I’ve thrown my pregnancy out to the universe and it amazes me how some people reacted to my news. I had 2 people look at me and ask, “how old are you?” I get it I’m not a young mom but come on don’t make me feel bad about it. I had someone ask me, if I’d really been frickin trying for a baby for 7 years. I wish more people were educated about infertility or at least had some sort of filter. The people that I love and care about the most were over the moon happy for me. When I told my family I found this fabulous bakery in the city that makes custom donuts and I placed an order and had them spell out BABY DUE IN MARCH!
I went to my first OB appt, a clinic that I’d been going to for 5 years before moving on to IVF. They’ve seen me on some of my lowest days and were always the ones who picked me up and gave me hope month after month. I went in for my appt and I was greeted with so many hugs and a huge smiley face on my chart. Everyone told me how excited there were to see my name on the schedule. I had an ultrasound with a tech who I absolutely adore, with each loss he’s been the one to tell me there was no heartbeat. We have a connection and I love him for his compassion and the strength he’s given me to continue. Seeing him again was so special for me especially because I knew my day was only going to be filled with happy news. Everything looked amazing on the ultrasound and just as we were wrapping up he asked if he could do something special for us, he said we had been through so much over the years that we deserved something and he asked if he could buy us our stroller. As if I wasn’t emotional already his kindness completely melted my heart, every person at that clinic is part of my story and I’m overjoyed to me sharing my pregnancy with them all!
So I’ll be 18 weeks tomorrow and I have to say pregnancy isn’t nearly as hard as trying to get pregnant was. I keep saying this must be God’s gift to me since it was so hard getting to this point. Pregnancy has been so easy for me and I’m loving every single day of it. I’m not tired, I have no cravings, I never once had morning sickness and if it wasn’t for my very tiny bump I feel completely normal. We started stockpiling our diapers a few weeks ago, so far we have 3 boxes. We bought a swing from a friend of mine who also struggled conceiving and that’s all we have gotten. Last weekend we went to Buy Buy Baby and started looking at cribs, that was a little overwhelming but I think we have it narrowed down to two. I’m still taking things one day at a time because I don’t want this time to go any faster than it already is. I want to remember it all because I’m carrying my one and only miracle baby and that’s totally worth living life at a much slower pace.
The best of me + The best of him = The Best of Us. It seems like such a simple equation but when you mix in the science and the DNA of it all, that’s when things can get a little complicated. Even though I think we’re compatible in more ways than I can count, our DNA and egg quality may not.
My retrieval was on 4/6, this time around they were able to retrieve 14 eggs that’s 5 more than my last retrieval. Considering my age that’s a good number and I will gladly be ecstatic about it. Out of those 14 eggs 13 of them fertilized, again I’ll be ecstatic about that number as well. Then I had to wait 4 whole days to find out how many of those embryos made it to day 5. Cue my ecstatic state when I found out I had 4 mature on day 5. They sent my cells to Colorado for testing and out of those 4 only 1 came back genetically normal. I know…I know I should be ecstatic with 1 but I so wanted there to be 2 just in case. In case the first one didn’t work we would still have another shot, in case it did work and I somehow talked John into trying for baby #2. But here we are again with 1 embryo, it’s like I’m watching a rerun of my last retrieval. I did have my consult with the dr and found out that the 1 embryo we do have is a 4AA which my dr was very giddy about so it was hard to not also be giddy! She said looking at the embryo she would never guess it was from a 43 year old….I’ll take that as a compliment.
So now we wait for CD 1. I have found it’s so much easier to wait for something when it’s nice outside than when it’s below freezing with a foot of snow on the ground. I’ve got a lot to keep my occupied until then and just like preparing for retrieval the time will sneak up on me and I’ll be in the midst of drugs and all of the other worrying and over analyzing that goes along with a transfer. Is it weird that I want the time to go slowly this time because once it’s here I will know one way or another…Either I’m pregnant and my life will change drastically or I’m not and I continue living life as I know it; but that also means closing this chapter. For 7 years my life has been tracking, taking drugs, going to dr appts and waiting constantly for this or that. I’m not sure who I will be if I don’t have all of those things to preoccupy me. Either outcome is going to make me a different person and I pray with all of my heart that the stars align, my lining is at least an 8mm and this perfect little 4AA embaby decides to make its grand entrance into this world–because we’re ready to be the best parents ever!
2 snowstorms which made trips and traffic to the dr appts horrible.
I had a 2-hour job interview because really why not throw in a little more chaos to my week.
I ran out of meds twice because my transfer was pushed out because those follicles were taking their sweet ass time growing. We have one pharmacy that fills fertility meds and round trip it takes about an hour and 30 mins from start to finish and remember we got 2 snowstorms this week so again not fun with the driving. I can seriously see why couples get divorced over infertility because this shit is stressful! Thank god I’ve got one of the good guys because he’s been nothing but amazing through this entire process. He’s picked up the meds, gotten up before the sun to mix them and has shot me up every single time only drawing blood once or twice. He’s the one that keeps me balanced and he calls me a Warrior….hardly!
I have to be a the clinic at 7am tomorrow morning, I’m so ready to be done with this. I want my body and my emotions back. I want to feel normal for a few weeks with absolutely nothing in my system. I’m not nervous or afraid, I’m going into the retrieval with no expectations I have no idea idea how many eggs they will get or how many will make it to day 3 or day 5 and then how many will make it through the genetic testing. It’s all out of my hands and I know that I did everything possible for this to be successful. I’ve been taking my supplements for 8 months and in the last 35 days I’ve been to the gym every.single.day. and because of that my name is #7 on the biggest user wall at the gym! I feel healthy. Considering everything I’ve been through I’m going to chalk that up as a huge win.
Tonight we’re having a dinner date at Portillo’s because John always likes to do something special before I go in for what he calls crappy stuff. Cheers to this chaotic week ending on a positive note.
I knew in my heart that when my cycle in July failed that I wasn’t done. I found a new clinic to work with and my experience has been so different with them. I’ve had to start from scratch with all of the testing but it’s been worth it because I feel like they’ve been more thorough and they have a different approach on treating me due to my history. I had an appt earlier this week to talk about all of my lab results so we could determine if my levels were still good enough to use my own eggs or if we should consider donor eggs. All of my lab work came back within normal range which is pretty amazing consider I’m almost 43. This doctor is completely ok with me using my own eggs. The protocol would be a little different than I did last time which may or may not improve the amount of eggs that they retrieve. We talked about the option of using donor eggs and what would be involved if we went that route. I will admit that I was starting to think donor might be the way for us to go because it’s been 6 years and even though my levels are within normal range we’ve either miscarried or had tubal pregnancies. I felt like we had a pretty big decision ahead of us and the dr was very supportive and told us to take the time we needed to think it over. All that changed when we met with the finance person, I feel like once again the wind was knocked out of me. She showed us the pricing for doing an IVF cycle using my own eggs. My insurance will cover almost all of one IVF cycle minus the cost of medications which I would have to pay for out of pocket. My insurance will not cover donor eggs and the breakdown from start to finish would cost between $27k-$29k out of our pockets.
I can’t fathom paying $27k but I also can’t fathom going through another IVF cycle, ending up with one good egg and not having it work. Nothing about this journey has been easy and once again this decision we need to make solidifies that.
Ugh what to do…what to do….
On a side note, I read on someone’s blog this morning that today is IVF’s 40th birthday and over 5M babies have entered this world after being conceived with the help of medical intervention. It prompted me to google IVF and to read up on the history, it’s some pretty amazing stuff that happened 40 years ago and is still happening today. So if you’re one of those 5M in one capacity or another celebrate it! I may not be a mom yet but I’m still going out tonight to get a cupcake because if it wasn’t for those doctors and the Brown family who took a chance I wouldn’t be where I am today. Maybe this journey is all about taking chances…..and praying that the chance is history changing.
Nothing prepares you for a failed transfer. It was the darkest of days, I closed myself off from my family and my friends. I cried hard and was angry with everyone and everything. I believed with all of my heart that I was pregnant and then the dr called, “I’m sorry you’re not pregnant” no emotion just the facts. It was like a sucker punch. It’s been six weeks since that phone call and I’m healing.
A few months ago I was asked to judge a pageant and I really think being a part of the pageant world again helped heal my heart. The events filled my calendar and no matter how much I dreaded getting all dressed up, doing my hair and putting on make-up at the end of the night I felt good about myself again. I re-connected with old friends, made new ones and was honored to be able to give two lucky girls a title and a crown that they will forever hold in their hearts. The whole experience was life changing and was presented to me exactly when I needed it the most and for that I feel very grateful.
So now the question I keep asking myself is “where do I go from here.” I’m fighting with my insurance company because they denied my claim, they told me that I was out of network so I’m in the process of appealing that. There is no way I’m getting stuck with this $14k bill. The #1 reason we were even able to do IVF was because my insurance increased my coverage to $20k and I never would have used a clinic that wasn’t in my network. They make you jump thru so many hoops in the hopes you get discouraged and give up but I’m in this one until the very end.
I’m meeting with my ob/gyn in 2-weeks for a few reasons. 1) she’s amazing and has a passion for women’s health specifically fertility issues. 2) I’m going to see if it might be beneficial to go in for laparoscopy to get my endo cleaned out again. 3) This last one is my own selfish reason, I just want to go see a dr who actually gives a shit about me. We hated our infertility clinic so much and I want to go back to the clinic, the dr’s and nurses that made me feel safe and cared about me.
On 10/4 I have an appt to meet with a new infertility clinic who I’ve heard really good things about….I wish I would have known about them months ago. We’re just going to be gathering information we’re not sure if we want to go through another transfer or not. That’s where we’re at for now, no decisions have been made we’re weighing all of our options first. Call me crazy I just don’t feel like my journey is over yet.
Sometimes all of the money in the world doesn’t guarantee you a baby. $14k that’s what we spent on this round, we even spent the extra $2400 to ensure it was a genetically good embryo and it was. I took a HPT this morning because I’ve hated my clinic since Day 1 and I didn’t want them to be the ones to tell me one way or the other, I wanted to be mentally prepared. I took the test feeling 90% sure I was going to see a positive and when I didn’t I was in shock. Like seriously WTF are you kidding me! I showed up to the clinic for the blood draw pissed off. The waiting room is small and it was packed like most times I’m there. I had to sit next to a woman who held her 2-year-old boy on her lap. The little boy kept smiling at me, normally I would have engaged in some sort of response back but I just stared ahead cursing in my head the terrible music that was blasting overhead. It’s heartbreaking to see other women waiting to be called back, I always wonder where they are in their journey. I wish I would have the courage to just look up and give them a smile and tell them I get it but I never do. I feel embarrassed even sitting there myself, maybe they do too. No wonder infertility is such a taboo in our society even the ones that should be talking about it like myself are too embarassed to do so.
I honestly don’t know where this news will take me. I’ve said from the beginning if we didn’t end up having children I would need to make some sort of change in my life because literally trying for a family has been my life for the past 6 years. I’m not sure who I am without tracking cycles, taking meds, timing our intercourse and all of the dr appointments that go along with that. I feel like I’ve lost my identity because of infertility, I feel sad and I feel very lost.
7/12: Today I took my baby home with me, not really a baby yet but that’s the hope that I have in my heart. Today is Transfer Day, a day that’s been 8 months in the works. There’s a part of me that wishes I would have done a better job documenting my journey these last 6 years. I was thinking today, I wonder how many ultrasounds I’ve had, how many times I’ve gone in for blood draws or how many shots I’ve gotten. I guess in the grand scheme those things are trivial. What isn’t trivial is the 6 years where I’ve fought every single month for a baby. I’ve had 5 surgeries, 3 miscarriages, 2 tubal pregnancies, 15 IUI’s and now 1 FET. All of this shit and I’m still persevering and I can only hope that today I kicked infertility in the ass.
My transfer was the last one of the day so we didn’t need to be to the clinic until 3:30. I walked into the clinic with zero expectations and knew in my heart that I’ve done absolutely everything I could to get me to this point. I felt at peace. I wasn’t expecting to get a framed photo of my embryo and I also wasn’t expecting to be so emotional about it. Such a kind gesture that truly meant the world to us. The procedure happened very quickly and I tried to be in the moment as much as I possibly could. Overall it was a good day and I feel very blessed to be PUPO.
7/16: It’s been 4 days since my FET and I’m not going to lie, the last 2 days have been tough. The day after my transfer John had to go out of town and he won’t be back until Tues. I miss him so much especially right now because he’s my rock and the one that talks me off the ledge when I have so many doubts in my mind. I never imagined this tww would be so lonely but holy cow….I feel like I have so much riding on this and I’m trying to stay positive but the constant swirl of thoughts running through my mind are endless. If he was here we would at least be busy but I’m home alone and there’s too much quiet in the house. I’m nervous because I don’t feel anything yet, shouldn’t I feel something by now.
My beta is scheduled for this Friday 7/21, 5 more get-ups.
My transfer was supposed to be yesterday but yet again infertility is on its own schedule. I went in for my ultrasound and my lining wasn’t as thick as they were hoping so I got sent home with several boxes of estrogen patches and told to come back in a week. I went in yesterday and my lining was at a 7.5 so I’m back on the schedule for Wed 7/12. I swear this has been the longest drawn out process EVER. I remember I made the initial call to the RE in Nov. and now here we are almost 8 months later….a baby could have been born in that timeframe! I hate to admit it but I have cold feet, to think that everything we’ve done has led us up to this point, the end…the finish line one way or the other (one embryo. one shot). This is where I get mad at being an infertile because I’ve had months to overthink and analyze. If I was just normal and was able to get pregnant like I was supposed to so many of these feelings or thoughts would have probably never crossed my mind. It’s hard to be excited when I feel like all of the excitement has been drained from me and don’t even get me started on the fear factor if I do end up pregnant. John told me today how proud he is of me, we’ve done everything we possibly could to make this work. He’s right we have and once next Wed comes it will be my last ever TWW.
These last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ve gotten where I’ve gotten. I have a tendency to get all nostalgic during the big events in my life and considering my transfer is 13 days away my mind has been on overload. We’ve been on this journey for 6 years and in 22 days we’ll know if the fight was worth it or if we’re done with it all. I’m scared…scared that we’ll get our positive, scared that we won’t, scared to walk away from all of this with our heads held high knowing we did everything in our power to bring home our 1plus1shouldequal3. I was so naive in the beginning, I’m not anymore. Inferitlity has taught me more about myself, my body, my relationship, the people around me and my finances than I ever would have cared to know. It’s scarred me up on the inside and the out and a part of me hates it and another part of me is grateful. It’s weird how you can hate something but yet be grateful at the same time. I’m grateful because it’s given me a voice and has taught me how to be the biggest advocate for myself. It’s challenged my relationship but hasn’t damaged it. With every obstacle, let down and heartache John has been there for me and I’ve fallen in love with him more and more every day because of it. I’m going to leave you with my favorite lyric that I blast everytime I feel any doubt or sadness. Thanks for being my inspiration Eminem!
If you had
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture
Or just let it slip?
It’s been a week since I got the results from my embryo genetic screening. One embryo froze on day 5, one embryo on day 6 and one embryo on day 7. I waited 10 days to get the PGS results, 10 big X’s marked my calendar in red pen. Silly me to think that all three of my snowflakes would be genetically perfect. The Dr started the conversation with you have one genetically good embryo and then proceeded to tell me the fate of my other two. I didn’t think I would be so emotional about the ones that essentially wouldn’t make it, I cried and then when I was done crying I felt sad like really sad. Everybody was like, “but you have one, that’s all you need.” I couldn’t even be excited about one because I wanted two that way I was guaranteed another chance in case the first one didn’t take. So here I am a week later knowing I’ve got one chance to make this happen and I’m going to do whatever it takes phyically and mentally to be in the best spot possible. Right before I started my injections I decided to give up soda and to add an extra day or two into my weekly gym schedule, this is probably the only area of my infertile life I feel like I can control. I have a nurse consult on May 25th and my tentative transfer date is set for July 5th, which was the soonest they could even get me in. They were quick to send me a bill for the transfer, I’ll have to pay them another $2500 when I go in for my appt on the 25th. This will bring our total out of pocket up to $16,000, ugh that just makes me cringe.
John surprised me and booked us a week long FL beach vacation and we leave next weekend! Cue my money meltdown, how can we afford a vacation when we’re spending so much on IVF. He talked me off the ledge and convinced me that we needed this and he didn’t care how much it cost. He’s got a point, it’s been a crazy two months with him having his knee surgery which he finally got off his crutches last week and all of the IVF stuff we’ve been doing and we still have another two months until transfer. So all money worries are going to be set aside and I’m going to focus on what’s important and that’s keeping my head in the IVF game and re-connecting with my better half.