Daily Blessings

Throughout this fertility journey, no matter how much life has thrown at me, I will remember my blessings & affirmations each day.

Archive for the tag “hope”

Sandra

I don’t know how well you know me. If you knew me well, you’d know that I don’t let very many people into my life.  To be invited into the inner sanctum of my world is a privilege that you have to earn.  You need to ask yourself, “Do I really want to fall down this rabbit hole with you?”  I tend not to let people in unless I know they can be trusted and are emotionally invested in my life for the long run.  If I don’t see you playing a role in my life in the next 5 or so years, don’t expect to be welcomed in.  I’m not a fan of leaving myself open to vulnerability.  This is clearly a defense / coping mechanism I have.
 
But sometimes there are small but profound moments in your life that touch your heart so much, that you have to second guess these coping mechanisms.  Tonight was one of those nights. 

I was at a gathering at a friend’s house that was being held to say goodbye to a fellow spouse in our coffee group.  This lady is very special to me, though I’m not sure I’ve ever said it to her in so many words.  As you can infer from the above paragraph, I’m not exactly OPEN about my life’s journey let alone my fertility struggles.  But very shortly after I met this woman, I discovered that she too had suffered through years of infertility and had 4 losses, just like me. There’s something about a person who has suffered such tragic but personal loss…there’s something in there eyes.  I can see always see it.  I’m not sure if its a gift I have or if its just something I recognize because I have it too.  Its a beautiful yet heartbreaking connection.  Was it kismet for our paths to cross?  About a year ago, my husband had just started a new job position and these two women (the one whose house we were at and the one leaving) welcomed me with genuine open arms.  Between them, they had been through 15 years of infertility and they knew my suffering. They knew and understood my secret, my silent pain that I try to hide.  The words of compassion, wisdom, understanding & hope they have both given me is priceless. 
 
Tonight I kept my wits about me and only got mildly misty in the eyes as everyone stood forward and said heartfelt words about my friend.  Near the end of the evening, we chatted together a bit and she told me not to give up hope.  She said after her 4th loss, she felt like she couldn’t take anymore pain and was in such a dark place emotionally, that she just wanted to give up trying all together.  Then she said to me, but when you want something so bad, you never give… because it will happen.  And it did for her and her husband, naturally.  And then she went on to have twin girls after she had her son- naturally.  Life is funny sometimes.
 
I pray that I can grow to be half the woman she is in character, have half of her strength, half of her capacity to show compassion to others.  Tonight I was once again reminded of how amazing it is to be a woman and to know the bonds of love women can have for each other.  It’s a magical sort of thing.  I’m thankful she came into my life… or rather I came into hers. 
 
 
 

One Year Anny

Knock on wood, but it’s a relief to be feeling normal again physically. Back to my old self.

I have been puttering around the house, finally cleaning, organizing, & running a couple errands when I decided to finally have a seat and relax. Of course there’s never really time for relaxation, as there’s always weird TTC research to be done. 

But then I remembered, I needed to write in my blog what I was thankful for today. So I came here and logged onto WordPress. I had a little trophy picture at the top of my blog: “Happy Anniversary with WordPress.”  So it’s been a year. I could take it someplace dark and say, it’s been a year and I am still childless and no better off than I was when I started this damn thing.

OR I could suck up the pain, try to stay positive, and say that despite still being childless, I’ve grown & learned so much this past year. Sometimes I feel like the’ Little Engine Who Could’; I somehow keep chugging along even when I feel like giving up. But there’s hope. Somewhere there’s hope. There’s got to be a light at the end of this tunnel. Hasn’t there?

So, today I am thankful to have some strength back, ‘The Bible’ on the History Channel, good friends, & learning how to practice patience.

 

Endurance: random thoughts before bed

I sleep with pink earplugs. My husband snores and I’m an awful sleeper. I opened my bedside table drawer to get a new pair out & I saw my hpt from my last pregnancy 6 months ago. I looked at it for a few seconds and then I closed my eyes and kissed it. I went to the bathroom and remembered the “I Believe” IVF videos the one infertility clinic patients did to win a free IVF cycle. And then I said to myself, I believe. I believe that it will happen again.

Never Give Up

This week while on my drive to my acupuncture session, I was listening to my “Wicked” cd in the car. Somehow this became a ritual for me anytime I make the drive to the city. Maybe its because it helps pass the time since it’s an hour drive, maybe it’s because it’s my favorite soundtrack to sing like a maniac to. I think when you’ve had pregnancy losses or are trying to conceive, the meanings of songs can take on a different light. Take a traditional love song for instance. Most people would hear the song & think about their spouse or loved one. I find myself singing the song to my spirit baby who is still out in the universe waiting for me, or to those I have lost. “Defying Gravity” is one of those songs.

This song is extremely empowering to me. It’s all about taking chances, listening to your heart, and going after what you want when you finally reach that turning point, despite the outcome. And isn’t that what TTC is all about? I believe it rings very true.

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game (<— best part)
Too late for second guessing
Too late to go back to sleep

It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap
It’s time to try defying gravity
I think I’ll try defying gravity
And you can’t pull me down

I really like this second verse, about not accepting limitations that an outside person may bestow upon you. Not falling victim to labels about your infertility, or lab results. This cannot define who you are.

I’m through accepting limits because someone says they’re so (<— good, right?)
Some things I cannot change
But 'til I try, I'll never know

There’s been times during this journey where I’ve felt very lonely. It’s difficult to feel isolated, not by choice, because you’re 31 and childless. It’s difficult to see everyone around you attaining fertility & having their healthy babies, while you’re still muddling through darkness. But just because I may feel alone, does not mean I cannot achieve my goal. I have not lost hope & know that nothing can hold me back from my dreams as long as I keep believing in myself. Yeah, that’s cheesy, but it’s true.

So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately – everyone deserves a chance to fly
And if I’m flying solo
At least I’m flying free

This cycle I will close my eyes… and leap.

M & M

I really like Mike & Molly. (The sitcom on CBS). I especially enjoy the show now that the couple is TTC. For those of you who don’t watch, its about a newly married couple in their 30’s, both on the heavy side & a lot of fun. A “real” couple.  He is a cop and she is a teacher. Anyways, when they started talking about trying to have a baby on the show, I knew I would be able to relate. Unlike most Hollywood movies & shows, I don’t think Mike & Molly will be miraculously pregnant after the first time they toss the birth control.  Molly is shown trying to choke down her tea, which she drinks now instead of coffee. They’ve kicked alcohol & fatty foods. They are even shown eating fish for breakfast to get their omega-3’s. This makes my heart warm & happy.

I know Mike & Molly are fictional characters, but I hope they don’t get pregnant right away. I hope the producers of the television show understand what infertility is really like & are ready to step outside the box a little, and show America. I feel like they need it.

At the end of the episode tonight, after all their decaffination and apple-eating, they broke down & pigged out. I did the exact same thing tonight. And it felt just as good.

Sometimes its ok to not be perfect. It doesn’t mean you’ve ruined everything you’ve been working toward. It just means you’re human.

 

 

Two-thousand thirteen

2012 brought a lot of memories for me. Some good, some bad.

Right after Christmas, my husband had to leave the state for work for a month unexpectantly. This was the first time we were apart for that long since we had been living together. A month later, my dad got very sick, but recovered & we got married…for me, this was the 2nd time. It seems like an extremely faint, yet lurking memory that I was ever even married previously. Its something that will haunt me forever I suppose. I started seeing new OB/GYN’s and together, we tried to start solving the puzzle of my infertility.

We enjoyed exploring our new city in springtime, I worked at the Farmer’s Market for the first time, and we visited with friends and family. My husband got promoted at work and we prayed spring would bring many more blessings.

The summer came quickly & a lot of new things were happening. We had an insanely stressful visit home to see family, followed by an upcoming move (again) and I had my first RE appointment. It was a bit of a whirlwind. I took Clomid for the first time ever & got surprisingly got pregnant…for the 3rd time. And for the 3rd time, it ended in an early loss. But I had hope.

It was a rocky end to the summer, but as autumn approached, things eventually got better. We both celebrated birthdays, carved pumpkins & visited more family and friends during the holiday season. I did my first injectable cycle.

The cycle wasn’t a success & we both knew we needed a break. Some time away. Just for us.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our Christmas vacation / honeymoon was great. It was exactly what we needed & felt rejuvinated. We loved it. We visited more family, enjoyed Christmas with relatives, then got ready to say goodbye to 2012 as we settled back into “normal” life again.

Late night on New Year's Eve we got a call that my husband's cousin had been killed in a car accident. He had hit a tree and died. He was 22.

As we head into 2013, I have to be thankful & count my blessings. Things could have been a lot worse last year. Life was worse for a lot of people. I pray that God has big plans for me this year. I know that when God takes a life from this world, He creates a life. I pray & plead He creates a life within me.

Disney & CD10

disney

So far, December has been flying by. Emotionally, this month started off a little rocky. Holidays & TTC don’t always mesh together well. But I’ve been pushing forward, keeping myself occupied, & most of all, looking forward to a vacation.
We weren’t going to decorate or put up a tree since we would be out of town for most of the holidays. That all changed. I know my husband seemed to be having a hard time being away from his family this Christmas, so I decided we need a little cheer. I felt energized as I decorated our home, and found some joy myself.

spoiled pets

spoiled pets

You notice that we don’t have stockings this year, only the pets do! Hubs & I both decided not to spoil each other this season, but rather to enjoy ourselves on vacation. He has 2 gifts from me under the tree & there are 5 for me! Maybe I’m the spoiled one 😉

On a TTC note, I am already CD10. I’m not sure what this month will bring for us, but I’m keeping my expectations low. I’m trying not to have preconceived ideas of what should happen, but rather enjoy the time my husband & I have together. At my RE appointment tomorrow, I have a couple questions to discuss with Doc & am praying it goes well. Again, it’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 3 years since I lost my first pregnancy. Next time, I hope my body will have learned how to stay pregnant. Here’s hoping for a Christmas miracle.

Til next time…

CD3 – Yet Another New Beginning

I realize I owe a update for where my last cycle stands. It was our first medicated / monitored cycle with the RE {Reproductive Endocrinologist}. Where I left off was in November after a few days of stimming. My e2 (estradiol) levels were a whopping 1500. My medication dosage was being backed off slowly, as to not overstimulate me. And by “overstimulate” I guess I don’t mean OHSS. Rather,  my doctor didn’t want me to produce more than 3 or so mature follicles by the end of my cycle since I said I wouldn’t “selectively reduce.”  That’s a whole other blog topic there.

So, my Bravelle was lowered & lowered again. And then my estrogen bottomed out.

It went from 1500 to 620 then to 217. Major FAIL. This all happened around a weekend. Now, I need to state that my RE’s office isn’t down the road from our house. It’s over an hour away. So for 6 days in a row, I drove back & forth to the office and the lab to figure out what was happening with this e2 level.

My medication was upped again to 1 Bravelle, then 2 Bravelle & 1 Menopur, then 2 B & 1 M. Lord Jesus, I could not wait until Monday came around to see what was happening on the ultrasound screen. Luckily, my husband was off for a 4 day weekend, so he was there to bear the brunt of the crazy with me,

Monday came & I prayed before the ultrasound (just as I did every time but once). I thought for sure that there would be nothing on the screen. That I had lost all my follies.

But they were in there!  A few huge ones & lots of other ones. I was shocked, relieved & very concerned all at once. With an estrodial level so low, how did I have all these follicles? Every mature follicle should produce about 200-300 (according to my own doctor’s stats) units of estrogen. Some doctors will say each should produce 100 units. Either way, my blood levels did not match what I was seeing on the screen. No one really had answers for me at this point, other than my e2 finally went back up to 590 & I was to trigger that night.

So my husband gave me my Lupron trigger & we did what we needed to do over the next few days, blindly hoping for the best. I started my regular supplements. A laundry list of hormones in pill forms, suppositories & patches. I had been doing my Lovenox injections every day since I started the stims, as well as my NeevoDHA, baby aspirin & folbic. It was a lot to remember. None of them I minded more than the Lovenox. It’s just such a bitch of a shot.

Well, we hoped for good news, but in my heart I sort of knew it wasn’t happening. The estrogen snafu threw me for a loop & I knew something there wasn’t right.

My hcg came back negative last Thursday, but it was expected. I had tested at home a few times beforehand, which originally I said I was not going to do. But in my heart, I needed to be mentally prepared for that news. When my nurse called, I did not cry. I was upset, but I had done my crying the days prior. I was ready to move on by this point. And I was happy to get a small break from the Lovenox to let my belly heal.

So today is CD3. AGAIN. It’s the same old song & dance, isn’t it? I wonder how many cycle day 3’s I’ve had since I started TTC? Surely there have been a lot.

I visited with my RE yesterday for a follow-up & to get a gameplan for the future. It seems like just yesterday when I was walking into their office for the first time, but over 4 months have come and gone. My next monitored cycle will happen in February, with the commencement of bcp’s after my January AF (menstrual cycle). If we want to, we can try naturally this month while we’re on vacation (mmm vacation sex), but that means dragging along the bag of goodies (progesterone, lovenox, etc).  As always, we’ll continue patience & see what the future holds.

 

 

 

Stimmin’ like a Villian

My dear friend AF finally arrived 8 days ago. I started my stims / injectables / whatever you want to call them (ovulation meds) on Friday. Oh and my other bff, Lovenox.

On my first scan Monday, the ultrasound tech said I had about 30 follies. There were a LOT. As I was laying back, relaxing with the wand of shame inside of me, I was looking at the u/s screen thinking… yep, that seems like a lot. My E2 levels came back at 714, which I was told was on the high side of normal (for a Time Intercourse TI cycle). So my medication was adjusted!

Today, Wednesday, my E2 levels came back at 1500. I had less follies this time, but they were growing nice & big. Mmm juicy. The nurse this evening said I had 4 that were 10mm or larger. I had about 15 follies total this time. Again, my dosage was adjusted (lowered). I started out on Menopur + Bravelle, and now am on 1/3 – 1/4 vial of Bravelle!

Them ovaries are a-workin’.

Friday is my next scan & we’re hoping for great results. Praying for great results…

First Visit To The Fertility Clinic

1) a lot of bloodwork. A LOT (like 14 tubes full)
2) Lupron Challenge starting CD2
3) sonohysterogram, hysteroscopy, endometrial biopsy & cervical/vaginal cultures
4) semen analysis for hubs + blood work
5) Reconvene Oct 9th with results & a game plan

This is the mini summary of what our game plan will be for the next couple months! I was very pleased with the clinic as a whole. The staff was friendly, educated & professional. It was a really cozy environment, which I found comforting. I got an extensive medical history done with the nurse, who was an actual nurse…not a fake medical assistant like regular doctors offices. A pelvic exam by the doc (which was normal) & he checked felt my thyroid and listened to my lungs.

My talk with the doc lasted probably an hour. A lot of it was us chatting about my past (and my shitbox ex) & he talked about his family and life also. It was a really nice bonding experience. His “bedside” manner was gentle yet he was knowledgeable. It wasn’t like what the online reviewers had written… He agreed that we need to get to the bottom of my fertility issues before throwing a bunch of medicine & procedures at me. He spoke with me at great length about egg quality and sperm quality & then implantation issues. We’ll address these issues with the tests above, plus a Recurrent Pregnancy Loss blood panel, chromosome analysis on myself & hub, plus a ton of other lab tests. I get high off lab tests… they make me randy. My insurance will cover all lab testing & procedures like the hysteroscopy, so he wanted to cover all bases. Those bases related to immune issues, ovarian reserve / egg quality, sperm quality, & Uterine/Fallopian tube health.

All in all, I went into this appointment with an open mind & heart with no preconceived ideas {which was difficult}. I was able to maintain my focus and stay calm, and I had a really good experience. Special thanks to my dear friends who are praying for me & supporting me.

So this is my first real step in my fertility journey, which started 3 years ago almost to date.  Sure, I had a break throughout this timeframe, but once I got that first BFP, my life was never the same. And never will be the same.

Today, I’m hopeful.

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