Distraction Vacation

Since our last Doctors visit and receiving the news that we wont be able to do our IVF until April we have been in full planning mode. Now we have a little more time to save up for the payments and to plan out some other details of the IVF/ FET cycles. We are both trying to learn as much as we can now about all of the medications and shots that we can in this time as well. In our minds this will help us feel a little clamer through the process if we have a better understanding of it all. At lest as much as we can as I know not everythjng goes to plan 🙂

Today I realized that we are only 10 days away from our vacation to Universal Studios Orlando! We are both super Harry Potter fans ! With everything else going on I haven’t given much if any time to gathering our needed items. I feel like this happens often for us that are going through infertility or at lest I am going to keep thinking that to make myself feel better about forgetting like everything ❤

This trip is a much needed distraction for us as well as a little break to find ourselves before diving back into our treatment. This is my first time to Florida and my first ever time on a plan, I am both exited and anxious about the flight but with my Husband by myside I know it will be great. I just hope I can relax and enjoy our time away instead of getting lost in my own head about everything that is coming….

If there is anyone out there reading this now that has any advice on how to help yourself relax through all of this I would love it ! What helps you? Did you do anything special on a vacation through IVF that helped you ? Was there anything you did for your first every plan ride that made the experience better? Any tricks or tips for Universal?

I hope to take lots of pictures to share !

As always thank you for reading 🙂

Hope Chest Find #2

See the source image

Ok how cute is this ! I couldn’t help myself I don’t know if I have every felt so happy looking at a painting ! We plan on going for like a zoo/outdoor theme for our nursery when the time comes and I think this little guy will be a great fit !

I found this painting at my local Home Goods for $10.00, I believe it is a oil painting on white canvas and I just love the textured look and feel of this painting.

Hope Chest

I had forgotten about my Hope Chest until last week. I was given this chest from my mother who got it from her mother and so on and so on. From my understanding the Hope Chest had been passed down through 6 generations before me. It has been with me since I was about 16 and has just been sitting in the spare room of my house for about a year now collection dust. It so happens that it is sitting in the newly remodeled room we intend on using as a nursery ..fingers crossed.

While looking for my tax papers from last year I wondered into this room that honestly I don’t go in much unless like that day I am looking for something I cant find. As I opened the door I noticed a small stream of light peaking in through on my the windows. Following the light it landed making a line right down the middle of my cushion topped hope chest. This light made a very vibrant rainbow as it peered in through the window.

I think I stood in that door way for about 10 minutes just staring. I cant fully describe the feeling that came over me at that very moment. Happy, sad, amazed, calm all of these at once and maybe more, just over all emotional but at peace all in the same wave. I feel like in the world of infertility and treatment we are moving so fast and going to so many appointments we loss track of ourselves. I know that I was meant to have this moment to remind me that even though things are going the way I would like them to I cant forget how far we have come.

At the start of our journey I had fully intended to use my hope chest as a gathering spot for all of the little things I came across in preparation for our baby or babies. I cleaned it out and wiped it down making sure it was in its best shape inside and out and than along the way I lost track of my hope for this chest. Now I know that whatever it was that brought me to that room that day was telling me this is what I need to get back to.

So I will ! I have included a picture of my first find below, I love shopping at second hand stores. I got this for .25 and it is in prefect condition. (Elephants are my favorite) I hope to share more with you all and hopefully even be able to show them in action some day 🙂

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Moving Finish Line

Why does it always feel like with infertility and treatment the finish line is always moving ? You have been waiting for years and in my case 3 years to get there. And as you think you are coming to the end and you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel .. BAM it moves again !

Walking into our appt two days ago now we were both in very good spirits. Just knowing that we were one step closer to our IVF cycle and egg retrieval made us beam with excitement. I have had the same nurse the whole time we have been at our specialist and she is amazing ! However this time for some reason our nurse was not able to see us. Understandably I know they cant be there all of the time as things come up as they do. The new nurse came out and called my name to take me back for my blood draw. This was to help my doctor does my meds for IVF, she seemed nice enough as we set up for the blood draw and she asked me questions. I hate needles and getting my blood taken as most people due, but I luckily have never had some of the bad experiences like others of having my veins role or move. Until this nurse tried to get my blood after a couple of min of digging around in my right arm I asked if she could just try my left. I could tell she was becoming more and more frustrated that she for some reason was having a hard time.

After about 5 min of digging around in my left are she pulled the needle out of my arm and throw it on the counter. She looked at me with anger in her voice and stated that she was not going to try anymore and would need to have another nurse try because it wasn’t working. I was shocked and feeling like she was becoming angry with me because she was having trouble. She than said while we wait for another nurse we will talk over your IVF calendar for my next cycle. I was than tossed the paper like I was supposed to just know what all of the dates and short hand meant. At this point I was scared to ask but I couldn’t read the paper all I noticed was that it looked like they were tiring to shorten my cycle and within a week and a half of meds I would have my egg retrieval. As I am looking at the dates I explained to her that I was told by our Doctor that the whole process before the retrieval would be about 6 weeks. With BC pills and than a few weeks of tests and IVF meds before we did the retrieval. So in my head I was thinking the middle of March, but I was wrong !

They would be doing all of this within a few weeks at the end of February and have my retrieval on March 3 or 4th. We have a vacation that we have had booked for a year at the end of February which were the exact dates all of our appt and surgery would be and I was up front about this when we started this process and was reassured that it wouldn’t be an issue. Well I was wrong again ! With wide eyes and shaking voice I turned to the nurse and tried to explain what I was told and why this would not work. She stood up and took me to another room to talk everything over. Long story short we would need to push everything back a month as our vacation could not be cancelled. This was a big deal and the nurse talked to me in a way like I was not taking this seriously and that I was wasting their time with having to move it back a month. I kept apologizing and saying I was sorry buy we would have to wait but this was not making things better.

Walking out of the office all I wanted to do was hide, I know that I am the only person who can advocate for myself but in that moment I didn’t know what to say or do. No only was I feeling upset about moving things back another month but having someone make me feel like I was being an inconvenience and not taking this whole process seriously. I was completely deflated, and explaining to my husband what had happened he was just as upset.

Maybe I should have asked more questions about the times frame, or maybe I should have not thought I knew when things would happen….But it is what it is now, we will move on and we will make it to the finish line in time and I have to be okay with that. Now that I have had time to reflect on everything that happened I plan on speaking with my doctors office and letting them know if at all possible I do not want to ever have that nurse again. The way I was treated was not right and with everything else I have gone through to get here I will not allow that negativity in my life.

Please don’t ever forget to speak up if something like this happens to you, even if you don’t say something in that moment. As I have a hard time knowing what to say as something is happening but please remember to say something as soon as you can. Be your own advocate.

Two Steps Forward .. Five Steps Back

The Day has Finally Come

The day has finally come, today is the day we officially start our IVF journey. Among blood work for ma and I am sure a large amount of signing paper work we give our money. The large sum of $13,500 here is WI is what we will pay our clinic. This will cover or IVF cycle in March, which will include all of the blood work and ultrasounds I will need done through out the month and the egg retravel procedure as well as my husbands sample testing and storage. Another nice thing our clinic includes along with this price is the freezing of our embryos for up to a year.

This amount however does not include the medication because why would it ! This is really dependent on what medication and how much my Doctor puts me on. The estimate for the meds is anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 a cycle between the IVF cycle and the FET (frozen egg transfer) cycle. Fingers crossed I will only need to be on Lupron and a lower does since I already produce a lot of follicles on my own during a natural cycle. Last month when I was checked I had 15 on my right and 13 on my left which from my understanding is great for a natural cycle. These meds will be orders through a “specialty pharmacy” of our Doctors choice and then delivered to our house.

The first thing I thought when we were given this cost estimate was in total I payed less for my brand new car ! My husband looked at me and said our children are worth more than gold at this point and they are never going out of my site ! This was got a good laugh out of our Nurse and Doctor, he always knows what to say to break the weird silence. Walking into this appointment today we will have a more definite answer for how much the meds will cost so that’s nice.

My husbands favorite part of this appointment is the meeting/class we have with our Nurse about how to given the injections and how to prepare the medications. My worst fear in the world in needles, due to this he will need to be the one giving me the shots wherever they need to be given. Unfortunately due to my dilated right tube (Hydrosalpinx) we wont be able to have the option of a fresh transfer in March. We will fingers crossed get enough embryos to freeze in March and than in April I will go in to have my Hydrosalpinx removed. From my understanding Hydrosalpinx causes my womb to become a very toxic environment for my embryos. This condition will cause any embryos to be pushed out and this is why a fresh transfer is not an option.

Fingers crossed everything goes as well as it can and we can try our first FET in May after getting my tub removed.

One step closer !

Understanding

The last few weeks since we got our diagnosis as to why we have been not successful TTC over the last 3 years has been rough. For me it has effected me emotionally the most. I feel responsible as it is MY body that is  not working correctly. It is my fault if you will that we will now need to dip into our savings to pay for IVF….. as this is our only option to be able to attempt to have our children. I hit a very low point on our hour ride home from our appt which I am not proud. As I sat in the passenger set crying hard as my Husband held my hand I felt so much sadness and not only for myself but for my Husband. This is not what he signed up for I thought, so I turned to him and said ” I’m sorry you picked me”. My Husband if you knew him would be labeled as silent when it comes to sharing his emotions, he prefers actions over words in this case. However when I uttered those words he turned to me and said ” I would have picked you a million times over even if you has looked me in the face the first day we met and told me this was the only way”.

I thank God everyday for this strong man he has placed in my life!

Now we wait, I don’t think I have EVER waited for golf old Aunt Flo to show but now I await her anxiously. I have come to terms with what we must do to move forward and I must wait until CD2-4 to start my birth control to prep my body for IVF in March.

IVF we are coming for you !

Infertility Work Up

After 6 failed rounds of Clomid and an all clear from my OB after my FIRST HSG we than were referred to a Fertility Specialist as we were than placed into the “Unexplained Infertility” category.

No you maybe asking yourself why did I put the word first hsg in capitals ! well thank you for asking because I would LOVE to tell you !!!

After seeing our new doctor for a few months doing all of our blood work, genetic tests and sperm analysis. We found that everything was very normal, all of my hormone levels are amazing (large sigh of relief) aside from a vitamin D deficiency I was all good. My husbands came back normal as well but we found out that his little swimmers don’t move as fast as they should , however our Doctor did not seem concerned.

She did however wanted me to get another HSG that she would do herself. After she looked over my film from my first HSG she was not happy with the “all clear” diagnosis that was given. I was not happy to say the lest if you are going through all of this and you have had this test done you will not what I mean when I say I did not want to have this done again. For me (not for everyone) it was very painful defiantly more than bad cramps for me. However I understood why she wanted to do it herself and I respected her for being upfront about what she did or did not see on my film. And we could not move forward with IUI until this was double checked.

A few weeks later I go in with my hopes high that I would have this done quick and easy see my normal tubes with no blocks and NEVER have to have this done again…Unfortunately like a lot of other things in my life this is NOT what happened. As I lay on the table with my legs open and the large x-ray over my body watching the screen with wide eyes my hopes came crashing to the ground.. There it was for the whole room to see my right tube completely blocked but not only blocked it is also dilated. My left not much better it is oddly shaped were it meets my ovary.

My Doctor a very sweet older lady could see my face quickly losing color as she completed her exam and told the nurse what she had found. As she came to my side and explained with hope in her voice ” Well I am sorry but your OB was wrong, you will have no other option to get pregnant naturally. We will have to do IVF “. My heart dropped and I couldn’t hold back my emotions any longer. Tears pouring from my eyes in pure devastation, I put so much faith in my OB and though this would be an easy thing with the same end. How will we pay for this ? How will I get over one of my biggest fears and be able to give myself shots? Will I be able to handle all of the medication ?

All I can do now is try to come to terms with what my body is able to do and find my strength to push forward through my self quilt.

You are strong , you can do this , God has a plan.

HSG

Again of course i did WAY to much researching and youtubing about this procedure and what they do. I like to try to know as much as i can about what the doctor is doing as i dont always remember to ask to have them talk me through each step.
In my case i was told my the nurse to take 3 advil about 30 mins before the procedure. She also recommended that i bring some with my for after as i was going back to work that afternoon. I work at a desk so i brought along my plug in heating bad from home to help with any cramping that may happen after. This ended up being the best thing i could have EVER done as i experienced very intence cramps after.

I took my advil as instructed and went on my way. i was made to take everything off and change into a hospital gown open in the back. Thankfully the nurse was nice enough to give me a pair of soaks as it was July here in WI so i was waring flates. I would recommend asking for some if you need the floors as very cold and you are on the table with the uncovered for while.

This is to get a better look at both of your tubs to make sure they are not blocked in any way. They do this by using an x-ray machine in tandem with your doctor inserting diy into your uterus as the same time. I was told that I would most likely feel some cramping when the di was injected. Let me tell you they are NOT kidding about that. It was the most intense cramping and pressure I have ever felt not enough to make you cry but enough to make you walk softly after. As well the after is not the greatest either. You will have this di leaking out of you for the rest of the day so be sure to bring a liner or pad for the rest of the day.
Long story short i was told that my tubs were both open and health as well my in my doctors words ” Looked like a brand new car” which I will take as a very good thing ;p.

Clomid

I will start by saying this is MY soul experience with this medication so you may not have the same side effects as I did.

If you are anything like me with high anxiety’s about anything new, epically with new medication I right away go to WebMD to look over all of the “possible side effects” . I like to have some kind of idea as to what I may feel so that I don’t overreact to anything that is normal with the medication.

As I understood it this med was to block the inhibiter in your brain that told your body that lets your body know that you are producing enough chemicals to induce ovulation.  I knew that I ovulated on a normal cycle without the help of this med already. My doctor told me this would help make sure that the eggs being released are “mature” enough to support life. As well it may also help to release more than one mature egg in case we were dealing with the Male Factor (Low mobility and or count). This way the little swimmers would have more options to choose from and maybe have a better change at getting to not just one but two. You can only take this medication for 6 months due to the fact that your body may become dependent on it.

The side effects for me started right away with the first cycle I took it. Every month one or two days before I would get a positive OPK I would get headaches. This is very uncommon for me as I cant say I have issue with “regular” or recurring headaches. Than the day and or night I ovulated my whole body ached and it would get so bad that I knew when my body was releasing the eggs. The whole day I ovulated I was in pain almost to the point were I could not stand or sit comfortably with a heating pad on my stomach. Another thing that came along with this aching pain was the nausea, it would just show up out of no were. I would all of a sudden get that sinking feeling and run to the closest bathroom, this would come in a wave and usually pass with in 5 to 10 mins. Luckily I never really got sick during these episodes. Moody swings during your cycle I would say are pretty normal for most of us to have during that special time of the month. However the mood swings that came were more intense to say the lest. I would find myself extremely annoyed by anything even my husbands talking, than at a drop of a hat I would be balling over nothing.

All of these my doctor told me were rare with the med however are indicative of what this med can do to some people and to not worry as he was sure I wasn’t going to be on it long …..

6 months…6 months I took this and delt with the side effects, unfortunately for us we were unsuccessful.

And we walk Sun-rays-in-the-foreston…

 

It has been awhile..

Keeping myself connected to others in my position has been very difficult. I am going to make a plan and keep myself accountable to keeping up this blog. I know there are more people out there like me who have no idea about these things that can happen between deciding to start a family and actually having one.   

In my last post I base lined how I came to be here and what I had started to go through. It have been awhile since that first post at this point we have been TTC for 2 years and 4 months… Wow that’s crazy to say 2 years ! To say the lest we are disappointed and starting to feel like we are running low on options. I feel like saying this “is a long time” is wrong to say because some couples who are very deserving of having a child try for a much longer time. However for me (and I am sure everyone else were I am at in my journey ) it feels like a life time. 

Me as a person I have always had a difficult time waiting for anything ! So when my I went to see my Doc for the first time to explain what had been happening over the last year with TTC I felt a little silly. Sitting there on the cold exam table in my gown explaining to my Doc that we had been trying for a long time with no luck on our own and I NEEDED help. He looked at me with a little grin and said ” Well you are healthy and young I am sure you will get pregnant naturally in no time, you haven’t been trying long enough”. He told me to go home keep a log of my cycle and take OPKs, and to give him a call in April if I was not yet pregnant (which he assured me would happen before that time). With that I felt more positive about my outlook and thinking maybe he is right maybe I have been over thinking this and it will happen in time. I left the office on that cold January day with hope that we could make this happen on our own. 

February came and went..

Than March ..

Than April came … and so did the BFN.. calling my Doctor’s office that morning was the most depressing thing I had every done ( aside from the day I had my MC ). I spoke to the nurse on that day letting her know that I was still not pregnant and needed to know what I was to do next. She spoke with a clam voice and told me that we were going to start trying a medication called “Clomid” to try and increase our chances. She explained what this medication was supposed to do for me and what “side effects” I may feel.  

Me being me as soon as I was off the phone I went straight to my trusty friend WebMD. I needed to know more about what this drug was and what it would do for me. In realty I wanted to know how many woman in my age group taking this got pregnant with in the first month of taking it. I found a lot of articles that gave me hope that this would work on the first try.. i was wrong.