I Graduated!

I never thought I would make it to this point, my glass has been half empty for so many years that this all still seems so surreal to me. I did it…we did it, we graduated from my fertility clinic and I get to see my own dr. I didn’t think I would get as emotional as I got but I formed relationships with these people. The ultrasound tech was with me from transfer to the final scan, she was my absolute favorite and I made sure to tell her. I hugged her hard because she is now part of my story. During one of my blood draws I shared my journey with the lab tech, he was in awe of everything I overcame and he hugged me before I left. I will never forget him either because he’s also part of my story. I realized years ago that if someone comes into my life that has somehow impacted me In a way I never could imagine I tell them. I’ve met some amazing people by doing this.

So here I am, 11wks  and l feel freaking Amazing! I haven’t been sick at all, I’m not tired or I should say not any more tired than I usually am. The only thing I struggle with is heartburn and constipation, ugh I can’t believe I just shared that. Lol! That struggle is Real!!!

I haven’t told any of my family yet so that will be happening this weekend. I’ve gone back and forth with how to tell them and I think I’ve finally figured it out. I’ll share a picture with you all after this weekend.

I’m truly grateful and blessed for these past 11 weeks and I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks have in store for me: Telling my family, telling my co-workers, growing my bump, wearing maternity clothes. Exciting times ahead!

Advertisements

So many meds

img_9955

This might actually be the very last day that I take all of these meds. Tomorrow I go in for my blood draw to see if I’m pregnant. The transfer was perfect I did everything right leading up to the day. I did acupuncture before and after transfer. I was on bed rest for two days and stayed in bed almost the whole time. I had another acupuncture appt four days after transfer because that’s what my acupuncturist recommended. This is it for me, seven years in the making has led me to this exact moment. I’m scared and I’m sad. I don’t feel anything even though I’ve googled myself pregnant every day since transfer….it’s self torture I don’t recommend it. I want to be positive but infertility has ripped that ability away from me, it’s turned me into a jealous and bitter person and I hate that part of me. I’m going in expecting the worse so when the call comes maybe the news will hurt less because it’s what I’ve known all along. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand why this path was chosen for me. People tell me that I should have peace knowing I did everything that I could. I think when your heart wants something so badly nothing gives you peace.

Therapy

I’ve been seeing a therapist for 10 years and he’s Amazing! I wasn’t referred to him I just looked up a clinic that would accept my insurance and Andrew agreed to take me on as a patient. I remember driving to my first appt with butterflies in my tummy wondering if I was making the right decision to open up to a total stranger about some of the most personal things that were going on in my life.

Just a little background on why I started therapy. 6 weeks into my relationship with John he had a massive heart attack, he was only 26 yrs old. Our relationship was still so new we should have been out having fun with not a care in the world but his heart condition put a screeching halt to that. He spent a week in the hospital and had a stent put in. I’m going to use layman’s terms when I explain this, he was born with a heart defect that was never detected and one of his artery’s to the heart was curled so even the most minuscule amount of plaque blocked the artery which caused him to have a heart attack. It was a tough time for us, we instantly went from being carefree in our 20’s to dealing with physical therapy appts, medications, thousands of dollars in medical bills and the emotional toll a heart attack takes on a 26 year old guy who’s been an athlete all of his life. I’m not going to lie it was a lot to take on and it was hard on the both of us but I knew that there was something special about this fella that I just couldn’t walk away from. And that’s how our love story started, with a broken heart…literally.

I typically see Andrew for therapy once a week, throughout the 10 years I’ve taken breaks here in there but for the most part I’m consistent with once a week. Andrew has gotten me through a lot:

  • the heart attack
  • losing my job and then finding another one
  • 3 miscarriages
  • 2 tubal pregnancies
  • 6 surgeries
  • and everything Infertility related

He’s been my go to guy for so long, He talks me off the ledge and lets me shelf things that I’m just not ready to deal with yet. He calls me out on my bullshit and isn’t afraid to call me Teresa when I need to be set straight… just like my mom does. He’s become such an important person in my life because he’s seen me at my most vulnerable. A few weeks ago He told me he’s going out on FMLA and will most likely not be going back to the clinic.  I know it’s selfish but all I can think of is how am I going to get through my last hurdle of infertility without him. This is the final chapter doesn’t he want to know how it ends, how can he just close the book and never think of me…maybe that’s how therapy works I don’t know because this is the only experience I have. How can someone know all of my secrets and struggles but yet I only know maybe 10 things about him. I’m embarrassed to write this but he feels like my friend and I’m losing him.

I had one last appt with him before he went out on leave. Driving to the office I felt just as nervous as I was the very first time I went. I never imagined that he would turn into such an important person to me. I cried hard and ugly in front of him while saying goodbye. How do you sum up 10 years and thank someone for always being there and never judging. It’s only been a few weeks and I miss our standing Saturday appointments, I got so much out of these last 10 years and I will forever be grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best of Us.

 

img_9693

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!

 

 

IVF #2: Don’t Overthink

img_9454

It’s in my blood to overthink and it’s just not about one thing or another, it’s about everything. When I went through my first IVF I wrote down that I was going to “Enjoy the Journey.” That didn’t work so well for me because I ended up not being pregnant. This time around I felt like I needed another phrase to focus on and it came to me when I was furniture shopping. I walked into the store and saw a pillow with the words in big black letters, “Don’t Overthink.” I’m not a huge impulse buyer but I walked out of that store with a $25 pillow and you know what, I didn’t overthink that purchase for even a second….the couch and loveseat I also ended up buying did cause me a lot of overthinking stress though….baby steps!

So things are getting real for me as I start the prep work for IVF #2. Leading up to this point we’ve had a few bumps in the road because naturally why wouldn’t we. It started with the clinic experiencing a security breach meaning all of our medical history ended up compromised, this was not a good first impression with our new clinic. I swear nothing is safe anymore. Then I got a letter stating the doctor I had been working with decided to leave the practice. Ugh…Seriously. I felt like she knew our story, showed us the compassion that made me feel good and was going to do everything in her power to help us make a baby and now she was leaving us. I had since met the other doctor who actually opened the clinic and she is just as amazing so I know I’ll still be in good hands. I’m finally at the point where CD1 starts, I have my baseline scheduled for the next day and I swear I can’t even make this up, I wake up with the flu. Like the kind that had me out of commission for 4 days. I was too sick to even cry about it, best diet in the world though. lol! Things get postponed another month only to have the nurse forget to tell me to start my priming meds. Again it’s hard to get mad because really what good would it do and I make mistakes at my job too even though I don’t have a job that affects someone’s life! It sucks that it got delayed but I want to be in a position where I know I’ve done everything possible to be successful. So I’m about a week away from CD1 and I’m hoping for an early April retrieval with no more bumps in the road. In the meantime I’m going to try really hard not to Overthink!

Being alone at the end.

Last Friday I went to a funeral for my Auntie Grace.  I like to think I got my flair for being Fabulous from her because she was the true definition of Fabulous and losing her has hit my family hard. If you really want to put your own life into perspective attend a funeral; a million thoughts raced through my mind as I sat through the service, mostly what would my older version of me look like without a child/children. Who would be sitting with me when it was time to say goodbye; totally depressing I know but it was a sad day already so why not. My Auntie Grace’s legacy wasn’t about her  money or possessions it was about the 2 rows of people sitting in the front of the church, her husband of 59 years, her 3 children and her 6 grandchildren. I may never get to experience half of what she had but I promise myself I’m going to try to my hardest and pray that this round of IVF will be successful and at my end I will have the legacy I have fought so hard to get.

This morning I had to attend an IVF class that my clinic puts on as an overview of what to expect during the IVF process. Even though we’ve already been through IVF we still had to go because this is a new clinic for us. I had a rough weekend, I think the holidays are getting to me and I’m just so angry that each month we continue to try for a baby on our own and each month we’re not successful. On top of all of those feelings, plus having to be at the clinic at 7:30 this morning and knowing that the clinic just recently had been hacked and all of our medical records and personal information have been compromised I wasn’t in the best of moods going into this. It turned out to be a really positive appt, we sat through the overview which was just a nice refresher and then I met with my case nurse who was absolutely amazing! She listened to our concerns, answered our questions and was so compassionate. She shared that she had been through IVF as well so she gets it. I love connecting with people who actually get it and after the appt I gave her a big hug and thanked her for sharing her story with us. It’s so nice to be at a clinic that actually cares and I’m super excited to start the protocol, it’s so different than the first one I was on. They start by prepping you for about 3 weeks prior to injections so hopefully I’ll start that sometime within the next 8-10 days. If all goes well the retrieval will be the end of Jan with a transfer in late Feb/early March. That seems forever away but I know in reality it will be here before I know it. So here we go again….

Chances.

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.