Friday, December 31, 2010

Goals for 2011

New Year's Resolutions sounds so......well, definite, and we are human, so this year I am making "goals".

My goals for 2011 are:
-whine/complain less-this will be a huge one for me, I've gotten to be very whiny admittedly. Maybe Jack has rubbed off on me????

-be more active with Jack-whether playing with him on the floor more with cars (which isn't my favorite thing to do-I'd rather play games with him), going to the playground more, or just having more playdates, this is one of my biggies. It won't be much longer before he is starting school 5 days a week, and then our "at home" time will be much shorter-this is a biggie for me too.

-Lose some weight. If I get pregnant and am sick again, this may not be so hard (and I won't be able to guarantee my first goal). If I don't get pregnant, my big butt better be motivated to hit the gym.

-Have more "dates" with Archie in the coming year. We've let alot of that go with having a kid, and we need to reconnect. He also wants to lose weight, so maybe some dates will be going to the park together and exploring while Jack is in school.

-My biggest goal for 2011 is to get pregnant and have a healthy baby. This is the one I pray most about, and the one I am getting most excited about.

What are your goals for 2011??????

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dreams

My dreams have been really odd lately, but given how I've been feeling and the upcoming cycle, I guess my brain is just in overdrive. The other day during my nap, I had a dream that my mom called me, she had gotten my labwork, and told me that I was pregnant. I wasn't far along-I wasn't sick either. It was nice, and I thought to myself (in my dream), "Man, I better enjoy this for as long as it lasts because I know from experience it may not stay this way!" I said to my mom, "Are you happy, you're the first to know this time, even before me and Archie!" I will explain this comment further below. Anyway, Archie didn't know I was pregnant at this point, and I remember thinking, "When did I start to get sick with Jack...about 5.5 weeks, so I've got a week and a half to figure out a great way to tell him the good news!" It was funny because obviously we'd gotten pregnant on our own or he would have known that I was having bloodwork done to check and see if we were pregnant. I woke up at that point.

When we were doing our IVF cycle with Jack we had our retrieval and found out that beta date would be April 20th. My mom was scheduled for hernia surgery that day, and I was working the night before. I'd heard that I could get my results within a couple hours of my labwork, so I went right after I got off of work and had my blood drawn. Well, my labwork wasn't back in a couple of hours, and my mom said she wanted to be the first to know after Archie of course. This was a problem on multiple levels. My sister was waiting with us in the waiting room, as was my grandfather and one of my aunt's. Anyway, I got the phone call I'd been waiting for from my nurse after 2pm!!! Seriously, that 7 hour wait about killed me! I tried to tell Archie before my sister found out, but he wasn't looking at the card I wrote the note on (I was hiding it behind my sister's laptop so he could see it first). So they found out at the same time. My mom was in the OR, so we couldn't tell her yet, and Archie went off and called his family to tell them, and my family could tell what the results were when they looked over. My mom was basically the last to know, she was very upset. BUT, she was soooo excited! So the whole little comment in my dream stems back to that no doubt. She swears she'd better be first to know besides us this next time, LOL. To be honest, this dream really did make me feel better and more excited about the upcoming cycle. Now I'm ready to go! What a roller coaster.

I had another weird dream yesterday during my nap before work. It was ugly and bad. Basically we were going on an international flight-me, my mom, Jack and Archie. As we were boarding the airline agents kept staring at Archie, it was weird. I asked if there was a problem and they said there wasn't. Once on the plane, they made everyone get off, and go through the process again of checking our ID's, passports, luggage, etc. We go to get back on and again they are staring at Archie. I was so annoyed, I asked if there was a problem, again they said no. My mom is leading the way with Jack to our seats with me and Archie following. We get to our seats only to turn around and see that Archie's being detained a few rows back and as I start walking toward them to find out what's going on, they shoot him! I freak out of course and run to him, turn around to look at my mom who is in complete shock only to realize that Jack is gone. We start screaming and looking for him but we can't find him and no one will tell us what happened to Archie or Jack. Jack woke up from his nap at that point and woke me up, but I was panicked. What is up with that dream?!?!? I'll take more of the pregnancy ones thank you!

As a side note, I went for a routine renal ultrasound today just to check and make sure I don't have any stones brewing before we start this cycle and (hopefully) get pregnant. I swear I am a nurse for a reason and not a radiologist because all I saw when they looked at my kidneys was fetuses inside those kidneys. I obviously have no idea what I'm looking at on those renal ultrasounds, but I think it's undeniable that I have baby on the brain, LOL.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Scared

I think this is what I am feeling most these days. We have about two weeks before my next period is due, at which time I will start on birth control pills. About 3 weeks into that, I will start on lupron. I figure I should be on the stim drugs by sometime the second week in February, and be having my retrieval and transfer mid Feburary. If timing goes as it did with our first cycle (and we have some normal embryos to put back), my first beta would be about the time of our anniversary. This bothers me simply because our last cycle, we started a couple of weeks later in the year-our transfer was supposed to be on March 6th, but we were called on our anniversary (March 5th) and told that all of our embryos were abnormal. It ruined our anniversary and quite frankly, ruined a few months for us. I don't want to delay my beta, or get it too early, so I guess we'll just have to deal, and to be honest, I hope that it's going to end up being after our anniversary.

I don't know if I don't feel as hopeful this time because I found out about the hydrosalpinx, which, if I had left it could have decreased our chances at pregnancy, and increased our risk of miscarriage, but we had it removed so we could have the best shot. By having it removed, we risked my ovary and we cannot be sure how it will respond during the next cycle to the stim drugs. I just continue to pray that when it comes time for all of this, that my right ovary pulls it's weight and makes at least as many or close to as many follicles as our left does.

Finally, I haven't met with my surgeon for my final post-op appointment and I guess I get nervous that "something" will come up and delay us further. One of my friends said all I can do is pray about it and take things as they come, and she's right. But I'm a planner, and my plans at least where this is concerned always seem to get mucked up. Perhaps that's because I'm planning things as I want them to be, and not as they are MEANT TO BE. I realize this is something I struggle with-giving up that control and leaving it in God's hands. I am trying and I continue to pray for his help with this. Another friend reminded me today when she was over visiting that we can always adopt if it doesn't work, and while that is in the back of my mind, it's a huge undertaking, an enormous financial risk, and just really hard to plan. To be honest, I can't even think that far to adoption at this point, I'm so stressed out that I can only think as far as a beta. I've just made things harder on myself trying to think about when we would go to Disney, whether my OB would be ok with scheduling a c-section and doing my hysterectomy at the same time, etc. I have to just let it go, and focus on what is in front of me which is my final post-op appointment next Monday, my kidney ultrasound (I get these occassionally to monitor my kidney stone issues) this Wednesday, and my appointment to follow up on the ultrasound with my urologist next week. Then once I've gotten through all of that, it will be go time. My visiting friend asked today if we're doing the IVF/ICSI cycle for sure, and yes we are, I didn't go through surgery for no reason! It is a definite, hopefully for January start. My emotions (and sanity) are on the line and I don't even have the extreme hormones rushing through my body yet!

Please pray for everything to go well with my upcoming ultrasound (I don't want stones before I get pregnant or while I am pregnant, this is so important) this week, my last appointment with my surgeon next week, and for everything to be a "go" with this upcoming cycle in two weeks! Thanks for your support!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Laying Shawnee to Rest

Yesterday was Shawnee's funeral services. My girlfriend B lives in Pennsylvania and worked with Shawnee at the other hospital she had left to go to when she became a nurse practitioner in neonatalogy. We met up and went in together, there were probably 20 people from that hospital, and another 15 from mine, everyone else was people she and her family went to church with, family and friends. It was a beautiful, but heart breaking service. She had a beautiful program with pictures of her, her with her kids, pictures she'd taken of flowers (she was an avid gardener and photographer), messages from loved ones, an obit that told the story of her life, a poem from the children to her, and one meant to be from her to comfort us. It was hard to sit through, what funeral service isn't, but this is probably the one that hit home for me and B the most. We're mom's, Shawnee was 33 when she passed, I'm 30 and B is 34-ish. My son just turned 4, B's daughter will be 3, and so will Shawnee's. B is pregnant and sick as anything, due in March, and to die in childbirth happens sure, but it's just not as frequent a thing as it used to be. I hope to be pregnant in the next year.

The night that we found out Shawnee had passed I remember crying on the way home from what was supposed to be a fun holiday party at another coworker's house, but with us all just finding out what happened, it turned out to be one more full of shock and disbelief. I remember holding Archie's hand and asking if something happened to one of us and the kids were still young, would the other promise to make sure that they never forgot about the other, that they knew how much we loved them, and would we talk about the other person often so that our children would "know" us-know what we loved to do, what the other could picture us saying in different circumstances, what we would have thought of different things.

The pastor said something so true in the service yesterday. He said he knows alot of us aren't really questioning God, but just wondering what would make him take her. He kept putting all of this emphasis on her being a neonatal nurse-God takes people regardless of their occupations, sure, we take care of babies, and alot of people find that to be honorable I guess, but it's just what we do. What I don't get is why he'd take HER. A young mother with young children, one who doesn't even know her really. The mother and wife in a growing family. The loyal and very loved daughter. I know he takes people who we don't think he should, I watch him take sweet little angels more than I'd like. But this pastor is right, why her, and why in the way that he did. I know Shawnee knew things were bad, I know she was scared, and I know that she knew too much, it's the bad thing about being a healthcare professional-you know what's going on. I cannot imagine what she was thinking or feeling when things started to go downhill. You know, it's not like she had a devastating car accident and was taken immediately, quickly and without suffering. It just doesn't make sense. But the pastor was right in this. He was talking to her husband during the eulogy, and he said that it was human to wonder these things. What we have to do when we're sitting there thinking (as I have no doubt her husband is) "What do I do now, how do I go on from here?" is just lean on God, tell him that you don't have the answers (and may never have them), but tell God that you need help, you can't do this alone, and just let God do what he does. That it may not seem like God is answering you when you are asking the questions, but as time goes on and you see that you are still here, you're making your new norm for you and your children and you look back at where you've come since He took her, that you will know that only God could get you through something like that. He heard you, He helped you, He did not let you down, He was there walking with you, getting you through the darkest of times. There is no way you get through something like this without Him. Ain't that the truth.

After sitting in the megachurch for a little over 2 hours, B and I both had headaches, were heartbroken and just drained. She hadn't eaten before she came because she feels awful after she does and she didn't want to embarass herself at the service, so we left while others stayed behind to go to the cemetary. We decided to have lunch at Friendly's and instead of us making it a "girls lunch" where we knew we'd both be moping and talking about sad things, we invited Archie and Jack to join us, and we ended up having a very nice lunch.

I feel like I've cried so much this week, and Shawnee and I weren't even that close. I cried two Friday nights ago, I've gotten teary at least a few times throughout the week when conversation about her came up, I cried yesterday at the service, and again last night as I prayed again for her family and friends to be able to find a way to get through this. I've prayed for her family nightly since the news, and unfortunately, I cry each time. I've cried writing this post. So while you are finishing up preparations for later this week, please keep them in your prayers. Anyone who has lost a loved one feels their loss at this time of year, but the wounds for Shawnee's family and friends are still so fresh and raw, and there are two little ones who still need to have as normal a Christmas as can be possible. Please pray for the strength for her husband to be able to get through such a major family event without his wife, his baker, his photographer, his children's mother. Thanks guys.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Update

Shawnee's best friend as you might remember me mentioning in my last post, had her little boy today, a few weeks early. He is healthy and from what I hear, beautiful, and weighing in at 6 pounds. Please pray for them both and pray that she has the support that she needs during this time, and for post partum depression to stay away as this time is trying enough for her and I believe any person in her situation having lost her best friend could be high risk. Please also continue to pray for Shawnee's family, other friends, and coworkers.

On a positive note (depending on how you look at it), my wish came true and my period came yesterday!!! Of course, having planned on hopefully starting our IVF cycle this month, I was low on supplies, so I was feeling a bit evil this morning as I went to the grocery store to pick up more things. I thought to myself, "this had better be the last time I have to buy this crap for a long time!!!" I bought enough to last me through this cycle and next, and hopefully not anything after that...is that having high hopes or what?!??!

One of my friends asked me yesterday if I'm excited about the upcoming IVF cycle. I really was a couple of months ago, but everytime I get excited, something happens-I break my arm, I have surgery, I have to wait for 2 cycles...it's hard to keep up the excitement, you know? So my answer was to ask me in about 3-4 weeks, then we can talk about being excited. At this point I would have to say that I probably feel apprehensive just because I keep waiting for something else to come up.

My final post-op visit with my doc is on January 3rd which is awful because my son's allergist appointment that I really feel like I need to be there for is at the same time across the street from my doc. My doc doesn't have morning hours to see patients, and so I have to be at his office at 1, and Jack's appointment is at 12:30, the doc is always running late, and it takes months to get appointments with the allergist so I am not rescheduling. My appointment should have been the week prior, however, he didn't have any vacancies that week or on January 10th and I'm hoping my next period will be here by the 9th, and I really need to see him before we start so I can be sure nothing is going to change his mind about us proceeding. What a mess! I plan on calling the week of Christmas to see if he has any cancellations for that Monday the 27th, and hope I get lucky so that I can also go to the allergist appointment with Jack.

Wish me luck, and please pray for Nikki and Shawnee!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Please Pray

Hi guys. Yesterday had to be a happy post because it was my sweet little boy's birthday. Today I'm here to ask you for prayers.

Friday evening we were heading to a coworker's holiday party when my best friend called. The roads were icy and I didn't answer the phone. She left a message which I got when I parked the car at the party. She said, "We got some news at work today, call me when you can." She sounded upset, so I called her back immediately. She asked if I was at the party and I told her I had just gotten there, and she asked if I'd heard the news. We hadn't yet gone inside, so I was clueless as to what this news was about. I told her no, and she proceeded to tell me that a former coworker of ours passed away that afternoon at our hospital. She was a fellow NICU nurse who had gone on to become a neonatal nurse practitioner and had been working at another hospital nearby.

I had just spoken to her recently on facebook. She was due any day with their son, and she had a 3 year old daughter who she loved so much. She was looking forward to meeting their little boy. She had been out of work since early in her pregnancy due to being so sick and just wanting to make sure the baby was ok. She must have been bored sometimes because her facebook statuses in the evenings were usually running commentary on whichever show she was watching that night (she loved Real Housewives of Atlanta). She always commented or "liked" your statuses, she kept up with everyone. When she still worked with us she was always smiling, always mild mannered and even-tempered, and always seemed to try to find the best in people. She was just a great woman, beautiful and loving mother and wife.

Friday morning at 4am, she had a c-section. She met her little boy, and quickly thereafter her husband was asked to step out as she was bleeding uncontrollably. They tried their best and then transferred her to our hospital where attempts were made, but ultimately she passed. She leaves behind her 3 year old daughter, newborn son, husband, and parents. She was an only child. Her best friend is one of our neonatal nurse practitioners (she was also one of our nurses-they went through the practitioner program together), and almost 37 weeks pregnant. This has been incredibly hard on her as well, they were so close. This should have been a happy time for them to share with their new babies and each other.

Please pray for Shawnee's family, her sweet children, her husband, and her best friend that they can all find their way through this, and that she is at peace. I know she is in the Lord's Heaven but I don't understand why this happened to such a great person, someone whose children needed her. Not that it should happen to anyone, but why her? Please pray for them.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Sweet Jack!!!

My sweet boy's birthday is today. I had to wake him up at 8am (doesn't it suck when you could have slept in but had other things planned, he never sleeps late when we have nothing going on!!!) because he was going to an event at our church called Kids Christmas morning. The kids make crafts related to Jesus, make gingerbread houses, etc. Then he went to my mom's for lunch and to open his gifts from her since it was going to be chaotic during the party.

While he was there, I was decorating the cake that I had baked yesterday and we decorating for the pary. I used buttercream icing that I colored as black as I could get it for the locomotive and coal tender, but it ended up like a purplish grey, and the coloring for the coaches was like a light blue. I then took whip cream, dyed it a slight blue and spread it out on aluminum foil cookie sheets. I topped it with some coconut to give it a snowy appearance. I used black licorice for the tracks, Good 'N Plentys for the windows of the coaches, rock candy for steam, oreos for wheels and black shoestring licorice for the cow catcher. Jack seemed pleased and that was all that mattered to me. It also tasted delicious!

It was shear chaos when all the kids got there. They watched the movie intermittently and it's funny, we told the kids they could eat their pizza on the floor of the living room and watch the movie, and for a few minutes, it was just QUIET. This was not lost on the adults!!! We played "Pin the Name on the Train" game where the kids had to put the "Polar Express" name on the train Archie drew on posterboard, some of the kids made reindeer food, some played "Snowblowers" (think of kids blowing in one end of empty, painted black, toilet paper rolls to move a cotton ball-snow into a cup) and had a race doing that. They also played with the toys in the basement. Then Santa came on the fire engine and surprised the kids. They had a great time. I had more than one comment about "How are you going to top that next year?" I wasn't trying to win any contests for sure, but I am type A, I am a perfectionist, and I wanted Jack to have a great party because he was so excited and I fed off of that.

That said, I'm exhausted and Jack was asleep at 7:30pm!!! I will leave you with some pictures from today. Goodnight friends!











Friday, December 10, 2010

In Other News

So there hasn't been much going on for me to post about. I have finally began to spot again, here's hoping there is something coming soon, and that it only lasts a few days ;).

My computer has decided to pick up some sort of nastiness in our travels on the web and I can't figure out how to get rid of it. It started out with when I would get onto Google and bring up search results, each link I clicked on redirected me to BS sites. Now, I can't even log on under my screenname, when I try to, I get a black screen. So I am now logged in under my husband's. I've tried to follow what other sites have advised and downloading malware removal programs, however, IE keeps saying that it can't open the sites to download them from, or that they can't be found. Funny that I can go to the sites themselves, however, when I try to download, I get the same message as above. I am pissed to say the least. Life seemed far less complicated when we didn't use computers quite like we do now, you know, when I was in middle school type of deal. Heck, I remember getting AOL for the first time and thinking it was so cool. Now I hate it all.

Onto better news-our sweet boy will turn 4 tomorrow. I cannot believe that 4 years ago, I was at work thinking that he would never come, that he was just way too comfy. Now he's here and life before him is just kind of fuzzy, and I like it that way. He's having a Polar Express themed party tomorrow at our house. We've made up railroad crossing and reindeer crossing signs for our front yard, and we have a sign for the door that reads "Train Station". We invited everyone to come in PJ's just like the kids in the movie. We have some games and fun things planned. I'm hoping that when I decorate the train cake I decided to be ambitious and try to make myself that it turns out better than the cupcake bear I attempted for his first birthday. Oh my. I will have to post pictures of that hideous thing later, LOL. We'll have a house filled with about 9 kids and some adults. It should be fun and interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing the smiles on my little miracle's face tomorrow, and that will be more than enough to ease my stress.

Monday, November 29, 2010

2 Week Post-Op Appt.

I was all geared up for this appointment today. Yes! The doc can look at my incisions, see I'm healing and give me the blessing to start our IVF cycle. Of course, that wouldn't be how my appointment went.

We were pressed for time since the doc was running late and we had to pick Jack up from school. He started in talking about the endometriosis he found. I was supposed to be able to see pictures, but the pictures hadn't made it over from the hospital where I had my surgery yet. I had relatively superficial endometriosis on my abdominal walls which he said may or may not cause me pain (it really doesn't), but that the endometriosis nodule that I have on my rectum causes it to tent up toward my uterus, and he is sure I am in pain (I am around my periods especially when I go to the bathroom-I hold my breath and try not to scream). His honest recommendation is for us to go ahead, get pregnant, have this last child, and then have a hysterectomy leaving maybe one of my ovaries in so I can still have the hormones, etc. I'm not real upset about this as I look forward to not having to deal with periods anymore, and no more shooting pain my rectum when I go to the bathroom. The only reason it does upset me is that it requires major abdominal surgery. My mom advised me to have it done during my maternity leave since it will require an 8 week recovery period, so then I'm thinking maybe just do a scheduled c-section and have them do the hysterectomy then. This will of course probably screw up our Disney plans, but we could always do it last minute if I was healing well and felt up to it, or we could plan it for late Winter/Spring 2012. This is all IF we get pregnant, which is a big IF. If we don't, I may wait after our IVF cycle to see if it happens on it's own (despite it being unlikely) if I'm not willing to give up just yet, and if it doesn't then schedule the hysterectomy.

That was the surprising news of the day. The other not great news was that Dr. Moro wants us to wait until I get my second period post-op to proceed with our IVF cycle. He advised me that the first will be unpredictable, I won't know when it's going to come, and it will be messy. The second one will be predictable in that it will come about 28 days later. At that point, we can proceed with our cycle. This does not make me happy. I want it when I plan it, and it's all jumbled up now. So, I guess I'm asking for prayers that the first period comes very soon (like if you could pray for tomorrow, that would be awesome, but I know God doesn't work like that) so we can get this show on the road. I guess we'll be looking at the second period sometime in January with any luck, so the procedures part of the IVF cycle maybe in February?

The good news is we can use our healthcare FSA I just enrolled us in to pay the copay!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Follow Up to Question

Believe me guys, if you follow my blog and I have a way of contacting you, you'd be on the email so long as I have it. No worries there. It wouldn't be fair to tell you about all of our IVF stuff, and NOT tell you the results! It could be a depressing email you end up receiving, and a rather short one at that, but you'd know one way or another. I have no idea what I'm going to do. I don't have a large family-I think if I don't count the young children in the family who could care less if I was pregnant anyway, I might have 20 people to tell. All I would have to do is tell my mother, and the rest of the family would know in minutes. If you're reading this Mom, it's meant in the nicest way-you'd be so excited you wouldn't be able to keep it to yourself.

Maybe I'll just email the followers I have contact info for, and tell my family until it's noticeable at work that I'm sick. I do have a couple of close friends at work, and a couple of close coworkers who have been really supportive that I would probably tell, but I know I can trust them to keep quiet. That's probably 4 people on a unit of 100+. And dude, if you have me on Facebook, PLEASE do not mention the IVF or maybe pregnancy on the wall, just message me. It's easier that way!

In other good news, I think the bleeding may be stopping. It may only be for a few days since my next cycle is due to start end of this week, but I'll take what I can get at this point! Here's hoping my next cycle is nice and quick so we can move along to IVF!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Question???

I stumbled across another IFer's blog. She was posing the question about how or if infertile bloggers censor their blogs. Would we delay posting about a BFP (aka big fat positive for my non-trying to conceive friends) until a specified date or event? It made me think. I refuse to censor my blog in so much as my feelings about things, what happens in our travels, etc. I try not to discuss arguments I have and things like that, but I will discuss conversations we have regarding our treatments, children, etc.

I've thought alot recently about posting that we were pregnant. I want to be able to tell all of my family, friends, and followers. But because my blog was evidently so interesting to my coworkers who wanted to talk about me, I really hesitate. What is one to do in this situation? I've changed the blog name, but I saw on that nifty little "stats" tab where you can track the audience, etc. to the blog that someone googled my blog with what I have under my "About Me" section of the blog. I have since changed that, but despite that, they could have it with the name or address of the blog at this point. I refuse to start a whole new blog for the pregnancy. It's just too much. So, what do I do? I guess I could say if you want to know our beta results, email me your address and I'll include you on the email I will send out, but not post it to the blog. To be honest, if the cycle doesn't work I don't know when I'll feel like posting that it didn't. And lets be honest, if I get as sick as I was with Jack, everyone at work will know it anyway, there won't be any hiding it, and it won't matter, I'd only be able to keep a pregnancy secret in that situation for a couple of weeks.

I don't know. Everyone knowing that we were doing a cycle last time, and knowing when our beta was ended up working out ok and I was so glad it was a sticky little embryo in there, but I did think about what if something awful happened? Then I'd have to tell everyone, and then you'd have people who didn't know what to say, just gave you a look, etc., and I didn't want that. So it would be easier if everyone didn't know right away at work. After everyone knew, I just remember thinking, wow, I still have another 8 weeks to go to get to the second trimester, that's alot of time for something to happen.

I worry too much, I know this. It's one of my flaws. If you've been in this situation, I'd love to hear what you did, or any ideas you might have about how to best approach this!

November ICLW 2010

I haven't done ICLW in a while. If you're here through IComLeavWe, then welcome!

I am 30, my husband is 34, and we have one son who we conceived with our first IVF cycle. We needed IVF due to MFI, endometriosis, and one patent fallopian tube. After our second IVF cycle which was cancelled due to "genetically abnormal embryos" (all had multiple nuclei), we were moving onto adoption. We'd run out of money in our insurance cap for infertility services, and we wanted another child.

We had chosen our adoption agency, decided we wanted a domestic adoption, and next was to come up with the money for this endeavor. We did the fundraising thing with one successful fundraiser (a huge yard sale by donation only), and one very unsuccessful one (Longaberger basket and Vera Bradley bags Bingo)where we lost everything we had made on the first one, and money we had put into it ourselves. You can read more about that disaster here. We had alot of negative comments about fundraising for the adoption (I mean, we don't know anyone who has $20K sitting in their bank accounts but ok), and we decided we weren't going to go that route anymore. If we adopted it would be through grants, saving for a few years, etc. Then we got news that our fertility clinic was merging with another major clinic in the area, and that it would be less expensive to do another IVF cycle. You can read about that here.

The plan at that point changed to saving up the $5000 it would likely cost us for another IVF cycle and hopefully doing it sometime this year. However, I fell off of a ladder in March and broke my wrist in 4 places, required surgery for it in May, and didn't return to work until late July, so that got put on the back burner. Murphy's Law every time it seems. While I was out on short term disability for my wrist, I got our open enrollment info for our insurance. The good news was that our insurance was increasing our cap for infertility benefits, the bad news (for some) was that IUI and IVF benefits would be grouped together in that cap. It wasn't bad news for us because we'd never been candidates for an IUI, so we'd only used the insurance money towards IVF. This meant we should be able to do one last cycle. You can read about that here.

It came to October and we began our precycle testing. We did the semen analysis, cd 3 bloodwork, and next was my HSG. Of course, Murphy's Law came into play again. On my previous HSG back in 2006, they determined I had either a hydrosalpinx on the right side or a blocked tube. After further investigation with an ultrasound they thought it was just a blocked tube. This was great news, it wouldn't require surgery before we could do an IVF cycle, and the cycle resulted in a beautiful boy that December. We didn't require an HSG before our last IVF cycle in 2009 (it only has to be done every so often), but we did have a sono-HSG done, basically done by ultrasound only, not under fluoroscopy. Nothing had changed as far as we could tell, the right tube was still blocked. So when I went in for my HSG this year, I prayed that it would be the same, that nothing would have changed. Of course, as I said before, thank you Murphy's Law, something had. It turns out that all along we did have a hydrosalpinx, most likely caused by my endometriosis. Our first child was even more a miracle than we'd thought given the research we read. This post covers it. Our fertility specialist believed we could do another cycle and have the same results as our first cycle, but if you've seen our luck, you wouldn't trust it. We decided that to be able to feel comfortable with whatever results from our next IVF cycle, we had to make everything optimal, including removing my right tube. I had this done November 16th laproscopically and all went well.

Unfortunately, it seems my period never stopped from the end of October as I've been bleeding since the 27th, so I'm hoping after my next one is due, this bleeding stops, maybe we can try on our own this next cycle, and if it's unsuccessful, we will continue with our IVF plans in late December.

We appreciate all the support, prayers and thoughts we can get! Thanks!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Baby Talk

We let Jack sleep with us last night, and as we're laying in bed, done our prayers, he asks again to make sure it wasn't a baby that the doctor took out of my tummy. I told him it wasn't. He wanted to know if there would be a baby because he wants a baby. Then he wanted to know if we could have a girl or a boy. I said that either was possible, or no baby was a possibility too, but that we hoped there would eventually be another one. This is awesome. He wants to know if we want a boy or a girl. I told him we want a healthy baby, it doesn't matter if it's a boy or a girl. I asked what he wanted, first he said, "A girl like you." Then he said he wanted a boy too. Then he wanted to know what their names would be. I start asking, "Well, what do you think about____?" What it came down to is that Jack loves the name that I love for a girl, but he didn't like either of the two names we had for a boy. I was trying to come up with other boy names to see what he would think, and I mentioned "Sam". His response, "Like Peter Sam from Thomas?" I couldn't help but laugh, it comes down to what he can relate to-Thomas the Tank Engine. I told him no, not Peter Sam, just Sam, which he also didn't care for. I came up with another one and he did like that one. Who knows if there will even be another child, but if so, I guess we can give serious consideration to the boy name Jack liked. It's a nice normal name and not unheard of.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My baby is home!

My baby just came back from his 5 day cruise with his Grandmom. I've heard all about the plane ride, the trolley in Key West, the butterfly farm, feeding the turtles (with the bad fish eating the turtle food), Coco Cay, the pool, what he ate on his ship, etc. It sounds like he had a blast. We love cruises!

I showed him my "boo-boo's" on my tummy where I had a boo-boo that was inside my tummy taken out while he was gone. He asked if it was a baby that got taken out. I told him it was not a baby, but that hopefully getting the boo-boo taken out will make it easier for God to put a baby in there for us. He's been very sweet, a little afraid to hug me close because he doesn't want to hurt me, but very sweet nonetheless.

Thank you God for letting him have fun with his Grandmom, for showing us that we could live without him for 5 days, and for bringing him and his Grandmom home safe!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Post-Op

My surgery went well. I have a small amount of endometriosis on my rectum and abdominal wall again. I got a shot of pain meds before I left and they did prescribe me darvacet, but I didn't get it filled. I'm having mild cramping, but I was having that along with heavier spotting (like a light period) before the surgery (now 20 days that I have been bleeding, not impressed). I am having incisional pain around my belly button, but it is bearable with ibuprofen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Surgery in the AM

Well I'm ready. I've taken my antibiotic, have had nothing but clear fluids all day, and started the nasty bowel prep. I'm starving!!!! Believe me, all I can think about is dinner tomorrow night, and yes, I am sure I will be eating.

I'm really not too worried about the surgery. If I had to say one thing made me nervous, it would be between my ovary not being messed with, and hoping my hubby will get the answers to my questions post-op. I've controlled the one that I could as much as possible by writing down my questions for Archie to ask Dr. Moro and left room for him to write the answers for me. I can't control what happens with my ovary tomorrow or anything that may come up related to my endometriosis, so I won't even try. I've prayed about the surgery alot lately, and I know that I just have to trust in God that everything will be as it should.

I probably won't update tomorrow (if I do it will be very brief), but I will update in the next few days post-op.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One Step Closer

I went for my pre-op stuff today, you know, history, bloodwork, etc. Nothing exciting.

TMI Warning:

In the meantime I placed a call to my OB/GYN to make sure there won't be any concerns about spotting I've had for two weeks now. I always have some for a couple of days before my period arrives, and that was no different this month, but generally my period lasts no more than 5 days and I'm done. Everything stopped after I had my pelvic exam last Monday with Dr. Moro for one day...I thought my period was over, but I've had spotting everyday since and today is day 14 if you count the spotting pre-period. Fun, right? It's really annoying and I'm sure it's nothing, but I want to make sure I shouldn't be concerned about anything. And yes I'm 99% sure I'm not pregnant given the fact that I had a normal flow for my period. Regardless, that is part of their standard pre-op bloodwork anyway. I'm sure I won't be getting any exciting phone calls to tell me otherwise. I would however appreciate a phone call from my OB/GYN with reassurances that everything is probably fine and it will probably stop in another day or two because this crap is for the birds!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Etsy Seller

Ok, so a shameless self promotion, but I thought I'd pass it along that I have a little space on Etsy. You can visit it here. Most of what I have on there is hand-embroidered onesies along with some cloth diaper burp cloths (the price reflects how much those bad boys cost before even adding in the cost of the fabric or ribbon to adorn them, but they are so absorbent that they were my faves when Jack was a baby), and those are samples of what I have done and have currently available. Keep in mind that for the burp cloths-if you want a particular type fabric design, for example you want something with John Deere, let me know that and I will see what I can find at the fabric store, send you pictures, and you can let me know which you prefer. Some designs are seasonal and may not be available, so check with me before you order!

For examples of what I have available for other designs you can visit my other website. These are the things I started making when I was out with my broken wrist (yes I did them with a cast on one arm with no movement possible in that arm!) in the hopes of supplementing our income. I can also do kids shirts, hand towels, just about anything, if you have an idea, let me know! If there is a design you want that you don't see, or different colors you want used, we can work together to come up with something. I'm flexible.

Some of the products you see are ones that I had a design for already, some are done from my drawings free-hand like the dinosaur and the bees, and if I do a custom piece, it will vary slightly each time. Below are a few pics of other ones I've done as well so you can get a feel for it. I can customize and personalize. I think I need to change my shipping, but I have to package one of the onesies up in the padded envelope and take it to the post office to see what it would cost to ship to whatever point is furthest from here. LOL. We shall see, if it is less I will update it on the site. Please feel free to pass it along to friends or family if you're thinking they might like something as well. I don't currently have any orders pending (but wish I did), and it takes me a few hours to do each one, and I'll ship as soon as they are ready. Christmas is coming up so order soon!!!!




This one was done to make it look like a Siamese cat.

Below are some of the cloth diaper burp cloths:




Hope you like what you see!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dr. Moro

I had my appointment with Dr. Moro today with regards to having my tube removed. He is the doc at the hospital where I work that I was referred to so my insurance would cover my surgery. It was a rough start, you see, I have to work tonight and tomorrow night, and here I am with an hour of sleep under my belt on my first 12 hour shift in. I was sitting in the waiting room at 1:50pm for a 2pm appointment, and that is where I remained until 3pm. I guess he was running late, but I didn't appreciate the fact that the patient taken before me was late for their appointment and not made to wait until after mine. My mom said it's my fault that I didn't speak up-what could I say really? I just wanted the doc to see me, and I certainly didn't want to piss him off, especially after he'd been called on his cell phone last week to try and schedule me for surgery without having ever met me.

While I sat in the waiting room, Dr. M passed by and had to give me a second look after he thought he was done seeing patients today. Then it clicked and he asked if Dr. Moro was doing my surgery. I said yes he was, and I'd be calling him to get our cycle going again mid-December. My period following my surgery won't be expected until Christmas Eve (lucky me) so we'll be actually starting lupron, etc. in January sometime. Now that I think about it, I'm supposed to be on BCP's the cycle before we start our drugs. I guess I need to give Dr. M a call and find out if I will go on BCP's when I get my period later this month.

Anyway...surgery is scheduled for 11am on Nov. 16th and I have to be there at 9am. I was planning on working the two nights before surgery, however, what I had forgotten was required for a surgery like this is a bowel prep. Oh yeah, fun stuff. So, I will now be working that Sunday night, off on Monday, and pretty much confined to my bathroom all night. I will learn to like chicken broth as well that Monday as I am only to have clear fluids all day.

Dr. Moro seemed pretty sure that my ovary will be left undisturbed except in the event that my endometriosis is back and extensive enough to have plastered my tube/ovary to the pelvic wall in which case we'd have to see what happened. I'm hoping that the endo is minimal and that this surgery goes off without a hitch and removal of my tube takes all of 5 minutes as the doc thought it would.

Archie and I were planning (before surgery crept up on us) to go to Atlantic City on the 17th and 18th while Jack is out of town on a cruise with my mom. They leave the day before my surgery and come back that Friday. This seemed like a great time for us to get away as normally we're not willing to leave him. It is also a good time for a bowel prep and surgery, LOL. No little one wanting to know what I'm doing running to the bathroom every 5 minutes, and only a dog to worry about post-op. We're putting plans for AC on hold until we see how I'm feeling post-op. I'm thinking the 17th isn't going to be a good night to stay in AC, but maybe we can go up on the 18th and come back on the 19th as planned. We shall see!

Otherwise, maybe we can just lounge around our house, I can make him clean (LOL as if!), and we can rent some movies to keep us occupied while I recover.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Real Quick

I have to go get Jack from school, but real quick. After Dr. A booked me for 11/11/10 for surgery I called my insurance company only to find out that we'd owe 20% of our bill for her and for the hospital where the surgery would take place. No way! But it would be covered 100% if the surgery was at the hospital where I work or one affiliated with us. SOOOO, I called Dr. M who referred me to a doc where I work. I have an appointment with him on 11/1/10, and then I called today with my pity story, told them I was a NICU nurse at our hospital, etc., and the very nice surgery scheduler checked throughout the day for a cancellation this coming Monday. When there were none, she called the doc on his cell phone, gave him my story, and he told her to put me on at another affiliated hospital where he performs surgery for 11/16/10!!! Ok people, I have a surgery date, and it's only about 26 days away now!!!! :) :) :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Impatience Pays Off Sometimes

I have no idea if Dr. A got my fax that said I wanted this hydro taken care of ASAP or if she got the report from Dr. M, but she just called me and she is going to take that tube out of my body here shortly. She said I will have to be out of work for at least a week to 10 days (I thought only a day or two!) which completely sucks. She is going to have her secretary call me tomorrow at the latest to set up my pre-op stuff, and get this ball rolling. I guess I will either have to use some of my vacation time for this recovery period unless I can finagle my shifts to be grouped together right before my surgery and right after in the hopes that I don't have to use too much of my time. It could be tricky, but we shall see what happens.

Impatient Me



This is a flower called Impatiens, which is much prettier than my Type A personality and the trait that I exhibit called impatience. I called Dr. A's office yesterday to try and get a consult or whatever scheduled for this hydrosalpinx to be removed and they requested that I have Dr. M's office send over the HSG report. I called Dr. M's office and the nurse told me that when the radiology office sends it up to them they will send it over. I told her that the results were in our hospital-wide computer system and she said she has to wait for radiology to send it. Yeah, I'm not patient enough for "whenever" that may be. So I came into work tonight, promptly printed it out and faxed it over myself with the explanation of why I was faxing it (to get this hydro removed ASAP so we can proceed with our cycle), and Dr. M's number in case they need to contact him. I figure, it's my health info, it's not like the results haven't been discussed with me, and damn it, someone needs to be on the ball. So what if that someone just happens to be me?! Mrs. Impatient! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Follow Up and IVF Talk

We met with Dr. M this afternoon. I decided I wanted to talk about what I thought to be positive info first-the SA results. So last cycle we had 9.5 mil sperm and this time around 14 mil. Great! Then last time we had 31% motile sperm, this time 42%. Great! However, of the washed sperm, only 1% were motile- 500,000. I can't remember what it was last time but he said it was less this time than it had been previously. He would consider these SA results perhaps slightly better than last time. So perhaps not as positive info as I thought!!!

Then we moved onto the elephant in the room-the stupid hydrosalpinx. I always thought our little boy was a miracle. Now I know it! I pulled up research articles that had been published and with a hydro, chances of pregnancy are cut in half and that is with IVF, and if you consider that the fact that anyone gets pregnant on any given month, that's crap. Dr. M hit the nail on the head when we were discussing whether or not to correct this problem before proceeding with our cycle when he said, "If you don't fix it and the cycle doesn't work, you will think it was because of this." Damn if that isn't right! Sure, it could just be a failed cycle, happens all the time. But if I didn't have the hydro corrected I KNOW that I would think it must have been that, and even if I wasn't totally convinced of that irrational thought, I would always wonder "what if?"

So, the decision has been made and Dr. M is completely backing us. I will call my OB/GYN in the AM and try to get a surgery date set up ASAP to have this thing either removed or at least have that tube tied. Which brings me to my next issue to deal with emotionally and physically. The consequences of taking care of this issue. I asked about something I had read online on a forum about hydros where multiple people said that they not only had to have their tube removed but the corresponding ovary as well. This is a problem! So we discussed that and Dr. M didn't really feel that that was a necessary evil, but he did bring up something I had not considered. I figured if they had to remove the ovary then obviously I would have less eggs to retrieve when it came down to it. I just sort of figured that if the ovary was left in we would have those eggs as well. Not necessarily. The fallopian tube and ovary share a blood supply, so if we clamp the tube, we may be risking any follicles and resulting eggs from that ovary. It is an unfortunate situation, but I think I'd rather risk losing the response from that ovary than having fluid leak into my uterus and giving us dismal odds at pregnancy.

I will have the surgery, and per Dr. M request that Dr. A or whoever ends up doing my surgery try to preserve my right ovary as best as possible. Dr. M said that we could contact him as early as a month post-op to setup our mock transfer appointment and begin an IVF cycle. He tends to be a little more aggressive than some docs, he said that others would recommend waiting at least 8 weeks post-op to see if you get pregnant on your own. But given our male factor infertility issues, I think getting pregnant on our own may not be very feasible.

Please pray that we can get scheduled quickly and that the surgery is as atraumatic as possible!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SA preliminary results

"The Man" has said I can post results from yesterday's SA on the blog but not on Facebook. Facebook was never an issue because I don't want everyone from work knowing what we're doing anyway, not to mention probably only 8 of my "friends" on facebook (some of those 8 include family members who know what we're doing) actually have a clue what's going on with us at this point IVF-wise anyway.

It was the best SA (semen analysis) results we've ever had!!! We don't have alot of specifics yet except for on morphology and count, and both were better than ever before so this is really encouraging on "The Man's" end. For reference, our last SA before last year's cycle included a sperm count of 9 million (as opposed to 3 million when we did our first IVF cycle 4 years ago); and normal morphology was less than 1% previously. Yesterday we had 14 million sperm and 6% with normal morphology.

I am still having trouble accepting that I have this hydrosalpinx which could be a big part of what has prevented us from ever getting pregnant in the first place. And for all I know whatever MFI issues we had previously are slowly resolving and then our lack of pregnancy would be all my own body's fault. Ain't that a kick in the mouth? Jack must have been one determined embryo from the start to stick in there at all and for almost 38 weeks!

I hope to have more info on results on Monday.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

HSG results


Hydrosalpinx (big ugly dilated looking thing on the left side of the screen) on the patient's right side, and an occluded tube on the left (my left tube is patent and resembles the tubes on the picture below).


Normal HSG with both tubes patent

I had my HSG this morning. It was not painful initially until they injected the dye, and then it was very painful. Alot of cramping which persisted until about an hour and a half after the procedure and oddly enough radiating down my leg. I didn't freak out about that too much since I used to have extremely painful periods and would have that same leg pain, it was more of an annoyance than anything really. I came home, put my heating pad on my belly and took some motrin. I laid there wishing I would just throw up since the doxycycline is not sitting well on my stomach and unfortunately I still have alot of doses left to take!

Last time I had an HSG (2006) it showed my right side was blocked or a hydrosalpinx. I was sent for an ultrasound which didn't show much so we continued on with my cycle. It was explained to me at that time that they believed it was a blocked tube or they would have expected to see more of a dilated tube on ultrasound. If it had been a hydrosalpinx, there would be a lower chance of pregnancy, and a higher risk of miscarriage if pregnancy did occur. This was because in a hydrosalpinx there is fluid that leaks from it which can make it hard for an embryo to implant, and could contain debris or other harmful things which could be detrimental to a fetus. Luckily, I got pregnant, and delivered Jack at 37 6/7 weeks. No complaints here!

So today when I went in, I prayed that our HSG would be no different than it had been last time. Well, I could see on the screen that my right tube looked bigger. Uh oh. I heard Dr. M and the radiologist talking about a hydro. Great. I got dressed, went out to meet Dr. M and he showed me my pictures which indeed showed a hydrosalpinx on the right. He said they are sure it is a hydrosalpinx. I asked what that meant for us and he reiterated the things we already know about a lower chance of pregnancy, higher risk of miscarriage, and then added, "but you've gotten pregnant with it before and had a full term baby." So he thinks I should be ok. I felt torn leaving him because I could in theory be ok, but what if I'm not. Our plan was that we weren't going to do this again if this cycle fails. Do I want to risk it on this problem tube?

I came home and looked up a few things on it, specifically pregnancy rates, etc in some studies. 40% in the control group vs. 19.65% in the hydrosalpinx group...50% less chance. If you think about it, we did get pregnant before, but would I have allowed them to try a cycle on me if I knew it was for sure a hydrosalpinx???? Probably not, I probably would have elected to have it removed or ligated. Archie and I were discussing it when I got home, and he doesn't want to delay our cycle further, if we do, we'll be looking at procedures around Christmas this year and that's no good. I understand his thought process for sure, I don't want to delay it either, I'm excited and ready to go now! But I also don't want to waste what might be our last cycle.

After obsessing over this quite a bit, I called our IVF nurse (Sonya) and told her I was sorry to bother her with the thoughts in my mind, but I just don't know what to do or think about this. She asked if Archie had done his analysis and I told her he was going to do it tomorrow (appt in the AM). She told me that we have to have a follow up appointment anyway, so to call and schedule the appointment for next week, and we could discuss it further with Dr. M then and if we still didn't feel good about proceeding with our cycle we could decide about how to take care of it at that point. There are a few different ways to "take care of it" including tying the tubes, ligating or removal of the tube completely. Some of it can be done laparoscopically (sp?) and we could probably proceed with our cycle in December.

If you remember, I had planned this whole thing with the thought of using the last part of my maternity leave for a Disney vacation for Jack. If we don't do this until January, I will be pregnant when we go to Disney or we'll be going at Thanksgiving time (my holiday to work next year). I know we shouldn't plan like that, but I was planning like that because I am an infertile and since I can't get pregnant on my own, it is a perk to knowing when you may or may not be getting pregnant. So sue me!

I guess we'll see what Dr. M has to say next week. I'm a little depressed about it definitely being a hydrosalpinx, but I'm trying not to let it put a damper on things.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Merging

Just so you all know, I imported my old blog and moved all of my posts over here so I can delete the old blog. If you're new to my blog this means now you can look back at all of my old posts in one place, and not have to go between blogs. Hope it's easier!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 3 Screen (updated)

Ok, so it's not day 3 of my cycle. Today should have in theory been day 1, however, my cycle is rarely "normal". I think when we started charting to try to conceive the first time I found that I had cycles ranging from 23-35 days. Granted it's not as wonky as some charts I've seen, but I had never really noticed how irregular the length of my cycles was. It's been better since having Jack, I pretty much stick to a cycle of 27-28 days, except this month. Like I said, today should have been day 1, but instead, it is day 4, LOL. Yup, my period showed up 3 days early this time around, which means I will have two of them in October. Yippee!

Anyway, Tuesday morning I went for my cycle day 3 bloodwork and ultrasound. Fun stuff right there, I had just begun to forget! Anyway, no doubt my prolactin will be high again (it was with our last cycle consistently with the screen and the actual cycle month, and they think this is my new norm since it was normal on the first go around) since the bloodwork is supposed to be fasting but I had to work all night, and thus, snack and eat throughout the night. They said if it is really off they will just recheck it. My nurse was out of the office yesterday afternoon so I am waiting for a phone call from her with my lab results which I will post when I know. The great news is that my ultrasound showed my ovaries looked normal! This is great news because I know with our first cycle, I had to be on lupron a long time thanks to a cyst that didn't want to go away. I am hoping the ultrasound looks the same next month so this doesn't drag out.

Next Tuesday is my next step-my HSG. I seem to remember being really uncomfortable with this last time. I can't say it was really painful although it had it's moments (thanks to a blocked tube they insisted on trying to force fluid through), but it was just more uncomfortable trying to move around on an x-ray table with all that going on. I'm sure it will be fine though. I hope everything looks normal and we get a green light for next cycle!

I probably won't post until next week simply because I'm working or signed up for overtime almost everyday between now and the HSG anyway, and our work computers don't allow me to post on blogger, just read it! Please pray for the HSG to yield normal results for me!

***Update*** Our nurse called and all of my labwork was normal including my prolactin!!! It was 4.4 and this time before our second cycle it was 9.8, so I'm happy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Identified Adoption

Wow. I am actually at a loss for words. My friend was just over. Her son and my son are best friends, and she is moving with her son, and her one year old daughter to New York in a few short weeks. I've been sad for my son and to a lesser extent sad for myself that we won't be able to visit as much as we had been. Really I'm more sad for my son just because this is his best friend-anytime we do something fun, he always wants to know if this friend can come with us. He asks about him all the time when it's been a few days since we've seen him and so now I am trying to prep him for that friend leaving and us not seeing them for months at a time. He knows that A is moving to New York. He knows it will take us about 8 hours to drive to Niagara Falls to see them. But those trips will be so worth it because none of us have been to Niagara Falls, so we will plan to make it like a 4 day vacation and actually see some sights while we are there. I don't think it's really hit him yet though.

Anyway, these friends came over to hang out for a little while today. My friend looks at me and Archie and says, "I have to ask you guys a question." I'm thinking to myself, well, I know she's not asking if there is any way she can stay with us when she comes back to visit because I told her earlier today she would always have a place to stay with the kids. So what in the world does she want? Maybe she wants us to help her move to NY. Ha!

She told us that her younger sister is 12 weeks pregnant and not in a position to keep the baby and her sister knows this. Her sister has been talking about placing the baby for adoption. My friend told her she knew the perfect people, told her who we were, and that she would talk to us. My friend "C" thought that this would be great because then she could see her neice/nephew, but her sister was wondering if we would be open to her being able to see the baby. I explained that when we were planning to go forward with adoption we did want an open adoption and that it would be fine, but that honestly I had no idea how identified adoptions work, what was involved. I had no idea what we would have to expect cost-wise, and that in a month and a half we would be doing another IVF/ICSI cycle and if it worked there would be no way we could afford to adopt. I told her that most likely we couldn't afford whatever an identified adoption would cost at this point anyway, but I would look into it.

Anyone out there in blogland that can shed some info on this subject, I'd like to hear from you. "C" seems to think that her sister can just have something notarized that says she gives custody to us, but I told her it's not that easy and to be completely honest I would want the legalities iron-clad. I told her you could either go through an attorney or an agency, but that an agency may be better because they provide counseling for the mom and that is important. Help!

It's funny because a year ago I would have died to have this chance. It just so happens that this coincides with another IVF cycle for us that we are lucky to have insurance mostly covering, and so financially that is the better option for us. Go figure!

Ok people, spill it on the identified adoption. I need to know so that at the very least I can pass the info and options onto C's sister. Thanks!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Initial Consult for Cycle #3

I have to say I felt slightly anxious once we got to the waiting room, but on the drive in, Archie and I just talked about normal random things, not even anything related to the appointment. It was great! I know that I have a tendency to get myself really worked up if allowed to, but we didn't even try to focus on something else. Once we got into the waiting room, I found myself drawn to read things that they had on the table about their 2009 rates of pregnancy with different options, eSET (elective single embryo transfer), etc. All it did was fuel my questions, LOL.

I was a tad bit irritated with my doc's apparent 180. After our last cycle being such a flop, he had said he couldn't recommend doing another antagonist cycle again. Then yesterday we are in the office and he is saying that he thinks we could do that cycle again and it would be possible to get different results. He said that he thinks my estrogen was not high enough and that I respond better with an estrogen above 1500 (he said most wouldn't have a problem, but I need it), and that he thinks my eggs were starved for FSH. I honestly want no parts of that antagonist cycle again. He said my first cycle did not get cancelled (although it was threatened a few times!), and we could do the lupron again. I asked if antagonist was something that could be added in if we found that I was overstimming and he said yes, they have done that a few times. I asked if we would expect it to be detrimental to the cycle or to send me back the opposite direction by adding it and he said it was possible, but he hadn't seen it happen before.

We talked about genetic testing and they explained that they would test me first, and if I came back as a carrier for anything, they would then have to test Archie. Archie and I talked about this and to be honest, just because we are carriers for something doesn't mean our child would definitely have the disease or disorder. Secondly, we don't know that we'd really want to have PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) done on our embryos. We've never had good quality embryos, and I just feel like we shouldn't mess with them more than we have to. We also know that we would have taken Jack regardless of the things he MIGHT have had and just dealt with them as they came.

I did bring up eSET and they really trust the embryology lab at Shady Grove to give us the recommendations they feel have the best chance of working. One of the things that has changed is that instead of where previously we would go in, and Dr. M would call us after our fertilization report and set us up for a day 3 transfer (our first cycle was day 3). Now, they tentatively set you up for a day 3 transfer, but the lab looks at the embryos that morning and decides which ones are declaring themselves. If they think they will continue to go to day 5, they will schedule us for day 5, if they think they might teeter out, they go ahead with the day 3 transfer and as our IVF nurse put it yesterday, "Let them feel the love." Heck, they even said they could go as far as a day 6 transfer-I highly doubt that will be an option for us, and if it is, prepare for me to be a nervous wreck! The 2009 rates showed that in people my age who elected to do eSET, there was a 62% pregnancy rate (it didn't give the live birth rate), and 1.4% rate of twins (embryo splitting). In people my age who were favorable for eSET, but still put back 2 embryos, there was a twin rate of 42%. I saw that and my eyes about popped out of my head! Dr. M says he would probably consider me to be less favorable because we have had a failed cycle, and he showed me the chart they use to make their recommendations, and he said for someone like me, the recommendation would allow for up to two to be put back. Sounds good to me.

I am feeling better about the prospect of twins. It would make things very difficult for a while absolutely. I emailed one of my friends who had a little girl shortly after Jack was born (also an IVF baby, not great quality embryo), and she had done another IVF cycle and put back two fragmented, so-so looking embryos, and is now blessed to have 3 little girls. She told me it is absolutely hard having twins with a toddler running around, and that the first 6 months is rough, but that it gets better as they get older, and I can see where that would be true. She said as far as affording it, there is always hand me downs, consignment stores, etc. And she had her twins when her oldest daughter I believe wasn't even two. I am lucky enough that if that were my situation, Jack would almost be 5. She said her oldest is now more of a helper than she was, and that does help.

Yesterday I left Jack with a good friend who has 1 year old twin boys. She was nice enough to help me, and Jack is really an easy kid, pretty well behaved, and she said she was surprised at how well Jack shared with the babies. She said she doesn't think most preschoolers share too well, but he was great, he helped entertained the boys, and was really very easy to watch. I was so glad to hear that because I felt awful calling her the day before to beg her to watch Jack while we went to our appointment. He loves babies, has to check out babies everytime we go out somewhere, and still asks if I am going to have another one in my tummy.

Today our financial coordinator called to let us know our coverage. We will have a deductible and our copay that will come out of pocket. The deductible I believe is for our ultrasounds, etc. (I was half asleep when she called). The rest of it should be covered. I also found out from her that our insurance covers the freezing of any embryos we might have leftover up to 80% ($1250 to freeze, so we'd be responsible for about $250)! This was great news. We would have to pay for storage ($360/year) ourselves, but when we did our first cycle we were looking at paying alot more for that at our previous clinic. The other problem was that our embies would have to be frozen at our previous clinic and then we'd have to have them shipped or drive them ourselves to Fairfax for storage as they would not be able to store them on-site. It adds up, trust me. I think if we had anything to freeze, we probably would because at that point we wouldn't know if I was pregnant, and if I ended up not getting pregnant, it is a heck of alot cheaper to do a frozen embryo transfer (FET) than a fresh cycle again. What we would do with our frozen embryos if I was pregnant is another story, and it's one alot of people unfortunately have to decide about. Destroying them, embryo adoption, or embryo donation. That's a whole other blog post in itself, and I'm just not there yet to think about it or bother myself with it. I have enough to think about!

I will tell you that I find myself being excited about this next cycle and that scares me. I'm afraid for the giant letdown we may have to face, but I can't help feeling excited. The process is finally starting, and I feel like it could work. I'd rather know that I was positive and excited than dreading it and feel like it could be my fault that something didn't work.

Up next in the process: Wait...go figure. I have to wait for my next period to start, and then call them so that I can get my labwork done. Then 5-10 days after my period arrives I will have another HSG (that miserable the first go around, but it will be fine, at least this time I don't have the fear of the unknown!) to look and see the status of my fallopian tubes and uterus, and to check for any abnormalities. Then when I get my second period from now, we will start on birth control pills and this third IVF cycle will officially be starting. Look for that in early November!!!

Please pray that nothing unforseen will creep up financially for us. I would ideally like to have our copay, deductible, and funds for potentially freezing and storing put aside before we start our cycle in November, and with my luck, that's enough time for something to happen and zap our funds!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tomorrow

Well, in just over 13 hours I will be going back to my doctor's office. I made the mistake this week of just changing Jack over to school Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays instead of Tuesday through Thursday. I conveniently forgot about our appointment, which meant that Jack would have to go with us to our appointment tomorrow. This is a problem obviously as fertility clinics want to be sensitive to their clientele, and of course, that clientele are infertile patients...not good to have people with their children in the office. Nevermind the fact that he is a result of fertility treatments and could give them hope, but when you're in the thick of it, it can be hard to see past the trouble you are having and have hope in your future.

I called around to see if anyone could take Jack for a couple of hours tomorrow morning and luckily one of my friends is going to take him. I felt bad asking her as she has two little twins (they were patients of mine when they were born prematurely and we met and became close during their stay), but Jack loves to play with babies, and he is a good, well behaved kid. We'll pack his favorite movies, dvd player and some trains and he'll be good to go. I told her to put him to work-he loves to help with things.

I will update after our appointment tomorrow. Wish me luck, and please pray for Dr. M (who isn't really warm and fuzzy) to have sensitivity when we talk about the hard things from the last cycle, and for us to be able to have pretty clear heads when we go in to see him tomorrow.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Song I Find Inspiring

I love this song. A friend shared it with me (L for those of you who remember her from previous posts), and I find myself listening to it, reminding me that He is here for me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Interesting Reading

Today I was looking through my packet for the new fertility clinic. One of the things they give you read in that packet is about twins. It's basically meant to educate the patient as to the risks of twins, as well as try to dissuade them from putting back more than one embryo. Those of you who have been following me for a while or know me, know that when we did our last cycle, I had a hard time wrapping my head around putting more than one embryo back.

I asked Dr. M what he thought about just putting one back. His response was that he felt that we should put two back in the hopes that we would end up with one baby. Twins were my fear then as they are now. We did not have good quality embryos, and I have a friend who also did not have good quality embryos, and it didn't matter, she still had twins! Little did we know that it would not be an issue as we wouldn't have any normal embryos develop last cycle.

I'm reading this information about twins, the fertility center's take on it, etc. Of course, fertility clinics don't want high amounts of multiples because it's not healthy for the mom or the babies, and they want their end results to be live births. Anyway, it turns out that this fertility clinic that my doctor is now a part of recommends elective single embryo transfers. They recommend transferring one embryo back for women who are younger than 37 (I am), people in their first IVF cycle or ones with a prior IVF pregnancy (me), normal uterine cavity (mostly me), and 1 or 2 Day 5 blastocysts available for transfer...I have never been able to get my embryos to day 5...they all fizzled out and ceased to develop further, hence the reason we never had any snowbabies-nothing made it to the point where we could freeze them.

It sounded good in theory. I want to ask Dr. M what he thinks about it if we were to have decent embryos this next cycle. At least I'll know where we stand and what to expect. I doubt we'll have decent embryos since we never have before, and since in his words my egg quality has greatly declined. But it could happen right?

That brings me to the next thing I'm wondering about. If we had any embryos that made it far enough, would we freeze them in case we did another cycle? Last time we said we would. But last time we also had a greater amount of money available to us through our insurance to pay for frozen embryo transfers. This next cycle is going to use up that money. All things to think about I guess, and things to ask about.

Anyone have any other ideas of questions I should ask Dr. M on Thursday? Now that it's come time to ask them, I can't think of many!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One Step Closer

Oh my goodness I am freaking out. In the process of calling to make Jack's 4 year pediatrician appointment, my urology appointment, etc. for this fall and winter, I figured I'd better make my appointment with my fertility doc. My thought on this was that it would take a few weeks for us to get in. So you can imagine my surprise when the receptionist asked if we could come in tomorrow at 11:30. "Oh my God!" was what flew out of my mouth. I just wasn't expecting that and I'm not ready! I thought I'd have another month to mentally prepare myself for the appointment. Going back to the office, seeing my fertility doc is going to bring back alot of mixed feelings (not necessarily good ones) and even thinking about it makes me anxious and want to cry. I looked over at Archie and asked, "Um, does tomorrow work for you." His response? "Oh my God!" LOL. Lucky for me, it's his 34th birthday tomorrow and he's going golfing with some buddies, so I have a week to prepare myself for that appointment. Don't get me wrong, we totally want another child, I just dread the appointment, getting started again, and unfortunately getting started again means talking about what went wrong last time, and that's hard for me.

Our appt is now next Thursday.

I just keep telling myself to breathe.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Anticipation

Wow, it's been almost a month since my last post. Not much has been going on. I feel like I've been less affected by pregnancies around me for the most part which is good. As I think about the fact that we'd like to be doing another cycle in as little as two months from now and how I feel like that cycle will go I have a whole mix of feelings.

I feel anxious about whether we'll be able to get the copay together in a month. That's right, a month. They told us to call about a month before we want to cycle, and if we want to cycle in November, that means we need to see Dr. M in October. That's a little scary simply because I haven't talked to that man since I got clarification of "genetically abnormal" after our last messed up cycle. I have alot of questions for him, and to be honest, I am not sure I want the answers to some of those questions. I am anxious because the fertility clinic mine merged with has a higher rate of multiples. I know we will be able to handle it because others have, but I also know what that means as far as increased risk for me and the babies.

I feel like if we can get the copay together in a month, and can get through the tough initial meeting with our doctor, that this could actually work. Dr. M has already said that he couldn't repeat our last protocol given how bad the cycle went, that we would likely go back to our first protocol which resulted in the little boy we love more than anything. I actually believe this next cycle could work. That scares me because I haven't even started the cycle and already I'm emotionally invested and I tried so hard to avoid getting my emotions going during our last cycle. I actually did a decent job of staying relatively unattached to any hopes last time until our fertilization report. It was all downhill from there. I guess perhaps feeling optimistic already is better than feeling bad about the cycle. I do believe to an extent in psyching yourself up.

My last feeling is generally one of excitement. That in about a year we could have another baby or two is so exciting. A little scary about the thought of having double the temper tantrums, double the whininess (or triple as the case may be with 3 kids), the financial impacts, etc, but with double or triple the trying times a parent experiences also means double or triple the most awesome moments in life. It's funny, Jack will be so whiny some days and I think, "are we really thinking we want more of this?!?!?" And then in the next moment my heart melts at something he says or does, and I cannot wait to have soooo much more of that. It makes all the hard times infinitely worth it.

How in the world infertiles don't end up psychiatric inpatients with all of this stress and all of these feelings is beyond me. Somehow we seem deal with all of it, not always in the most constructive ways, and for sure we've all got battle scars somewhere whether they be physical or emotion, but somehow we all find a way to cope. That in itself is amazing.

New Blogsite

Hey all,

It is bad enough that I feel guilty for feelings I sometimes experience on this rocky infertility road, but it's even worse when people can pass judgement on you when they've never even been in that situation, and when they don't even talk to you or ask questions to try to understand those feelings you have. People talk to others about your feelings, judge you based on your innermost private feelings, and you don't even have a clue that they are doing so or have a chance to defend yourself. People who really know me know that I'm a pretty open book, pretty honest, sometimes to a fault. If you ask me a question about something I'm going through I'll tell you, just like if you have a problem with something I say on my blog or don't understand why I said something, talk to ME. I'll respect you more for it, and I'd appreciate some respect in return.

I know who some of my followers are, but I don't know who all of you are. I emailed those that I could contact via email and let them know that I began another blog, simply for more privacy where my feelings are concerned. I provided the address of the site to them, and I do not have it listed on my profile. If you want to continue to follow my blog where more private matters are concerned, please email me at sweetrn621@msn.com for the blog address. Please tell me how you found my blog or know me. I know many people started following my blog during our adoption process. Adoption is not off the table completely, but is currently on the back burner due to another opportunity for IVF to be mostly covered by our insurance (a huge financial difference when compared with the costs of adoption). If it fails, we will at some point proceed with adoption. This blogsite will continue to have random things posted, but not most of the deeply personal things we are going through.

Thanks for your understanding and I hope to see you on my other blog!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Even Little Decisions Are Hard to Make

Here we are, mid-August. I was just going through my planner to update a new one with birthdays, etc., and came across appointments we had for interviews with different adoption agencies, and before that, appointments for trial transfers, high risk OB's, and dates to start fertility drugs. It obviously conjured up memories...no way to avoid them I suppose.

I also got my twice yearly email that the consignment sale I always go to is nearing again. Each time it comes around I think about selling my maternity clothes, Jack's clothes he has outgrown. Each time I feel pulled between making room in my house, making some money from it, and the "what ifs". What if I do get pregnant? What if I get pregnant and the baby is a boy? What if that baby is born around the same time Jack was so we could use those clothes again? And each time I decide not to sell those things.

The other morning I was laying in bed, cuddling a small warm body, soaking up his little boy smells while I waited for him to wake up. I was thinking about how "comfortable" we are right now. With only one child, we can afford to do more day trips, we can make quick (sort of) trips to the grocery store, financially we're just more comfortable. He's 3, and relatively independent. I don't have multiple kids to buckle in, keep happy during the car ride, gather up tons of stuff just to go to the store. I don't have to worry about buying diapers, breastmilk storage bags, wipes, frequent doctor's appointments. It's "nice" I have to admit. The next moment I am asking myself what the heck I am thinking? Are you serious? You've spent the last 2.5 years trying to get pregnant again. You've had one failed treatment in that time, and started and stopped the adoption process. All things that took alot of time, dedication, and emotions to get through and you are questioning if it would be "easier" and "more convenient" to just give up? You never "give up". I was mad at myself for even thinking about it. Such is the mind of an infertile I suppose.

I am 95% sure we will try another IVF cycle. If we didn't try another cycle, I'd always be asking myself, "what if". When I think about doing another cycle, I ask myself "what if?". What if it doesn't work? What if it works too well and we end up with multiples? Haha, want to talk about being financially UNcomfortable, lol. What would I do about work? Childcare? Schooling? What if we had twins in the NICU?

One of my friends told me the other day she was pregnant. I am truly happy for her. In the midst of our conversation she was talking about being sick again. I laughed because we had just covered my crazy thoughts and how being sick again wasn't even really on the list of "what ifs". If I am sick again and it's like it was before, there is a plan in place for it. I am a planner, and I need a plan. I think that is why I am so hesitant. Anyone who does IVF (Octomom included-dummy that she is) knows that there is a risk of multiples. I think that just freaks me out the most because it is the one thing I am having the most trouble planning for. It brings up things like bedrest...I'm already probably going to only have about an 8 week maternity leave thanks to being out forever for my wrist. How the hell would that work? Could I find work I could do from home while I'm out? No idea. Sure couldn't while I was out with my wrist. If I had multiples and had a c-section, I'd have to be out of work for 8 weeks at least anyway, there goes my maternity leave, and that is fine if my babies are at home, but what if they're in the NICU-it's not even like I could go back to work to save maternity leave for when they come home.

Could I sit back and not do another cycle? Well, God knows we haven't stopped trying to conceive since we started a couple of years ago...and it hasn't worked. And I'm 30 now. We know my eggs are not great anymore from the last cycle we attempted. It's not going to get any better the older I get. I think Archie and I would always wonder what if. And it's not like we'd have to put out a huge chunk of money this time that would be a significant deterrent. Just our emotions, and thoughts that are at risk if we don't do it. And as much as we've wanted it I guess we will try...now to decide about whether or not to sell the baby and maternity clothes in the meantime...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Jack is Moving On

I'm not sure who is more sad today. It is Jack's last day of the preschool that he has been attending for the last 19 months. We didn't want to send him to school at two, and while he was making progress with his speech teacher, we felt like he could use some incentive. There aren't many kids his age in our neighborhood, and we had playdates with my friends and their little ones, but our schedules are really hard to get regular dates going. So we decided to put him in preschool 2 days a week at first, and after his third birthday we moved up to 3 days a week.

He loves school, his friends, and his teachers. He loves their playground, riding bikes in the gym on rainy days, circle time, and the climber inside. He has learned so much like things I was trying to teach him before he ever started school-colors, shapes, etc., and more. According to his teachers, he is everyone's friend and that is rare.

Jack will be staying home with us for the next couple of weeks. We will be taking shifts with him again just like we do on his days off of school, and one of those weeks we will be at the beach for 5 days. He will start at his new preschool the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Last night I reminded Jack that today was going to be his last day at that school. He wanted to know why. I simply told him that he was going to go to a school that had big kids too. I think he was more concerned about these next couple of weeks where he won't be in school at all. My plan is to do some day trips, and just find some fun things to do outside the house. Maybe make some plans with friends if we can coordinate our schedules. Maybe spend more time at the pool before summer is over.

He was excited to go shopping for his new backpack and lunch bag, and to pick up other school supplies he needs. I think he will do fine in the new school. His teachers this morning kept saying that they would miss him, and that he was a very special boy. They kept telling me that if things don't work out at the other school, he's welcome to come back. And that even if things did work out and he needed to do a drop in day for whatever reason he could come back for that too. The teacher he had when he was two I think will miss him the most, and the same can be said for Jack missing her. He really likes Miss Nicole. Lucky for us she babysits, and we have her phone number in case we need her.

I just hope he makes friends as easily at the new school as he did at this one. I hope his new friends are as good of an influence as the kids at this old school were. I have some hesitations about the new school, but I did when we started at the old one too. Hopefully it will all pan out and work out for the best for everyone.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I love the conversations with Jack. He is so inquisitive, has to know how things work, why we do certain things, etc., and the other day was just full of questions for him.

The other afternoon we were looking at my friend L's babies on Facebook, and Jack asked, "Who dose babies Mommy?" I told him that they were the babies that had been in Ms. L's tummy, but that they were out now. He pondered this for a minute and then said, "Mommy, I want you to have another baby in your tummy." Me too buddy, me too.

Every night I say prayers with Jack. Every night I thank God for every minute we have with Jack, and I pray that He will give us many more days and years together. I have to pray for this because no life on this earth is guaranteed, I know that all too well with my job. Anyway, Jack turns to me after prayers and whispers, "Mommy, why did you and Daddy pick me?" I thought that was an odd question given the fact that he is our biological child, it's not like we chose him from an orphanage. I could have been a wiseass and told him that the doctor picked him because he was the best looking embryo we had. But instead I told him that we didn't pick him, that God decided he would answer our prayers by taking a little bit of Mommy and a little bit of Daddy to make him, and then put him in my tummy to grow. As always my curious child had yet another question..."What parts of you and Daddy did He take?" Hahaha. I told him that He took the best parts of both of us, like Daddy's smile, Mommy's love for animals, my pickiness, and Daddy's sense of humor. Then I told him that even if God hadn't given him to us, but had us choose from a bunch of kids, one of them being Jack, that we still would have picked him. We would have picked him because he is so sweet, gentle, kind-hearted, affectionate, and funny. He seemed satisfied with that answer.

Maybe soon all of our wishes, prayers and dreams will be answered.