our 3rd try and wanted to give as many opportunities to have a successful cycle.

2. We did not do the assisted hatching on the blasts. This is only done when they do a day 3 transfer because the cells are smaller and the shell tends to be harder. As the embryo grows, the shell thins out to cover more surface area and they worry that doing the assisted hatching on a day 5 blast could damage the cells since the shell is thinner at that point. It's not standard practice and can result in damage (which we don't want at all). This makes us nervous some - we believe that our major issue has been the implantation and the assisted hatching was supposed to be a solution to that. So now we are not sure what to think. Again, we understand that this is the recommendations, it was just a surprise.

The good news of the situation is that my waiting window to get my blood test is only 12 days instead of 14 because the blasts have been growing so much before they are transferred. I go in on the 21st for my blood test. We really hope this works because we are incredibly close to being out of insurance coverage and cannot afford to do this after the insurance coverage stops.

For now, I am working in my classroom, getting prepped to have kiddos on the 20th, although I consider myself back full time right now our first official day back is on Thursday. It is keeping me plenty busy as I wait out this time period.

I feel as though my whole summer has been hurry up, wait then repeat.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Egg transfer pushed from a day 3 to a day 5

Yesterday was tentatively scheduled to be our day 3 transfer of the embryos, I received a call from the doctor's office saying we are being pushed to the day 5 transfer instead. I was confused and concerned that something was going on or that the embryos were not doing well so they were hoping that a few more days of watching would make the call.

2 agonizing hours later, I received a call from the lab to tell me all about the embryos and why they pushed it to the day 5 transfer. We have so many embryos that were exactly where they wanted them to be according to their criteria by day 3, they wanted to watch them longer to make sure they were putting the best of the best in! I was surprised as hell to say the least. I had 8 embryos that were exactly where they wanted them and several more that were a little slow but close to the standards they wanted.

That's just amazing. We have done this 2 times before and some of the embryos we have had to choose from are not that great or just a few that are right at the criteria. To have so many that were not only barely there but doing so well, is astonishing to us, it gives us hope that we may have some to freeze after the transfer. We are still cautious with that thought though since we have not had any the other 2 times we have done this.

I am going to stay positive that the ones they transfer in tomorrow are going to be the best of the best and with doing the day 5 transfer, it means the embryos are strong. We could have a really great chance of them implanting and growing.

It's hard to not get too excited about this prospect's been the most encouraging in terms of results of the meds, and the quality of the embryos. Getting my hopes up too high though is a dangerous road that I almost always end up going down again. I know I was get really excited and nervous again just as I have done ever other time - I don't know how someone couldn't with the investment of the whole process.

Ready to get the show on the road...tomorrow seems so far from now, 2 weeks to find out is almost an eternity.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Egg Retrieval Day

We had the egg retrieval early this morning - it was insane!!! They retrieved 34 eggs which is just unbelievable!!

I was in quite a bit of pain afterwards though from the procedure. They had to give me morphine and monitored me for longer than they have in the past.

We will know tomorrow how many fertilized and I really hope it's a good report. There have to be enough to do the transfer as well as hopefully some to freeze.

It's still astounding there were that many eggs ready to go - even the nurse said she was surprised by it!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 9 of shots - need to be onto the next step

Well I had another doctor appointment this morning and we are moving closer to the retrieval.

This whole cycle has been different for us - we have had to change our mindset to the approach. The last 2 cycles it was about getting as many eggs as possible to give us the best chances of having them fertilize as well as hoping for some to freeze. Well, that hasn't worked out well, we haven't had any to freeze from either one. So this time, we are trying to switch mentalities to think about getting the best 3 embryos we can for the transfer and letting the others just be there. They won't survive anyway but it increases our odds.

That has made it difficult though because it is a switch in thinking. We had been so concerned at the ultrasounds about having as many as possible. This time has been a slower growing cycle overall and I am struggling to not jump to the bad thoughts about it all. The doctor is happy with our progress though and is happy with everything.

We should be looking at doing the big trigger shot tomorrow or Thursday and having the transfer Monday or Tuesday.

We are getting there - slowly.

So ready to be off this part of the emotional roller coaster please.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sometimes you just want to scream

That was me yesterday, I wanted to scream and hit something hard.

I am not a violent person, but yesterday hopped up on hormones, I surely felt as though I could get physically violent with someone if I continued to get the run around.

I was trying to get my medicine ordered for this cycle of IVF. We had some left over from the last cycle and thank god we did. My insurance covers the meds (I am not complaining about the fact they cover it, I am grateful) however, their procedures to get it approved and shipped leaves something to be desired.

When I went to the RE's office to get the baseline blood work and ultrasound showing things were a go, they sent the information to my insurance to get their approval for the cycle. Okay, kind of annoying, but not a huge deal. However, they have to approve it and then send it to the specialty pharmacy for them to get it in the system to then set up a delivery of the medications. This shipping is done overnight due to one of the meds having to be refrigerated. BUT - the issue comes that the day you go in for the blood work and ultrasound, you need to start the shots THAT night and the earliest you can get your meds if the system is working at its finest is the day after the RE visit. Why doesn't this system coordinate with the cycle set ups????? This is the million dollar question.

So, yesterday being 2 days after my appt with the RE, I still had not heard from the pharmacy about setting up delivery and was getting awfully close with one of the medicines to running out. So I called them to get a status update. They say that RE's office needed to send them a particular form that was not included with all the other papers before they could set up shipment. Called the RE's office and they sent it right away. 2 hours later, I call back to the pharmacy and am told the same thing, still waiting for the form in order to get through the approval process. I started to freak out because I cannot start and stop this medication on a whim. We tried to see if we could get it locally, as long as insurance would approval an override since they were not going to be able to ship it for me to have it before the medication would run out. The specialty pharmacy finally had all the approval, but it was past the time for me to get shipment the next day and there wasn't anything they could do about it. I was really ready to lose my mind and was struggling to make sentences because my hormone-filled self was seeing bright red. I was having to work very hard to maintain my composure and I was just completely defeated with the whole process. Really, I just wanted to cry.

Needless to say it took 6 more phone calls after that to the insurance and RE's office before they magically resolved the problem. Even though I was told I was being "rude" to their customer service person who was just following their procedures and that their hands were tied due to those procedures. Well a total of 8 phone calls to the insurance pharmacy and 5 calls to the RE's office would cause anyone to be frustrated with the situation. Let's add several days of hard-core hormones to the situation and then you may be close to where I was at that moment.

Oh, and while all of this is going on - our dishwasher decides that time is the perfect time to not drain and back up.

When it rains, it pours.

While our area which is currently in a severe drought needs rain, this is not what I would have wanted it to be in terms of a downpour.

The meds were here this morning and we are set for the rest of this cycle and man do I hope it works so I do not have to go through all this again with this stupid pharmacy. They are too much hassle! This process is very complicated as it, why add insult to injury and make something more difficult than it needs to be???

I have another appointment on Saturday morning to do an update to the follicles and I really hope they are growing large and in charge so we can get through the retrieval as soon as possible.

Some people make me angry with all of this. Ignorance is not an excuse to be hurtful.

I received this as a response to a post I had on Facebook about the medication costs before insurance:

Have you thought about going to a new specialist. No offense, but if they haven't helped you, do you think the more expensive drug will benefit you, simply because it cost more? I am sorry If this is crass, but I feel for you and worry about the effects of said drug. I hope something will give for you two. Mother nature works itself out. My thoughts are with you!

My angry response:

My meds are only $75 a piece with insurance. There are not many drugs that do what they need to do and some of them are actually more expensive than those. I am friends with people around the country and they are paying more than those costs for the same medications and are having to do it without insurance helping them out. The meds are doing exactly what they are supposed to do in the protocol for IVF - there is not a magic cure to make the embryos implant and there is not a medicine to take to make that happen. These meds are carefully monitored to see how they are affecting the growth of the eggs to make them grow without growing too quickly which can cause permanent damage. My specialist and the other 5 in her practice are amazing, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. We are fortunate that my health insurance covers over 90% of the procedures and that I am only paying $75 of a $1900 medication. Some women I know have paid over $20,000 for the procedures themselves and nearly $4,000 for the medications.

As for mother nature working itself out, that's not going to happen. I have undergone more testing than I care to think about over the course of the last 6 years and on our own, we have less than a 1% chance of conceiving on our own. And the 1% is a high estimate to the situation. We cannot just wait for mother nature to take over and handle this because it is not probable to happen that way. These doctor's have given up a 56% chance of conceiving which is nationally the best average for someone in my situation - 1% to 56%, I will take those odds. 

Make sure you have the facts people, please before saying something. If you don't know - ask. Don't assume you know anything unless you have asked or experienced it yourself. 

Now, I really want to scream...  

Monday, July 23, 2012

3rd Time's A Charm?????? (Man, I hope so)

We went to the RE this morning for a blood draw checking my estrogen level and an ultrasound. We were looking to make sure that the ovaries had healed from the stimulating drugs last month and that my estrogen levels had come down to an average range after everything.

The ultrasound tech said the ovaries looked really good and that they were down to the size we were looking for them to be. The nurse called and said that the estrogen levels were great too.

So, what does that mean??

Shots, shots, shots.

We start the 2 shots a day again tonight. I have my next blood draw and ultrasound on Saturday morning. Ugh, but a necessary evil.

The RE is recommending us to do a technique called "assisted hatching" this time. This is when they take the outer shell of the embryos and busting through it before they are transferred back into me.

My eggs are great quality, Aaron's sperm count is high and strong (much to his ego happiness), so that's not the issue. We have done 2 different medical protocols and neither have taken, but we have had great numbers of embryos retrieved and many of them fertilized - there has to be something else going on that is keeping those little guys from taking hold in me. I have had my uterus checked out and the lining is good, no polyps or cysts - everything is good everywhere else.

Man, it's frustrating as hell. Everything is lining up great, but those embryos have not taken hold.

They also want us to consider transferring 3 embryos instead of 2.

What the frustrating part is that they do not usually do assisted hatching and this many embryos in someone my age (31 - 32 in November) because women my age often do not need to have their outer layer broken. It happens as we get older and by the time they are doing IVF on women in their late 30s, it's common practice.


How does this make me feel??

Pseudo-broken that I am on the younger side of the IVF protocols and have to do the techniques for more challenging IVF cases.

Frustrated that this is where we are now.

Hopeful that these changes will make all the difference.

Annoyed at the stimulating shots taking over my life again.

Scared for the pain of the retrieval.

Nervous for the 2ww.

Broke because it's 2 cycles in as many months.

Excited that we will get it in before the new school year starts (I could have my Beta test on my first day of school with students full time depending on when the retrieval will be set.)

Relieve that we seemed to have determined exactly what the issue is with the failures.

Semi-worried that if we do all 3 in the transfer and what happens if they all take???? (Talk about getting more than your dream!!)


Yes, that's quite a bit of emotions running the whole spectrum of emotions. Unfortunately, it's all at the same time and comes to me in different waves. Sometimes, the waves are tidal waves, other times they are just little ripples in the water.

Well, I have to run and start doing shots again - this is my life from now until who knows when? I hate this part, thank goodness it's only a few minutes a day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tomorrow it all starts again

After speaking with my RE, we have decided to try again. She recommends us to do it again with some additional modifications to help us along.

I will go in to the doctor in the morning to have an ultrasound and a blood test to see if my body is ready for it. If yes, I will start med tomorrow. If not, then we have to wait at least one cycle before we can start.

We are hoping that we can start right away so we can try to get it all in before the new school year starts. At least with the rough aspects, so I am not trying to go through all of that while the beginning of the school year is going on. That is enough in and of itself.

Aaron and I have talked about it and we are going to be very closed with this cycle. Not because we are trying to close people out. Not because we don't appreciate the support. Not because we are trying to hurt anyone. We just need to for our own reasons that are really not going to make sense to anyone else.

Friday, July 20, 2012

200th post - not good news

Well this is my 200th post - hard to believe it is at this point, man the time has both flown by as well as dragged on and on.

We had the blood test yesterday and it was not good news. The embryos did not take.

We had such high hopes after all the positive improvement to the whole protocol from the previous attempt. Things seemed to be looking up and moving in the right direction. We had more eggs retrieved and the embryos they transferred were of so much better quality and growth than our try last year.

Then, BOOM...nothing.

We have nothing to show for it except incredible heartache, bills to be paid, and much self-doubt.

We are no further along than we were when we started all this journey years ago and it's so tough to not get so discouraged and feel like a failure.

Now, all the questions of the future are flooding my brain and I am just overwhelmed.

The amount of support and love that we have received helps, although I could never put into words how much that support means because there are not words of gratitude that exist to fully explain it to them. It's like trying to describe an intangible feeling to someone without experience with emotions. We are so grateful.

I cannot talk about it out loud right now - every time I have tried, I start sobbing uncontrollably.

The only thing I can say is that this hurts so much more than everything we went through last year. Why do I feel that way? I am not sure.

Again my specialist is going to meet with the others in her practice to review it all to make their recommendations for the future as they did last time. Our fear is that they are going to say we just had the bad luck of being in the 44% that do not work for absolutely no reason at all AGAIN. That was what the result of the first one was.

Aaron and I have talked about it and we want to go ahead if it's recommended right away. We are hoping that we can get through the back and forth to the doctor's office as well as the retrieval before my school year starts to help with me not having to take days off work, if possible.

Ugh - to do it all again is so frustrating.

We are good people, we have a good marriage, and such a desire to be a family. Why is this not happening for us?????? I know, I know, I could drive myself insane with this wondering but it is so hard to not think about.

Today, I am doing a sad day.

I am going to be sad for all the process we have been through so far in our journey. I am going to be sad for the pain of the procedures. I am going to be sad for the terrible luck we seem to have with it all. I am going to be sad for all the emotions we are going through, both individually and as a couple.

It's like the grieving process. Something I am all too familiar with right now with my mother's recent passing.

I am scared to death for a million reasons - scared this will never work, scared of the pain again just to start with.

Now, onto my sad day to try to deal with this all.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Update - 8 days past 3 day transfer (8dp3dt for short)

So here we are at 8 days past our 3 day embryo transfer and how do I feel?


I don't really feel much more than some random cramping and the side effects that are associated with the progesterone shots I have to have everyday.

By the way, I hate this shot so much even though I know it is helping with the situation. It is a painful shot and for those few minutes everyday when Aaron is giving me the shot, I really don't like him because he is the one who is administering it to me. :-( He doesn't like that it hurts and that he is the one who has to do it.

We still have a week to go - our blood Beta test is next Thursday. It would be Wednesday to be exactly weeks from the transfer but I will be out of town until Wednesday afternoon so I will not be around to get the test.

We are anxious and nervous.

I am working really hard at not letting these get to me, but sometimes for a few minutes everyday - I just can't help it. :-(

My fears:

1. This won't work at all for no medical reason like what happened to us last year.

2. We would have to do it all again - taking on the financial, emotional, and time commitments all over again.

3. This won't work for a specific medical reason that we are not aware of before now - as in some medical condition that no one saw coming.

4. Can I go through it all a 3rd time??????

5. What happens if we do it a 3rd time and it still doesn't work? My fertility coverage only covers 4 lifetime successful tries. They determine "successful" as having an egg retrieval with eggs that fertilized. We would be cutting it so close to our limit.

My husband is amazing through this, he stays as positive as he can (even sometimes to the point, I get annoyed with his optimism). He makes sure I am drinking all the fluids I am supposed to and he makes sure that I take all my meds on time. He checks in on me throughout the day just to see how I am doing and he tries to talk me down when the fears/anxieties kick in. I don't know what I would do without him. 

One week to go - seems like a lifetime.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Egg Transfer Done

We had the egg transfer this morning.

We had 2 strong 8-cell embryos that were put inside me - that is better than we had last year, I think the best we had was a 6-cell embryo.

The doctor is very optimistic about it all this time.

Now I am on bed rest to let those little guys implant inside me and grow, grow, grow!!

My blood test will be on July 19 - would be the 18th but I am gone to a workshop with the Illinois State Board of Education until the afternoon of the 18th, so can't get to St. Louis for the blood test.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Holy Fertilized Eggs!!

We received the call from the doctor today about our eggs from yesterday.

Of the 18 eggs they retrieved - 14 of them fertilized!!!!!

That's amazing!

We did not do the injection of sperm into the eggs (known as ICSI for intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection) this time as we did last time. Most people think this is standard IVF procedure to inject the sperm directly into the eggs, but that is an entirely separate procedure altogether. Standard IVF procedure is to pour the sperm directly onto the egg in the petri dish and allow the two to naturally connect.

We had better success with the standard IVF last year, more of those eggs made it so we opted to do only do that this time. Apparently, this has been quite successful for us this time as well.

Now we just wait to see if we are going to do the transfer back into me on either Wednesday or Friday depending on how they are growing. Since medical science cannot replicate the human body, the sooner we can get the eggs back into the body the better the chances. We are hoping that the two best ones are the only ones we will need and that the others can make it to the freezing point so that we have options down the road.

This is all so complicated and I am trying to explain it to people as best as possible because there is quite a bit of confusion with it all. Some thought as soon as we started shots that we were on our way, some thought with the retrieval, but really we are not done until the transfer is complete. Then it's 2 straight days of bed rest or more if possible to hopefully allow the eggs implant in my uterus and taking the strain off my body to let it rest after this whole process.

Here's hoping!

Egg Retrieval was yesterday

We had the egg retrieval yesterday.

Our appointment was at 8:30 am and it was very quiet at the doctor's office given that it was a Sunday.

The procedure itself didn't hurt nearly as badly as it did last year but they did not have an issue getting to my ovaries as they did last year. I am not going to say that it was pain free, but it was not nearly as painful this time. I was in huge pain last year, but this year it wasn't much more uncomfortable than I was with the swollen ovaries from the stimulation.

They collected 18 follicles which is awesome. The doctor's office will call me today to let us know how many of the eggs were not only mature but fertilized.

We are hopeful that many of them will have fertilized so we have many options.

It will be Wednesday at the earliest before we could have the transfer, Friday at the latest.

They will only transfer 2 of the eggs back into me according to the regulations they recommend for someone who is my age. They will not put more than that back into me to help reduce the risk of having a multiple pregnancy. According to the doctor, they are not looking for me to have more than 1 successful pregnancy. However, I am in the category of a higher risk for twins due to many different factors.

So more of the waiting game to find out how many eggs fertilized, then more waiting to see if it is going to be Wednesday or Friday for the transfer, then 2 weeks of waiting to see if it worked or not. It's all a hurry up then wait game. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

And it continues

Well an update again...

We have 20 follicles over 10 mm this morning with almost 10 above 14 mm.

This would normally be a ticket to the retrieval, however my dr is being conservative. She wants to have us stimulate one more day before giving the go ahead for the retrieval. Last year, we had a good number of follicles but when they got to the eggs, there were quite a few that were immature. So between the new medicine protocol and such, she wants to push it one more day to help with their growth.

She is hoping that one more day of stimulating meds will help those that we have grow into more mature eggs for the retrieval. So we have another appointment tomorrow morning to see how they are developing.

That puts our retrieval tentatively scheduled for the trigger shot to be tomorrow and the retrieval to be on Sunday.

I am so ready for this to be done with because my ovaries are swollen and I am tired all the time. While I am not looking forward to the retrieval and the pain that will come with it, I am ready for this portion of the programming to be finished.

I am ready to be moving onto the next phase of the process at this point.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 8 of stimulating meds - ugh I feel like crap

Okay, I know I said I felt like crap 2 days ago.

Little did I know how much I could in fact feel like crap.

On Monday, the doctor recommended doubling Menopur (stimulating med) from the dose I had been taking due to the follicles growing well but wanting to step it up a notch. Ugh. That always makes me feel like a bloated balloon when we do that part. But, we did this before and I knew what to expect with it.

Then, in addition they added Cetrotide (yes, that makes 3 different shots I am currently giving myself in my poor, bruised abdomen everyday). This one according to WebMd is: Cetrotide® (cetrorelix acetate for injection) is indicated for the inhibition of premature LH surges in women undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation. So basically, we are trying to stop my body from going to into a surge too soon while the little (I mean big) follicles are finishing development. I have never taken this one before and I was not sure what to expect with it at all.

I don't know which one of these is responsible for this, but I feel awful. I am bloated all the time, beyond the regular bloating feeling that comes with your ovaries swelling from walnut size to tennis ball size. I am so glad there is only a few more days at the most of these shots because this sucks. My abdomen has bruises in different states of healing and giving the shots is starting to be almost painful because most of my abdomen is really sensitive due to the bruising.

The positive news is that my follicles are growing - and I mean GROWING!!! They are huge! I had one today that was 19 mm! They would like them to be around 14 mm at the time of the retrieval and I had tons (by tons I mean 17) that were above the 10 mm mark and I still had at least one more day (today, if not tomorrow too) of shots to go. They grow at approximately 1-2 mm a day. Some of these guys are going to be enormous by the day of the retrieval and I am hoping that means large follicle=good egg, but we shall see if that's true or not. I am hoping it is.

This is awesome and I am thrilled with the growth - not thrilled with the swelling and general crappy feeling that I am currently experiencing. However, they want me to come in tomorrow to see how they are doing and the nurse said that she wouldn't be surprised if I was getting the trigger shot in the next day or two. (Trigger shot = HCG which will prepare the follicles to be harvested in the retrieval process. It's a HUGE shot of the pregnancy hormone that helps those guys be ready to be taken out of me and fertilized.)

So we should be getting the news to do the trigger shot very very soon and then we can be onto the next part of this process.

Come on good news, we need you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We are nearly 1/2 way there (I hope)

Well today is day 7 of meds and man do I feel like crud.

Yesterday, my doctor increased my one medication by double and it is the one that makes me swell more than any of the other ones. I am now on 3 different shots a day as well as 5 pills a day and I feel like a human pharmacy.  I feel as though I have a million medicines running through me all the time but I have no energy to do anything at all.

I feel puffy and none of my pants are fitting, I am wearing stretchy yoga pants in order to be comfortable. But really nothing is working.

We should be looking at this weekend or the very beginning of next week to do the retrieval of the follicles and honestly, it cannot come any faster.

My follicles are growing really well - we have 8 that are over 10 mm and we are looking to get to 14mm or better for the retrieval. It should only be a few more days to go because I all ready have a few follicles that are nearly at that size all ready and several more that are close to the size we want them to be.

What does all this mean???

It means that this different course of medicines is working well and my body is responding quickly and powerfully to it. That's a good thing even though it makes me feel pretty awful right now, it will be worth it in the end. Last year, we had 14 follicles that were collected at the retrieval and I suspect that we will have as many if not more this year.

I am just afraid that all of this will have been for nothing though, my fear is strong that this won't work and we will be right back to where we were before it all. I am afraid of having to do it all again because it was not successful.

I am scared to death right now.

I am trying very hard to not be as scared  because I want this to work almost desperately. It has been quite a long long struggle to this point and I want it to be done all ready. I am tired of the emotional roller coaster, the ups and downs, the strain it puts on me physically time and again. I am ready to be on the next part of the trip in whatever capacity that will be because this back and forth is so difficult to deal with.

Just a few more days to go - it will all be worth it in the end.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 4 of the IVF meds

Well here we are at day 4 of the IVF meds.

This round has been rougher than it was before. I know it is a different medicine regimen than we did last time - we are seeing different results all ready.

I woke up the second day noticing the swelling a bit more than I had expected. Now by day 4, it is puffy town for me. The doctor said that we would notice more effects quickly due to the more intense dose of medications.

I know it is working, but I really hate those shots everyday. It's a few minutes everyday that is not very fun at all - there is nothing about having to give yourself 2 different shots that is entertaining. It is not a comfortable process either, the one medicine stings after you inject it and the other one is a thicker needle so it hurts more when it is injected. I have a few days until we are going to introduce the 3rd shot to the mixture.

We will see how we are progressing when I go back to the doctor on Monday. I am hoping this is a faster process than last year - we did 11 days of stimulation before the big shot and then retrieval. The doctors said that this could be a quicker stimulation, so I am hoping things move quickly.

We shall see how it goes, I am curious for the update.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Life is a funny thing

My life is a funny funny thing.

We came home on Sunday after being in Chicago for 11 days - that trip was impossible and I couldn't be more relieved that I don't have to do it again.

I said my goodbyes to my mom and there are not words to sum up that feeling. There isn't even anything that comes close to compare it to in the world. Her visitation made me feel as though my heart had been ripped out. Knowing that I will not see her, or talk to her, or get another hug from her makes me wish for about some quality cuddle time with her where we talk about everything under the sun.

Now I am home and trying to figure out how to get on with my life.

Everything I do or say feels like it is not okay to be doing or is insulting her memory by doing it all.

I know there is not a right or wrong way to handle things - that no matter what I do it is the right thing to do. But somehow I can't shake the feeling of crossing the line into moving onto the rest of my life.

Now we have been given the clearance to start IVF and it's strange to start all this right now. However at the same time, it feels as though it is exactly what I am supposed to be doing. It feels as though the timing of it all is exactly the way it was supposed to work out and that my mom would be in favor of us starting it all right now.

I know she was one of our biggest supporters to having a family - I am very upset that she will not know my child and won't be there when I have questions in the future.

While I am excited for finally starting this that we have waited so long to begin, I can't help but be sad at the same time. When this works, she would be the first one I wanted to tell and now I don't know who that will be.

It's all too complicated and my brain is full with so many confusing thoughts.

I love you Mom and I miss you every minute.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My mom

My mom was my hero.

She was strong and stubborn, opinionated and smart, sweet and caring, loving and encouraging....most of all, she was my mom.

When my mom was pregnant with me she was stuck on hospital bed rest because of serious complications. She spent months in a hospital bed just to keep me safe.

At just a few months old, I contracted bacterial meningitis. This put me in the NICU for a very long time and I nearly died several times. My mom refused to leave my side unless family members forced her to go rest.

She worked multiple jobs to pay the bills with lots of support from my grandmother and uncles. She was a single mother of 4 but she didn't stop making herself better. She went to nursing school, paramedic school, as well as earning her Associate's degree all with children running around.

I am not sure any parent was louder at soccer or basketball games, swim meets, etc with her whistle between her teeth. No parent screamed louder and she would refuse to sit down when other parents wanted her to be quiet - there was no stopping her.

No one was prouder when I was selected out of hundreds of students in the county to travel to Australia when I was just 14. Or when I was inducted into National Honor Society in high school. She screamed for me at my undergraduate graduation, applauded/screamed at my induction into Phi Kappa Phi, and whistled at my Master's graduation.

She was one of my biggest cheerleaders always.

We would spend hours shopping or chatting, watching the same 4 movies time and again because we knew all the words.

Cutting each other as we talked because we just had to share a thought before it was gone.

Cuddling on her bed, wrapped her big comforter just talking for hours and giggling like fools.

We would argue at the other's "damn Irish stubbornness and temper."

She called me her "beautiful blue-eyed girl." Her "miracle baby." Her "teeny bean."

She was so excited when I started teaching, telling me to do what I loved because I loved it not to get rich. We shared a love of history and reading - she always encouraged me to read and travel.

I was blessed to spend 2 weeks in China with her. We toured and traveled. Tried gross food and drank warm soda but cold beer! We climbed the Great Wall together with her calling me every dirty name she could think of because it was so hot and hard to do. We cruised the Yellow River and explored the Forbidden City. We rode a train across China in a "luxury train car" that I could touch both walls a the same time. Learned that "tse tse" meant thank you and blond haired women were a sight to be seen by the Chinese. We climbed mountains and ate until we burst. We walked miles a day and laughed at our traveling companions.

When Aaron was going to propose, he had my mom take me out to try on rings for style preference. She loved how he said he would have final say because he knew me so well. She is the one who found my engagement and wedding set at the last of 7 stores we went to that day. She sent me away, wrote down the information, then gave it to Aaron. She told him it was perfect.

My mom loved Aaron - she said she knew I would always be loved in the way I deserved to be by him and that was a mother's joy.


I miss her all ready -

I cannot just pick up the phone to talk to her.

I cannot just hug her one more time - the hugs that only a mother can give that make everything feel okay for just those few moments.

I cannot laugh with her or cry with her.

She won't be leaving me a million comments because she loved hearing about all my friends and antics.

Most painfully, she won't meet my children. They will know her only through pictures and stories. They will know she loved them even without knowing them, she is now their guardian angel always.


I have to learn to live in this new world without her.

Tse tse mom for everything, I hope you knew how much I love you and will miss you.

I hope I made you proud because I was proud to be your daughter.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I am in shock.

My mom passed away this morning.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And the waiting continues...

We are still waiting, my damn period has not shown so we are again on hold.

I started the provera again to get a period so we can get started. I hate this medicine, it makes me retain water and get headaches. But it's a means to an end so it's worth it all. I am going to just deal with it all if it gets us to where want to be.

Right now, we are looking at about 10-15 days before being able to start all the stimulation meds.

Just frustrating after all this time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I really hate insurance companies - this is insane

So while I am grateful for the insurance coverage of the fertility treatments (Illinois is one of only a handful of states that mandates insurance to cover the treatments - not necessarily at 100% or anything, but somewhat), the hoops we often have to jump through are quite time consuming and annoying.

When we went through the cycle last summer, we had insurance coverage through both my insurance and Aaron's insurance. So what one didn't cover, the other one did. Yes, there were the whole hoops to jump through, fill out this form, blah blah blah. But this is getting somewhat stupid with this different insurance that started in September, the amount of hoops I have had to jump through since we decided to start the second round has gotten ridiculous.

Things I have had to do with this company above and beyond other steps I have done with the insurance companies:

1. I had to do an intake phone interview where I relived all the steps we have done so far in this journey. It was over 20 minutes of going through everything (stupid part: they had my damn medical file from the specialist before this interview).

2. Additional copies of medical protocols from the doctors to be sent to the insurance company,

3. Additional blood tests looking for additional issues that could have contributed to the infertility above and beyond all the lengthy and in depth tests that the RE had us do when we were getting started with IVF.

4. Now they want other tests to be done as soon as I get my next period before we can get full approval of the IVF process.

5. Also once they got the treatment protocol from the doctor to approve the cycle, the insurance company does not like the particular drug regimen the doctor has recommended for us. They want a particular drug and are standing their ground on it.

6. I cannot use the local specialty pharmacy that we used last year to get the medicine (because of course we cannot just call in a script to the local regular pharmacy to get them). I have to use their pharmacy who will have to ship us the meds and I won't have them right away when we will need them for this treatment plan.

What does all this mean???

Major annoyance.

Since we are waiting for the next cycle, if it doesn't come on time that pushes us back further than we have waited so long to this point.

Since they want additional blood tests before they will approve it, the meds cannot be shipped the same day so I would have to pay for the medicine out of pocket to get it started but may not be able to be reimbursed by the insurance company.


We can do the blood tests, get approved, but not start IVF until the next time I get my period (which will be hard to judge since I don't ovulate on any kind of regular basis at all).

After talking to the nurses and doctor at great length at the end of last week, we decided to go ahead and pay out of pocket for the few days of meds so we can go ahead and get started as soon as possible. It sucks and I hate it all, but waiting is not an option that we are comfortable with after waiting all this time.

Then, today I get another call from the doctor's office that this is yet another problem with the insurance and I have to call them tomorrow to see what the next obstacle this insurance company is placing in front of us.

It feels like this is never going to end and we are never going to get this next cycle started.

I am so frustrated and people just don't understand why it bothers us to wait any longer.

It's frustrating because we have waited so long, invested so much in this process, put many areas of our life on hold to focus on this journey and the idea of putting it on hold AGAIN is similar to a sharp knife to the gut. We put it all on hold in the fall due to other issues and doing it again is not something we are ready to do at this time.

Just give us the green light and let us get started so we don't ever have to do this again. This has to work this time, it just has to work this time.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

End of school year

The school year is over and I am so relieved.

It was a difficult year for a few different reasons none of which can be discussed here. However, it was the hardest year of my teacher career and I am proud to still be here at the end of the year.

I did not get there without people supporting me and I am thanking them profusely because it is the very least I can do. My husband, my friends, my co-workers, and my family all stood by me and supported me even when things were incredibly bleak and I was not sure I was going to make it. I am eternally grateful for them in my life and all I can do is hope that things get better from here.

Now it's time to turn our attention to the process of IVF. That should be starting here pretty soon and I promise to keep updating everyone on the status of it all as it progresses.

The update right now is: all of our blood work came back good, which is awesome. Including our STD tests and my A1C test that checks out the insulin usage in my body which is one reason it is tough to lose/gain weight - with the weight loss I have worked really hard on for the last several months is amazing. My doctor is very happy with the progress with the weight loss because it will increase our chances to have a successful IVF cycle.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


This morning was my sonohystography with the specialist. They were checking out the lining of my uterus to check for cysts and fibroids. We had some issues with my uterus position to get the catheter in the right place, it was apparently tipped upward which meant getting the catheter in there was a bit more challenging. Apparently, this doesn't have anything to do with the potential of getting or sustaining a healthy pregnancy, it was just an issue for the procedure.

My doctor said the results were great, my uterus was in good shape - no cysts or fibroids, the lining responded to the saline solution and everything looks great.

We got blood work done to get it all up to date and now we are just waiting for the next period to start the new fertility drug routine we are going to do this cycle.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Back to the merry-go-round

Well this week starts the doctor's office merry-go-round again. I am not sure how to feel about it.

I am going in on Thursday to have an up close X-ray of the my uterus to check the lining for fibroids and cysts to make sure it's all set before the start of IVF at the beginning of June. The doctor recommended it, it's not mandatory but she wants to check everything out to make sure we have checked everything before we get started again. Ugh.

Here we go with the whole constant flow of doctor's calls, appointments, etc that is going to be the next month plus of my life. Here we go again.