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…

OOPS, My Bad (FET 2 Update)

fet update

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:

IMG_8338

 

FET #2

baby1

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.

When Life Speeds Up

summer

There’s something you should know about me…I’m fickle.  I’m not fickle about friends or important issues, but I’m very fickle about my hobbies.  I love starting new things.  Who doesn’t? It’s so fun to learn something new, get a bunch of new gear, and start a project.  But, life sometimes gets in the way of finishing them, and then it’s like, why bother? I can start this other brand new thing over here.  So much more fun! I think that’s what happened with this blog.

I was so excited to start it.  I worked for hours trying to find the perfect images to put in my title banner.  I planned out posts, and took pictures everywhere I went.  Then, my toddler stopped napping for 3 hours every afternoon.  With 1-2 hours to myself during the day, it was clean the bathroom and kitchen, or write a post.  I’m not a fan of living with insects, so the post always got passed up.  Right now, I’m postponing lunch to write this.  Crazy, right?

With an IVF cycle underway, an extremely active toddler, and quilting projects in progress for my soon to be nephews (TWINS!), it seems I never have a moment to just chill.  But, I have not forgotten this blog, it’s just gotten a little dusty with all that’s been going on.  I mean, it’s already summer! I hope with the summer come lots of amazing moments to share with you all, right here.  A once a week post will be my goal.  Promise!

 

#StartAsking National Infertility Awareness Week

IMG_6210

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.

 

 

 

On the Edge of Madness

Growing your family should be a happy, carefree experience.  Throw caution to the wind (and birth control), make whoopee, and see what happens.  For us, it’s not so much (check out A Neon Princess for all the dirty details).  We throw birth control to the wind, whip out ovulation kits, and then see a fertility doctor.  If you get to be part of the first group of old fashioned mamas and papas, count yourself lucky.

We are starting the process of growing our family and it is no walk in the park.  Sure we have a few frozen babies waiting for us, but they’re all the way in another state.  I didn’t think this was going to be such a big issue, but it has proven to be quite a hurdle.  We have to be monitored by a clinic down here, and then fly up to Washington a few days before the transfer.  Sounds easy enough, but add in the fact that we want to do it on a natural, unmedicated cycle and things get a little annoying.

I wanted to avoid having to shut down my body’s hormones, and instead use my body’s natural hormones.  It’s how we conceived Ro and I wanted to do the same this time around.  Except it’s been 2 years since we did it, and I forgot that it means a lot more ultrasounds and blood work, and timing is really tricky.  Let me add that if you’re being monitored by a clinic that isn’t going to be doing the transfer, they are not helpful at all.  Virtually no clinic will see you on a weekend if you need blood work or an ultrasound, and your in office visits don’t come with chit chat.  They’re merely there to scan you and send the results to your managing doc that will be doing the transfer.

So all of this back and forth has been a major headache, along with the actual headaches I’m getting from caffeine withdrawals (story for another time).  I’m hoping that this cycle works out, but it may just be that the timing is off and it has to be canceled.  Then we have to do this all over again next month.  So those of you who can just romp around for a few minutes and be with child, count your lucky stars.