Thursday, 31 March 2016

Day 11 (day 9 stimms)

Intralipid time...

So today was a gloriously lazy day. Without my friend in town, I turned into the ultimate couch potato.. and unapologetically so. Hubby was super sweet and brought me to my intralipid appointment and hung out with me.

When we got there, the nurse brought me into the room (hubby had to wait outside) to hook me up to the IV. I got super lightheaded when she did it, even though she was super gentle, so I had to spend a bit of time slightly inverted to get blood flow back. Once I was hooked up she brought Homme InFertile in and we set up the laptop to watch a movie.

We rented a documentary for 99c, not because we're cheap but because it intrigued me, it was called Barista and was about 4 individuals headed to national barista championship competition. It was pretty good, and passed the time nicely.

In terms of the intralipid itself, my hand got a little numb/cold from laying it so straight and not moving it for so long.

Also the intralipids made me super sleepy so I really had to struggle to stay awake. All I wanted to do was sleep. Though I'm not sure if that's just me catching up from the busy days with my friend in town. I'm still super sleepy and its only 830pm but I have to wait up until 9pm to do my shots. Oh goodness I'm getting old haha.

Anyways, fingers crossed that the intralipids do the trick and we're successful. I'm back to being super bloated/constipated so I kinda waddle when I walk. Every step feels like a ton of bricks in my ovaries crashing around... not so pleasant. I go back in to the clinic tomorrow for ultrasound and bloodwork to see progress from Wednesday. I feel like theres definite progress, but that could just be the constipation bloat. Who's to say. We'll have to wait and see. I'm super nervous/excited to find out how things are moving along. Part of me doesn't want to trigger tomorrow, because my doc is back at work Monday, and if we trigger Saturday instead then he'll be able to do my retrieval himself. Just would give me more piece of mind, but I'm trying really hard to just have faith. 

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Day 10 (8 stimms)

DAY 10 - day 8 stimms
Ganirelix done. Check.
Ultrasound done. - - -> My 21 follicles lowered to 17 (I guess some of the 5mms just dissipated). Disappointing, but still solid. Hoping all 17 hold strong.
BW done. - - -> Good to continue with same dosages, and am going back in Friday for another check up. I'll probably be ready to trigger Friday night it looks like. That'll make retrieval Sunday, Transfer Wednesday or Friday of next week.

I had another different doc today. I guess it truly does take a village. I liked her a lot better. Might try requesting her for my Friday appointment and retrieval. She just had a much warmer demeanor in my humble opinion.

Was so fun having my friend in town to distract me, but now she's left just as I was getting more uncomfortable and closer to the finish line. I am a bit relieved to have some down time. I feel like I'm just going to hermit it up for the next little while through our trigger, retrieval, and transfer.

We found out we might have to go back up to Canada while our new USA visas are processed, which is a bit of a pain in the butt. Maybe we'll do it during the 2ww. That'll make for a good distraction I figure. Problem is, if they want us going sooner rather than later the timing is tricky and may be a quick turn around situation. That's fine too, and maybe better if it means I can fly instead of having to drive. No chance I'd risk flying in the 2ww. No sir.

I go in for my intralipids tomorrow. Really nervous about that. No clue what to expect, and who in their right minds likes IVs? No one. I'm hoping Homme InFertile can join me and we can cuddle up and watch a movie. We haven't really had any alone/chill time since my friend was in town. I wanted to be respectful to her as she's single and I know it can be hard being around super lovey dovey couples (which we are, but just not in public). So soaking up some cuddles tonight. 

Days 9 (7 stimms)

DAY 9 - day 7 stimms
Just another day in stimming paradise... or hell... whatever way you personally feel about it. For me, I'm trying to feel as much gratitude for being in a position to be able to be as proactive as we are. I'm grateful for 21 follicles growing. I'm grateful for the financial ability to do a cycle. I'm grateful for being unemployed and being able to focus fully on fertility. It helps a little to think of all the things I'm thankful for as my belly becomes increasingly bruised and my ovaries more and more bloated/painful.

Today was Homme InFertile's Birthday. 31! Wasn't anything overly special, but he had been wanting to check out this place Katz in NY (a staple) so we did lunch there, and while he went bowling with my friend visiting, and his friend who's also unemployed until they start their new jobs, I went to acupuncture. She seemed impressed at how well I've been doing/feeling, so that made me feel even better about everything... if that was possible.

I called to schedule my appointments for the next day (bw/us and intralipids) and got a lecture on how I was supposed to book intralipids weeks ago. I don't want to go into the nitty gritty of the conversation, as I'm trying to let it go, but basically instead of simply telling me unfortunately at this point there wasn't an appointment time left for Wednesday, but I could go Thursday instead (which I would have been totally chill and fine with... my bad for not calling earlier), I instead was told that I wasn't being responsible for not calling weeks in advance, and that's generally when people book these, and there are no appointments for today. So naturally I freaked out thinking I wouldn't be able to get an intralipid appointment time for 2 weeks, and thus started to cry. See I believe the intralipids are what could make or break this cycle so my mind started racing a million miles a minute. I just wish she would have handled the conversation a little nicer and preceded the lecture with "I can fit you in tomorrow" at bare minimum. No one told me the precedent on timing to book intralipids, and all other appointments I have been making a day or two in advance. Without this knowledge, how was I supposed to know any different, especially after checking on Monday that they received my intralipid medication, and that all was good for Wednesday... which clearly it was not. Grrr. Very different "service" level in the U.S. from Canada. They try and make it as stress-free as possible, where as in the states, its all on you the patient at an already overwhelming stressful time. Kind of silly, but cultural differences I suppose.

Shake it off.

Later we went out to a nice dinner followed by Les Miserables on Broadway which was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! So great!

I had to push my evening injections to 10:15pm (I normally do at 9pm) as I wasn't sure how I'd go about timing it, doing it in the bathroom at the theatre, not to mention bringing the injections and keeping them cold (the gonal-f needs to stay in the fridge). It was all too stressful, so I just did it a little later. RE said it was fine if they weren't exactly at the same time, although that is ideal. FX all is well. I'm sure I'm not the first patient to do an injection an hour off schedule one day.

Anyhoo. Shots were less painful than the previous day which was nice. I'm a pro now it seems, although I still friggin hate my ganirelix injection which I'm delaying taking as I write this. Boo.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Days 7-8 (days 5-6 stimms)

Wow have things progressed. Getting real ya'll...

DAY 7 - day 5 stimms a.m. & p.m.
So yesterday I continued with my a.m. ganirelix and p.m. gonal-f and menopur shots. My stomach has little prick marks along with mini bruises where I clearly did a less than stellar job injecting myself. Oh well. I'll be a pin cushion if it means I have a baby!!!

Yesterday was Easter, so we started our morning off with Easter Brunch at Lafayette in New York. Delicious little brunch with some friends and then we headed over to the bonnet festival which is a street filled with crazy New Yorkers in crazy hats. So random, but quite a spectacle. We then tried to get lottery tix to a broadway show, but after no such luck, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge instead. So needless to say, it was a busy day and I was just beyond pooped. We had a chill night and went to bed reasonably early.

DAY 8 - day 6 stimms a.m. & p.m.
Maybe it was me pushing myself to hard, maybe it was the meds, maybe my IBS, or maybe even something I ate, but I tossed and turned with a stomach ache all night, and woke up with diarrhea around 6am. Annoying since I had been incredibly constipated for days. I guess the relief was welcomed, but the stomach cramping not so much. Sorry for the TMI but I don't believe in such a thing on this journey ;)

So my day started off a bit rough since I wasn't feeling great but we had to go to my check up appointment at the RE. I was super duper nervous, having been a poor responder in the past. I trusted my doc lowering my meds, but at the same time was just really hoping it worked out well. My friend came in to the room with me for sheer curiosity more than anything. Was quite the learning experience for her.

Well the doc covering for Dr. T was fine and dandy, but not overly personable. I like someone I can joke with and they all take it a bit too seriously for my taste. Fair enough, as they need to be sensitive to all infertile types. I support that... but still, when I crack a joke, at least crack a smile ;)

Anyways, had 21 follicles. Yes!!! 21!!! I was thrilled!!! Our first IVF was only 11 so we almost doubled our amount and I couldn't be happier. Many of them are still quite small, so I'm not sure how many will mature to size, but I still feel confident we'll get a good yield and may be able to go for a day 5 transfer. Fingers crossed.

I felt completely drained today and tried to be a trooper but had to take a mid-day nap to recuperate. My ovaries are just so sore. I feel like I need to invent shock absorbing shoes for women going through IVF. I swear with each step I could feel them slosh around in my ovaries. Ouch. I'm okay with it if it means I have 21 great eggies in there. Feeling positive vibes today. :) :) :)

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Days 3-6 (1-4 of stimms)

DAY 3 - day 1 stimms (p.m. only)
So I've clearly not been keeping up my blogging duties, but I've definitely been busy busy with all the injections and pill taking.

So first night of stimms I was so so nervous. Like, had no clue I would feel that way given I had done it before. I wasn't nervous to actually give myself the needles so much as just mess it up somehow. My hubby took some video of me doing it all which I might try and cut down and post below at some point if I get a chance, but forgive me if it never happens as I'm a little distractible at the moment and the full video is like 20 minutes long since I was such a nervous wreck.... No one wants to watch 20 minutes of me pouting haha.

:) possible video placeholder :)

I got it all done in the end and went to bed feeling pretty proud of myself. Plus... we had officially begun our cycle of IVF stimms and I was looking forward to moving forward. Yay.

DAY4 - day 2 stimms (p.m. only)
I woke up day 4 (day 2 of stimms) feeling pretty a.o.k. I didn't sleep great, a bit of tossing and turning as the meds started coursing through the ole body. I went about my day quite normally. Then Homme InFertile got the call. HE GOT A JOB!!! So if you've been following my blog you might know that we are Canadians who moved down to New York for his job. Well, oil and gas markets essentially crashed and the company layed off his whole team (and many others). Since he was sponsored to work, and that job no longer existed, we were in fear of being deported. All this as we had started IVF. Ridiculous amount of stress. All of that was lifted with one phone call. Phew. That being said, we're Houston, TX bound next. His whole team got picked up so we'll be moving with people we know which is nice... and best of all is that we get another 6 months in New York while they ramp up coverage. That means I get time to finish IVF (and a frozen if needed) before leaving, as well as take time to say goodbye to this great city and do all the things off my NY bucket list before we go! So great! 

So we were off to the boss' to celebrate... just one hitch. I had to do my shots. Luckily everyone knows our situation so I just brought them along for the champagne toast and shot myself up in their living room. Infertility accommodates no one ;) 

I feel it necessary to include a little commentary here on that whole situation though in case you find yourself in a similar circumstance. Now know, although my husband works with these guys, 1 of them knows me better than the other, and neither of them are overly familiar with me yet, so comfort levels aren't incredibly high. One guys wife, although very sweet, I also don't know all that well... so this wasn't exactly a group of close friends if you get what I'm saying...

So what I found interesting was their curiosity and wanting to look/stare, but their blatant efforts to not! I tried to crack a few jokes to make everyone more comfortable, and they gave me a few kind chuckles to break the awkwardness, but you could definitely sense they didn't know how to act. Totally fair. Now I could have gone off to the bathroom and done it in privacy sure. But I'm pretty stubborn and believe I shouldn't have to hide my life. I don't do it in the bathroom at home. I do it in the comfort of my living room, perched on the couch (or in my bed for the morning shot this morning that I'm writing). Not only that, but I WANT them to see what it's all about. I WANT people to understand what an infertile or person going through IVF goes through, because for the most part, it happens behind closed doors, and under hushed voices. Me? Infertile here loud and proud. I refuse to let someones discomfort with it be the reason I don't educate and break down the stigmas. So there you have it. Everyone in that room now knows exactly what IVF injections look like, and what the woman has to go through with organizing, timing, mixing (lupron/menopur I'm looking at you!) and actually self-injecting. 

DAY5 - day 3 stimms (p.m. only) 
Today my friend arrived from out of town. I went for acupuncture beforehand, and the hubs and I went for a game of pool with one of his other unemployed but soon to be re-employed colleagues. I was still feeling pretty good, although a little more bloated and uncomfortable again today. Acupuncture seemed to have helped a bit there... I listened to circle and blooms IVF program while I had it done. Ahhhhh. 

When my friend got in we were able to go grab a quick bite before having to head home for my nightly shot. Once again, I know she felt discomfort. This is a friend I know very very well, and have been friends with for years, but we haven't lived in the same city since we were 18 (we're 31) and although we know each other very well, the comfort level may not be the same as it would be if we were around each other more often. Once she realized we could joke through it, and it didn't have to be a big serious thing, she loosened up, but it was interesting for me to see the same sort of behaviours and reactiosn as the previous night with Homme InFertile's work colleagues, as I did with a close friend. Huh. 

DAY6 - day 4 stimms (a.m. & p.m.)
Woke up this a.m. knowing I had to add Ganirelix to my regimen. Wasn't so worried about it. No biggie. No mixing... no adding/changing needle heads. It's prepared for me and ready to rock and roll. WELL...... little did I recall this is the little guy that stings like a ... well stings bad lets just put it that way! I forgot the little trick that my last clinic/nurse taught me of pre and post icing. I just went in without a care in the world. Ouch!!! My stomach was quite red and a large circumference stung. I grabbed ice and remembered it was my friend, making a mental note for all mornings to come.

We spent the day out and about. Homme InFertile had to go meet with new boss for lunch, and a few other things came up for him, so it was just my friend and I out playing tourist. I got to do some things in NY I had really wanted to do for some time (aka boating on the lake in Central Park, and taking the boat cruise around the Statue of Liberty). We came home, had some down time, played a board game and I took my evening shots before heading out again. 

Well... evening shots have taken a turn. A dark, dark turn. Eep. I dunno if it's because of the added morning shot or what, but my evening shots SUCKED. Not only was my stomach all of a sudden way more sensitive, but about 10 minutes after taking them I looked 4 months pregnant. I'm a pretty skinny minny, so I understand this doesn't look like much, but I'm generally completely flat. The bloating was sooooo painful. Felt like my insides might pop like a balloon if I sticked myself with another needle. 

But the show must go on so we went out for dinner where I stuffed myself further and felt even more bloated, and then showed my friend Time Square before heading home and me collapsing in bed in pain. Hosting during IVF apparently is a no go ;) I should have known, but at the same time, the distraction is kind of nice. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Day 3

Nerves anyone?
I woke up with a lot of anxiety today. First day of being monitored and I certainly wasn't looking forward to being reunited with the ole giant jelly-lubed ultrasound wand. Especially not while still on my period. Doesn't get much more awkward than that... ugh.
Morning Pick Me Up
At least its a nice waiting room....

When I arrived into my little wee exam room and undressed, I noticed a printed sign on the wall. My doc is going to be away from March 24-April 4. Huwwwhhhhaaaaaat!!?!?!?? We literally were all geared up to go last month, but postponed just because Homme InFertile lost his job and it was stress mania. Part of me regretted that the instant I saw the sign, but on the flip-side, I know that the stress and chaos was just too much at that time.

When he came in, I asked who'd be covering while starting to tear up. I think I made him feel pretty bad, but I couldn't help it. I'm friggin stressed. After 5 years of infertility, I'm really ready for a successful cycle, and being passed around from doc to doc at my last clinic in Canada, made me question my level of care and attention to detail. So to be dealing with passed on information once again, I'm just a bit jaded...

Anyways, lining looked good (6mm I think), and he found 8-10 follicles on each side, so decided I was ready to start. Wait... what? I had it so fixed in my brain that I'd likely not be starting until tomorrow. I was looking forward to the remainder of the day with no worries or cares, just likely another appointment to go to tomorrow. Well, clearly I was incorrect.

Then I had my blood drawn and she punctured me pretty bad. I have a small bruise, which I'm hoping will heal before I need more bloodwork Monday.
Feels worse than it looks :(

Afterwards, Homme InFertile took me for lunch. With all my dietary restrictions it can be hard to eat out, but Peacefood Cafe is one of my go-tos. Not only is it Vegan AND full of Gluten Free foods... its also super duper tasty. Can't get much better than that! I had a delicious "Quiche" made with sweet potato, cashew cheese, tofu etc., and the hubs had a "chicken" potato salad.

After lunch we still had some time, so we walked down towards Loft a fav store of mine where I picked up some new sunglasses and a comfy cute t-shirt. The cherry blossoms were kind enough to come out to bloom to help with the cheering up too! Though retail therapy works wonders on its own generally haha ... soooo bad. 

So they emailed me my updated calendar and I officially start stimms tonight. I get a lump in my throat just typing that. I add in the morning injection starting Saturday, and as mentioned go back for monitoring/check up on Monday to see how I'm progressing.

I've been watching all my injection videos (the clinic has really great clear instructionals) and feeling about as prepared as I can be for getting going. I'll point a video of it tonight. If you're intererested in the videos check them out at this link!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Day 2

Ahhhh. Last day of RnR before embarking on this crazy ole journey of IVF! I chose to not start monitoring today as day two is general my heaviest, most painful day. This cycle did not disappoint ;) so I'm really glad that I made my first baseline ultrasound and blood work appointment for tomorrow instead. I'll feel much better.

Cramps have ceased this afternoon somewhat thankfully, so I can enjoy a whopping day or two of feeling relatively normal before I start pricking myself with needles like a junkie. Need to re-watch the ole videos reminding me how to do this all... I feel like it's been so long that I have forgotten. Don't want to mess it up that's for sure!

Tonight I have a volleyball game. I'm guessing it'll likely be my last one since next week I have a friend in town and it also happens to fall on the hubs birthday. It's such an outlet for me... the following week April 5/7 is playoffs, but I'm likely going to be close to retrieval and feeling insanely bloated so that'll be a no go. Jumping with two ovaries full of eggs probably isn't in the protocol! hah! Then season's over :( So I gotta soak it all up tonight. I guess I'll have to just get back into yoga more. Gentle yoga that is.

Homme InFertile and I are both still unemployed. On the one hand its really super nice that he'll be around to take me to appointments and baby me (I need a lot of babying). But then on the other hand, we're investing a LOT of money to hopefully get pregnant which will cost even MORE money (one the birth happens of course), and neither of us has any income, nor do we know where we will like a few months from now. There is one job possibility that we are hoping will pan out, but we still won't know much more until Wednesday-ish. I say ish because realistically they said by Friday, but we're feeling as optimistic about it as possible. If all goes through, then we'll probably be in New York throughout my first trimester (possibly second as well), and then moving. So lots of potential changes on the horizon.

Best be off.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Day 1

Oh Boy Oh Boy... Cycle Day 1 has arrived, and I'm freaking the frack out!!!
I tried putting my calendar together to make myself feel more organized and less stressed... ya that didn't work so well... now I'm just freaking out worse looking over the fact that the next 5 weeks are going to be esssentially torture. Eep.

I have not so fun cramps today, but worse is the fact that I'm just so freakin' anxious about starting all this over again. I'm so beyond terrified of yet another disappointment on this hard hard road to parenthood. Ugh.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Cray Cray Continues

So Homme InFertile and I spoke about the docu-series more in length and ended up pulling our names out. We committed to it before he lost his job, and it's just becoming too stressful with all we have going on already - him finding a job, likely moving to an entirely new city, and of course, IVF...

So that is no longer in the works.

On a separate note... my crazy hasn't gone away... in fact it was made worse by a jump in temp after my dip last night. Could it be!?!?!

Ugh. I know I'm just getting my hopes way up to likely just get crushed one last month, but wouldn't it be nice!?!? Until I'm proven otherwise, I'm just going to blissfully and ignorantly believe it's possible. You just never know!

Okie dokie. Short update. That is all.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Someone tell me I'm Stupid... Please!!!

It's the last month before IVF... yes, yes... we've been over this.
Today I had an "implantation" temperature dip at 9dpo (8 dpo if ovulation occurred when I think it did rather than when Fertility Friend says it did).

So here's the deal with the dip. It does NOT always indicate pregnancy. In fact, it is still found in many, MANY charts. I could even argue I've had it in many of my own. Now here's the thing. Usually when I do see this dip, I see it around 5dpo, which is probably too soon for a real implantation dip. In fact, the thought is that perhaps the dip is attributed to an increase in estrogen due to the pregnancy (which has a lowering effect on temperature) or that the progesterone is decreasing and then gets rescued by a pregnancy. Neither of these really explain why it is found on non-pregnancy charts too though. So it begs the question, why do we keep seeing it!?

So I did some digging today and of course come up with many articles telling me just that. Well I already know that, thanks for nothing internet! So I'm left on my own to hypothesis and rationalize why I am having a dip. Should be easy enough in theory... except this dip is different from the others I've had.

For one, like I mentioned, my dip on my chart usually happens earlier. This time it happened at 8/9dpo... exactly when implantation is most likely to occur!!!

For two, it dipped way down to my coverline. Usually what I have called a "dip" in all my other instances, has been on a smaller scale... maybe .2 or .3 F of a drop. This was a .7 drop.

Okay but on the flipside, I woke up earlier than normal this morning (I really had to pee...) so my temp was taken maybe 1/2hr to 1hr earlier than normal. Also, I recently started on Metanx which is a folic acid and B vitamin supplement. It could me messing with things. I also went to acupuncture yesterday. All of these could contribute to changes in temps.

So why... WHY, am I being so crazy and getting my hopes up YET AGAIN!? Cray cray. I am literally turning into a crazy person.

On other news, Homme InFertile and I are being filmed and put forward for a new docu-series for a major network. Basically it's following couples' pregnancy stories... For us, it would have a special little forward portion of us going through infertility treatments. I think it would be so special and important to share this experience with the general public so they really understand what we women go through. It's shocking to hear how little people know about the invasiveness of it all ;)

So we start that filming Monday... eek. Homme InFertile is very nervous. I on the other hand am perfectly comfortable in front of the camera having acted since a young age (I had a casting director mother). We'll see how that goes. I could be super hormonal with pms... or maybe... just MAYBE I'll get to cancel it due to a BFP!!!! Who knows!!! Wishful thinking... and yes, well aware how stupid I'm being...ugh.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Last 2 WW before IVF

Well t-minus about a week until we get underway with what I expect to be my last fresh IVF cycle. The nerves are full force, my emotions are all over the place, and prayers are high. I'm in the 2ww of my last natural cycle before we begin, and I find myself talking to the heavens... my belly... myself, wishing, hoping, praying, bargaining for some miracle so I don't have to go through all the injections and emotional turmoil of IVF again. Wouldn't that be nice!?

I follow my fertility clinic's page on Facebook, and perhaps the universe was answering me in a way... Nurse Linda did a video chat about the dreaded 2ww and embryo transfers etc. It was just what I needed to hear really. I highly suggest giving it a watch:

It calmed me ever so slightly. No way around it. The 2 week wait continues to suck... month after month and year after year. In an ideal world I'd know better, or better yet, have a crystal ball to tell me the outcome so I could just move on with my days, but that's far from the case.

Who knows... maybe I WILL get a positive. Maybe I WILL be that miracle story you hear. Weirder things have happened I suppose. I got my hopes up last month though, and I know it's just me trying to find an out from having to go through this whole song and dance again, avoiding the fear and pain that goes along with it. One more week... that's all I have to hold on to for now. Or, well, at least until the BIG 2ww after our embryo transfer next month.

So in other news, Homme InFertile and I have been selected for a Docu-Series that follows women throughout their pregnancy. There will be multiple various stories, but the idea is that we'd be the "infertility" story. I was really excited about the opportunity to share our story and break down some of the stigmas associated with infertility. We have a production call on Wednesday, and they're in talks with our clinic getting filming rights (which I anticipate will be difficult given the sensitivity of other patients etc). So I'm not sure how it will all pan out, but that's that! I'll keep you posted as things progress... I was totally upfront too that Homme InFertile lost his job and we don't know if we'll be staying in NY, and they still want to go ahead so looks good in that respect at least.

In the meantime a woman popped into our little online forum community at the bump and shared a promo teaser for a webseries she wrote/created and we had a good chuckle. Check it out! I found great comfort in laughing in the face of it all. I know it's certainly something we can all relate to, even if our responses aren't so candid in real life ;)

In terms of Homme InFertile... still no job. We have health coverage until the end of May, so can go through our full cycle... less sure about a frozen cycle directly following though if it were needed... shucks. In terms of where we'll go from here? Our first pick would be Victoria/Vancouver, which is where we grew up. Second pick is London as I can get an ancestry visa and we can both work. Could be another fun adventure. New York is looking less and less likely by the day. Who knows though!

Oh and almost forgot. I got my recombine genetic results back and am not a carrier for any of the 311 diseases screened for.. YAY! However, I am unfortunately unable to process/form folate and need to increase my folic acid intake substantially as I am a high high risk of a child with a neural tube defect. :( Not great news, but we'll forge on!

That's all for now. Tootaloo! ;)

Thursday, 10 March 2016

T-Minus 2 Week

Oh... My... Goodness...

Here we go again! 2 week countdown to my IVF cycle. I'm freaking the frack out!!!
I'm anxious, and nervous, and an emotional mess. See... I've done this before. And it didn't work. And I don't have it in me, emotionally or financially, to continue on much longer. I'm putting a lot of pressure on this cycle unintentionally... but I can't help it. It means so bloody much to me, and I'm at my wits end. When will I ever get my happily ever after!?!?

Oh dear. Pity party. Moving on.

Husband still hasn't found a job. We're debating whether to start our UK visa application. The worry is, we do all the work, pay the fee, and then he gets a job the next day. But he's been out of work 3 weeks now and no progress. That and the visa application takes some time and we don't have much more time before we'll have to leave the country basically. We need to be making decisions already. It's go time.

In terms of IVF, we will do our fresh cycle and hope for the best. I can't make up my bloody mind on one versus two. So overwhelming to make that decision. I just really want a healthy baby. I don't want the added worry of complications of 2 babies in there. But at the same time, we've put two back in twice already and no bfp, so does it make sense to put only 1?!

I dunno. I'm all over the friggin place. Any advice? :(

I have my genetic counselling call with recombine scheduled for Monday. Eek. Hope all is well there...

I probably start stimms around the 23rd/24th. That lands me with a transfer date of around April 10th. Of course this is all rough. I'll know before my 31st birthday near the end of April if it worked or not. Could be the best birthday ever, or pretty crummy. We'll just have to wait and see. FX

The Sad Truth About Infertility

NOTE: This was written about a week ago. I took some time to process it before posting to avoid any knee jerk reaction type scenarios. Funny how things work. This particular friend actually face-timed me AS I was writing this. If you believe in energetic connections like I do, this was definitely one of those moments. I believe she just knew I was feeling upset, and related to her... subconsciously of course. Anyways, enough of that mumbo jumbo. Feel free to read my emotional rant below. Take it with a grain of salt knowing I was just having a really crummy day all around.

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I'm not entirely sure what compelled me to write this today. I could pinpoint a moment scrolling through Facebook perhaps, but it's more likely a culmination of things, a build up to this moment in time. So with that, I want to share some thoughts on the sad truth about infertility.

First though, I want to acknowledge it's not all bad. There are good days too. Infertility can be something that makes us stronger, that tests us to our very limits, and breaks us down to little pieces, forcing us to build ourselves back up. We become warriors, and fearless. We learn perspective and grace. But we also carry a lot that is less than pretty... ugly at times, in fact. 

The sad truth is, infertility makes us jealous. It makes us resentful. It can even turn us into anti-social and closed-off individuals if we let it. Facebook for instance, a place of social interaction, sharing of pictures and our life adventures, becomes a place to fear for us infertiles. It becomes a place to avoid. Why? Because it bears so many reminders of the life we so desperately desire, and our inability to achieve it. It depresses at a time when we so desperately need to be lifted up. The irony is we log on to escape boredom or to be lifted, but it can have the opposite effect. Sure we can be happy for our friends and their beautiful children, but those images that they share so freely feel like a dagger to our hearts with each and every post. We love seeing the smiles on your face, and love in your eyes, but it simultaneously makes us sad. We don't have beautiful maternity photos of ourselves. We have no beautiful memories with our children to share. We lack, or feel our lives lack. 

As our friends and family move forward with their lives, we feel like we are being excluded from a very precious and prestigious (although I'll acknowledge, seemingly tiring and challenging) club. We aren't ignorant. We know motherhood is no walk in the park. Those warrior mothers deserve to share their triumph. I don't suggest we take away from their glory. But, unfortunately, their glory can make us feel like even more of a failure. See, infertility is something you can't really understand until you experience it. You might think you know the pain, or can imagine it, but it overwhelms. Life is filled with constant reminders of our ineptitude. I can't conceive, therefore I am not worthy. I am not worthy of bearing a child. I am not worthy of a family. I am not worthy of your precious mommy's club. 

You can't commiserate with me on your lack of sleep, because you know I will likely feel little sympathy, either feigning it unconvincingly, or instead telling you to be grateful for the precious gift of experiencing motherhood. You tell me I say this now, that I don't know or understand what's in store, and that is exactly the point. I don't know. I don't KNOW if I'll ever know. But at the same time, I know so much. 
I know the pain of years and years of sleepless nights wondering if this treatment finally worked. 
I know the exhaustion of self-administering needle after needle with nothing to show for it.
I know the emotional turmoil of feeling like I've let my husband down.
I know the sadness of a heart that aches for something I don't know that I'll ever experience.
I know the heartbreak of wanting so fully, and working so hard for it, to come up empty handed, month after month... year after year. 
I know I don't KNOW. And that hurts. 

We are no longer part of the same world, you and me. We are no longer sharing in the same human experience. Mine differs drastically from yours, and yours from mine. And that's okay. But you see, I am forced to accept and be comfortable with your over-sharing of baby pictures, while a small mention of my infertility is off-putting. It's taboo. It makes you and everyone else uncomfortable. You don't know what to say. You think I am trying to make you feel bad for me, or guilty for being happy, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I want you to be happy, and am glad you are. I want to be happy too. Some days I am! Some days I'm filled with so much joy that I forget about my struggles temporarily. Some days are harder. Society doesn't know how to handle us. We're the outliers, or are led to believe we are. But we infertiles are millions. It's just that society doesn't like talking about it. 

The sad truth is that today I feel ugly inside. I feel jealous and resentful. I feel like I've been dealt a crap hand deal after deal with no option to trade in, while those around me are handed royal flushes. I am sad for myself. And I judge myself for that. As if being infertile and dealing with all of this isn't enough, I feel bad, for feeling bad. 

I feel like I should be grateful for my health. 
I feel like I should be grateful for a roof over my head, and a healthy meal to eat. 
I feel like I should be grateful to have found the love of my life, and even be working towards a family.
I feel like I should forget about the pain and suffering I am experiencing because it could be worse.

Well of course it could be. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone experiences pain and heartbreak. If you look for someone who has it worse, you're undoubtedly going to find them. The world is full of pain and misery. Maybe you are scrolling Facebook and sick of seeing pictures of me and my husband adorably traveling the world side by side with smiles on our faces, and that causes you pain because your relationship isn't strong, or maybe you are doing this solo. I get it. I'm blessed with a beautiful relationship I believe is 1 in a million. I AM grateful. I DO feel blessed. But that doesn't mean the pain I feel surrounding my inability to start a family is any less valid. 

I have friends afraid to come crying or complaining to me about trying for 3 months. DO it. COMPLAIN! It's okay, I'm not going to bite your head off so long as you do it with empathy in your heart. I've been there. I remember the psycho mess I was back then. I'll help guide you. Don't face this pain alone because you think mine is worse. Accept mine, and I'll accept yours. We're in this together! When you do get pregnant, don't just post it on Facebook and avoid me, that only wedges our worlds further apart. Instead build a bridge of understanding between us. Text me your news very lightly and allow me time to absorb it on my own. Don't Facetime me and put me on the spot, in a position to put a smile on my face to make you feel good. I don't ever want to take away from your glory, but understand it will be hard for me, just as I did for you. Continue to reach out to me, ask me how I am, how I'm doing. Don't stop asking because I don't bring it up. Since you've had a kid, I feel like maybe you don't care anymore... and I feel very alone. 

I know my mommy friends feel this way. They feel afraid to share their lives with me. Just above I told you I wasn't going to feel bad for you when you complain about the pains of motherhood. Don't misunderstand... I will serve as a reminder to why you did it. I will serve as a reminder to be grateful. And if you don't like that, maybe complain to your other mommy friends, and instead let me enjoy your company without the conversation always being about you and baby. It may be hard for me, but the truth it I never want to stop being part of your life. You feeling awkward about it makes me feel like the kid that got invited to the party that no one is friends with... they're just there because people felt bad discluding them. Don't include me just for the sake of it. Include me because you want me to be part of your life, and because you want to continue to be part of mine... even if it no longer matches yours, or isn't always rosy rainbows and sunshine. Because I love you, and cherish our friendship, even if our lives have veered in different directions. Hopefully it's only temporarily. But be patient with me as I am unbearably impatient with myself and my own circumstances.

Right now I need a friend. I need the comfort of feeling my battalion at my side. But yet I feel very, very alone. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Pap & Recombine Testing

So I had my pap done the other day. BOO. I hate paps, but I guess it's important or whatever ;) haha.
Anyways, it's never comfortable, but doc wanted to do an "extra thorough job" as he put it, and so it was a little extra painful. Boo again! But I'm glad he took it seriously and that we'll get that cleared and have no concerns (hopefully) moving forward.

Then I did a quick single vial of blood for recombine testing (a cake walk compared to the 10 vials I did recently). I'm not anticipating anything coming up, but I guess if it does it'll be good to know. Also if I come up as a carrier, Homme InFertile will have to go get tested too. If you're interested to know more this video is helpful.

Now onto the fun stuff...

So Homme InFertile lost his job. We know this. We've come to terms with this. But this left a big ole question mark in the baby making department. Do we continue with IVF? Do we hold off? Should we pay for Cobra to extend our coverage? Do we wait until we know what our future plans are and do it then?

Well we talked about it a lot and when push comes to shove, there's never a good time. Our coverage was extended, so we found out we can go ahead with treatment (phew), and all of our meds already arrived (phew again)... so we might as well just go for it right!?

That's what we decided anyway. So the plan as it stands right now is to just give it a shot with my next cycle. So that means starting stimms at the end of this month (March) Eek! When I say that, I get all butterflies and heart pounding. Crazy to be starting this journey again. I really am praying for a different outcome this time around, but the jaded side of me is hesitant to get so excited. The whole process is drumming up old emotions for sure.

Another thing I've been putting off... dun dun dunnnn... the dentist. Need to do that before our cycle. No fun, and I have a feeling I'm going to have to get a filling or two... When will all the poking and prodding end!? ...not anytime soon that's for sure!