Friday, March 15, 2013

Quote of the Day

"Hardships make or break people" - Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Am I ready to do this all over again?

I am ready...though I already know this second IVF cycle is going to take every ounce of energy I have. Sometimes I doubt my strength (only for a second) because then I am reminded that there is nothing I would not do for my future baby. The ugly bruises from my injections and blood draws are worth it. The side effects from medications are worth it. Being propped up on a table with your legs spread for a doctor, team of nurses, and anesthesiologist to see, is worth it. Every part of this grueling journey is worth it, if the outcome is a healthy baby. Check out these battle wounds below...I'm damn proud of my strength. Bring it on, I AM READY!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Back to Back Freshies?

Yes, I'm still grieving our failed cycle. I think that feeling might always stay with me. And that's okay, I've grown from this in a way that would not have been possible if I wouldn't have experienced such devastation. However, I have to pick myself up from my bootstraps and keep moving forward. In the words of my favorite country artist, "You got to dig a little deeper when you think you can't dig no more," - Jason Aldean
We are paying a shit ton of money to an insurance company that partially covers IVF. After speaking to our doctor since our failed cycle, we came up with a new plan. The first thing I need to do is have blood work done to rule out the chance that I may have an immunology issue that could be attacking an embryo from implanting. It's very rare, but there is a chance I could be one if those people that have such a disorder. Can you believe that this blood work costs $600?! Its insane how much this crap costs! Once we get that bill I will submit it to the insurance company...but y'all know how that goes.
If you are not aware, I have one little frozen embryo just chillin' (literally) in a freezer somewhere. And since frozen embryo transfer is less expensive than fresh, what makes sense financially is to do another fresh cycle, and try to attain more embryos to freeze. That way, if this fresh cycle does not result in a baby, we will possibly have more "chances" in the future with our frozen embryos. Also, if we were to do the frozen embryo and it did not work, we would be left with nothing. If we did the frozen and it ended up being successful, we would obviously be thrilled, but if we ever wanted a chance at more children we would have to do the fresh cycle over again...when I'm older. And age matters when it comes to your chances at success. So this is what makes sense for's's a lot to take in, but I believe that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. He believes I can handle this, so, so do I.
I start the birth control again today. At least this time I have an idea of what to expect! Here is to another chance at getting my miracle.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What now?

I don't know really...I still have to talk to our doctor for our post failed IVF consultation. He was traveling this weekend so I haven't been able to talk to him since he told me the bad news.
The crying has yet to cease...I'm still very much in pain. I know that this too shall pass...but it will take awhile for my heart to heal.
What I do know is that God is always good. I don't understand why this has happened, but I know things in your life happen because they mold you into the person you are supposed to be. What scares me is that maybe that means I'm not meant to be a mother. At this very moment, I feel lost. I pray for guidance and strength...and peace. I pray that this hardship strengthens my marriage. I pray that this hurt in my heart fades away. I pray that all women who are TTC never has to feel this pain. I pray that all mothers never take their children for granted. I pray that one day I will have a biological child with the man I love. I pray...every second of every day, that God hears my prayers.


"I'm sorry to inform you..." Those words are all to common to me. Those words are the hardest to accept. Those words can go fuck themselves. I tried to breath in, but there was no air. I tried again, again there was no air. My only thought was to call Cris. He picked up on the first ring, I said, "they called." My voice broke. He knew instantly. Our hearts in one instant were broken. Broken into a million little pieces. I some how managed to reverse out of the parking lot at my job, and pop an anxiety pill. It at least stopped me from hyperventilating. The tears were hot on my face, every part of my body felt flushed. I just needed to make it home. I called my mom and screamed into the phone, "Mom!!! It didn't work!!!" She said my name over and over, and I just sobbed. I managed to tell her that I was on my way home and I would text her when I got there. I hung up. Tears still flowing like hot lava from my eyes, I asked out loud, "why God??" "Why???" "God, why???" I was desperate for an answer. How could this be over so abruptly...those weeks of medications...the constant blood draws, the surgery, the's over. It's over and I can't change the outcome.
When I finally got home, Cris was waiting there with open arms, and I said, "I don't fucking get it...everything was perfect." And then my only thought was to shower. Thinking it will wash the pain away. I stood under the running water, sobbing, cursing, begging, praying, thinking, breathing. Nothing made sense. Nothing. Still, two days later, nothing makes sense.

2 Week Wait from HELL.

Seriously, I would rather do the injections every day than ever have to go through the 2 week wait again. You question EVERYTHING. The "symptoms" can all be related to horrid progesterone suppositories I was on...every cramp, sore boobs, tiredness, acne breakout...but even though you know the drugs are causing the symptoms, in your heart, you pray it's actually because you are pregnant. I held it together since we made the decision to do IVF...but the day of my beta blood draw, I lost it. Like LOST it. I lost it. I woke up that morning and peed on a stick...NOT PREGNANT. Those words cut deep. But just as any other person who has tried to conceive, I clutched on to a thread of hope that maybe, MAYBE I could still be pregnant and my beta was just too low to show on a urine test. Looking back, I already knew, it's called instinct.

Embryo Transfer!

Today is the day our hopes and dreams are put into my uterus. Once we got to the clinic, Cris and I both gowned up. We were taken into the same O.R. where my egg retrieval was done. I got on to the bed, grabbed Cris's hand, and said a silent prayer...please PLEASE let these babies stick, please God, I beg you.
The embryologist came in and verified that we are who we say we are and that they were going to be transferring two embryos. My doctor came in and I immediately felt at ease. He has a calming presence about him, and I trust him with my life, so once he was there I relaxed. The procedure itself is oddly easy. They insert a catheter (painless) and then the embryologist comes in with our 2 embryos. On the ultrasound screen you actually see them go in to your uterus. They are two little white specs. I didn't know it was possible to love a clump of cells the way I did. I already felt smitten, knowing I had two living things inside of me. After the procedure you lay in bed for about 20 minutes and then you are free to leave. I rested that evening and the following day. Not total bed rest, but I just took it easy.
Now comes the hard part...the dreaded TWO WEEK WAIT. Seriously...this was the hardest two weeks of my life.

Now we wait...

After your eggs are sucked out of you, they are put into a peach tree dish and a procedure known as ICSI takes place. They take one single sperm and insert it into the egg, and then we wait. We got a call the following day to tell us that out of the 12 eggs, 8 survived. Out of the surviving 8, 6 fertilized. Out of those six, four made it to embryo stage. The doctor and embryologist kept an eye on those four and would let us know when it would be time to come back in for the embryo transfer. The transfer ended up being 5 days after the retrieval. We were EXCITED. We couldn't believe our time has come.

A dozen eggs!

The egg retrieval surgery was fast approaching. I was REALLY nervous. I had plenty of surgeries in my life time, but I had forgotten what it was like to be put to sleep. If I'm being honest with you, what I feared most was how I would take the anesthesia...I truly was terrified I would get sick from it and vomit. If you don't know, I have a fear of stems from a really horrible experience I had when I was 5 years old. It really did scar me for life. Anyway, the surgery ended up being SO easy and I woke up to great news that they retrieved 12 eggs! I woke up starving, so they gave me pretzels, gingerale, and two extra strength tylonels. I laid in my little recovery room for another 15 minutes or so and then we headed home. The cramps started before I made it to the car. And the car ride home was brutal. Every bump, turn, and stop hurt. All I wanted was a heating pad and my bed. Once I got home, I went to sleep for a few hours and when I woke up, I felt fine. I was sore, especially when I peed or laughed...but besides that I felt fine. I went back to work the following day.

The drugs...not the good kind.

When I hear the words IVF, I immediately think injections. It's a lot of needles...a lot. I was on dexamethasone, baby aspirin, Lupron, follistim, menopur, and triggered with HCG. My first few injections of Lupron were fine, I was injecting myself, in which made me feel strong. But then one morning I freaked out and was never able to self inject again. What would have made it easier was if I had some fat on me. There is just nothing to me, and I've always been that way. So before you think that being too thin is a nice problem to have, think again. I struggle with weight issues just as a person who is overweight does. I am self conscious of the way I look but I've always been this way, it's all I know. Cris took over on the injections. He did amazing. Especially for someone that is terrified of needles.
Side effects? God blessed me, I had none. I was nervous knowing that these drugs were potent...thinking I'm very sensitive to things I put in my body, I took to them quite well. At this point, I prayed they were working the way they should.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Birth control?! You can not be serious!

Once you decide that IVF is your path, you may need to start birth control pills. When I was told this, I FREAKED. I cried...and cried...and questioned this whole process. How...and I mean HOW after trying to conceive for two years can you tell someone to start birth control?! Sounds so counter-productive. add fuel to this fire, I have Factor V since I have been diagnosed with that, I have been told that birth control is a huge no-no!
Well, once I calmed down and listened to why birth control is the first step, and then did my own research, I calmed down. It's all part of this unique process. I put my trust in God, and in my doctor, and just decided that the best thing to do is roll with this journey. Flexibility in emotion is something I need to work on, but if this was a test, I passed it. I started my first regimen of baby aspirin and birth control.

My journey...

On December 18, 2012...Cris and I made the biggest decision of our life. I will get into that in a minute. But first of all, you should know, we met with a new doctor. His name is Dr. Peters. From the moment we sat down with him, I knew that he would be our doctor that made our dreams come true. He was confident yet cautious, encouraging and supportive. I have never met another doctor like him. I was completely blown away by his bedside manner. I could go on forever about how amazing I think he is.
So, given our unique insurance situation, Cris and I decided that we would go forth with in-vitro fertilization. Trust me, never did I think it would come to this. But I'm actually thrilled that it has. I am so proud of Cris and myself and how far we have come. It's an incredible journey and I look forward to sharing that with you here.