And, Breathe…

Oh, hi…So, remember when I said that FET 2 was canceled, and then it wasn’t? And then we did the transfer? Well, I wish it had just been canceled like I thought, because it would have spared me a lot of grief and one perfectly healthy embryo.  I think the grief part I can handle, the worry, the stress.  It’s the part where we lose an embryo–a potential child, that I can’t get over right now.

The wounds are still fresh, we only found out yesterday that the sticky little guy didn’t take.  Right now I’m a mixed bag of emotions.  Be careful what you say to me because I may cry, scream, or just stare at you blankly.   I’m sad that  we’ll never get to meet the would-be baby, but relieved we still have 3 more frozen.  I’m scared that the other three won’t stick around for the long haul.  I’m confused as to whether we should ship our frozen embryos down to California and find a new doc.  I’m so incredibly grateful that I’m mom to one amazingly strong little embryo that DID stick around and turned into a beautiful and joyful toddler.  The thought of my amazing Roro is what brings me to tears.  It’s like an overwhelming sense that we were so lucky to get that chance, while at the same time mourning the wonderful kids that we may never get to know.

It feels greedy to want more than one child now, but I can’t help it.  I love being Roro’s mom, LOVE it!  I think for now, I need to wrap myself in that comforting truth, and breathe…

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OOPS, My Bad (FET 2 Update)

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This picture of me, so serene and relaxed, it is not at all representative of what’s happening in my brain.  Sure it was taken yesterday, 4dp5dt (4 days post a 5 day transfer), but it was literally 5 minutes of being still.  Let me rewind…

You remember when I said FET 2 was canceled bc my body wasn’t cooperating?  Well that was the day before I got the results of my last ultrasound to check my lining.  I guess with that extra Estrace, my body caught up after all.  I’m obviously a pessimist.  So, I think I was too embarrassed to admit that I had jumped the gun, and avoided the topic.  Wanted to wait until my Beta day (the day they confirm you’re pregnant/ Or NOT) to share that I had made a big mistake, and was now miraculously pregnant! Or it would be negative, and I wouldn’t have to share any news at all.  But, being the hot mess that I am, I can’t wait ’til next week to share that I’m going INSANE!!!

I thought it would have helped that I had been through this whole waiting game before, but it kind of makes things worse.  I look back at the notes I kept after our first Embryo Transfer and see that by now I’d be having cramps and fatigue.  I have no cramps, and I’m pretty much always fatigued, so that means nothing.  I mean, I had two sharp pains 2dp5dt, but that’s way too early right?  See…crazy town! And I still have a week of this!!!

It doesn’t help that the transfer did not go smoothly, and the doc had to insert the catheter twice because little embryo was super sticky and wouldn’t come out.  It didn’t reassure me that a tech in training couldn’t get a good view on the screen and I was basically holding my breath  in pain  and anxiety until I started feeling like I might pass out on that transfer table.  My only solace is that this little guy/girl was so eager that it already started hatching (unlike Ro), and I’m hoping it was so sticky that it’s now lodged nicely in my fluffy lining.  I know I’ve been waiting for this little one to make it safely home.  I hope s/he decides to stay a while.  Feast your eyes on this eager embryo:

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FET #2

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It’s no secret, Ro is our rainbow baby.  After two IUI’s & 3 IVF’s, we finally got our rainbow.  I don’t know why, but I just assumed that trying for baby 2 wouldn’t be as hard as the first time around.  We already had embryos so there was no stimulation phase (this seemed to be the worst since my body never made enough eggs, which in turn led to no embryos, and therefore no transfer).  The first and only transfer we did worked! I just assumed getting to skip all those first steps would lead to a second rainbow much more quickly.

Well, here we are at failed FET #2.  Thankfully, our embryos all are still stored away, but we have been through two unsuccessful stimulation cycles.  The first of course was natural (the way Ro was conceived) and the second/current one is medicated. In case you want to know the gory details: I basically started bleeding this weekend; which means instead of building lining to prep for an embryo, my body despite all the medication telling it to do otherwise, started shedding lining. At this point I’m afraid to ask what next steps are.  I’m kind of leaning toward trying another natural cycle.  There are a lot more doctor’s appointments involved, but less drugs.  I’m starting to trust my body a bit more, and I’m trying to relax about the whole process which will hopefully help. The first cycle I was so adamant about not bringing Ro to any of my appointments that it caused a lot of stress to try to find childcare.  This time around I brought her to my appointments and she was so patient and cooperative (as patient as any one and a half year old could be).

With this next cycle I want to make a few changes to my approach to life, which I hope will better my odds of this working out:

  1. Sleep More – I’ve been getting 6-7 hours a night and I just think that’s not enough.  I’m going to try and sleep by 10 every night.  That should guarantee a good 7-8 hours if I can just control my bladder at 3 am.
  2. Prioritize the Cycle – I’m a big people pleaser, and I tend to make plans with people and then get super stressed out about flaking due to last minute ultrasounds or bloodwork appointments.  I’m not going to stress this time around.  Sure, I have some plans with friends, tickets to big events, but I’m not going to try to figure out how I can make it all work with the timing of my cycle.  I’m just going to let it go.  So if I have plans with you in the coming months–I’m sorry.
  3. Let Things Go – I tend to overanalyze everything, especially when it comes to friendships.  I’m not going to do that.  Easier said than done–I know.  But every time I start replaying a situation in my mind, I’m going to intercept it with thoughts of a beautiful baby.

Now all I need to do is cross my fingers and build some lining.

Backyard Bowls – LA style

Acai bowls are so LA, am I right?  I see fit people in Lululemons shoveling that stuff into their mouths all day so I figured, must be good for you.  Not only that, but it seems that all the Instagram accounts I follow are putting their acai bowls into coconuts and tossing some flowers on top making it look like acai is some kind of tropical vacation you can go on for breakfast.  Keeping in line with my hate to love and love to hate relationship I have with social media trends, I had to try it!

Minutes after walking into the West Hollywood location I realized I’d had Backyard Bowls years ago, in Santa Barbara.  I remember getting a delicious breakfast bowl, and it kept me satiated for a while.  This time I decided to go for the Island Bowl and it was delicious! Granted, I was hungry 3 hours later, but it WAS delicious.  I also came to the realization that an acai bowl is basically a deconstructed smoothie, so that explains a lot about my immediate hunger.
There were a few differences between the Santa Barbara and Los Angeles location, though.  And they mainly had to do with the ambience and maybe the whole 3 years ago thing.  The SB spot was so laid back and of course beachy and casual.  The LA spot was very streamlined in design with a full on windowed room for the guys making acai.  I’m guessing it echoes the noise of the Vitamix, because the workers had to wear protective headphones.  Looks like DJ Acai is making my bowl from ‘scratch.’  Hardy har har!


I’m not sure I’ll go back for an acai bowl anytime soon, but I’ll probably pick up a breakfast bowl if I’m in the mood for ditching the pancake and egg style weekend brunch.

Backyard Bowls

8303 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048

#StartAsking National Infertility Awareness Week

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There was a time when I thought I’d never hold this tiny hand in my own.  I was beaten down by fertility treatments that weren’t working, a body in chronic pain from endometriosis, and a mental state that was fragile from disappointment and hormone therapy.  Even though we are now parents, the scars of infertility still show.  They show when I hear of another pregnancy announcement from fertile couples, or when we feel selfish for wanting a second child (the road to which may be just as rocky as the 3 year journey to our first).

Though it seems I’m throwing myself a pity party here, I’m actually here to tell you we are pretty lucky as infertiles go.  My husband used to work in a hospital and our insurance was amazing.  All of our fertility medications for the first 4 ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) procedures were covered.  That’s thousands of dollars! The procedures themselves only cost around $10,000 and that’s a steal compared to most other clinics.  I realized this when we moved to a different situation and had to pay for everything out of pocket and the cost was closer to $20,000.  Now, in trying to conceive baby 2 we’ve already spent $6,000 and that’s just the first try.  If we didn’t happen to be in a financially stable situation, our dreams of having a family would most certainly be dashed.  I can only imagine how hard it would be to make that decision of having to dip into retirement funds or a mortgage to basically gamble on the chance of having a child.

You may be asking yourself, “Why not just adopt?” Yes, I was there once too.  I had given up all hope of having a baby that shared my genes, and was ready to welcome a baby that needed a home and loving family into my heart.  Then I looked into the logistics.  It was completely overwhelming, not to mention expensive (even more expensive than IVF in some scenarios).  I was paralyzed by all the legal hoops you had to jump through to adopt a baby and gave up.  *Although, if you choose foster a child first, it may be more affordable.  But then you also risk having to say goodbye to the child if s/he is returned to their birth parents.

So, if you know someone going through fertility treatments or adoption, and chances are you do since 1 in 8 of us deals with these issues.  Be kind to them.  The process is overwhelming financially, physically, and emotionally.  Maybe you don’t quite get it, but sometimes all they need is an empathetic ear and a hug.

To learn more about infertility and how to help spread awareness visit Resolve.org. Because really, we need to change how insurance covers infertility.

 

 

 

Letting Go of FOMO

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FO·MO
ˈfōmō/

noun

informal
  1. anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
    “I realized I was a lifelong sufferer of FOMO”

Even before social media, I’ve had this problem.  Always wondering if my best friends were leaving me out of some fantastic event, if they liked someone else better, or if I was some kind of social pariah.

I’m not sure where this insecurity began, but I’m trying to stop it now as a 30 something year old woman.  You’d think it would be easy, but as the definition states, social media just exacerbates the problem.  Like Mindy Kaling, I’m often wondering “Is everyone hanging out without me?” It started in high school as, “Did I get invited to that party?” It continued in college as, “Who else traveled abroad without me?” Then in my late twenties it was, “Everyone can have a baby except me!?!” And now it’s cycled back to, “Why wasn’t I invited?”

It’s the weirdest phenomenon because I love staying home or exploring the city as a trio.  My best friend is honestly my husband (he knows my crazy like no one else).  But, when I see or hear of friends doing something without me, it sends me into a spiral of overthinking and analyzing every thing that could have gone wrong in our friendship.  (Told you I was crazy)

I’ve noticed that it really does give me anxiety, make me irritable and distracted.  And I’ve decided, it’s just not worth it.  I know which of my friendships are lasting.  I know what I have is more than plenty.  The FOMO is seriously blinding me and keeping me from enjoying the life in front of me.  This realization came after I stumbled across an Instagram account of a mom/designer/blogger who had recently passed away leaving two very young children and a loving husband behind.  It made me think that this picture perfect family (that I’d probably envy if I knew of her account earlier) was so impermanent.  It made me realize that my own life with those dear to me is so precious that I need to be more grateful of it each and every day! So instead of wondering, “What are  they doing now?” I’m going to try and think, “Looks like they’re having fun, so am I!” How Zen.

 

Foggy Brain, An Effect of Being a Stay at Home Mom?

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For the past few months I’ve been having these really obnoxious symptoms:

  • lethargy
  • dull headaches
  • inability to form complete thoughts/carry on a coherent conversation
  • general feeling of malaise
  • feeling like my head is foggy
  • feeling cross eyed

These are not medical terms, but it’s how I can explain my general feeling day to day.  I also have guilt.  Lots of it!  At first I thought all of these symptoms were due to caffeine withdrawals, but we’re now a few weeks out and I still feel them.  I notice that they go away when I’m outdoors in the sunshine.  Approximately 10 minutes after returning home, I’ll start to get that foggy feeling and want to just take a nap.  Which of course I cannot as I have a 17 month old to care for.

I started to think that perhaps these feelings are related to some kind of depression.  But that can’t be, right? I have a wonderful kid that I get to spend every day with.  We have friends we see, and I have the best hubs in the world.  I don’t feel weepy, and in fact feel grateful most of the time.  I feel grateful that I have a hubs that comes home from a long day at work and helps me wash dishes and does bath time.  He gets up early before work to play with Ro and gives me a chance to get myself together.  I feel grateful, but at the same time I feel guilty.  Why am I so spoiled? I should be doing all these things with a grin on my face, especially since I don’t have a full time job to do on top of it.

After talking about this with a fellow SAHM (my sister in law), I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not being stimulated and maybe my brain has checked out and left a fog behind.  I’m going to try something my sister in law told me may help: take time for me.  I’m going to attempt a few things to maintain my interests and keep my brain sharp and see if this cloud doesn’t dissipate.  Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  1. Go to the gym (leave Ro with the kids’ club for an hour and get the blood flowing at least 1x a week)
  2. Work on the quilt that has been collecting dust in my craft room which has been taken over by junk
  3. Research sewing workshops that can fit in my schedule

I think 3 things is reasonable for now.  Let’s see if they help me get back to being me.